NewsChannel 11 Investigates: Levelland FD lacks a ladder truck - KCBD NewsChannel 11 Lubbock

8/31/09

NewsChannel 11 Investigates: Levelland FD lacks a ladder truck

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By Nicole Pesecky | email

LUBBOCK, TX (KCBD) - Nearly three weeks ago, two separate fires destroyed buildings in Levelland on the very same day. Both blazes have now sparked questions from residents there. The Levelland Fire Department does not have a ladder truck, which limits crews to the ground to fight flames. They're not the only ones.

Lubbock and Wolfforth are the only cities in the area equipped with ladder trucks. Now Levelland residents have expressed their concerns for owners with two story homes, which you see a lot more of as the city continues to expand.

On August 9th, 2009 lightening illuminates the skies of Levelland as thunderstorms quickly move in. Fire fighters arrived at the 400 block of Avenue L, but there wasn't much they could do. "When we got there it was fully involved. If we had an aerial here we could have used it," Levelland Fire Chief Marvin Brewer explains.

Lightning strikes again! This time a two story home at 22-07 College Avenue ignites in flames. Homeowner Bill Myatt explains what happened, "It looked like it hit on top of the house on the 2nd floor - burned the attic completely out."

Eight years ago there was another fire. Lightening hit a two story home on Paxton Place leaving it destroyed as well.  Now residents in Levelland want to know if these structures could have been saved with more fire equipment.

Brewer says he needs to justify purchasing a ladder truck which could cost nearly $1,000,000. "We haven't seen that big of need for it. We don't have that many two stories in Levelland."

As Levelland grows residents believe the need is there. "I think it would be good. They had a hard time accessing the fire itself and with a ladder squirting from the top it could have helped some," Homeowner and recent fire victim Bill Myatt tells us.

Chris Angerer with the Lubbock Fire Department says ladder trucks are a crucial piece of firefighting equipment, "There are many uses for that ladder truck and we use them very frequently in the City of Lubbock."

But Brewer says it's not priority for Levelland. They need a bigger station to store a truck that size first, "When we get a place to house it and show justification for it then we will approach council with it."

Right now the Levelland Fire Department responds to two story fires just like any other fire with two fire engines.

©2009 KCBD NewsChannel 11. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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