First responders did everything they could, but it was simply too late to save the Ricord family home located on County Road 5710 in Devine. It was called in by a postal worker on the mail route.
Unfortunately, the home was fully involved upon arrival, but firefighters were able to save the family’s pet dog and puppies from the home, as well as keeping several cars and the workshop from becoming involved. The family was not home at the time of the fire.
According to Devine VFD Chief Greg Atkinson, “It appears to have been an electrical fire from some faulty wiring in the water heater compartment.”
Chief Atkinson points out, in every rural department, there is a crucial need for more volunteers in the daytime hours. “For the first 40 min of this fire we had two firefighters, a paramedic, and an EMT on scene. One firefighter has to pump, leaving one to fight the fire. It is almost impossible to do too much without more help. This is a problem for EVERY rural area fire department. At night and on weekends, I have 20 people volunteering. During the week day however, we are lucky if two or three available.”
The first responding fire unit was Devine Fire Chief Greg Atkinson, followed by Erich Ehlinger, Shelly and Clint Watson, and Captain Michael Saldaña. The first responding Medical unit was paramedic Dither Moreno and EMT Marisabel Moreno. Fire support teams came from Natalia, Moore, and Bigfoot fire departments.
Other crews came as soon as they could. Chief Atkninson is grateful to all of the other volunteers who come to help out whenever they can. He added, “Six agencies, 17 people, all worked in unison to protect people we don’t know, as well as each other. This is what community is about; this is who America truly is! I cannot express my gratitude enough for everyone who assisted on this scene, and who believes in helping others. The things that bring us together are stronger than those things that divide us. We are all Devine and we are all here to help! Thank you to all the assisting agencies and God speed and prayers to all who were affected.”
Do you want to help your community, want to be a part of the solution, a part of something bigger than yourself? Local volunteer fire departments are always in need of firefighters and rehab teams that are available during the daytime work hours, as so many of their volunteers cannot leave work.
If you can help fill in this crucial need, come join this team and help make a difference in the lives of your own family, friends, and neighbors!
“Congratulations to our new firefighters, setting forth to make a difference! Welcome to the team Michael Schneider, Nakita Atkinson, Kenny Kuykendall, and Eugene Rodriguez who recently joined! And congratulations to Erich Ehlinger and Eugene Sanchez on their recent promotions.”
On the day of this home fire, it was 90 degrees, that’s about 110 degrees in gear before these brave volunteers ever stepped foot into the fire. Our firefighters are always at risk of heat injuries or dehydration. Donations of Gatorade and water and snacks to help keep firefighters cool and energized during these long battles are always appreciated.
Realize that even if you can’t fight fires yourself, volunteers are also needed for Rehab teams to help by providing drinks, etc to firefighters during a hectic scene.
Call (830) 665-4246 or stop by the station located at 1419 County Road 5710, Devine, TX 78016 to see how you can help.
By Kayleen Holder