Fire at the Wolf Lake, Indiana, Bar and Grill

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Several area fire departments responded at around 10:30 a.m. Wednesday to a fire at the Wolf Lake Bar and Grill, along US 33 in Wolf Lake (Indiana). One firefighter reportedly received minor injuries in a fall; the cause of the fire remains under investigation.
Units of the Albion, Churubusco (Smith Township), Cromwell (Sparta Township), Noble Township, and Thorn Creek Fire Departments responded (let me know if I missed anyone).Other units came in to provide standby, including a Kendallville Fire crew that stood by at the Albion fire station. US 33 was shut down for some time, and some firefighters were still on scene after more than four hours.
This photo was posted on the WANE-TV website. I post it here because, if you zoom in and look very closely, I'm in it. (I'm the guy in the middle with a blue helmet, back turned to the camera.)

The rest of the photos were taken by me when my partner and I did a walk around of the building late in the fire, as part of our position as the RIT (Rapid Intervention Team). Our job, basically, was to keep an eye on things and react if any of the firefighters inside or on the roof got into trouble.







wsucram15 Added Jan 25, 2018 - 9:48am
awww. you work with fire dept.  I think you mentioned that before.  Thanks for volunteering your time and nice to see the pics.  :)
opher goodwin Added Jan 25, 2018 - 11:05am
Mark - you could at least have turned round and waved!!
Mark Hunter Added Jan 26, 2018 - 12:58am
37 years, wsucram! And no, I can't do what those young punks these days can do. But I just show up and look all weary and competent, and sometimes it intimidates them.
Mark Hunter Added Jan 26, 2018 - 1:03am
I should have, opher -- it would have made a great cover for some future book!
Mircea Negres Added Jan 26, 2018 - 10:35am
Nice one, Mark, though I'd have preferred it if nothing had happened that shift and you guys got paid just by being at work. After all, that's the only way I know for low level (though more important than self-important managers and politicians) city employees to actually profit from rendering a paid service, 'cause I'm pretty sure what you guys and gals earn won't even cover a good quality rope to hang oneself with after becoming tired of trying to make it on what's alleged to be a salary. Many thanks for the non-tourist brochure pictures of small town America, I love stuff like this. You and your colleagues stay safe, hear?     
Jeffry Gilbert Added Jan 26, 2018 - 8:08pm
The county coffers, courts and cops are devastated over the loss of income this event precipitates. 
Anti-Limey Added Jan 27, 2018 - 12:02am
Mark, you and your colleagues would have LOVED the Thomas Fire, which refreshed my respect for all things combustible.
Mark Hunter Added Jan 27, 2018 - 12:08am
We're volunteers, Mircea, so if nothing happened we'd get not paid for being at work! Well, for not being at work, actually, since there was no training, meetings, or work details scheduled for that day. I had just finished breakfast and planned to do some writing at home that morning; didn't work out for me.
Mark Hunter Added Jan 27, 2018 - 12:10am
Jeffry, as far as I'm aware no one's given it a thought. It is too bad for such a small town, though, to lose one of their few businesses.
Mark Hunter Added Jan 27, 2018 - 12:13am
You know, Michael ... I don't believe even the eagerest of the rookies would have loved the Thomas Fire. No matter how much the young go-getters want to fight fire, there comes a point when the fire's so big it intimidates even them.
Jeffry Gilbert Added Jan 27, 2018 - 12:55am
 It is too bad for such a small town.....
....that such a business in such a structure is such a great loss. 
Anti-Limey Added Jan 27, 2018 - 1:08am
Mark, I forgot to add that the Thomas Fire also refreshed my respect for firefighters: Firefighters, good; Cops, bad, lol. When I was in Germany, I found out that youngsters had a choice of being drafted into the military for several months or a couple of years, or going for things like the fire dept. reserve for several years. It seemed to work out well. I think that youngsters and oldsters alike have certain obligations to their communities. Good on ya, dude!
Anti-Limey Added Jan 27, 2018 - 1:31am
Actually, besides ugly, Neanderthal-looking musicians who are routinely outwitted by things like clocks and doorknobs, only firefighters snag about as much pelt...or lack thereof, considering women are increasingly anti-bush these days, lol.
Mark Hunter Added Jan 27, 2018 - 2:29am
I believe it was the only place to get a bite to eat in town ... not to mention a drink. Wolf Lake has a convenience store/gas station, a museum in what was once a hospital, an antique store, a post office ... and that's about it. Well, there's a lake.
Mark Hunter Added Jan 27, 2018 - 3:03am
Yeah, there's that traditional image of the hot, sexy firefighter, Michael. Wish it was true! I'm thirty pounds overweight and have a receding hairline; and being that we're a volunteer department, our guys run the list of not only careers, but body types and looks.
Having said that, I have indeed run into women turned on by firefighters, from time to time in my younger years. Not complaining! Me, I'm getting older and beaten up enough that I've considered retiring from time to time, but it gets in your blood ... not to mention it's my only direct way of contributing to the community at the moment.
Anti-Limey Added Jan 27, 2018 - 9:41am
Mark, there are some Firefighters who don't care for the adulation. One time some years ago, I was stopped at a light with a fire truck on the right and a convertible VW Rabbit full of chicks (imagine that, lol) in front of me. One of the girls looked at them and said, "Ooooohhh baby, light my fire!" The response from the Firefighter was "I don't play with matches." I almost soiled myself.
John Minehan Added Jan 27, 2018 - 10:07am
"Well, there's a lake."
But, are there wolves? 
Mark Hunter Added Jan 28, 2018 - 12:11am
Firefighters also have a great sense of humor, Michael! Sometimes a dark sense of humor ... but maybe the guy thought his wife was close by!
Mark Hunter Added Jan 28, 2018 - 12:15am
The wolves vanished for many years ... but a few have made their way back into the area. We have fox and coyote in bigger numbers now, though--maybe they'll kill off some of the deer and we won't have as many car-deer accidents.
John Minehan Added Jan 28, 2018 - 6:48am
"We have fox and coyote in bigger numbers now, though--maybe they'll kill off some of the deer and we won't have as many car-deer accidents."
The thing is, the deer always lose; something like what happened when an M-60A3 MBT ran into an Opal GT back in the old days in the FRG.  
Mark Hunter Added Jan 28, 2018 - 7:39am
The deer that ran into the corner of my van years ago didn't lose! He flew threw the air, skidded across the pavement, then just got up and stuck his tongue out at me, then ran off. I even wrote him into a novel as the bad guy who strands my heroine. I hope the little bastard had a horrible headache like the one I got when they billed me $1,100.
John Minehan Added Jan 28, 2018 - 7:58am
Harsh (but useful) advice: don't break; jut keep going.
Mark Hunter Added Jan 28, 2018 - 10:51am
My wife says no, we can't keep going: If we ever hit a deer we're taking it home for dinner. And I don't think he'll be sitting in a chair, either.