Ester Fire Department frees engine from beneath collapsed roof

The roof of the Ester Volunteer Fire Department collapsed in early April leaving vehicles...
The roof of the Ester Volunteer Fire Department collapsed in early April leaving vehicles trapped in the debris. Contractors were able to free one engine on Friday.(John Dougherty/KTVF)
Published: Apr. 19, 2021 at 6:11 PM AKDT
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FAIRBANKS, Alaska (KTVF) - After the roof at the Ester Volunteer Fire Department collapsed in early April, they have finally been able to free one of the pinned fire engines. According to Fire Chief Jeff Connor the engine was removed on Friday after they were able to jack the roof up enough to drive it out.

He said the main reason they removed the engine was to make room to finish work on removing the roof.

The roof collapsed due to a heavy snow load pinning two engines and one pick-up truck in the debris. Contractors have been working to remove the roof off of the trucks since it collapsed.

He said the plan is to finish removing the roof so they can free the other vehicles and then work with contactors to be able to build a new roof.

Connor said that the engine that was removed was in decent shape, “The truck was minimally damaged, it just had two flashers and that’s it. So it’s at the Borough shop right now, we are looking forward to getting it fixed and back in service as soon as possible.”

The roof collapse only affected the two main bays of the station. Connor said that they will operate the freed engine from the other two bays until the roof is fixed. They have been using one of their old reserve engines while the main ones were trapped. He said that because of this they were not able to offer mutual aid to nearby departments. Having the freed engine will allow them to once again offer mutual aid.

Connor said that they hope to completely remove the roof by early May and then the contractors will begin work on installing a new roof.

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