'We're going to stand strong:' Princeville firefighters donate truck to Autryville
Posted May 26
Updated May 27
Autryville, N.C. — The Town of Princeville is still recovering from Hurricane Matthew, but that's not stopping the fire department from coming to the aid of another fire department in need.
The town of Autryville's fire station was heavily damaged on Tuesday when a EF-1 tornado tore off the roof, knocked down concrete walls and damaged multiple trucks.
Firefighter Jody Conrad was outside of the fire house when the twister hit.
"I never made it into the training room because the wind was so strong and it didn't allow the door to open," he said.
Conrad and another group hid under a fire truck.
"The truck saved our lives. If it wasn't for the truck, the blow back from the bricks shattering and debris flying around, it could have hit us," Conrad said.
The department lost three of their four trucks, but that hasn't stopped them from responding to calls.
"Even after it passed, we went straight to work," Conrad said. "Got the truck out and did what we could."
The Autryville Fire Department received a loaner truck from South Carolina and a rental from Virginia. On Friday afternoon, another fire truck arrived from the town of Princeville—a town that lost its own firehouse when Hurricane Matthew came through earlier this year.
"Unfortunately, it is a feeling that I know very well, but the bottom line is we are going to stand together. We are going to strand strong," said Princeville Fire Chief James Powell.
It's a move that was appreciated by the crew in Autryville.
"The fact that they've been through what they went through and they are able to give us a truck is phenomenal," said Autryville Deputy Chief Clint Holland.