Couple buys used fire truck to protect business from Eagle Creek - KPTV - FOX 12

Couple buys used fire truck to protect business from Eagle Creek Fire

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COLUMBIA RIVER GORGE, OR (KPTV) -

The heart of the Gorge is trying to come back to life, as it waits for the smoke from the Eagle Creek Fire to clear. 

Business owners said that’s all they can do, as they try to get their lives back on track. Many businesses have stayed closed for more than 12 days.

Owners of restaurants and motels said they’ve lost tens of thousands of dollars.

“We’re in the heart of the Gorge, and the heart of the Gorge is on fire,” said Angela Guisinger, with Bridge of The Gods Motel.

“Open” signs in what feels like a ghost town are slowly flickering back to life in Cascade Locks.

“This is where we live, it’s our life. The dream of owning a motel by the river,” said Roger Hicks, owner of the Bridge of The Gods Motel.

Hicks said after countless cancellations, 29 rooms at his motel now sit empty. Hicks said he’s lost up to $50,000.

“This isn’t just where we live, it’s our livelihood,” said Guisinger.

That’s why the couple said they wanted to stay put, despite evacuations.

“Now we need to stay and secure our place, we started the battle of protecting it,” said Guisinger.

“I think it was a great choice to buy my own fire truck. We took it to the next level of protection,” said Hicks.

“Yep, Roger takes it up a notch I tell you, he’s something else. For the amount of money it was worth the peace of mind,” said Guisinger.

Hicks and his fiancée said they found a great deal and bought a fire truck. They’ve been spraying down the roofs of the motel - keeping the cabins, office and property safe from falling embers.

“This whole time we’ve done that, especially when the fire was right there,” said Guisinger.

It was a close call for the couple and the community, as it tries to make the ultimate comeback.

“We’re the heart of the gorge and we’re taking it man, we’re taking it right to the heart,” said Guisinger.

The couple also said they’ve heard rumors that their property was burned by the fire, but that’s not the case. They said nothing was damaged and they’re now open for business.

A community meeting on the Eagle Creek Fire takes place Saturday at noon at the Hood River Valley High School.

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