AFD stays busy with one station down

Published 1:50 am Wednesday, December 22, 2004

By By Arthur McLean
Despite the temporary closure of its southside fire station, the Atmore Fire Department had a busy weekend, responding to nearly a half-dozen structure fires in three days.
The fire department was forced to temporarily close its soutside fire station because of damage from Hurricane Ivan. The station is suffering from mold and mildew because of a leaky roof.
The firefighter usually bunked at the station and one of the fire trucks has been moved to the station at city hall until repairs are made.
The Atmore Fire Department is a combination paid and volunteer force. The paid firefighters stay at the stations in shifts, so not all the firefighters stay at the stations.
One truck is still stationed at the southside fire station, said Fire Chief Gerry McGhee, and there are enough firefighters available living in the south part of town to get the truck quickly if help from the main station could not respond quickly enough.
McGhee said train traffic along the railroad that divides the two stations is lighter this time of year and made the decision to temporarily close the station easier.
Mayor Howard Shell said that although he has not been in contact with the companies that determine a town's fire rating, he said he did not expect Atmore's rating to change while repairs are underway.
When the station will be back in service is not known at this time. Limited numbers of available contractors have made getting repairs done to city property difficult.
Despite the closure, the fire department responded to two trailer fires, a fire alarm and a flaming electrical box call all on Saturday night.
On Sunday, the fire department provided mutual aid to a trailer fire in Poarch, and Tuesday, the department provided aid on a fire in Walnut Hill, Fla. and another in Nokomis.
"With colder weather, people need to make sure their heating equipment is in proper working order," McGhee said. "Make sure your heater is clean and chimney is clean if you plan to build a fire, keep Christmas trees watered and don't overload electrical outlets with lights.

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