“It’s been quite a roller coaster ride really,” said Nackawic fire chief William Hopkins.
From grief to gratitude…the fire chiefs in both Nackawic and Millville are thankful for an overwhelming
amount of support after two devastating fires.
“People have been outrageously good to us and we’re appreciative,” said Millville fire chief Justin McGuigan.
It’s been a month since a fire destroyed the Millville fire hall – which the fire marshal deemed as arson. Just a week before that a man drove his truck into the Nackawic fire hall, and a fire started. Both of these departments have been working like crazy since – picking up the pieces. They’re each storing the equipment they still have – some of it borrowed – in temporary locations. They’re working on ordering new equipment, and have started the planning phases of building new stations.
“It’s becoming painfully clear that we’re going to have some sizeable gaps between our insurance funding and budgets available,” said McGuigan.
Helping to ease that pain – put simply, people. From motorcycle rallies to breakfasts to sponsor checks – the support for both of these departments keeps on coming. McGuigan says in one month – Millville has raised 15 thousand dollars – 5 times what they normally raise in a year.
“It’s really good for the guys because it helps our fund raising account and it makes them feel good about what we’re doing,” said McGuigan.
They’re getting support from other fire departments as well. Hopkins says his department has received donations every week since the fire.
“I’m not surprised at the support of the community…I guess it was a little reassuring..after all the devastation,” said Hopkins.
And both departments will still need that support as they continue to recover. At this point – members of each department aren’t holding onto the past – they’re just ready to get back to doing what they do best.
“As time goes on they’re looking forward to getting back in shape so we can protect the community the way we did before so,” said Hopkins.