RUMFORD, Maine — Rumford and Mexico firefighters were sent to a tractor and structure fire on Route 2 late Saturday afternoon.
But when they arrived, the tractor, a small riding lawnmower, had been pulled away from a garage at 1086 Route 2 and flames on the garage wall were extinguished.
No one was injured. Damage to the garage was minimal, but the riding lawnmower was destroyed, said Deputy Chief Chris Bryant of the Rumford Fire Department.
The fire departments and Med-Care ambulance were called out at 5:23 p.m. when a passerby spotted the fire.
Bryant said the tenant, Al White, “got done mowing the lawn, set [the mower] by the garage and went into the house, and then a passer-by stopped by and said his tractor was on fire.”
Rumford firefighter Ernie Peare was the first to arrive in his pickup truck. He said the lawnmower was engulfed in fire and flames were burning up a front wall of the garage.
Peare said the tractor was pulled several feet away from the garage. He extinguished flames on the garage wall and buried a burning piece of rubber from the tractor in the dirt to put that out.
“You can’t stomp a fire out on burning rubber,” he said.
Peare removed acetylene and oxygen tanks from the garage as a precaution, he said.
The Rumford fire was the second small fire that Mexico firefighters responded to Saturday.
At 2 a.m., someone set ablaze a 2½-gallon can of diesel fuel or K-1 kerosene in the middle of Granite Street, a Mexico firefighter said at the Rumford fire scene. Mexico police are investigating the incident, he said.