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Overnight fires in Danville stretch fire department's resources to the max

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DANVILLE (WSLS 10) - Thirty-five firefighters, 13 of whom were off-duty and were called in, responded to the Fitzgerald Apartment Complex at about 11:45 Thursday night after a fire broke out in a second-story apartment.

The fire spread out the back window of the apartment and damaged the apartment above and the apartments on either side of the apartment where the fire started.

About 40 minutes earlier, 17 on-duty firefighters responded to 134 White Street for a fire in the kitchen.

Firefighters were still battling that fire when the call came in for the apartment fire.

"Once we get all those people there on one scene and then we have another one, it pretty much empties the city out," said Danville Assistant Fire Marshal Richie Guill.

The apartment fire started as the result of an overloaded extension cord, while the kitchen fire started due to unattended cooking.

Thankfully, no one was hurt, but for firefighters, like those at Station 2 who were called in Thursday night and then had to go straight into their 24-hour shift Friday, the fires definitely took a toll.

"[It] does get pretty tough," Capt. Steve Thompson admitted. "We'll try to take advantage of our quiet time between calls throughout the day today to catch up on our rest."

Firefighter Bryan Alderson said he, too, is feeling the exhaustion, but the feeling is rewarding.

"You know when you get called in that you're coming in to help your brothers," Alderson explained.

As for the fire department as a whole, Guill said this situation is rare, but the department is always prepared just in case they need extra help.

"Yes, it does tax the city, but we do have mutual aid in place in case we do run into that," Guill said.

Thirty-two people were displaced from the apartment complex. Seven people were displaced from the home on White Street.

The Red Cross is assisting 21 of the people from the apartment complex.


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