By Jessie Burchette
Despite the blaze that destroyed a fire station, residents of the Liberty Volunteer Fire District shouldn’t notice any change in service.
“It will be business as usual,” said Frank Thomason, county emergency services director.
And insurance is believed to be sufficient to rebuild the station that was primarily constructed from funds earned by the sale of chicken and dumplings at the Rowan County Agricultural Fair.
Insurance company representatives arrived as firefighters continued to douse the hot spots at the Bringle Ferry Road station.
Thomason said the fire department is required to have an engine-pumper on that side of the district. Work is already underway to find a place to house the equipment and handle responses.
Options include trying to find a business or someone who has a structure in the area that could temporarily serve the district. Insurance representatives have also discussed putting up some type of temporary structure to house the truck.
Thomason said the surrounding volunteer departments are working to modify response protocol.
“In essence, it’s going to be business as usual. We’re going to make sure that they get whatever is needed,” said Thomason.
One bit of good news is the insurance appears to be sufficient to cover the loss of the building and the damage to a 1987 Ford tanker truck.
“It’s a terrible loss for them, but its fortunate that they have good insurance,” said Thomason.
For decades, the Liberty department held out against having a fire tax district, using dozens of volunteers to cook chicken and dumplings.
When the cooks aged out and volunteers became hard to get, the department became the last county department to ask for a fire tax.
Liberty serves a 32-square-mile area along High Rock Lake. It’s one of largest districts in the county.
Liberty may also have the distinction of having the only fire station to burn in the county’s history.
“It’s never happened before to my knowledge,” said Thomason, who is also a longtime volunteer firefighter.
By Jessie Burchette