RANDOLPH COUNTY, N.C. -- Fire trucks can be replaced, but a firefighter's life cannot.

New Hope Fire Department Fire Chief Troy Powell is thankful two of his firefighters are alive after their 2,000 gallon fire tanker overturned in Randolph County.

The accident happened last Monday around 6:30 a.m. on Burney Mill Road. The firefighters were on their way to a report of a tree down in the roadway.

Highway Patrol says a school bus was driving in the opposite direction. The fire tanker driver moved over a bit to the right to make more room between the school bus and the tanker - that's when the tanker's back wheels started to go off the roadway. When the firefighter tried to get control, the back wheel got caught and the tanker overturned.

Fire Chief Powell says the accident could have been a lot worse, and the experienced firefighter that was in the driver's seat did the best he could in those circumstances. Powell says there's a downhill grade and a ravine where the accident happened. He says the force of 2,000 gallons of water could have crushed the firefighters if they'd flipped into the ravine.

The firefighters flipped in the roadway instead, and ended up with some scrapes and bruises.

Powell says New Hope Fire Department, which is all volunteer firefighters, is talking with their insurance company to find out if they will be able to replace their newest and biggest fire tanker which was worth more than $230,000.

He says despite the loss, the fire department still has five fire trucks that will serve the community's every call.

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