Morlan gives insider’s comments on Pizza Ranch fire

Efforts of firemen saved the block

Veteran Greene County emergency management director Dennis Morlan offers the following information regarding Wednesday’s fire at the Jefferson Pizza Ranch.

Jefferson Police officer Jason Kroeger was the first on the scene and he stated “that the smoke was so thick on Wilson Street, he was unable to see the front of the building.”

Jefferson fire chief Randy Love served as the incident commander for this fire. Morlan states that Love’s leadership and tactical decisions during this blaze were impeccable.

At one point early in the fire, flames were seen shooting from the roof at the rear of the building. Morlan states that he had major concerns that the entire quarter block – if not more – could be lost. The Pizza Ranch building had incurred several renovations over the years and had several layers of ceilings. Among other places, the fire was located between the various layers of ceilings and the roof.

It was only due to the aggressive and exhaustive interior attack by Jefferson firemen that this structure and the block were saved.

The entire inventory of air bottles used with the department’s self-contained breathing apparatus (SCBAs) were emptied. As a rule of thumb, after a fireman has utilized two air bottles, they are physically drained. Morlan states that “he has no doubt that the individual Jefferson firemen exceeded the two bottle rule and gave it their absolute all to save the building.”

Agencies assisting Jefferson Fire included the Churdan and Grand Junction fire departments, Carroll fire with their aerial truck, Jefferson police department, Greene County sheriff’s office, Greene County EMS, and Alliant Energy.

“After the fire goes out, it gets dark and cold on the fire ground.” Randy Bunkers personally delivered two large boxes of donuts to the scene. The Jefferson Kum & Go provided hot coffee and cups. Both donations were deeply appreciated.

Morlan states that “he’s personally very proud of Greene County’s public service agencies. Each agency takes pride in being able to provide the best possible service in their jurisdictions. However, we all know that “when the big one happens, we all need each other and we come together to provide the best possible service for our citizens.”



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