For years, we had heard stories about the eccentric old man that had tires all over his property. As the tires accumulated, the fire administration became concerned about the hazardous materials situation that would be created if a fire broke out on his land. One afternoon, the inevitable happened. A fire broke out on the property and we had to send units to extinguish it. Due to the wind speed, the fire grew quickly and was spreading faster than the fire department could put it out. First, it was a two-company response. Then, they asked me to dispatch another company, and another, and another. After two and a half hours, the battalion chief called me on the radio and requested an All-County page for manpower to respond for this incident. Never before in my eight-year history with Roanoke County had I dispatched every one of our eleven fire companies to a single incident.
I listened in amazement as the tones sounded throughout the Valley, calling all personnel to help.