400 called to fight Indianapolis fire
About 11:30am on Saturday 15th June, a fire broke out in a large warehouse on the southwest side of Indianapolis. Members of the Christian Brethren’s Rapid Relief Team arrived on the scene at the same time as the first of the emergency crews, and the Fire Chief gratefully accepted their offer of support. He immediately made the arrangements necessary for the brethren to get refreshments right up to the front, where the fire fighters were coming out of the fire.
Estimated temperatures of up to 2000 degrees
The warehouse of about 440,000 square feet was storing tires, wooden pallets, shingles and other building supplies as well as propane tanks creating an extremely dangerous situation. The fire to grew rapidly and reached estimated temperatures of up to 2000 degrees.
Backup was called for and fire crews from surrounding stations up to 100 miles away quickly converged on the scene. Approximately 200 police officers were also called in, as they needed to evacuate the surrounding neighborhood.
The brethren worked quickly with local food stores and sandwich shops and were able to provide refreshments to keep all 400 rescue workers going.
Cold, wet towels and refreshments a welcome relief
One of the fire chiefs commented that his men were at the end of their strength coming out of the fire when they’d be met by one of the brethren, who gave them a cold wet towel, drink, sandwich and big smile. He said, “My men were coming back happy, revived and ready to fight the fire again.”
The fire continued burning till late Sunday evening. The RRT kept the refreshments coming throughout the night and all day Sunday, until the job was done.
RRT support was greatly appreciated by all
We had an incredible amount of positive response from the fire personnel and the police force. One of the fire fighters told us they felt God’s hand over them because we had come to help in this way, and because there were no fatalities or major injuries to any of the 200 men that went into the fire.
Here’s what one of the brothers shared after a talk with the Health and Safety Commissioner who came to the scene on Lord’s Day afternoon…
“Thanks for the excellent teamwork. As the Chief of Health and Safety just expressed to us — it has not gone unnoticed — he expressed a sincere heartfelt gratitude for what was done. He said he was profoundly affected by the Spirit of Jesus portrayed in the last 24 hours in that they had only minor injuries and no deaths in such an extensive fire and had such a coordinated and dedicated effort to refresh the troops. He was not only appreciative of the refreshments and service, but was thankful to the Lord for the outshining of Christianity portrayed.”