On July 25, 2002, our station was struck by lightening. The bolt, which was described by eyewitnesses as enormous, first struck the radio tower. It then followed the radio wire into the building, igniting the base station radio and everything around it.
These first few pictures were taken by the next door neighbor, immediately after the bolt struck. Most people in town thought that a bomb had gone off.
The area on fire is directly above our meeting room. It served as a storage area for everything from District and Department paperwork to used or out of service equipment, including spare turnout gear.
This picture shows the remnants of the antenna. There used to be an additional ten feet of fiberglass and metal above the siren.
At this point, personnel are beginning to arrive. The on-duty police officer had tried to kick in the front door. Unfortunately, it was a steel door in a steel frame in a concrete block building. All he accomplished was to jam the door and make it unusable. Fortunately, he was not hurt doing this.
We made entrance through the back door. Conditions weren't bad at ground level yet, but it was clear there was a significant body of fire in the storage area.
Members were able to unlatch the overhead doors manually and removed all of the apparatus except one grass fire tanker.
The storage area after the fire is out. Note the trees through the hole in the wall, just beyond Lt. Pruski (Sandwich Fire).
Better view of the hole from the inside.
The meeting room, directly beneath the fire area. This is after we'd removed all of the contents.
The front of the station after the fire fight. The truck parked on the apron was the only one that sustained any damage. This damage consisted mainly of tar which had dripped down from the roof.
In the end, about $175,000 damage was done. Much of the history of the department from 1960 to the present day was lost. Fortunately, the old school bus barn, just two doors up the street, was vacant. We moved everything up there, and were back inservice by 11:00pm that night.
On a good note, this lead to the construction of our new station. To see the progress of that project, go to page 3.