Nearly eight months after a massive fire destroyed much of downtown Prophetstown and took a toll on the community and the fire district’s bottom line. The state of Illinois is stepping up with a solution.
For those living in Prophetstown the fire that happened back in July still seems like yesterday, especially for fire fighters.
“It’s pretty fresh in your mind, you don’t forget when you came out of your house and you see a glow North of main street,” said fire chief, Keith Crady.
While the community has moved forward from the loss, the fire department is still trying to recover.
“You spend a lot of money for that day, that fire. I think fuel cost that day were around $1,800,” said Crady.
However, they’re getting some relief, Governor Quinn announced $4 million in fire safety equipment will be awarded to 193 Illinois communities, one of them being Prophetstown. They’re getting $25,340 which they’ll spend on new gear.
“It’s not cheap. A set of gear is a little over $2,500 a set, so 10 sets is a little over $25,000,” said Crady.
Most of the current gear has reached it’s life span, over ten years old.
“It’s the safety of the fire fighters that volunteer so the better the gear is the better they’re protected,” said Crady.
As snow covers the ground where businesses once stood, it’s a reminder that it could happen again.
“It’s one of those things, everyone likes getting new things, when it protects your life, when you need it, you really want it,” said Crady.
Rock Falls, Sterling and Silvis fire departments also received the grant. The departments can apply once a year.