It was round 2 for injured firefighter


Mount Airy volunteer firefighter Michael K. Murphy had been through it before, nearly seven years ago.

Fellow firefighter Wayne Esworthy's brother went through it then, too.

Mr. Murphy and Mr. Esworthy were two of six firefighters from Mount Airy who were treated at Frederick Memorial Hospital Thursday night after their engine spun on ice and struck a tree as they responded to a garage fire.

The 1989 engine they were riding replaced one that was destroyed in a more serious accident in August 1987 that also injured six.

In the 1987 crash, the rear wheels of the engine slipped off wet pavement on Old Annapolis Road in Frederick County as the unit raced to an alarm -- later found to be malfunctioning -- at Linganore High School. The driver lost control and the engine skidded 76 feet before crashing into a tree.

Warren D. "Tony" Esworthy, Wayne's brother, suffered serious face, hand, leg and ankle injuries after being trapped in the wreckage for 40 minutes. Four of the six involved in the 1987 accident, including Mr. Murphy, were treated at Frederick Memorial Hospital and released the same day.

Injured along with Mr. Murphy and Wayne Esworthy in Thursday's accident were Chief Dale Lowman and firefighters Chuck Kline, Jerry Shaw and Gene Mellin.

All six were released from the hospital after treatment from minor lacerations and bruises, a fire official said.

Thursday's accident occurred while the engine was headed to the garage fire on a farm in the 6500 block of Ridge Road about 4:30 p.m.

At least one other fire engine drove across a field to get to the fire because the driveway was blocked

by the accident, fire officials said.

Bob Thomas, deputy chief state fire marshal, said the blaze started when Ivan Colburn, the 77-year-old owner of the four-bay concrete and wood structure, was pouring gasoline from a five-gallon container into a farm tractor, one of four vehicles in the large garage.

Mr. Thomas said some of the gasoline spilled, the vapors were immediately ignited and the fire spread to Mr. Colburn's clothing, on his arms and legs.

Mr. Colburn was wearing several layers of clothing and was able to beat out the flames before he was injured, fire investigators said.

The farmer ran from the blazing garage to his house and called 911.

The garage, worth an estimated $50,000, was destroyed, Mr. Thomas said.

Fire investigators said the garage contained a 1984 Pontiac Grand Prix, a 1979 Pontiac Firebird, a 1952 International tractor and a 1950 Ferguson tractor.

Firefighters remained at the scene for about two hours.

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