ST. ANNE – Firefighters are ready to fight fire, car accidents or other emergencies at any time.
You are happy that they are there for you and your family. But when your local fire station is the structure on fire, it gets surreal for firefighters. And that’s what happened last Sunday for the Sainte-Anne protection district.
Shortly before 1 a.m., St. Anne’s Police Officer Russ Hoekstra was on patrol and smelled smoke. When he arrived at the scene, flames were erupting from the roof of the department’s side building, St. Anne’s Fire Chief Tim Douglas said.
“There is no doubt about it Russ arrived at the right time or we would have lost the main building,” said Douglas.
The training turned into action when the three engines, the dinghy and the district brush truck were all removed from the main station building.
Hoekstra alerted the Riverside Ambulance team parked in the main building. They were able to get their ambulance out.
The damage was estimated to be between $ 750,000 and $ 1 million, Douglas said. The building is a total loss.
The fire is under investigation but is believed to be accidental, Douglas said
The fire lost the service van, the rehabilitation trailer and the water rescue trailer, the jon boat and its equipment, spare hoses and spare material.
At the time of the fire, Douglas was out of town for his son’s wedding and Deputy Fire Chief Rick Schoon was at work.
“We’re very proud of our guys and every other department,” Douglas said of those who fought the blaze.
Whenever Sainte-Anne responds to a fire call, the fire districts of Aroma, Momence, Papineau and Pembroke are called as part of the self-help.
Douglas said the fire went to a second box alarm, which brought in the departments of Beaverville, Kankakee City, Kankakee Township, Bradley, Manteno, Grant Park, Watseka, Chebanse Township and Riverside Ambulance. A firefighter was treated for smoke inhalation.
Douglas has been involved with the department for 33 years and said it was the first time the station caught fire.
“Many departments contacted us and told us if we needed anything to call them,” Douglas said. “We are a farming community and community members offered to help if we needed to store any equipment. There are a lot of people to help us. “