A volunteer firefighter was forced to work alone to fight fire in an occupied home in a small town in Illinois.
Dontay Brooks says budget cuts resulted in layoffs in Washington Park, Illinois in July 2013. The cuts, for the town of a little more than 4,000 residents, included ending his paychecks for serving as a firefighter.
So, he continued to serve as a volunteer. He’s the only remaining firefighter in the town, according to our sister station KTVI.
When fire broke out at about 1:30 a.m. Wednesday, February 20, 2012, Brooks responded to the call.
Brooks said it took more than a half-hour to knock down the fire. He said fire departments from surrounding communities do respond to help when needed, “but that takes time.”
Brooks said there were people inside the home at the time of the fire, but those people escaped and were not injured.
He says he is dedicated to being a firefighter in Washington Park.
“The love for the job, the community; (I’m) just glad to help,” Brooks said. “ It’s just something my heart allows me to do.”