Firefighters in Columbia, Missouri, needed the assistance of their fellow departments recently after one of their fire engines caught alight.  The crew members were doing A yellow warning sign saying "Caution Overhead Cables".routine maintenance checks on the engine on the forecourt of the station when the aerial ladder touched an overhead power cable, sparking a fire.  The crew member who was on the truck at the time jumped off quickly and escaped injury, but the vehicle itself was badly damaged. Additional fire crews from the area attended the scene and helped extinguish the flames, but they had to wait 45 minutes for the electricity line to be turned off before they could put out the fire.  The effect of the overhead line being shut down meant that up to 1,000 people were left without power while the incident was shut down.  It took six fire engines and further support vehicles to get crews there and to help put out the blaze Firefighters managed to salvage some equipment from the badly damaged truck, and a reserve engine was immediately put into service to replace the damaged one.  The road outside was closed for 90 minutes and the whole incident caused a fair bit of disruption to an otherwise normal Sunday morning. If this can happen to highly trained people such as firefighters, just think how much worse it could be for a member of the public using a metal ladder around overhead lines.  In this instance, nobody was hurt, but it could have been a lot worse.  The experience of the Columbia firefighters reinforces the importance of vigilance when working with ladders, and the need for using fibreglass ladders whenever there is a possibility of electrical contact.