SUGAR CREEK TWP, Ind. (WISH) – The Sugar Creek Fire Department says they can’t stand by knowing they can help first responders in Tennessee, and not doing anything.
So they’re loading up a truck of supplies and sending them to Gatlinburg.
SCTFD says Gatlinburg first responders are asking for water, protein bars, baby wipes, eye drops, energy drinks, towels and snacks.
They can be dropped of at either fire station 3545 S 600W, New Palestine, IN 46163 or 3337 US-40, Greenfield, IN 46140.
Their plan is to leave Friday morning by 9 a.m.
“There is a rush to help,” said Tony Bratcher of the Sugar Creek Fire Department. “Everyone can’t rush down there and actively fight the fires, but we can rush down there and give those guys a little logistical help in the form of water, baby wipes, eye drops.”
Tennessee Governor Bill Haslam said this is the largest fire in Tennessee in 100 years.
“In situations like that you can run short on supplies, maybe the department can’t replenish the supplies,” said Bratcher.
Their plea for supplies came from a post on Instagram Wednesday.
“We know the devastation. We serve a small area here. the community means so much to us, I can only imagine what the community means to those first responders,” said Bratcher.
The fires swept through thousands of acres in Gatlinburg and Pigeon Forge. Multiple deaths have been reported and 700 buildings have burned in Sevier County.
About 14,000 residents and tourists were told to leave the area earlier this week.
But the first responders are still there. Some still fighting even after losing their own homes.
“It’s difficult to go out into a community and try to protect and serve others when your own property and everything that you’ve worked for is burning down. But that’s what these men and women have done for the last 24-hours.” said Chief Greg Miller of the Gatlinburg Fire Department.