Rough Estimates Put Gordon Fire Hall Damage Over $1 Mil
Posted at: 09/20/2013 4:38 PM
| Updated at: 09/20/2013 5:24 PM
By: Maarja Anderson
Investigators are in Gordon, Wis. trying to figure out what exactly caused their volunteer fire hall to go up in flames Thursday. As of Friday afternoon, the fire chief says it doesn't appear suspicious.
State fire marshals are assisting the Douglas County Sheriff's Office in the investigation.
"Talking with the state fire marshal this morning, right now, nothing looks suspicious," said Gordon Fire Chief Mike Chmielecki.
Several investigators are surveying the damage caused by the fire and looking for the source. In order to get inside safely, the Wascott Fire Department helped remove the metal garage doors that had made fighting the fire so difficult.
Chmielecki said the building didn't have a sprinkler system. Built in 1979, the building was grandfathered in, says Chmielecki. They weren't required to install a system and never thought they'd need it.
"Now we just wait and see right now. We have a long ways to go yet to get back to where we were," said Chmielecki.
With the building, equipment, and six trucks lost in the blaze, Chmielecki said a rough estimate puts the damage at "well over" $1 million. One of the engines alone is worth over $200,000.
"Hopefully by the first part of next week we will actually have a better handle on what equipment we have and where we are going to put it," Chmielecki said.
While investigators work on what caused the blaze, the volunteer department is coming up with a '"list of needs." That list will then be sent out to fire departments in Wisconsin and Minnesota to see if they have any equipment to spare. So far, the chief says they've had overwhelming support and offers.
In the meantime, Wascott and Solon Springs will help cover the Town of Gordon.
The department will host a benefit next Friday. The public is welcome to come support the Gordon Fire Department from 4-8 p.m. at the Gordon Town Hall.
The fire broke out around noon on Thursday. The fire departments of Wascott, Solon Springs, Minong, and Barnes responded and put out the fire.