ELM MOTT, Texas – A fire in Elm Mott damaged one home and cost a fire department some expensive equipment.
The Elm Mott Volunteer and Fire Rescue, Lacy Lakeview Fire Department and Ross Fire Department responded to a house fire in Elm Mott on Sunday night, which started in the garage.
“I saw a bunch of fire trucks,” neighbor Bobby Roppe said. “It just so happened Ross was across the highway working on a fire, then here came Elm Mott and Lacy Lakeview, all of them. They got it under control, and it was gone.”
Temperatures reportedly exceeded 1,200 degrees. It was so hot that firefighters had to change their course of action.
“Instead of having guys four or five feet from the fire inside the house, we decided to take out a couple windows and fight the fire from outside,” Lieutenant James Webb said. “The walls of the house essentially protect us largely from the heat of the fire.”
Lt. Webb said the Elm Mott Department doesn’t typically deal with many house fires, so experiencing those temperatures is rare.
The Elm Mott Volunteer Fire Department lost about $6,500 – $7,000 worth of equipment. This included the chief’s helmet and an SBCA pack – which allows the firefighters to breath.
“Having one fewer pack in a department where we’re already down a couple packs to begin with, that limits the number of individuals I can put in a building safely,” Lt. Webb said.
He says just like many other volunteer fire departments, most of their equipment is outdated or expired. He said they get a lot of hand-me-downs from the Waco Fire Department.
“As a volunteer department, these issues are not unique to our department,” Lt. Webb said. “Every volunteer department across the nation has the same issues.”
Financially, they operate on grants, fundraisers and donations. Lt. Webb encourages all people to consider volunteering, and that there are positions outside of just fighting fires. He said there are people who need to stay outside to help give out water and supplies, and people who need to help with paperwork along with the firefighters.
“The guy who does the paperwork, the individual that does the financial reports,” Lt. Webb said. “We’re looking for more members of our financial board right now.”
To donate or volunteer, you can message their Facebook page.