Local volunteer fire department damaged by fire

ROSALIA, Kan. The Butler County Rural Fire District 5 station caught fire Tuesday.

“You never think it’ll happen to you,” chuckled Chief Dean Bender, who’s been with the department for 44 years.

“You see pictures of trucks in New York City burning up, but this is the first one in this area that I know of."

The local volunteer firefighters who use the facility responded and put it out.

“Basically the fire wasn’t that bad, when we got water on it,” said Bender. “The steam from the building was pretty well closed up enough that the steam pretty much put the fire out.”

The fire destroyed a truck, and the garage that housed it. Chief Bender guesses the fire did $80,000-$90,000 in damage, but he says both the truck and building are insured.

“No, it’s not going to cripple our fire department. The truck is insured. The building is insured. Depending on our insurance settlement, I think we’ll be alright,” Bender said.

Bender guessed the truck, an upgraded 1974 military surplus vehicle, had about 4-5 years of service left. But he says it was not one of the primary units for the department.

“We will be shorthanded for a truck, but we’ve got enough trucks in the area that one truck Is not a real big deal,” Bender explained. “Yeah we will be short a truck, and it’s nice to have them if you’ve got a big wildfire… to have everything you own.”

The cause of the fire is still being investigated.