Fire breaks out at Balaton Auto Salvage

Photo by Jenny Kirk Members of the Balaton and Garvin fire departments responded to a fire Friday afternoon at Balaton Auto Salvage.

RURAL BALATON — The Balaton Fire Department responded to a fire call Friday afternoon at the Balaton Auto Salvage in the rural Balaton area.

Balaton Fire Chief Troy Wendland said about eight cars were on fire when they arrived on the scene.

“We just called for mutual aid because of the smoke,” Wendland said. “We just needed more air packs. It was really smoky because of all the plastic they have in the vehicles nowadays.”

The Garvin Fire Department responded to the call for mutual aid, bringing a few first responders with them.

“When I requested mutual aid, it was just for manpower with air packs,” Wendland said. “We didn’t need water, just the self-contained breathing apparatus (SCBA).”

A SCBA is a device worn by firefighters or other rescue workers to provide breathable air in a dangerous to life or health atmosphere. In this case, the breathing apparatus provided respiratory protection from the massive amount of smoke that was present.

Numerous fire trucks from the Balaton Fire Department delivered water to the scene. The Balaton Ambulance was also dispatched.

Wendland, who was recently re-elected as fire chief, said firefighters and first responders were on the scene for about an hour. No injuries were reported.

“We had a good response,” Wendland said. “And we were very thankful the weather was much warmer than the last time we were called out.”

The Balaton Fire Department assisted at a fire call on the morning of Dec. 27, when the Russell Fire Department was called to the location of Sand Body Shop on Old Highway 23. The temperature that morning was 11 below zero.

“That was really cold,” Wendland said.


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