Some of the Marengo Fire Dept. gear damaged in the fire. (KCRG TV photo)

Marengo firefighters may have to replace their gear after fighting a fire at a shingle recycling plant last Thursday that injured at least 10 people.

Fire Department Treasurer, Mark Swift, told KCRG TV the products housed inside the C6-Zero plant led to unusual after-effects once they got the fire out. “All of our gear has got the oil stains from the product they were making down there,” Swift says. “We’re busy trying to figure out if we can get it clean, and we’ve not been able to get stuff cleaned so far.”

The problem goes beyond just trying to get the stains out of their gear. “That’s flammable stuff. It’s stuck in those pants. And you don’t want to go into a house fire with flammable stuff on your pants,” Swift says. Swift tells KCRG TV the fire department may have to get new gear, and that’ll cost them.

“It’s about $3,000 per person. And we got 28 guys who probably have to have new gear. So that’s like $80,000 worth of stuff we got to replace,” Swift says. The department is still working to figure out the logistics of the clean-up while knowing they have to keep an eye on the future.

“If we were to have a fire right now we’d be in big trouble because [the firefighters] can’t put protective gear on because it’s all wet or it’s stained or it’s got oil in it,” according to Swift. Swift says they do have $80,000 if they need to replace the gear — but also says they are hoping for some big support during a fundraiser on March 11th.


Radio Iowa