MULBERRY FIRE ASSISTS VANDALIA WITH TRAILER FIRE
The Mulberry Grove Fire Protection District was paged out for mutual aid Thursday afternoon around 1PM. Vandalia firefighters were requesting water assistance for a trailer on fire located six miles south west of Vandalia on the Carlyle Road. Mulberry Grove Fire Chief Dwight Volkmar told WGEL the 12x60 single-wide was already on the ground when they arrived on the scene. Volkmar said no one was injured, as the trailer was used for storage and unoccupied. Mulberry Grove firefighters were back in service a half-hour later with Vandalia back on the scene less then two hours.
GREENVILLE FIRE RESPONDS TO VARIETY OF CALLS
The Greenville Fire Protection District was called out to a report of a brush fire Wednesday night around 9:45PM at the Nature Preserve entrance on Iron Gate Trail. Fire fighters were able to extinguish the fire and were back in service 45 minutes later.
Then at 12:30am Thursday morning, the Greenville district was sent to a carbon monoxide detector going off at a residence on Locust Street. Chief Bill Johnston told WGEL that the residents were out of the house, and the CO2 meter readings were nearly 500, which was high above the normal reading of 0. AmerenIP was called to the scene to confirm the readings, which they did and continued to lock the meter until the furnace was fixed. Johnston said that at those levels, if you're asleep, there is a high chance you won't wake up. Firefighters were back in-service a couple of hours later.
NEW LAW TO PROTECT VULNERABLE HOMEOWNERS
Effective January 1, 2007, homeowners will be protected from predatory mortgage "rescue" businesses. The Mortgage Fraud Act takes aim at businesses that offer to save homeowners from foreclosure, but often strip the equity from the homes and leave the homeowners with nothing.
"Rescuers" typically arrive on the scene when the homeowner falls behind in payments, or are on the verge of losing their homes. The rescuers promise to buy the house, collect rent from the homeowner and provide the homeowner the option to buy back the house in a year or two after they have improved their credit score. However, most rescuers pay off the mortgage - a sum less than the equity, and then take out a new mortgage exceeding the amount owed. High rent is then charged to the already strapped homeowners, who now have no hope of recovering financially. Under the Mortgage Fraud Act, mortgage rescuers are required to either save the home as they have promised or pay the homeowner a substantial portion of the home's value.
TWO AREA FIRE DEPARTMENTS GET GRANTS
Two fire departments in the area have been selected for grants through the U.S. Department of Homeland Security. The Huey Ferrin Boulder Fire Protection District in Clinton County was given $173,565 while the Patoka Fire Protection District in Marion County receives $187,578. Both districts are required to provide a five percent match to these one year grants.