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'It was my first fire': Churchill volunteers extinguish burning cars

Nicole Rogowsky, Churchill volunteer firefighter Nicole Rogowsky, Churchill volunteer firefighter
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The Volunteer Fire Department of the town of Churchill extinguished three vehicles that caught on fire Friday morning.

It was the first firefighting in Nicole Rogowsky’s life.

Most of the apartment block residents were fast asleep when a car went up in flames, and the fire moved on two other vehicles. Nicole Rogowsky, a volunteer firefighter, heard a notification from her fire alarm app at 5.30 a.m. “I responded to the call, headed to a fire hall, put on my gear, and hopped on a firetruck.”

Rogowsky said the firetruck is pretty old but has everything required to tame the flames. The community is waiting for a more up-to-date truck to come, which is supposed to happen soon. Nicole wants to get a licence to drive a firetruck on her own.

Eight more people responded to the alarm right away. Some of them arrived on the scene on their own.

“If there is a longer emergency, we need more people to take over.”

“When we arrived, two vehicles were already on fire spreading to a third one. It took about an hour and a half to extinguish it.”

Rogowsky was not afraid, just excited. She was trained to stay safe while firefighting.

“We are an excellent team, really efficient in communicating. Our chief is good at delegating. He told us what to do, and we did well. No one was hurt. We contained it, and made sure everything was safe on the location.”

The vehicles were destroyed entirely. Nicole is not sure what caused the ignition. Police arrived at the scene to investigate.

Nicole wanted to acknowledge all the team of volunteers: people running the pump, people researching the location, those who were reporting and a fire chief who trains them regularly.

“The community is small, and thankfully we don’t have a lot of fires. If it happens, people call 911, and a dispatcher contacts our app that goes to our fire people. The whole Churchill Fire Department is volunteer. Everyone over 18 can become a firefighter here.”

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