July 5, 2019, was when a battery charger on the back of a fire truck caught fire and destroyed the Tivoli Fire Departement building.
“We worked really, really hard having to just really improvise; get equipment from other departments, borrow equipment purchase equipment, and get put up in a temporary building," says Chief Marc Hildrenbrand.
Even without a place to call home, the chief says the department stayed up and running.
"The village never ever ever lost protection we were prepared. As soon as we were buttoning up this fire we were ready for the next one," Hildenbrand said.
With a population of a little more than 1,000 people, the fire was tough on the community.
“The fire department is the heart of the community, it’s devastating for a small community like Tivoli to be wounded in that place," says Tivoli mayor Joel Griffith.
The insurance money from the fire used to rebuild the firehouse and the village spent extra money to give the firefighters some new and improved upgrades.
“We upgraded the doors, doors on here better insulated doors we upgraded the entire building to LED lighting￼. All new washer and dryer system so members could wash all their gear after fires," Hildenbrand said.
They plan to add an addition to the building, funded by mostly grant money, with more room for equipment, a red cross emergency shelter, and a command center, and more.
“And this addition will be a huge help for the northern duchess area," Hildenbrand said.
After the fire, the volunteers came flooding in and the department went from 15 firefighters a day, to around 40.