New Fire Truck Starts Healing Process for Colorado Department

Posted: 05-09-2008
Updated: 05-09-2008 04:39:10 PM

Rocky Mountain News (Denver, CO)

It's a start.

The Olney Springs Volunteer Fire Department took its first step toward recovering from a devastating Crowley County fire that left its chief and another firefighter dead.

A truck is on the way to replace the one destroyed in the accident that killed Fire Chief Terry DeVore and firefighter John Schwartz on April 15 while they were racing to help put out a grass fire that had gotten of control. The fire destroyed or damaged 24 buildings.

The department lost two of its seven-member force and one of its three fire trucks.

Russell Bennett, the new chief of the volunteer fire department, picked up the telephone and called fellow fire official Fred McKnight of Log Hill on the Western Slope and asked if he knew of anyone who could donate a firetruck.

A half-hour later, McKnight had found one from the San Bernardino Fire Department in Southern California.

"I really wanted to help these guys," McKnight said.

"They are really deserving. It just breaks my heart."

McKnight said the Colorado Fire Chiefs Association is putting together an application for the television show Extreme Makeover to redo the DeVores' house.

The fire chief left behind his wife and four children.

Olney Springs Volunteer Fire Department
A April 15 grass fire killed Fire Chief Terry DeVore, left, and Firefighter John Schwartz.