Family loses everything in fire

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, June 13, 2006

A Monday morning fire caused a Marengo County family to lose their home and all of their possessions.

At approximately 8:50 a.m., a mother, father and their 4-month-old child were forced to evacuate their trailer located at 31875 U.S. Highway 43, just south of Tosco Road.

The initial call went out to the Old Springhill Fire Department, but as a result of low volunteer numbers, the Marengo County Rescue Squad and the Jefferson Fire Department responded as well.

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“The Marengo County Rescue Squad actually responded to the scene first,” Jefferson assistant fire chief Betty Bates said. “Springhill made it there five minutes behind them and we followed Springhill in.”

After the Rescue Squad made the “initial attack,” Bates said the three crews spent approximately two hours making sure the flames were completely extinguished.

“When we get house fires, we always back eachother up. There are no fire hydrants or water systems in that area so we (JFD) did water transport,” Bates said. “It’s a good thing too because they were running out of water as soon as we got there.”

Bates said in addition to water sources, the area needs more volunteers.

“We have to provide mutual aid because there are so few volunteers and no water systems,” Bates said. “It’s been like that for years and there’s no other way to proved the necessary services.”

The Jefferson Department responds to 32-35 incidences a year, Bates said, but this year the volunteers have already been called out to 26 scenes.

“We are sitting on a record-breaking year,” Bates added, “and the summer is not over and the grass is dry.”

Although the family was able to make it away from the flames safely, they weren’t able to save much.

“There were no injuries. They did lose a lot of possessions, but they came out with their lives,” Bates said. “They can get most of that stuff back, but you can’t get another life.”