NEW CASTLE, Ind.- Wesley Owens is proud to be from New Castle and he’s proud to work for the city’s fire department.
“It’s not too often that you get to help your hometown in the way that I get to help my hometown,” said Wesley Owens, a New Castle Firefighter.
Thursday afternoon, Owens was on-duty when an alarm went out for a structure fire.
“(It) comes in as my address, I jump up and I say that’s my house,” said Owens.
Owens first worry wasn’t about the fire, it was about his family.
“I don’t know if she’s home. If the kids are home. If they’re okay or not okay,” said Owens.
Thankfully his wife and three young kids weren’t home. Owens geared up and rushed to his home a couple miles away.
“It’s definitely a much different feeling when it’s your own house. Scenarios start playing out in your head real fast. Everything just happens a lot quicker,” said Owens.
In Mark Boatright’s 9 years as the New Castle Fire Chief, the department has never responded to a house fire of one of their own.
“It hits you. There were guys showing up here that weren’t on duty,” said Mark Boatright, New Castle Fire Chief.
Minutes before the fire, storms rolled through and it didn’t take long to figure out what started this fire
“My neighbor in that house said he saw the lightning hit he said it was like nothing he had ever seen. It was like a big fireball that came down,” said Owens.
The Owens family, including their son and twin daughters, lost nearly everything. They were able to salvage some family pictures.
“It could’ve been way worse for sure,” said Owens.
Owens is focused on moving forward. He told us Sunday he’ll be at the firehouse for his next shift, ready to help his hometown.
The Owens’ twin girls wear a size 5T and shoe size 10. The Owens’ son wears a size 8 and a size 3 in shoes.
Donations can be dropped off at New Castle Fire Station 1 located at 229 N. Main Street.