SPOKANE VALLEY, Wash. — The Spokane Valley Fire Department donated one of its retired fire engines on Wednesday to the volunteer Malden Fire Department after a wildfire ravaged the small town in September 2020.
More than 85% of all buildings in Malden and neighboring Pine City, located in rural Whitman County, burned to the ground in the Babb Road Fire. Malden's only fire engine was also destroyed in the wildfire.
Malden Mayor Dan Harwood signed for the donation at a ceremony where the keys to the 1999 Pierce Engine were handed over to him, SVFD said in a press release. The ceremony was held at the Spokane Valley Fire Department Training Center located at 2411 North Pioneer Lane.
“The amount of outpouring of concern for our town will not to be forgotten. It is donations like this one that gives us all hope that we are moving towards making our community whole again," Harwood said.
In a speech during the ceremony, Spokane Valley Fire Department Deputy Chief, Frank Soto said, “It is a great honor to be giving this fire engine to the town of Malden where it will have the opportunity to go back into service and serve this community in need.”
Firefighters from SVFD are mobilized every year to help that are experiencing wildfires, including Malden in 2020.
Washington Commissioner of Public Lands Hilary Franz also delivered a fire engine to Malden in December 2020 after making a promise to the town's former mayor following the wildfire.
The Federal Emergency Management Agency denied individual assistance in February 2021 to those impacted by the Babb Road Fire, one day after President Joe Biden approved federal aid for Malden, Pine City and other areas in Eastern Washington.