WOODSBORO, Texas — “We could see the black smoke already, so we knew it was going to be a big fire,” Jason Andrade, the fire captain for the Woodsboro Volunteer Fire Department said about a fire he could see at a distance as he was driving towards it.
That fire turned out to be at the home of his very own co-worker Shane Harmon. Andrade said Harmon had to call him and ask if he had heard the correct address, the address being his very own house. Andrade confirmed it and when they got to the scene, Harmon jumped in to help.
“I told him, I said 'Shane go be with your wife, you know, we got this'. He said 'nah, I’m gonna go help',” Andrade said.
Andrade said it’s times like these that bring together not just fire departments, but also the entire community of Woodsboro.
“Regardless if you join a week, two weeks, Shane’s been here I believe three years, no matter what, we’re always going to come together at the end of the day for each other,” he said.
Lee Riemenschneider is the fire chief for the Woodsboro fire department and said when he got the call, he didn’t even know it was Harmon’s home until he got to the scene. He said he was in shock when he found out.
“We hate to lose one of our community houses here, but him being in the fire department really made it worse,” he said.
Though they’re located about six miles away, the Refugio Volunteer Fire Department also stepped in to help. Their fire chief, Ronnie Williams, said he often works alongside Harmon and said he also didn’t realize it was his house until he got onto the scene. He said fire departments are a community that will always be there for each other, especially when it’s one of their own.
“Everybody’s in this together to do the right thing and try to help people. That’s basically our whole purpose,” Williams said.
However, it wasn’t just fire departments attending to the scene. Neighbors and friends like Elizabeth Ramirez got onto the scene when she got the call that the Harmons’ house was on fire, saying she couldn’t believe it. She said the fire was a tragedy, but what was amazing was seeing everyone come together.
“Everybody was running over here. We had 30 to 40 people from around the neighborhood jumping in to help with water hoses, buckets, people checking on them,” Ramirez said.