Loaned fire truck stuck under Boston bridge

March 22, 2001
(BOSTON) – A new tower truck on loan to the Boston Fire Dept. became wedged under a bridge, causing thousands of dollars in damage to the vehicle.

Three firefighters suffered minor injuries in Wednesday’s mishap. Chief Paul Christian described them as embarrassed. The truck was freed after air was released from its tires.

The state-of-the-art truck valued at $600,000 was supplied to the city by its maker, Pierce Manufacturing Co. of Wisconsin, for a 90-day test drive. The firefighters made the mistake of taking the truck on Storrow Drive, a scenic cars-only roadway along the Charles River where most bridges and overpasses have an 11-foot clearance, 9 inches short of what the tower truck needed.

Christian said that most fire equipment can get under the bridges, and ladder trucks must find another route. He said the firefighters manning the tower truck apparently forgot about the clearance because they were already out on a run when they got the call to respond to a fire in Charlestown.

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