Posted: Aug 15, 2013 10:34 PM by KBZK News
Updated: Aug 15, 2013 10:37 PM
KBZK first covered the fire on Monday night that burned the country mall off Huffine Lane, after a nearby car caught on fire.
Ever since the Rae Sourdough Fire Department was dispatched to the fire, the department has received numerous calls questioning their response time to the blaze that burned the country mall to the ground.
Rae Fire Chief Brian Nickolay went over dispatch records to see just how quickly his volunteer force responded.
"I'm actually very satisfied," he said.
According to dispatch records, the first call reporting the fire was received at 9:31 p.m. on Monday. A volunteer Rae Fire Captain then arrived in an Incident Command Vehicle at 9:39 p.m. The first fire truck reached the scene at 9:44 p.m. - 13 minutes after the blaze was reported.
"For us, as a volunteer Fire Department, to arrive on scene in that amount of time is very normal and is actually really exceptional," Nickolay said.
Volunteers like the men who responded to the fire that night, do not live at the fire station. When they are at home, they need time to throw on their shoes, get in their vehicles and drive to the station.
The first thing they do when they reach the station is putting on their gear, which they are trained to do in less than one minute. Then they drive to the fire.
By the time they got to the country mall, the building was fully involved, engulfed in flames, with no hope of being saved.
Chief Nickolay said the perceived delay is not because of his department's response time. It is likely the fire burned for sometime before anyone called 9-1-1.
"Until we have the call made, we can't do anything," he said.
Among several other departments that assisted in battling the blaze Monday night, the first to help was Bozeman Fire who arrived shortly after Rae Sourdough.