Hardy was just one of a host of firefighters grinning from ear to ear just before 4 p.m. They had just responded to a fire alarm at the three-story Holiday Inn Express on U.S. Highway 59.
Sitting out front of the what is probably Beeville’s largest hotel was Engine 3, the department’s residential fire truck and pumper.
On the side of the building, Kirk Delgado was sitting in the cab of the BVFD’s $1 million ladder truck, Tower 1.
It was that hotel, and the construction of a couple of other large guest facilities to be built here recently, that prompted the BVFD to ask the City Council to make the purchase of the ladder truck.
Delgado said it was the fourth time since the department obtained the truck that it had left the C.M. “Smitty” Smith Central Fire Station to respond to an actual fire alarm.
Assistant Fire Chief Bill Burris had the explanation for the alarm. He walked outside into the hot, August sun to announce that some workmen on a tiling project inside the building had created some dusty conditions. The dust made its way into the sensors of the hotel’s fire alarm system and had triggered the warning.
Fire Chief Donnie Morris came out shortly after Burris, grinning with pride.
Not only had the fire alarm system in the hotel worked, but the volunteers in his department had made Morris proud with their rapid response.
The alarm had not been the result of a real fire. But the volunteers who responded to the notice were pleased to know that if it had been a real fire, chances were that they would have had the flames out and the occupants of the building scrambled to safety before any serious damage occurred or anyone was hurt.
The alarm turned out to be more than a dry run for the firefighters. It was good, lifelike training.
Gary Kent is a reporter at the Bee-Picayune and can be reached at 358-2550, ext. 120, or at reporter@mySouTex.com.