By Sgt. Melissa Lessard
504th Expeditionary Military Intelligence Brigade Public Affairs
FORT HOOD, Texas–On Feb. 19 during the early evening a fire broke out at a local hotel in Killeen, Texas. Soldiers and civilians visited the business as they were out of power, heat, or water in their own homes due to the weeklong ice storm hit the state. Much to their own surprise though, the visit would be cut short by a fire that could not be eradicated by the fire system as it was frozen by the storm.
Staff Sgt. Marquis Fuse, a Native of Pahokee, Florida, and a Soldier with Bravo Company, 303rd Military Intelligence Battalion, 504th Expeditionary Military Intelligence Brigade and Staff Sgt. Luke Carter, a native of Carson City, Nevada, and a Soldier with 752 EOD Company, 2nd Chemical Battalion, 48th Chemical Brigade, received a call from their local church as they needed volunteers.
“They hit me up saying that the hotel was on fire,” Fuse said. “I got up, I got dressed, and helped out.”
Fuse said that the church didn’t know how they were going to help but that they wanted to help.
“We helped gather supplies,” said Carter. “There were a lot of people in the community bringing pillows, blankets, and food. We had food coming out of our ears.”
An outpouring of community support got the needed items to support the families of the fire.
Fuse said, “At one point there were so many donations that we had to turn people away.
Fuse assisted the fire and police department by gathering names of the people who left the hotel. They wanted to know families and children to coordinate with first responders. This ensured that first responders and others could know who was out and who still needed to be evacuated.
The church had been set up as a local warming center during the weeklong ice storm. Now, they prepared to receive many families who had been affected by the fire, as a temporary boarding area.
He said that it was so awesome that it was overwhelming, the care the others have for people in need.
According to the public news releases and Fort Hood, civilians and Soldiers were relocated and only minor injuries occurred from the fire.