A single-vehicle crash on Sunday afternoon just west of Philomath ignited an engine fire and shut down Highway 20 for a short time but the two occupants suffered only minor injuries, Philomath Fire & Rescue reported.
Emergency responders were dispatched at 3:31 p.m. Dec. 4 to the incident, which occurred on the Highway 20 bridge over the Marys River west of Noon Road. Philomath Fire & Rescue sent an engine, rescue unit and five personnel.
“A small fire was visible in the engine compartment and all occupants were out of the vehicle,” said Fire & Rescue Deputy Fire Chief Rich Saalsaa, who was on scene as the incident commander. “The engine arrived to deal with the fire and one person from the engine joined the rescue to see to the two male patients.”
Saalsaa said firefighters quickly put the fire out using a water extinguisher while the vehicle’s occupants were taken aside to a safe space off the highway to be further evaluated. They were released to a parent who had arrived to pick them up.
Philomath Police assisted with traffic control. The highway was closed for approximately 10 minutes, Saalsaa said, and was then opened to one-way traffic for about an hour.
No information was immediately available on the possible cause of the crash.
The response also included the Benton County Sheriff’s Office, Oregon Department of Transportation and Corvallis Fire with an ambulance. Within the fire department, an engine with three personnel from the Wren substation was sent to Philomath and along with three other volunteers, provided coverage out of the main station.