Construction Crews Help Allen Fire Department with Grass Fire
NTTA contractors sprung into action Saturday, March 27, 2010, when they spotted a grass fire spreading through a field near where they are building the new Sam Rayburn Tollway/U.S. 75 interchange.
The men called 911 and then aided the Allen Fire Department by using their bulldozers to help extinguish the quickly moving fire, prompting a note of thanks from the City of Allen’s fire department.
“They made all the difference in the world for us,” said Greg Grimes, an Allen Fire Department battalion chief.
Dee Myers, Ryan Kelsey, Steven Gonzalez, Jose Salinas and Anthony Martin Garay, all employees of NTTA contractor W.W. Webber, said they first saw a power line arcing and shooting sparks, as if the gusting wind had blown a tree limb into the power line.
Firefighters believe the blaze started under those power lines in a 15-acre field near Hardin Boulevard and the Sam Rayburn Tollway frontage road in Allen, Grimes said.
With the wind gusting to approximately 30 mph, the Allen Fire Department asked firefighters from McKinney and Frisco to bring their brush trucks to help fight the fire. Unfortunately, Grimes said, several of the four-wheel-drive brush trucks got stuck in the thick mud, so the firefighters turned to the construction workers who had offered their help.
The Webber employees used chains and a bulldozer to pull the brush trucks out of the mud as other bulldozer operators helped extinguish the fire by scooping dirt and dumping the soil onto the fire, rolling over the fire and plowing through it.
They also used the bulldozer’s front blade to scrape away dried brush to make a fire break, which prevented the fire from spreading.
The five NTTA contractors, who have a combined 75 years of construction experience, said helping the firefighters was gratifying but just part of a day’s work.
“We have obstacles thrown at us every day, and we figure out what to do, how to get the job done, how to succeed,” said Ryan Kelsey, a foreman. “That’s what we did here.”
Dee Myers, the project manager, said he’s fortunate to work with such a good team. “The guys here are working hard to construct the new interchange to ease the burden on traffic and improve the community,” he said. “We care about this community.”