Off-duty firey puts out Stake Hill car fire with makeshift ‘fire truck’

Stake Hill resident Tim Mills works as a firefighter at the station in Success, but on Thursday morning he had to put his skills to use off-duty.

A woman arrived at his front door to tell him a car had crashed into a power pole out the front of his bush block, with both the car and the pole setting alight.

Luckily, Mr Mills had his own hand-crafted “fire truck” on hand to put out the blaze.

“We were probably going to lose power, so I popped down in my firetruck to have a look, and fortunately it wasn’t [windy], it was dead calm this morning, so the fire didn’t spread onto the block,” he said.

“Surprised myself that it actually put the whole thing out, normally it takes a lot more.”

Mr Mill’s “fire truck” is really just a 4WD decked out with two 200 litre tanks, an office-type hose reel, and a Honda pump.

He put it together after fighting fires in the Kelmscott-Roleystone blaze in 2011.

“It was going, it was just chaos… there’s lack of water there, lack of communications, cos in a big fire you lose phone communication because the towers go,” Mr Mills said.

“A lot of the houses had little Honda pumps in swimming pools, with these little pumps around, we used those, and managed to save most of the houses in the street.

“That night i bought one on eBay for about $350.”

Normally he uses the “fire engine” to water trees on the block, or to put out bonfires: Thursday morning was the first chance he’s had to use it in an emergency scenario.

“I’m happy it worked as well as it did,” he said.

“The nearest hydrant is about five k’s away, and we’re not on scheme water, it just on tanks… we’re getting pretty low this time of year.”

St John ambulance, a fire engine and Western Power attended the scene, with the driver incurring some injuries. 

Due to Mr Mill’s quick response and handy truck, his property was left relatively unscathed, and the street’s power did not go out.

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