ADA TOWNSHIP, Mich. (WOOD) - A Texas Fire Department devastated by an explosion that wiped out their department, and a good portion of their town, is getting some help from West Michigan.
When the alarm went out on April 17 for a fire at a West Texas fertilizer depot, farmers, factory workers, and store clerks answered the call.
They were all average Joes and Marys who help their community by volunteering as firefighters. They are the same people who would answer the calls for help in Ada and other West Michigan communities.
So it's no surprise when one of those departments lost their fire engine in the tragedy, Ada fire fighters were among the department across the nation to step in and offer help.
Their old Engine 4 is now heading south.
"I saw that story happen and in within a couple of days, I talked to the chief and then to the township supervisor and they had me check into it further and see if it was something they could use. Something they needed," says Ada Fire Department Lieutenant Dave Murray.
Ada's retiring their 20-year-old pumper that's in good shape. "It's got everything they need except air conditioning." says Murray.
But old fire trucks don't fetch much resale value. So rather than sell it, Ada Township officials decided to donate it.
The old rig's final destination is Abbott, Texas. The town is about 7 miles north of West, Texas where the fertilizer depot explosion occurred.
Two of the 11 firefighters killed in the explosion were from Abbott. The small town has had to deal with not only a personal, but a practical, loss.
"Right now, if there's a fire in their town, they have to wait for a truck to come from 10 miles away. I did get hold of somebody at Abbott and they're just excited. Couldn't believe that it's happening, and can't wait till it's there," Murray said.
Township firefighters are also donating their time to get it to Texas, and teaching Abbott firefighters how to use it. But, they'll have to come up with the money for fuel and other travel costs, so Ada Firefighters are raising funds through the sale of a T-Shirt.
'Brothers Helping Brothers' is emblazoned on the back with a drawing of Michigan and Texas on the back.
You can purchase them for $15.00 each. Order information is available on the Ada Township Firefighters Association Facebook page here.
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