LAKE TOWNSHIP – Two structure fires over two days in northern Newton County showed the worth of Lake Township Fire Department’s new aerial (ladder) truck.
The department was called out to a structure fire off of 150 West in Lake Village on the evening of Dec. 10. When firefighters arrived, a detached pole barn full of vehicles and equipment was fully engulfed in flames, and there were reports of an explosion.
“We put the aerial truck right to work on the pole barn, and just started dumping water on the flames,” said Lake Township Assistant Fire Chief Jammie Little. “We also put up a water curtain against the home that was located less than 10 yards away from the pole barn.”
The quick action by firefighters saved the home.
“There was some heat damage to the home, but we were able to save it along with a camper that was parked nearby,” added Little. “The aerial truck is just phenomenal. It is a heck of a tool, and it pulls away a lot of stress for our guys. The truck is a very valuable piece of equipment for this county.”
The Lake Township Fire Department received mutual aid from Lincoln, Morocco, and Lowell.
The cause of the explosion and the fire has not been determined by the fire marshal but early details point toward electrical.
The day prior (Dec. 9) the aerial truck was also put to good use when the Lake Township Fire Department was paged out to assist the Lincoln Township Fire Department with a structure fire off of 550 East and 1112 North in Roselawn.
A garage attached to a residence was fully engulfed in flames when firefighters arrived on scene.
The aerial truck helped several fire departments fight the fire and help prevent the spread, but the structure was deemed a total loss.
The Lincoln Township Fire Department received mutual aid from Lake Township, Keener, Shelby, and Lowell.
“The aerial truck has shown its worth already by 150 percent,” Little said. “We have done a lot of training on it, and we still have a lot more to do, but the truck is just a phenomenal tool to have to help save lives.”
Back in April, the Newton County Council, by a 4-3 vote, approved $550,000 in funding (grant/loan) for Lake Township to purchase the county’s first aerial truck.