LAKE CHARLES, LA (KPLC) - Firefighters of Company Five in Lake Charles are lucky to be alive, after a driver crashed their pickup truck into the station early Friday morning.
As of news time, no word from Lake Charles Police on the identity of the driver or what charges they may be facing.
"No one ever that I know of drove all the way through a station," exclaimed Chief Keith Murray with the Lake Charles Fire Department.
But just after 3 A.M. Good Friday, a pickup truck did just that.
"It hit the East side of the building, went through the entire fire station, and was going to come out the West side of the building, if it weren't for the fire wall in the engine room that stopped him," explained Murray.
From outside Company Five's fire station, the damages look cosmetic. Inside, studs have been put in to hold the building up.
Fire officials guess the vehicle traveled some 30-40 feet through the building, but the only skid marks there are not from trying to stop.
"They put the truck in reverse and were actually doing a burnout in the middle of our fire station trying to get out," said Murray.
But because the vehicle was stuck Murray says, "The man finally stopped, turned off his engine and the police took him away."
And if seeing shattered remains of a living room and kitchen aren't a scary enough reminder of what took place, Murray says only a wall separated the crash site from where firefighters were sleeping.
But it's a situation that's happened before, at the same station, through the same wall.
"Except there was a man sleeping on the couch and the car came through and just bumped the couch. That was scary we talked about that for 30 years," said Murray.
While firefighters are safe, their station is not. Murray says the fire wall will be the most costly repair.
"You don't just come in and patch a fire wall. A fire wall's got to be properly done," explained Murray.
And while they wait for an engineer to assess damages Monday, firefighters are still on the job.
Company Five has been temporarily relocated to Fire House Six at 4200 Kirkman Street, just four miles away.
But on Monday, Murray says they'll move again, "And we're going to put them up in a hotel just South of 210 so they'll be making runs out there just like it was a fire station."
Never skipping a beat, these firefighters are confident Company Five will rise again.
Murray says their fire ratings come in next week so they'll have to ask for an extension so they don't take a loss for the station.
But whether the station gets replaced or repaired, Murray says they hope to get full credit for it.
Company Five is located at 2702 General Doolittle Avenue in Lake Charles.