Fire engine breaks through bridge, homes temporarily without access |

Fire engine breaks through bridge, homes temporarily without access

Jane Reuter

KEYSTONE – Snake River firefighters on a routine driver training exercise received an unwelcome surprise Friday when the right rear wheels of the 42,600-pound fire engine broke through a wooden bridge.

The bridge leads to and from the North Fork subdivision, located just off Montezuma Road at the base of Loveland Pass. Six high-end homes, all of them second residences, cannot be accessed due to the accident.

The private bridge, constructed in 1989, is rated for a 60,000-pound load. Investigators found a rotten main bridge timber apparently gave way under the engine’s weight.

“We had to utilize air bags to lift the rear enough to where a large wrecker could then nudge it forward,” said Snake River Fire Chief Dave Parmley. “We’re very lucky we didn’t end up with major damage on our engine. It only suffered damage to the fuel tank underside.”

Engine driver Jeff Brantely and other firefighters on board the engine were “very surprised,” Parmley said.

Jane Reuter can be reached at 668-3998, ext. 229, or by e-mail at

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