The Herald, Sharon, Pa.

June 3, 2014

Accident opens the door to department’s remodeling

By Meagen Finnerty
Herald Staff Writer

WHEATLAND — It was an inevitable end for the Wheatland Volunteer Fire Department garage door.

At least, that’s how Chief Bob Taylor is looking at the accident that tore down the door and some of the building.

“Fortunately, there was no one else there, no one hurt, maybe my pride,” he confessed.

Taylor got a call to a brush fire Monday afternoon. He and borough secretary Sharon Stinedurf jumped into routine. Stinedurf ran out to stop traffic and Taylor hopped in the tanker truck and began backing out.

He tried to check for traffic and took his eyes off the tricky exit, which resulted in the side of the truck hitting the building.

“The bricks flew off,” Stinedurf said.

Department workers have been taking the accident in good stride since they’ve been expecting it to happen eventually.

“We seen it happen, and there’s nothing you can do,” Stinedurf said.

The accident was the fifth one caused by the firefighters trying to maneuver trucks out of the building, Taylor said.

The culprit here is “very poor construction,” Stinedurf explained.

When construction finished on Broadway Avenue, the fire department had to redo the front driveway, raising it so there was even less clearance on an already tight fit around the fire trucks.

“The station was built for small trucks,” Taylor said.

The truck he was driving was about four times as big as the ones the building was built for.

Along with that, the double doors are individually barely wide enough for the larger trucks, an issue that the department has been trying to address for a while.

Department members have been pushing to get a grant to fix the flaws for years, Stinedurf said.

“Something was going to happen sooner or later,” said Taylor, who was thankful it was him and not another volunteer to deliver the final blow.

He went off to the fire while Stinedurf and others at the building cleaned the bricks off the road and began putting in calls to the insurance company, who should have an adjuster out early this week.

T. Bruce Campbell Construction came to clear away the fallen material and screen off the opening to the building.

Now, the two doors will be replaced with one large garage door, and Taylor is hoping that the height clearance will be raised a foot.

The company doing the construction won’t be decided until bids are submitted.

For now, the trucks are stationed at Yourga Trucking in Wheatland.