WHITELAND, Ind. — Whiteland is on week two of cleanup after an EF-3 tornado ripped through the town.
Now, those who are supposed to protect the community are also having to deal with their own damages.
The roof damage at the Whiteland Fire Department is the first sign of the tornado that rolled through town almost two weeks ago
“It came from the west and moved to the east, so it hit that side of the building up there and worked its way back across,” said Whiteland Fire Chief Eric Funkhouser.
Funkhouser walked FOX59 through the station; water damage, open roofing and leaning walls are just some of the damages.
“You can tell by the smell and the mildew that there is probably not gonna be a lot that will get saved in this area,” said Funkhouser.
Firefighter’s lives were potentially saved when they were called just five minutes before disaster struck the station.
“They ended up catching a run that wasn’t related to the storm five minutes before, so everyone had just left and were no longer on station,” said Funkhouser.
Whiteland is now moving everything over to the New Whiteland Fire Station while waiting to see how long repairs or a rebuild might take.
“We have moved probably less than a mile from here, and we are centrally located in the district, so run times are not impacted,” said Funkhouser.
Funkhouser noted that this has made the squad rethink the building as a whole.
“The kitchen is the only area we have right now that didn’t have windows around.”
It is up in the air right now if some of the rooms are salvageable.
“Rebuilding, looking at what are our options? Brick, stone, all that will provide a lot more protection than what we have currently,” said Funkhouser.
Funkhouser said they are not sure when they will move back into the station. He is waiting to hear back from the insurance company.
If you would like to volunteer in Whiteland, you can find that information here.