Crippled Garrison Fire Department Battles Fire At Storm Damaged House
By Nadia Crow, Anchor/Reporter
GARRISON, Iowa — After storms swept through Garrison Monday, an already crippled fire department had to get back to work early Tuesday morning. Firefighters responded to a house fire at about 5 a.m. in the 300-block of Cedar Street. The fire chief says it started after the homeowner lit candles because much of Garrison is without power.
The storm flattened the fire station and caused thousands of dollars in damage. Luckily, the department was able to salvage enough equipment to hold off flames until help arrived.
“Yesterday, I had a tree fall on my house. This morning, I had a fire in my house.” Two disasters struck Garrison’s David Murray in just two days. “I fell asleep on the couch and when I woke up I was coughing and gagging. When I woke up, I had about a smoke line about five feet up,” said Murray.
A fire finished the job a storm started less than 24 hours earlier. Murray planned to patch up his home before flames permanently damaged it. This is exactly what Garrison volunteer firefighters are trained to do. But this house fire comes just a day after Monday’s storms leveled the fire station.
“We all went to bed knowing we could mount an attack in the morning, a fire. We were ready to respond,” said Garrison Fire Chief Steve Meyer. And the fire crew didn’t hesitate to bring out their trucks — beat up or not. “We have lost a lot of our equipment. The fire trucks are fully functional. Some of our fire fighters’ gear we cannot find. It was obviously blown away.” Limited equipment, but full manpower and will power to get the job done. “We might not have been 100%, but we were able to respond.”
The heat from the flames and warm sun took their toll on Garrison firefighters before four neighboring departments arrived to lend a hand. Murray’s home was destroyed by smoke and fire damage. But he says it’s not a total loss.
“It was just me and my animals and I think I got everybody out,” said Murray.
Chief Meyer estimates the damage at the fire station to about $300,000. They’re currently storing their trucks and gear at a farmer’s machine shed.
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