Tree falls on Long Lake Fire Dept. fire engine headed to storm damage call

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Photo Courtesy: Long Lake Fire Department

Long Lake firefighters are breathing a sigh of relief after a close call when a large oak tree fell in front of their fire engine while responding to a call during the storm Monday night.

Long Lake Fire Chief James Van Eyll says around 7:20 p.m., Engine 12 was headed to a report of wire down in Orono. They were driving on County Road 15 near Arcola Lane in Wayzata when a tree started falling on the road.

The driver had just enough time to slam on the brakes and the tree only caught the front bumper. Measuring about two feet in diameter, the tree stopped the firefighters in their tracks. Luckily, none of the five firefighters on board was injured.

"As soon as the shock wore off, they got right back in business," said Chief Van Eyll. "They were more concerned about everyone else coming around the corner and started directing traffic."

A special tow removed the fire engine from the road. With a crushed front bumper and damaged front axle, the fire engine is out of service. Chief Van Eyll says it was due for a replacement in August, so they hope to receive its replacement soon.