Fire victim's grandson hopes to start volunteer fire department - Tucson News Now

Fire victim's grandson hopes to start volunteer fire department

TUCSON, AZ (Tucson News Now) -

A man is taking steps to create a volunteer fire department for the town of Picacho, on Interstate 10 north of Tucson.

Two homes there recently burned to the ground.

"It doesn't hit you hard until your grandma loses her house," said Dr. Steve Watson. "The place you have Christmas, eat menudo and tamales. The next thing you know that house is gone."

Watson says that fire should've been put out sooner. But, the two closest fire departments refused to help. So, now he wants to start a volunteer fire department of his own.

"That's what we want to do is provide that service so hopefully we can save some houses," said Watson.

He bought a fire engine for $3,500. He plans to provide free fire service for roughly 300 homes in the Picacho area.

"It's great this community can use it and it would probably grow a little bit because of the fact of having a volunteer fire department a lot of people would probably participate," said one Picacho resident.

We did some digging to find out the number of fires in Picacho over the past few years. They've ranged anywhere from eight to 19 a year.

Patrick Calhoun with Avra Valley Fire says starting up your own fire department isn't easy.

"Being a volunteer department costs a lot of money and ... takes a lot of training and experience," said Calhoun.

But Watson is prepared to take on the challenges. He plans to go before the Pinal County Board of Supervisors next month to ask for financial help.

"Over the years I've seen numerous houses burn and now we want to get that tax payer revenue go to our volunteer fire department," said Watson.

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