As he normally does, the New Galilee fire chief jumped out of bed when the siren blew early Thursday. By the time he reached his door, he said he knew it was a call like no other he'd handled.
His own fire station was ablaze. "A short in the wiring must have set off the siren," said Chief Jim Mitchell. "But, we still don't know how the fire started."
A tanker, a pumper and two ambulances were destroyed in the blaze, discovered about 4:21 a.m. "We've lost everything in the station, everything," Mitchell said Thursday afternoon. "We still don't know what we're going to do."
Although someone's offered to loan them a fire truck, he said he hasn't found anyplace to house it. "I've got to take care of that first. It has to be out of the weather."
The brick fire station was built in 1947, and did not have sprinklers. However, the company is insured. But, Mitchell said he doesn't believe it will be enough to cover the cost of replacing the fire equipment.
The two ambulances were owned by a separate corporation.
"Right now, I'm here with the fire marshal who's trying to figure out what happened," the chief said. "Then, we'll be meeting with the insurance company. We've got a lot of things to do. We've lost everything."