Southern Indiana volunteer fire department continues to rebuild following fire

The department has received lots of help from neighboring cities to get it back on its feet.
The department has received lots of help from neighboring cities to get it back on its feet.(WAVE 3 News)
Updated: Aug. 3, 2019 at 12:26 AM EDT
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DEPUTY, Ind. (WAVE) - Eight months after a fire ripped through a southern Indiana volunteer fire department, the department is still trying to get back to “normal.”

On Dec. 17, Deputy Indiana’s Volunteer Fire Department lost its firehouse and three of its trucks in an electrical fire.

A few days after the fire, the German Township Fire Department donated its 1979 Pierce pumper to the department.

Since then, they’ve been gathering and buying equipment and raising money to build a new firehouse.

“We’ve been ordering some, getting some of our loose equipment back in slowly, just trying to get back up on our feet,” Deputy Volunteer Fire Chief Mike Hazelwood said.

The department has most of the equipment it needs, but it still needs money to help fund a new firehouse.

“We had a lot of donations come in the mail the first few months after it happened; they’ve kind of since dwindled away,” Hazelwood said.

After the fire, the department moved into a temporary space just down the street from the original firehouse.

“It’s really different to drive around," Hazelwood said. “You always drive around the block on the way into town or something. Drive by the firehouse. Check things out and it’s not here anymore.”

The firehouse that caught on fire was demolished in March.

“This was home to a lot of people in a way," Hazelwood said. “Spent a lot of time over there. So it was a little emotional.”

All that’s left at the site of the firehouse is a storage container and small pieces of the demolished building.

Over the past several months, the department has gathered paperwork to submit for a grant through the Office of Rural and Community Affairs. The $500,000 grant would help them with the rebuilding process. Hazelwood said they should be notified whether they will receive the grant on Aug. 14.

If they receive the grant, Hazelwood said he believes they will still need about $200,000 to pay for the rebuilding.

If you would like to donate to the department, mail a check or money order to:

Deputy Volunteer Fire Department

PO Box 135

Deputy, IN 47230

Be sure to put a return address on the envelope.

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