Trial by fire

Salvation Army responds to liquid-propane tanker train fire.

By Keith Stoner










Lt. John Morrow, Roseville (Calif.) corps officer, responded swiftly on Aug. 23 to the liquid-propane tanker train fire in Lincoln, northeast of Sacramento, ensuring that The Salvation Army was among the first to arrive at the incident command center.

Assessing the situation, Morrow immediately called for an emergency disaster services (EDS) mobile canteen. The Auburn EDS canteen was deployed and was soon distributing refreshments and drinks to emergency responders and local residents. By evening, volunteers had served over 650 meals to some of the 3,800 displaced residents evacuated from their homes as a precaution against the possible catastrophe of a 30,000 to 90,000 gallon propane explosion in the heart of downtown Lincoln.

Supported by staff and Roseville Advisory Board Chair Joe Newton, Morrow worked late into the night liaising with emergency officials and community leaders. After serving an early morning breakfast, volunteers continued serving refreshments throughout the day, including a hot midday meal. Donations from Raley’s, Lowe’s and other local stores helped maintain a steady supply of much needed hydration to those exposed to the mid to high 90-degree heat.

“This is like a trial by fire,” said Morrow, as he faced his first experience of coordinating staff, preparing meals and working with the many different emergency disaster relief officials. “It was a pleasure and honor to help others and be a listening ear to the many families who, suddenly and unexpectedly, found themselves barred from their own homes. It was a privilege to witness for the Lord in such a practical way.”

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