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Volunteerism heats up… literally

MASON CITY – Apparently it takes fire to slow down Chris Watts and his volunteer efforts.

Monday, Watts attended the Cerro Gordo County Supervisors meeting as he always does, then spent the rest of his day off mowing the grass in the city property across the street from his home on 19th Street SW.

After the mowing was finished, he went and borrowed a water wagon to soak down the newly-planted bushes in the 600 block of 19th St. S.E.

One the wagon was on the scene, towed by a pickup truck owned by Watts and driven by another neighborhood volunteer, Mark Dodge, a fire started in the engine of the pickup.

“We were in the process of making a second sweep of soaking the plants when a lady was passing by and put her window down, holloring that we had a fire under the truck,” Watts said.

“I quickly threw the water hose the size of a fire hose under the truck and hollered at Mark to get out of the truck,” Watts explained.  “The door wasn’t opening very well and I went to grab the outside handle and Mark baled out.”

The men turned the water on “full blast,” Watts said, and “Mr. Waddington from Waste Management came with a fire extinguisher.”

The water wagon was disconnected and pushed free of the truck.

“The hairy part was where the truck stopped— next to the employee cars at Waste Management,” Watts said.  “Fortunately we were with ample water and fire extinguisher and the Fire Dept. arrived on the scene.”

“The truck has served the Georgia Hanford Neighborhood well over the years,” Watts proclaimed, “but was scrapped after the fire.”

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