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Wednesday, May 4, 2016

Fire destroys shed, but not heart of a charity

Friday, December 14, 2007

Firefighters were unable to salvage a storage shed used by a charitable organization Wednesday evening.

"The firefighters did a fantastic job," Christopher Hart, homeowner, told The Brazil Times Thursday in a telephone interview. "They were fast, very professional and worked as a team to get the fire out."

Around 7:40 p.m. Wednesday, Hart called 911 dispatchers at the Clay County Justice Center to report the fire in a storage shed used to store basic utility vehicles (BUVs) built for the Institute of Affordable Transportation (I.A.T.).

Members of the Posey Township Volunteer Fire Department were dispatched to the scene.

To ensure there would be plenty of water to fight the fully engulfed structure fire that could be seen for at least two miles away, Posey Township Fire Chief Larry Temple requested tanker assistance from the Dick Johnson Township Volunteer Fire Department.

Members of Clay County Search and Rescue provided traffic assistance at the scene.

Temple said Hart had been in the storage shed earlier in the evening, but didn't notice anything wrong until he looked out his kitchen window and saw the sky filled with an orange glow.

"I used to be a volunteer firefighter some years ago, and I can tell you, this was a very impressive effort," Hart said. "They knew exactly what to do, and they did it."

Once the doors of the shed were opened to allow firefighters to get water on the flames, the fire was quickly under control.

Grateful there were no injuries, Temple said the building, some tools and equipment inside the large work shed were destroyed.

"Everything at the scene is pretty much burned up," Temple said, adding there will not be an investigation into the fire. "Although it is possibly electrical, we will be listing the cause as undetermined. There just isn't much left to investigate."

Although the shed was not a main workshop for the I.A.T., Hart confirmed some of the charitable organization's stock was lost in the fire. But the loss doesn't dishearten him; Hart said he learned a long time ago to not become attached to possessions.

"It's all God's things," Hart said about the project supplies used to build vehicles that are sent to help people in developing countries around the world as medical transports, farm vehicles, material carriers at construction projects, water distribution vehicles or as school buses for children. "If he wants them back right now, he can have them. God will provide for the future."

The structure was insured, but it may not cover the expense of the items lost in the fire.

"If someone wants to make a donation to help out during this time, they just need to give us a call," Hart said, but added the organization is always looking for volunteers. "We can always use some hands around here."

I.A.T., based in Indianapolis, is a 501(c)(3) public charity and donations are tax-deductible. Donations can be mailed to the Institute of Affordable Transportation, 5868 E. 71st Street, No. 199, Indianapolis, Ind., 46220.

For more information about I.A.T., call 317-213-1088, or log onto the organization's website at www.drivebuv.org.

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