Volunteer fire department raising money for two of their own after house fire


SEVIER COUNTY, Tenn. (WATE) — When firefighters get a call they don’t always know what they might see when they get there. On Friday, one of those calls led the Waldens Creek Volunteer Fire Department to a familiar residence.

That house was called home by two of the station’s volunteer firefighters.

The Torres brothers lost all of their belongings in a house fire on May 21.

Now the Waldens Creek Volunteer Fire Department is raising money to help the two who give so much to their community.

“I like it,” said Malachi Torres when asked why he volunteers, “I like my community. I like helping people out.”

Malachi and Sam Torres both joined the Waldens Creek Volunteer Fire Department at a young age.

“I said well that seems like a neat idea and I was 18 at the time, and I turned in my application, got started, and then two years later here I am,” said Sam.

“I just came to training with him one day and that’s how I got started here,” added Malachi.

Not only do both of the brothers volunteer, Sam owns a small landscaping and construction business and Malachi works three part-time jobs.

Even with their busy schedules, they say they like helping to better serve their community.

“Initially it was honestly probably the excitement of it, but as I got more into it I liked helping people more, and training, I just like learning everything I can,” explained Sam.

Their training came in handy when they were both at work and got a call from their other siblings.

Sam said, “They called us and told us what was going on and we told them to get out of the house.”

The Torres’ home was on fire.

“I mean it’s pretty scary,” said Malachi. “I didn’t really know what happened at first. Then I come to find out, I was shocked that happened to us.”

Sam added, “Our captain Steve had got there first and he got there in like a minute and he was really good. He actually got it put out really quickly.”

When the brothers finally arrived to their home, it was gone.

“The fire itself didn’t do a lot of damage but the smoke and the heat just destroyed everything,” Sam stated.

Malachi added, “Mostly just clothes got damaged in the smoke.”

Now their fellow firefighters are trying to help them get back on their feet by starting a GoFundMe to help them replace those items.

“We’re very thankful for that,” said Malachi, “Very thankful.”

The Torres brothers are not only thankful for the help, but for the training they’ve received with the fire department throughout the years that helped save their siblings’ lives.

Sam said, “I probably would have had no idea what to do if I hadn’t been through all this training. Just something as simple as closing a door or window, you wouldn’t think about it but in a high-pressure situation just something as simple as that is a big thing.”

The day after the fire in their home, they went to a roped safety training with the fire department to help improve their fire fighting skills.

Their chief says the brothers are some of the hardest working volunteers he’s ever met.

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