Slidell fire fighters helping Laura victims with muscle and experience

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LACASSINE, LA — Saint Tammany fire fighters from Slidell are among the department’s emergency response team helping victims of Hurricane Laura. For some, it’s familiar work because they endured the same recoveries in their own neighborhoods after Hurricane Katrina.

“They got Katrina minus the water,” Captain Chris Hewitt told WGNO via a Zoom interview. “A tremendous amount of wind damage here,” he said.

Hewitt knows what he’s talking about. Hurricane Katrina damaged the roof of his home and flooded it with two feet of water.

Not only are the St. Tammany fire fighters helping neighbors in the Lake Charles area to clear roads and put blue tarps on roofs, they’re handing regular fire calls for the area departments.

“We’re gonna handle all the business, run the calls, protect the citizens. Let them handle their stuff that they need to get back to normal life,” Hewitt said.

Hewitt is a captain with the Saint Tammany Fire Protection District 1. He’s joined by other fire fighters from that district and others. Together, they’re seeing how their work and the hard work of neighbors is bringing results.

“You can see everybody outside working on their houses. Nobody is sitting around. You drive down the street, everybody’s cleaning up, just trying to get back to normal, everyday life,” fire fighter Devon Kennedy said.

The department has posted many photos of the Laura damage and recovery on its social media accounts. To see our story on the fire fighters’ work, including their photos from the devastation, click on the video at the top of this story.

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