Tractor malfunction causes fire inside Highway Department headquarters

On Monday, the Lyon County Highway Department brought in a mowing tractor for maintenance and repairs. After business hours, that tractor apparently caught fire, smoking up the headquarters building for nearly 30 minutes.


Firefighters from Emporia and most other Lyon County fire departments raced to the Highway Department, more commonly known as Road and Bridge, in the 500 block of South Prairie after the blaze was reported around 7:10 pm. Thick black smoke was pouring from both the main equipment bays and the roof when EFD arrived.

Emporia Fire Battalion Chief Gould:

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Gould says firefighters moved quickly to douse the flames before they got to nearby oil barrels and the building's oil burner near the east wall of the building.

The cause of the fire is unclear. Assistant County Engineer Jim Brull:

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Brull says the tractor was having electrical issues, which is why it was in the shop. After the blaze, diesel leaks were noted by EFD. Brull says the mowing equipment might be salvaged, but the tractor is possibly destroyed.

No injuries were reported.