Runaway Tractor Hits Firefighters Operating at SC Barn Fire

Mark Price

The Charlotte Observer


Two South Carolina firefighters were hurt Sunday when a tractor suddenly began moving without a driver and struck them, according to Richburg Fire-Rescue in Chester County.

The firefighters were sent to the hospital for treatment and have since been discharged, the department said. Their identities were not released. Richburg is about 20 miles south of Rock Hill, along Interstate 77.

It happened Sunday afternoon when the department was responding to a barn fire off Old Richburg Road, officials said.

“The structure was fully involved and a grass fire was spreading toward other structures and a heavily wooded area,” officials wrote on Facebook.

“During the incident, a tractor on the property slipped out of gear and rolled down the hill to the area Engine 812 was staged. Two firefighters were at the pump panel and were struck by the tractor.”

One of the firefighters was treated for lacerations, officials said. The second firefighter sought care for a hip injury but was released without any broken bones.

Multiple agencies responded to offer help when news spread firefighters had been hurt, the department said.

“There is no way to express how terrifying the words ‘firefighters down’ actually are!” the department wrote. “Thank you for the quick actions and the professionalism that you bring! We truly appreciate you!”

Details of how the fire started were not released.

It was among two unusual incidents the department responded to on Sunday.

In the second case, a fire was ignited after a passing 18-wheeler lost a set of tandem wheels around 4 a.m., officials said.

However, the truck was no where to be seen, indicating it just kept going down the highway.

“Both wheels traveled to the top of the embankment and finally stopped after striking a tree and becoming wedged,” the department said.

“They then proceeded to burn the area. So, if you see a tractor trailer and they are missing a couple of wheels we know where they are!”

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