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FIRE

New Geneva fire truck burns in hay field blaze

City of Geneva fire and rescue department officials are fending off embarrassment after one of its flagship water pumping trucks went up in flames.

The vehicle, just purchased last spring, is currently undergoing major repairs in Saint Gallen.

The story of the severe damage emerged almost a week after the fire department took credit for dousing a hay field that threatened a residential area in the neighbouring municipality of Plan-les-Ouates.

The truck was parked in the field and later became engulfed in flames after fire fighters decided to tackle the blaze from two sides using a pincer movement, according to a report from Le Matin newspaper.

The immobilized new pump truck, which can handle 2,500 litres of water, was abandoned in the July 19th operation.

Using 10 other vehicles, fire department members brought the blaze under control after 15 minutes and after 160,000 square metres of of hay burned.

Fire department commander Nicolas Schumacher defended the tactics used, noting that decisions had to be made in a matter of seconds to avoid homes being damaged, Le Matin said.

Flames were several metres high when the first rescue vehicles arrived and the fire was within just 30 metres of housing, according to the report.

The cause of the fire was linked to fireworks.

The fire department said a 22-year-old man had fired a rocket into the field.

A financial estimate of the damage to the pump truck was not disclosed. 

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FIRE

Man dies in car fire at Jura petrol station on New Year’s Eve

Police in the canton of Jura are investigating why a vehicle caught fire at a petrol station in the village of Breuleux on Sunday morning, killing the driver.

Man dies in car fire at Jura petrol station on New Year’s Eve
Photo: Jura police
Given the size of the fire and the fact it took place in a petrol station, a large team of 30 firefighters and eight fire engines was sent to tackle the blaze, police said in a statement.
 
Residents of four nearby apartment blocks were evacuated and one elderly person in shock received medical attention. 
 
Firefighters were unable to save the driver of the car, who was found dead inside the vehicle. 
 
According to Le Matin, the victim was a local musician and guitar teacher who was due to perform during the New Year’s Eve event of a local restaurant later that day.
 
Investigations are ongoing to determine why the car – a hybrid Toyota, according to the paper – burst into flames.