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Landscaper Unscathed After Lawnmower Catches Fire

Some damage to outside of Collinsville Savings Society building on Route 44.

Gil Dubay was backing up his industrial mower outside of Collinsville Savings Society Sunday afternoon when something went wrong. 

"I backed up and smelled something burning," he said. "I looked back and there was flames." 

Dubay, of Dubay and Sons, initially tried to get the mower going so he could move it and swatted at the fire with his shirt. It didn't take him long to realize it was out of control. He decided to "let it go — not too much I could do about it." 

Dubay said he had a fire extinguisher but didn't have much luck with it. People he knew ended up stopping by the bank on Route 44 in Canton and called the town's emergency dispatchers. 

Deputy Fire Chief Craig Robbins said members of the town of Canton Volunteer Fire and EMS Department extinguished the blaze in about 5 minutes. The call came in shortly before 2 p.m. 

The fire damaged an overhang on the side of the bank building and broke a window on the second floor. It also singed some of bricks. 

Firefighters believed there was some smoke damage but no fire damage inside the building but fire marshal Adam Libros was on scene at approximately 3 p.m. Sunday to investigate further. 

Dubay said the fire is definitely a blow to his business as the mower cost him $12,000 about eight years ago. He said insurance in the state is too expensive to carry.  

Andrew Ziemba June 17, 2012 at 07:47 PM
Wow that is horrible... what a relief that Gil is OK. I really hope everything works out. It is so difficult to be a small business owner of any kind in this wretched state.
Michael H. Humphrey June 17, 2012 at 09:20 PM
Good to know that Gil is OK.
Lowell Humphrey June 18, 2012 at 11:05 AM
If Gil doen't have a commercial type back-up mower perhaps somebody has a spare to lend him until he makes other arrangements. He is one hard worker, I see him out at the crack of dawn tending to his customer's properties.
Student June 18, 2012 at 04:58 PM
Geez, that's so sad! Poor guy works really hard! I know things like this happen to everyone at one point, that's why we need to stick together and help one another out. I'm just glad he wasn't hurt.

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