By DUSTIN RACIOPPI
The Little Silver Fire Department extinguished a backhoe fire deep in the woods off Seven Bridges Road early Wednesday afternoon.
The fire started at about 1:25p behind a residence at 478 Little Silver Point Road, Assistant Fire Chief Andrew Smith said, and was put out shortly after volunteer firefighters saw a backhoe used by the Monmouth County Mosquito Commission emitting smoke from the engine’s compartment.
“It was on fire when we got here,” Smith said, “so it was starting to compromise the diesel.”
The preliminary cause of the fire appears to be electrical, Smith said.
Jim Bollerman, whose property abuts a drainage ditch where firefighters responded, said the Mosquito Commission has been doing work behind his backyard for the last several weeks.
“Somehow their backhoe caught on fire,” he said. “They got it out pretty quick.”
Smith said in order to get to the fire, volunteers had to lay about 800 feet of hose from the street, through Bollerman’s backyard and across the ditch. It might have been nearly impossible to reach, he said, had the driver of the backhoe, which was deeper in the woods when it caught fire, not driven it closer to the ditch.
Now the tricky part is figuring out how to get the heavy machine out of the woods.
“I don’t know,” Smith said. “It’s going to be tough for them.”