Firefighters assist in CourtlandPublished 8:54pm Thursday, October 10, 2013
Suffolk firefighters on Thursday were contributing to an effort in Southampton County to prevent the rekindling of a peanut warehouse after having worked through Wednesday night to help extinguish a blaze.
According to The Tidewater News, the fire in the Hancock Peanut Company facility was reported to the Southampton County Sheriff’s office at 12:08 p.m. Tuesday.
According to Travis Dortch, its assistant chief, Chuckatuck Volunteer Fire Department was notified through a battalion chief who had received a call for assistance.
“I believe Southampton County contacted the city of Suffolk and requested mutual-aid assistance with the tankers,” Dortch said Thursday.
The department’s battalion requested it to respond at about 3 p.m. Wednesday, and Chuckatuck VFD’s Tanker 9 kept on the job for 24 hours before being relieved by Holland Volunteer Fire Department at 3 p.m. Thursday, Dortch said.
“We rotated three crews of two through the operational period,” he said, adding that it was the longest job he could recall.
“The most I can think of is 10 or 11 hours — at the most,” Dortch said.
Tanker 9, he said, hauled a total of about 165,000 gallons of water in 55 loads from a hydrant located five miles from the fire.
“Suffolk has a tremendous role out there, and they have units that are still operating,” Dortch said.
Suffolk spokeswoman Diana Klink said Whaleyville Volunteer Fire Department’s Tanker 8 also responded to the fire.
She said the Regional Mobile Communications Bus and the Suffolk Fire and Rescue Rehab Bus – where first-responders are able to recuperate during incidents — also responded to the scene.
“Additionally, an engine was sent to assist Courtland Fire Station to backfill their station; however, they are not directly involved with the fire incident,” she said.
Dortch stressed the department still had the required capacity to handle other incidents while it was responding in Courtland. Other volunteers kept the engines staffed in Chuckatuck during the period the tanker was gone, according to the department’s Facebook page.