Fire Company Bouncing Back from its own Fire

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PAUPACK TOWNSHIP -- A fire company hit hard by flames over the weekend is still up and running in Wayne County. We first showed you the damage done to the Lakeville Volunteer Fire Company Saturday.

Cleanup crews were fast at work removing a layer of soot from the fire hall near Hamlin on Monday.

Late Friday a paramedic's vehicle caught fire in the station's third bay, according to a state police fire marshal.

While the fire was ruled an accident, an engine malfunction, it's one costly accident. Fire officials estimate there was nearly $1 million in damage.

"It’s a setback, any fire is a tragedy. Worst part is when it’s your own firehouse, it gives us a setback because we’re here for the community," said Lakeville Fire Chief Robert Boogertman.
The department's tanker, only a few years old, is likely a total loss according to Boogertman. In order to save the whole building, officials said one of the firefighters drove the tanker out through the flames and a closed garage door.
"If it had caught fire with the other vehicle we would have been looking at a different scenario here," said the chief.
The fire couldn’t have come at a worse time, according to fire company officials who are still planning to throw a benefit for one of its members at the hall which was covered with smoke. Now crews are cleaning to get ready for that and a chicken barbecue scheduled for the end of the month.
"It still going to be a process to clean up and get us back hopefully better than condition it was," said fire company president David Boogertman.
For now, some crews will respond from the fire-damaged station just off Route 590 and others will be at a smaller station about 10 minutes away.
Since no one was hurt and insurance is expected to cover the damage, fire officials hope within the next year to have things back to normal at Lakeville.
"We are certainly counting our blessings, it’ll be a long road for recovery but we’ll get through it," said Chief Boogertman.
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