Business owner, residents offer thanks to firefighters
The owner of a Carson City auto shop that reportedly burned in the Waterfall fire hosted a thank-you barbecue at his business Saturday. After hearing that his building had burned, Ted Rupert of Rupert’s Auto Body returned to find the building swarming with firefighters but safe.
“The fire came to the back of each of these houses,” he said, pointing to homes in the Carson Colony west of South Curry Street. “Firefighters saved every single one so we’re just very thankful for everything they did for us.”
Rupert paid for the tri-tip and bounce castle while Casino Fandango provided ribs and beans and Albertsons provided drinks. Water, soda and beer were packed with ice in plastic feed troughs provided by S&W Feeds.
Rupert encouraged people to shake the hands of firefighters in attendance.
“It’s a very humbling experience,” said Capt. Dave Miller of the Carson City Fire Department’s station No. 1. “It’s very much appreciated by all of us.”
But the work isn’t over for fire crews.
“We keep our ears tuned to this,” he said, holding up a hand-held radio. “So we can’t totally relax. If we get toned we’re gone.”
Stations No. 1 and No. 3 made it to the event, but station No. 2 was busy doing a smoke investigation in Ash Canyon.
Gov. Kenny Guinn and Carson City Mayor Ray Masayko both attended.
“It’s wonderful when we can all come together over a tragedy and this certainly is one,” said the governor. He said he’s inspired by a Kings Canyon woman who has the “intestinal fortitude” to stay positive despite losing her house to the fire.
The mayor stepped up to the microphone wearing an “I survived the Waterfall fire” T-shirt.
“I never cease to be amazed at how much the people of Carson City give back to their community,” he said. “I couldn’t be more pleased and more proud of our firefighters and our city staff and our citizens.”
Guinn and Masayko posed for photographs with firefighters while sound man Mark “DJ Red” Yatsatie played “Against the Wind” by Bob Seger.
Volunteers sold hundreds of raffle tickets for items donated by area businesses.
“People are great,” said Bonnie Borda. “In fact, a lot of people are donating money and not wanting the raffle tickets. They’ll just give us $20.”
One man planned to give a check for $1,000, she said.
It was unclear what the exact total raised was Saturday.
“Let’s just say people have been very generous,” Rupert said, adding that none of the money went to pay for administration or costs of the barbecue.
Carson City Fire Department Battalion Chief Dan Shirey said he was sorry so many agencies from out of town weren’t able to attend the barbecue. He listed crews from Sacramento, Lake Tahoe, Yerington, Fallon, Grass Valley, Nevada City, Ruhenstroth, Arizona and New Mexico.
“And that just scratches the surface of all the people who were here,” he said. “You can’t thank those people enough.”
Larry Osborne of the Carson City Chamber of Commerce asked for God’s blessings on the firefighters.
“We are thankful for what you do every day,” he said. “But we forget to say it until something like this comes along.”
Contact Karl Horeis at firstname.lastname@example.org or 881-1219.