Small Town Devastated
THE RESIDENTS OF ALBANY, VERMONT, are understandably upset following an early morning fire Sunday that was set in their volunteer firehouse.
The call came in around 1:30 am Sunday and when the town's volunteers arrived at the station they found it filled with fire and smoke. Unable to get inside to get any firefighting equipment, they expended what fire extinguishers they could grab a hold of while waiting for help from neighboring departments.
Once the fire was knocked down they learned that the only real fire damage was to one of their engines that have been fully involved in the bay. All the other apparatus was smoked up, but is salvageable and the building appears to have had no structural damage from the fire.
Investigation immediately uncovered evidence of arson with the rear door having been forced open and an interior smoke detector had been sabotaged as well. A witness who lives across the street saw a "4-wheeler" racing away from the building with its lights turned off shortly before the fire was discovered.
"It was pretty frustrating when you get here and you can't get to your gear, you can't get to anything you need to fight the fire," said Josh Pilbin, Second Assistant Fire Chief. "We had some fire extinguishers here by the door we used to kind of keep the fire under control as much as we could until the first pumper arrived," said Peters.
Neighboring fire departments from Craftsbury, Irasburg, and Orleans were called in to help.
"Some of the gear has been compromised; some of the hose on engine two has been compromised. A lot of it has to be inspected and looked at before we can use them," said (Albany Fire Chief Donald) Peters.
Crews were able to save two engines and pulled them into the driveway. Peters says those trucks will most likely be able to be used again.
WNNY-TV has a video report from the scene:
All of the surrounding fire departments have aggressively sent help in the way of loaner equipment, and donations of running gear, tools, etc., whatever is needed to get the AVFC back in operation within a couple of days.
Read more HERE.
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