By Keith Foster
On Jan. 4, the Liberty Volunteer Fire Department as well as Shackleville Fire Department, Greenville Fire Department and Forest Home Fire Department were dispatched to a house fire on Forest Home Lane.
Upon arrival the house was fully engulfed with fire. All the departments got together and fought to save as much as they could with the equipment they had, but the house was a total loss. On the bright side, the surrounding buildings and a neighboring house were not harmed.
We have heard the old saying “Well I see y’all saved the chimney”, but in an older house that’s about all you can save. The key to it all is if we get the call quick enough and if we have available resources, such as a hydrant close and if we have enough help we can save a lot more.
We actually have a better chance of saving a person’s property when it is a mobile home than we do if it is an older wood frame house. The reason being is that materials in them are of the newer, more fire retardant material than older houses have in them and most mobile homes have just on heat source in them where a house may have several heaters in them.
Why do we as volunteer departments do what we do? From my perspective, I’ve been there. Back in the 1980’s I lost everything to a fire including a couple of cars. Of course, we didn’t have the volunteer fire departments out in the county that we have now, and most departments are now understaffed.
But we do answer the call when it goes out because we believe we can help our neighbors and community.
So the next time you see a truck or car coming towards you with the flashers going just remember it could be a volunteer fire fighter in route to help you, your neighbor or your community.
If you’re asked to buy a raffle ticket, Boston butt, stew or something that supports your fire department just remember without your support they can’t operate and help someone in your community.
If you have a smoke detector, check to make sure it is working. If you don’t have a carbon monoxide detector, check on one, as it is a valuable tool today.
If you see some smoke, call 911, because the quicker we can get the call the better chance we have of saving property.
Keith Foster is the Butler County Volunteer Fire Departments President and member of the Liberty Volunteer Fire Department.