Participants in a training session at Operation Life in Greencastle got some unexpected hands-on experience Wednesday night.
While the training session was going on inside the building just before 8 p.m., alarms started going off in the ambulance bay.
"We went out to see what was going on and found the bay full of smoke," said OL executive director Kraig Kinney.
The source of the smoke turned out to be an ambulance that was on fire. The unattended vehicle was last used to transport patients at 3:30 p.m. Wednesday. Kinney said the fire was caused by an electrical system malfunction.
The ambulance-- a 1995 on a Ford Chassis that was new in 2005 -- is likely a complete loss.
"I would guess that it is, but of course that will be up to the insurance company to decide," Kinney said.
Ironically, OL just purchased a new ambulance, which is currently having graphics applied. That vehicle will likely be in service by the end of the week, Kinney said.
"We normally have four ambulances in service and two backups," he said. "We were planning on retiring another ambulance, but now we'll hold onto that one for a while. The good news is, with a new ambulance coming, this won't put us a vehicle down."
Kinney said the damaged ambulance was purchased three years ago for $85,000. The new ambulance carried a $129,000 price tag.