Fire department hopes to scare-up enough cash for new truck

Fire department hopes to scare-up enough cash for new truck
By: CJ Cassidy
Portageville, MO - As victims of last weekend's floods applaud the efforts of emergency responders in Southeast Missouri, crews come up with an idea they hope will scare you into raising money.

Dozens were left homeless, many others lost just about everything they owned. "It was horrible. There was water all in my kitchen, and within an hour and a half, there was water all the way through my house," Portageville resident, Becky Nowell says.

She remembers feeling lost as she watched flood waters invade her home.
Without flood insurance she knew cleanup alone would set her back thousands of dollars, but Nowell hadn't counted on the support of firefighters.
"They were out there pumping water the next day. We had 13 inches of water in the yard, and they had pumps all over here pumping water out," Nowell says.
The crew, consisting almost entirely of volunteers, worked around the clock rescuing people trapped in their homes and later with cleanup.

Now, firefighters say the flood hammered home their need for a new rescue truck. They've used the one they have, since 1975. "Everyone of us is risking their life when we drive that truck," Assistant Fire Chief George DeLisle says. The kind of truck crews hope to buy costs around $170,000.

So, Portageville firefighters came up with a plan to scare up some money. This weekend, volunteers worked on building a haunted inn.

Not everything's in place just yet, but visitors will be treated to an array of freaks and frights, all the way from a zombie bar to an electric chair, leading up to Halloween. It's a tricky project victims like Becky Nowell hope end up as a big treat for the volunteer crew.

Other fire departments will be on hand to help with emergency calls on nights crews have the inn up and running.
The abandoned building the haunted inn will be housed in, was donated by it's owner to help the fire department.

You can visit the haunted house starting Friday October 20th, through Halloween. It's located right off exit 32, on Interstate 55 in Portageville.