Saturday, May 18, 2013

When a Disaster Strikes

Below is a message from Mayor Sue Murray about yesterday's fire in downtown Greencastle:

Early on Friday morning, May 17, a fire broke out on the second floor of one of the buildings in our historic downtown.  The Greencastle Fire Department was on the scene three minutes later, but in less than ten minutes dark billowing smoke could be seen from blocks away.  As I arrived on the site a few minutes later, Chief Newgent already had set up a command post in the area of the Court House and called for assistance. Asst. Chief, Jeff Mace was coordinating the efforts of the department in the back of the first block on E. Washington Street.  (Wilson’s to Starbucks)

As our crews continued to fight, what seemed like an ever-growing threat, mutual aide began arriving from departments throughout the county as well as from Avon, Brazil, Crawfordsville, Danville, and Plainfield.  Even with the addition of reinforcements and equipment this aggressive blaze challenged the units for another two hours.  What was most amazing, and definitely the result of long hours of training and coordination, these departments worked seamlessly to fight back the flames.  It is a direct result of their diligent efforts that there wasn’t significantly more damage to the block. 

At the end of the day, we here in Greencastle have much to be thankful for. First, no one was hurt as a result of the fire.  We have an incredibly well trained and dedicated group of firefighters serving our community and we have friends in other communities ready to come to our aide.  Our city’s police force spent the day providing security, traffic control and support. The water department made sure there was a plentiful supply of water available for the fight and our Department of Public Works worked to re-route traffic and came to help with clean-up.  We are grateful to the Mason’s for opening their facility to those in need and for our Red Cross, who set-up their helping headquarters there.  We had many local restaurants and businesses that provided food and beverages for all of the first responders and we had officials from the state that came to offer their support and assistance.

Do I wish May 17 had been different, definitely.  We have much work to do to rebuild and refurbish the buildings affected and their owners and occupants need our continuing help and support, but I am most proud to be the Mayor of this Indiana city where people truly care about those they serve, the jobs they do, and their neighbors.  Today, we are a city of heroes. 

Thank you.       

Sue Murray

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