While they waited for help, firefighters in Ten Sleep could do little but keep people back and watch as their fire station, including five engines, went up in flames Saturday night.
“It’s got to be one of most helpless feelings,” said Worland Fire Chief Chris Kocher, whose department responded to the fire. Kocher is also the Washakie County Fire Warden.
The firehouse reportedly exploded a little before 7 p.m., after snow from the roof frayed a propane line, causing gas to slowly fill the building’s interior.
Once the gas reached the heating system, the structure ignited, Ten Sleep Fire Chief Norman Mullis said, adding that another explosion came later.
No one was in the building at the time and no injuries were reported.
The first engine from Worland arrived at 7:13 p.m., about 30 minutes after the initial call came in. Kocher said another engine, a tender and a command vehicle also responded, along with a unit from Basin.
He said about 35 firefighters helped fight the fire, knocking it down by 8:30 p.m.
Kocher said the fire also destroyed five engines that were inside.
But fire departments from neighboring communities, including Dubois, Lovell, Meeteetse and Thermopolis, have since volunteered trucks and supplies.
“By the end of tomorrow, we should have equipment for firefighters in Ten Sleep to use and safely fight fires if they need to,” he said.
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