PLEASANT PLAINS TWP. — After more than a half-year working on their fire building and getting closer to completion, the hearts of Pleasant Plains officials and firefighters sank when they learned their fire barn was a casualty of last Tuesday’s storm.

“We will rebuild,” said Pleasant Plains Fire Chief Greg Shoemaker, who added the building is the last thing on their mind right now as they work to restore the community and township.

"With all that is happening with damage and people trapped, we forgot about the fire station — it hasn’t even been discussed. This makes me shed a tear a bit. We don’t have a house of our own, but the firefighters are putting aside what happened to us so they can take care of everyone else. I am very proud of all of them.

“The school is allowing us to use their building as a command post. We are using the band room. The Red Cross has been very helpful for us and the Salvation Army, with feeding crews. We are manning our post 24/7."

Shoemaker said the fire crews have been checking on homes and digging people out of damaged areas.

"People live in two-track areas, and we are making sure they are OK. There are places we didn’t even realize were there, they are so far back. The Christian Aid Ministries have been working side-by-side helping us get to the trapped homes. There are Mennonites from Custer also helping. A member of Carrs Fire Department has been here every day and partnered with us through the whole thing.

"The best thing is — there has been no fatalities with all the structural damage and wrecked vehicles, which has been amazing. It is overwhelming what happened. I have been in service a long time and never seen anything like this."