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Madeline Fire Hall destroyed: One year later


LAPOINTE,WI-- It's been one year since Madeline Island lost its only fire hall.

Not only did the blaze destroy their fire station, but also everything in it.

"One of the most important things we did was form four committees to start replacing equipment," says Fire Chief Rick Reichkitzer

In that year since the only fire hall burned the department received donations from all over.

Chief Reichktizer says overwhelmed doesn't even describe the feeling.

"People came from all over the state, from Chicago, into Michigan, and Minnesota to bring us equipment and gear. We were back on our feet, able to fight fires again and provide ambulance service within two days."

They received donations like fire trucks and water pumps.

"For me, that's amazing. For a little town on an island in Lake Superior," says Reichktizer.

Their own community even stepped in to help out.

"Everyone's been nice enough to donate. The town crew had to give up one of their buildings for our fire hall for this year," says Reichktizer.

But hope is on the horizon as plans to build a new fire hall are underway.

Reichktizer says, "We're just waiting on contractors to bid on it. That's our biggest hurdles but right now we're moving forward pretty smoothly right now."

Beginning to lay down the new foundation once the snow is melted.

"Right now, I think we have a good blueprint and we're going to move forward starting in the spring," says Reichktizer.

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Emma Quinn

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