Pecan Valley looks to start new volunteer fire department - KSWO 7News | Breaking News, Weather and Sports

Pecan Valley looks to start new volunteer fire department

COMANCHE COUNTY, Okla_ A longtime Pecan Valley resident says he's tired of the lack of fire protection in his neighborhood, so he is doing something about it.

Larry Cotton is heading up the effort to establish a volunteer fire department for those neighborhoods between Lawton and Cache.

He took action after the City of Cache rejected a proposal two weeks ago to build a fire substation for Pecan Valley.

In the past few months pecan valley has lost two homes to fire. It's less than three miles away from Lawton Fire Station #7, but technically it's covered by Cache.

With how busy Cache's fire department can be, especially this past weekend with the flooding, Cotton doesn't want his area to be second priority.

"It would have been a total disaster. The houses would have been lost; people would have died over it," Cotton said.

It takes Cache Fire roughly eight minutes to respond to Pecan Valley, something a department here would surely improve.

"At least in half, that's close enough to get a fire knocked down before it gets completely out of control," Cotton said.

Cotton says he's heard plenty of positive feedback from neighbors for the department, especially when they realize how much it will reduce their insurance rates.

"I kind of understand for each point we reduce it we are talking about a 10 percent reduction in just the fire insurance portion on the insurance policy of a home," Cotton said.

He says that savings should be more than enough to offset a proposed $200 fee from each homeowner to cover the $100,000 startup costs for firefighting equipment.

One of the biggest costs a new volunteer fire department faces is land and a building. Pecan Valley will be cutting that cost after they've been offered two different locations. It'll be at a building next to Shelter Creek or on 112th at the Lawton Auto Auction.

Cotton says both sites are available for free. They'll just need to refurbish those buildings to fit the needs of the department.

Cotton says several retired Lawton fire fighters and former area volunteer fire fighters have already indicated they're willing to serve.

"What we have to teach the people now is to get involved in helping put out other peoples fire. Do the things we need to do so they won't catch on fire. If they do then you got to participate to help put the fires out," Cotton said.

Cotton believes he can have the department up and running by the beginning of the year. The county commissioners will still have to approve any opening of a new volunteer fire department.

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