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Sinkhole puts Lynchburg fire engine out of service
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Sinkhole puts Lynchburg fire engine out of service

A sinkhole on Harrison Street caught a tire of the Lynchburg Fire Department’s Engine 1 Tuesday afternoon, rendering the vehicle unusable until technicians clear it to go back into service.

Battalion Chief Robert Lipscomb said there was no obvious damage to the vehicle, which got its left rear tire caught in the sinkhole while leaving the scene of a call at the corner of Harrison and 7th streets.

The hole was caused by a collapsed sewer line and appeared as the fire engine pulled away, he said.

Russell Ayscue, captain of logistics, said firefighters drained 750 gallons of water — about 6,000 pounds worth — into a storm drain to remove some weight from the back. A wrecker pulled the truck out at about 2:30 p.m.

Engine 1 will remain out of service until emergency vehicle technicians inspect it.

Lipscomb said the Department of Water Resources took over the scene after the truck was removed.

Greg Poff, assistant director of Water Resources, said in a phone interview recent rain likely contributed to the line’s collapse.

“This is in the older section of the city and it’s a clay sewer line which they probably put [there] in the mid 1800s,” Poff said. “It had very little cover on it.”

Crews replaced the collapsed section of the line, Poff said, but a video inspection showed the rest of the line on that street did not need to be replaced. Harrison Street between 7th and 8th streets is closed, he said.

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