ROCHELLE — A piece of park district equipment accidentally caught fire at Skare Park on Wednesday afternoon and was destroyed, but fortunately no staff members were injured in the incident.
According to Flagg-Rochelle Community Park District executive director Roger Bunger, three maintenance workers were riding in a Kubota vehicle while performing a controlled burn in the field just west of the Skare Park golf driving range when the unit caught fire due to a leaking fuel line.
"We were performing a controlled burn out at Skare Park," Bunger explained late Wednesday afternoon. "Conditions were perfect and everything was going as planned, but I received a call at approximately 1:30 p.m. from employee Dale Wood, stating the Kubota had caught fire and was a total loss."
Bunger explained that Wood and two other staff members were riding along in the Kubota when they noticed a line of fire following them and closing in on their vehicle.
"They quickly pulled back around to an area that had already been burned and jumped off the Kubota and tried to put out the fire with three fire extinguishers," Bunger said. "However, with that much fuel present they just couldn't put it out and the vehicle was gutted."
Bunger said that it's likely the fuel line was unknowingly punctured while being used in the field.
"We weren't doing anything out of the normal and it seems it was just a freak thing," Bunger added. "We can replace the equipment and are all just thankful there was no explosion and nobody was injured."