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Limestone plow catches on fire

LIMESTONE, Maine — One of Limestone’s two plow trucks caught on fire Monday afternoon while the road crew was working on equipment in their shop.

Officials are unsure of the exact cause but believe an electrical short inside the dash of the truck was the culprit, according to Water and Sewer District Superintendent Jim Leighton, who stepped in as the interim manager of the Public Works Department following the recent resignation of William Thibodeau.

“We’re going to assume it was electrical,” Leighton said.

“It’s the oldest of our two plow trucks,” he said, adding that he believes it is from 1996.

The fire occurred “at the end of the day” when the crew was letting some of their diesel vehicles run in the driveway to warm up their internal hydraulics.

“As we’re putting away the vehicles,” Leighton said. “This one was the last to go back in the garage, and by the time they got around to it, smoke was rolling out, and by the time the fire department showed up it was engulfed in flames.”

The Town of Limestone already has had difficulties tackling storms with Thibodeau’s resignation on Jan. 7. With Leighton’s help, however, the town has been able to keep up with recent storms.

Leighton said the department was very lucky to have fixed the backup plow truck, which was given to the town by the state of Maine.

“It needed some work,” he said. “We had just finalized the last stages of getting it ready to go if needed, and now all of a sudden we need it. It’s good thing too, this is a pretty bad storm to be without a truck. It would’ve left the town covered in snow.”

With the backup truck operational, Leighton said there “hasn’t been a noticeable change” in the town’s ability to maintain the roads.

“Backups are always backups,” he said. “It’s always your oldest piece of equipment and hopefully it can keep the roads plowed.”

Leighton commended the work of Limestone’s Public Works crew, who put in the extra time to ensure their backup equipment was operational.

“I’d like to praise the men for putting in the time to keep the equipment up and running,” he said, “and for the work they’ve done.”

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