OZARK COUNTY, Mo -- Everyone loves a good comeback story. For one volunteer fire department in Ozark County, the odds were certainly against them.
April 2011 was a month that many would like to forget at the Timber Knob Volunteer Fire Department. They were the victims of arson. Now they are bouncing back.
"We are rebuilding. They can kick us down but we aren't down forever," said Timber Knob Fire Chief Ruby Winslow in April of last year. KY3 traveld to Ozark County after arsonists attacked her fire station.
"There was over $200,000 in losses," she explained.
Hoses were destroyed and trucks were taken out of commission all because of a fire so hot even aluminum melted.
"It's sometimes overwhelming to think about all the things that went on a year ago," said Winslow.
The volunteer fire department is bouncing back.
"All the locals here, all the local departments in Ozark county, came up here and spent many many hours putting this thing back together," said Pontiac Fire Chief Al Davidson.
"Twenty-five hundred volunteer hours going into rebuild this," said Winslow.
Using insurance money, the building was gutted and put back together. "We then took the roof off and put new insulation in. That had to be bolted back down," Winslow said.
Their fleet was replaced. "There were trucks donated from Fair Grove and Wellsville."
They also bought a new truck courtesy of an $85,000 FEMA grant.
"The people that live in the district are very fortunate that Timber Knob and their friends didn't just throw their hands up and say the heck with it. It would have been really easy to do," said Davidson.
They still have work left to do. Without the help of the people they protect every day, they know they would be in a lot worse shape.
"I'm originally from New York. In New York nobody will give you two cents. Around here they give you the shirt off your back," said Davidson.
"It was just phenomenal everybody that helped in the area. I just can't thank everybody enough that was in on this," said Winslow.
They wanted to get the building done first--that was their first priority. Now they are moving forward. They still have a few trucks that are trying to salvage. They hope to purchase a tanker truck as well.