As Paulette Fire Chief Daniel Rice raced back to his station Tuesday morning, he could see smoke and fire billowing out the window from Highway 61.
Inside sat most of the volunteer department's gear, as well as their fire trucks.
"That's the main concern, to get those trucks out, so even if we were to lose the station we'll still have the trucks to be able to provide coverage to the community," Rice said.
It didn't take long for the department to race "home" and put out the fire. Investigators determined faulty wiring sparked the destruction that left most of the inside melted and charred.
With some quick thinking, the department got their trucks out safely, but with no heated place to keep them, the trucks could freeze up.
That's where a little help from Chris Upton and the Sharps Chapel department came in.
Wednesday, they delivered a heater. It seems simple enough, but paired with a power source, it's enough to keep an engine at Paulette's Fire Department.
That should help people in Paulette rest a little easier, knowing that the fire truck is still right where it needs to be.
"We're all in it together, that's what it's all about," Sharps Chapel VFD Chief Chris Upton said. "We're all in the same county, and we all volunteer for the same reasons."
Now as Paulette dusts off and picks up what's left inside their wounded department, they believe insurance will cover the bulk of rebuilding costs.
The other Union County volunteer departments will help cover their 125 square miles of territory.
"I'm just glad there was nobody here at the station when it broke out," Rice said.
Copyright 2008 by WBIR-TV Knoxville.
Republished with permission of WBIR-TV.