An early-morning fire in the engine compartment destroyed this Appalachia Rescue Squad ambulance.
Appalachia Rescue Squad member Jody Davidson was on duty in the squad station early Tuesday morning watching a movie when he noticed smoke in the building.
The smoke was from a squad ambulance, which caught on fire shortly before 4 a.m. Tuesday. The ambulance was parked in the station bay downstairs.
Squad captain Andrew Rose said the ambulance, a 2006 Ford E450, was a total loss. He said the vehicle was insured for $120,000 and will be replaced.
The cause of the fire was under investigation Monday, but officials are leaning toward an electrical cause, Rose said. “The fire investigator said it looked like it started in the engine compartment where the fuse panel is,” Rose said. The Appalachia police and fire departments responded to the fire, along with a Virginia State Police fire investigator.
There was minor damage to the station itself, Rose said.
The loss leaves the squad with one ambulance as well as a first responder vehicle until the burned vehicle is replaced. To prevent any delays in patient care, Rose said the squad has told Wise County’s central dispatch to automatically dispatch the next closest EMS agency if ARS is busy on a call and a second one comes in.