MOULTON, AL (WAFF) - The fire is finally out in Moulton after nearly 48 devastating hours.
The Moulton Fire Department, along with six other fire departments from surrounding counties, put the fire out close to 5 p.m. Wednesday.
Just 48 hours before, Court Street in the heart of downtown Moulton looked very different. Now, Court Street Grill is gone, there are shards of glass shards all over the streets, street lights out of the ground, and surrounding businesses destroyed.
Right next to the grill, Deja Vu Salon is also destroyed. And to the southeast, Tucker’s Automotive is too.
This was a fire they never thought they’d see extinguished.
“It was physically, you know, exhausting. A lot of us, I know me and the chief, was up for over 40 hours,” said Moulton Assistant Fire Chief Brian Phillips.
“Biggest fire of my career. Most everybody that was on scene last night, it’s the biggest fire of their career," said Moulton Fire Chief Ryan Jolly.
On-duty firefighters and dozens of volunteer firefighters surpassed expectations.
“They have regular jobs, they have families, they take away time from their families to come here. They’ve already worked the hard days work at their regular jobs,” said Phillips.
Putting out the fire was much tougher than any of the crews could’ve imagined.
“We faced a lot of challenges, me and the chief trying to coordinate with other departments, trying to get men set up where we need to, get event teams set up, we ran into some water issues on into the night and getting the aerial device set up,” said Phillips.
Crews conquered those problems quick, and no lives were lost in what’s being called the worse fire in Moulton’s history.
However, crews still don’t think they did enough.
“Discouraged, I guess that we couldn’t do a little bit better," said Jolly.
“You never give up. You take the good with the bad and unfortunately this one didn’t have that outcome we would like for it to have,” said Phillips.
Firefighters say nothing truly means more than their community having their backs these last 48 hours.
“Being the position we’re in, to see the community stand behind us and back us and knowing we did everything we could to save this,” said Phillips.
Jolly said they ran into several problems Monday evening. They didn’t have strong enough equipment and they were running tight on water. When they decided to call for backup, time was of the essence.
One of the biggest problems the Moulton Fire Department has run into has been the lack of a ladder truck. Russellville brought a ladder in. They’re one of seven different departments that came in over the last 48 hours to help Moulton out.
It’s safe to say those firefighters all deserve some much-needed rest.