On the Flatedders Do It With Straps And Chains Truck Shirt fateful day of the Babb Road fire that burned down the cities of Malden and Pine, volunteer firefighter Dan Harwood had to make a choice.
He was fighting the fire in the town’s only fire truck after flames broke out along the station. Later, The Whitman County Sheriff said the danger was too great and it was time to leave.
“I have to make a decision,” he said. “So the truck caught fire.”
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Public Administration Commissioner Hilary Franz handed over a fire truck to the town of Malden this week, where a truck was lost in a fire last year that devastated the town.
Three months later, a shiny, red fire truck drove into Malden with a Christmas wreath mounted in front. Washington’s Commissioner for Public Lands Hilary Franz presented Mayor Harwood with a new fire truck from the Flatedders Do It With Straps And Chains Truck Shirt Department of Natural Resources on Thursday.
“I am honored to be helping, giving this community the support they still need,” Franz said. Although this engine is a small step in the tremendous task of rebuilding Malden, it is absolutely necessary to be able to protect what is rebuilt.”
The new truck is a 620 gallon 2002 International 4300 Type 5 engine. Harwood said the truck would not only fight fires but also be equipped with medical equipment for other emergencies. Harwood began working with the Flatedders Do It With Straps And Chains Truck Shirt insurance company to rebuild a fire station, and until then the truck would be stored in nearby Rosalia.
The vast majority of Malden and Pine City residents who lost their homes in the Babb Street fire were un insured or un insured. Harwood said buying a new fire truck is the first step in helping people get insurance for their new homes as they rebuild.
“For Malden, it’s just the beginning of a return to their ability to provide normal services to their citizens,” said Bill Tensfeld, Whitman County Emergency Management Director and Rosalia Fire Chief.
While the truck was an interesting step to rebuild, Harwood and Franz mentioned their frustration at the lack of response from the Federal Emergency Management Agency. The state requested federal assistance on September 7 but has yet to receive any response, even if other states filed after Washington received their aid.