Duplin firefighters rallying to support decimated Autryville FD
PINK HILL, Duplin County - After a tornado destroyed the Autryville Fire Department in Sampson County last week, firefighters in neighboring Duplin County are raising money to help them rebuild.
Members of the Potter's Hill Fire Department are ready to do their part to help their Sampson County brothers get back on their feet after an EF-1 tornado left much of the Autryville department in ruins on May 23.
"Firefighters as a whole we're a brotherhood. Doesn't matter where you are," Potter's Hill firefighter David Miller said. "The department as a whole is gone. There's still walls standing that you can see but it's completely destroyed and I mean they're gonna have to completely rebuild it."
Not only that, but most of the department's vehicle fleet will need replacing as well. While insurance funds will cover some of the replacements, it won't go nearly far enough.
The significant cost of those repairs has Miller making the call not only to other fire departments, but to Duplin County as a whole.
"It was my idea since I, I run the Duplin County Fire News Facebook page that I would ... challenge all of our members, which we have just over 1,500 members, to give $20 - which would actually raise them somewhere in the area of about $30,000."
So far, the group has collected $400, but he believes much more than that will make its way in as the word gets out. Money or certified checks can be sent directly to the Autryville Fire Department at 305 N. Hotel Street in Autryville and a GoFundMe page has been established as well.