The Powell, Alabama Fire Department was completely destroyed by fire Thursday night, but with perseverance and help from the surrounding fire service, firefighters there are already back on their feet.
"It's hard. That's about all anybody can say," said Firefighter Troy Lee Colvin.
A call went out at 8 p.m. Thursday for a garage fire behind City Hall. Firefighters didn't know it was for their own fire station until they arrived to find the structure completely engulfed on one said.
They attempted to pull one truck out of the building, but "Once the assistant chief got that one bay door open, it just took off from there," Colvin said. "The chief made the order that nobody went in unless you had turnouts."
The department had immediately called for mutual aid and soon had about 50 firefighters on scene from eight to ten fire departments. After fighting the fire and finding there was nothing they could salvage, the last unit left the scene a little after midnight. The cause of the fire is under investigation.
The department lost two pumpers, a brush truck, their bunker gear, tools, generators, lights - everything, Colvin said. The block building is also a total loss.
Firefighters didn't waste any time getting everything back in order. Surrounding departments have already loaned them gear and two trucks, and they are operating out of the parking lot of their former station, along with mutual aid, Colvin said. They plan to put up a temporary structure while they rebuild and replace all of their equipment, which will be covered by insurance.
Colvin said the support from the fire service has been wonderful. "They've told us whatever we needed, all we've got to do is ask," he said.
The department has 15 firefighters and serves about 350 families in a rural and residential area in Dekalb County, Alabama.
It's hard on us but we're pulling through," Colvin said, "and we've got the support of the public, the mayor's support, the council's support. You couldn't ask for nothin' better."