Volunteer fire department in Liberty County out of money

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by Tiffany Craig / KHOU 11 News

khou.com

Posted on June 16, 2014 at 10:32 PM

Updated Monday, Jun 16 at 10:32 PM

LIBERTY COUNTY, Texas -- The Westlake Community Volunteer Fire Department has a garage full of equipment sitting idle.

The department, located in the 8700 block of FM 1409 near Dayton, has run out of money and can't afford the nearly $2,000 insurance bill to run their trucks.

"This is a huge stress for me, the chief and every member of this fire department," said Westlake Treasurer Angela Ungles. "They just want to do their job and they can't."

Ungles blames the money trouble on a number of things.

She admitted that their recent crawfish boil fundraiser was a flop, they're battling over tax money, and fear the worst if there's a big blaze.

"Most likely the resident will lose everything," said Ungles. "They will lose everything they own because we were not there to stop it ahead of time with our equipment."

Lin Pruitt, a great grandmother, has been a volunteer for WCVFD and has never seen it this bad.

"All we want to do is help our community," said Pruitt. "We just hope and pray that things turn out like it ought to."

For now, the volunteers are driving their own cars and calling nearby departments for assistance.

"We will show up and do what we can by hand until someone shows up with a truck," said Ungles.

The department services about 3,400 residents in a 49-square-mile area that includes Westlake, Woodway, Lakeview, Walnut Creek, Northpark, and the back side of Indian Ridge.

The 23 volunteers are planning another fundraiser in July. They hope to raise enough money then to get things back up and running.

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