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(WQOW) - We'll have
to wait to learn more about a report filed, not long before a Chippewa Falls
The fire destroyed a downtown
building on Spring Street early Wednesday morning. The day before, tenants filed a complaint
with the city about the building's electricity. The city's building inspector
confirms a report was filed Tuesday, but that it has been sealed by
police. The police department says it's
teaming up with the fire department to determine the cause of the fire. The
investigation is expected to take several weeks to complete, because the damage
from the fire will take a while to sort through.
We've been told that fire could've
been much worse, had it not been for a piece of equipment that's more than 30
It played a huge role, but there's
one concern going forward: the city says
it needs to be replaced, and it's not cheap.
"It's a piece of
equipment that isn't used on a regular basis, but it's extremely important for
the fire department to have it," says Chippewa Falls Mayor Greg Hoffman.
That proved true early Wednesday
morning, when the Chippewa
Falls fire department's
85-foot snorkel truck was used for several hours at the spring street fire.
"We had a roof
collapse very early into the fire, and when we have a roof collapse, you have
to go from an offensive interior attack to a defense exterior attack and the
best way to do that is to get above the fire and dump the water from the top down
and that's what we were successfully able to do there," says Chippewa
Falls Fire Chief Tom Larson. "This truck can put out a thousand gallons a
minute from an aerial stream which was tremendously helpful in stopping the
The problem? Snorkel doesn't make fire
trucks anymore, and finding parts to fix this truck is getting difficult, and
expensive. The city learned that firsthand when a hydraulic seal broke back in June.
"There's only one
place in the country that sells replacement parts and they're no longer made so
there's a small inventory left," says Chief Larson.
So the city is hoping to replace the
truck with a ladder truck, at a cost of nearly one million dollars.
"It probably can
get us through another year or two, but it's very obvious that we're at a point
in time that it's time has come. Now, how are we going to fund it," says Mayor
Hoffman says he'd like to see the
community help out, something they've done with Dorais Field and the
"You start talking
a piece of equipment that's $900,000, and that has an impact on a segment of
the population in the city, I think it would behoove us to reach out to the
community and say is there something that we can do as a community to help generate
funds for this truck," Mayor Hoffman says.
department has formed a committee to look at options for different trucks. It will present the findings to the city's
finance committee next month.
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