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Fire burns sand truck on Mill Hill

Five units of the Jamestown Fire Department responded to a fire after a leak in the hydraulic system caused a sand-spreading truck to go up in flames Thursday, said Jim Reuther, Jamestown fire chief. 

The fire occurred at the top of Mill Hill with the fire department dispatched to the scene at about 8:40 a.m.

Thirty-one firefighters responded and were on the scene for about 36 minutes, according to Reuther. No one was injured in the fire.

Reuther said the leak in the hydraulic system that allowed hydraulic fluid to drip on to the exhaust system caused the fire. The truck is owned by the Jamestown Street Department.

The truck, fitted with a box for spreading sand on slippery streets, was extensively damaged by the fire. The sand-spreading mechanism and cargo box received little damage, Reuther said. 

The fire disables one of the two trucks equipped with sanding equipment operated by the Jamestown Street Department.

“Our comfort level is down without a second vehicle as backup,” said Reed Schwartzkopf, city engineer. “We were already in the process of bidding for a replacement truck but that won’t be acted on by the City Council until February.”

Sun reporter Keith Norman can be reached at 701-952-8452 or by email at