Bradford Township emergency officials were kept busy on Monday.
Police and fire squads responded to a car crash Monday afternoon in the area of a vehicle fire that was already in progress on Minard Run Road.
Members of the Bradford Township Volunteer Fire Department were dispatched at 2:23 p.m. to a vehicle fire on Minard Run Road, said Fire Chief Dan Burkhouse. It was only a few minutes later at 2:33 p.m., that the department was dispatched by the McKean County 911 Center to a two-vehicle crash in the same area, he said.
Burkhouse explained the incident began when Jeremey L. Hall of Bradford was driving a 1996 Buick sedan on Minard Run, when the car began to experience mechanical issues. He pulled over, and the car burst into flames.
Bradford Township Police further explained the car was traveling west on Minard Run Road, when its occupants — Hall, Chris J. Gilbert and a juvenile — noticed there was smoke coming from it. Then, they “observed fire coming the floor and into the passenger compartment of the vehicle,” police stated.
All three individuals were able to get out of the car safely, and they “attempted to extinguish the fire using snow until the situation became too dangerous,” police said, noting Bradford Township firefighters arrived a short time later and extinguished the blaze.
Burkhouse said, “A fuel fire added to the mess.” Fuel running on the ground from underneath the car’s fuel tank caught on fire, and it was a struggle for firefighters to put it out, he explained.
No one was hurt in the fire, but “the vehicle fire was fully involved,” Burkhouse said, adding it was a total loss. However, there was one injury in the subsequent motor vehicle accident.
The cause of the fire has not yet been determined, according to police.
Meanwhile, a car driven by Paula Thompson of Bradford was stopped in the eastbound lane — which takes motorists up the hill — due to the car fire. The car fire was “located a short distance ahead up Minard Run Road hill,” police stated.
A car driven by Francis J. Williams of Cyclone was traveling eastbound, and he failed to see that traffic ahead of him was stopped, police said. Williams tried to swerve his car to miss Thompson’s car, but his car did strike the rear passenger side of the other car, pushing it east and partially into the westbound lane.
Police said Williams’ car spun around on impact and left the road off the south berm.
Police reported that Williams was transported by ambulance to Bradford Regional Medical Center for medical treatment; Thompson declined treatment. Both vehicles sustained disabling damage and had to be towed from the scene.
Lt. Jeffrey Shade was the investigating officer for the crash, and Officer Matthew Lamade was the investigating officer for the fire.
After the crash occurred, Burkhouse said the road had to be closed for about an hour while both messes were cleaned up before one lane of travel could be opened. They were on scene until 4:08 p.m.
A total of 15 firefighters and two engines were on scene. The Lewis Run and Corydon Township volunteer fire departments were on standby, he said.