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Electrical Fire In Water Tanker Burns Down Fire Department

August 6, 2011

MOUNTAIN CITY, Tenn. — Tennessee State Representative Scotty Campbell used to be a firefighter at the Second District Volunteer Fire Department Station #1 in Mountain City, Tenn. Now he’s with the Neva Volunteer Fire Department. He said when he got a call about a fire early Thursday morning, he had to call and confirm where the fire happened. “When my pager went off this morning I went out to the car, got on my mobile radio and asked the fire members on scene ‘what exactly is on fire?'” said Campbell. As he soon learned, the fire station on Highway 421 South was what was burning.

“The building was a mess. All the fiberglass installation was stacked outside. And there was a poor little truck, just totally gutted,” said Larry Seybold, a resident on Rhea Road.

Seybold saw all the fire trucks at the station when he went out to get the morning paper. “I saw it was more than just a pair of lights, there were about six vehicles,” he said. Station #2 of District Two responded to the fire along with the Trade Volunteer Fire Department, Neva Volunteer Fire Department, Mountain City Fire Department and Doe Valley Volunteer Fire Department.

“I really feel for the volunteer fire department. They have a tough time getting money. I hope they have good insurance,” said Seybold. Campbell said insurance will help repair and replace the three trucks that were inside the three-door garage. But one of those trucks may be to blame. Fire investigators believe the fire started from an electrical problem in the water tanker truck.

Surrounding fire departments will respond to the Second District Volunteer Fire Department Station #1 calls for now but residents in the area are slightly concerned about not having the station down the street. “I hope my insurance company doesn’t find out,” joked Seybold. “They’re not as close as they used to be. I hope when they rebuild, they rebuild down the street.”

That may be possible with the help of the community. “I know a local resident offered some land here at no charge to the fire department. The Volunteer State is already proving itself,” Campbell said.

Whatever isn’t paid for by the insurance company will have to come from grants and donations. “Hopefully, the community will step up as it always has and help this fire department get back on its feet,” said Campbell.

Residents and fire fighters say it could have been a worse scene. The the Second District Volunteer Fire Department Station #1’s firework stand was in a building just a few feet away from the garage where the fire broke out. There is also a propane tank just a few feet away.

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