'Didn't even have a chance': Okla. chief, FF jump from burning brush truck

The firefighters escaped the blaze, and the New Hope Volunteer Fire Department is raising money to replace the apparatus

By Leila Merrill

CADDO COUNTY, Okla. — New Hope Volunteer Fire Department Chief Eric Lopez and another firefighter were fighting a fire in Cement on Saturday when the brush truck they were in caught fire, KSWO reported.

They jumped out of the truck and saw it burst into flames.

“I was getting out of the truck and looked back that way, you see flames come behind the truck and we didn’t even have a chance,” Lopez said. “It took the truck out.”

Lopez told the news outlet that he is grateful to be alive and for firefighter camaraderie.

“A truck can be replaced,” Lopez said. “Life can’t. We’ve got many volunteers here that help each other. If it wasn’t for every volunteer, Cyril, Cement, without them. We’ve got brotherhood, you know, we have each other.”

New Hope Firefighter Rusty Tryon said he saw the two running.

“We never heard a mayday call, nothing. They didn’t have time to grab a radio,” he said.

The department said that a new brush truck will cost about $80,000. Lopez is hoping to raise donations.

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