Excavator ignites during demolition


For the second time this year, an expensive excavator — a heavy machine used by the city of Toledo to demolish vacant and blighted homes — was severely damaged and left unusable.

The excavator was “pretty burned up” Monday afternoon at Collingwood Boulevard and Machen Street, said Ed Moore, director of public service.

Mr. Moore said a hydraulic hose broke and hit the fuel filter, which in turn leaked fuel that ignited.

He said the excavator had just undergone preventive maintenance and that the incident was an accident.

Firefighters said the machine had been in use for about six hours razing a building when the fire started. Lt. Matthew Hertzfeld, a fire department spokesman, estimated the damage at about $20,000 and said the equipment is worth about $70,000.

Councilman D. Michael Collins asked Tuesday for a full report on the fire.

He said he was surprised to hear of the incident from fire officials, especially after an excavator was severely damaged in the spring when it rolled off a flatbed truck on Central Avenue because it was not properly secured.