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McPhersonSentinel - McPherson, KS
  • Employees who reported Canton-Galva Middle School fire honored

  • On Aug. 21, two Union Pacific Railroad workers were recognized for their part in saving the Canton-Galva Middle School from a fire that damaged the school's gym July 26.
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  • On Aug. 21, two Union Pacific Railroad workers were recognized for their part in saving the Canton-Galva Middle School from a fire that damaged the school's gym July 26.
    Jim Iverson, a Union Pacific engineer, and Eric Hardey, a Union Pacific conductor, spotted the fire while passing through Galva and alerted emergency personnel, who were able to extinguish the fire before it destroyed the gym and damaged other parts of the school.
    “The crew’s call to 911 at 2:36 a.m.enabled the Galva Fire Department to minimize the damage and keep it contained to a small portion of the roof of the gym,” said Bill Seidl, superintendent of the Canton-Galva school district. “It is possible that the entire gymnasium could have burnt down along with a portion of the entire school building.”
    The recognition took place at the Union Pacific rail yard in Herington. Iverson and Hardey were presented with Canton-Galva jackets and volunteer firefighter shirts.
    Terry Hanken, Hutchinson manager-terminal operations, said the crew was in the right place at the right time.
    “Our crews work on these territories year after year,” Hanken said. “It’s important for us to be a part of these communities and help safeguard them. I believe that any one of my crews would have stepped up to help in a similar fashion.”
    Seidl said he’s grateful the railroaders reported the fire.
    “We are so thankful for their reactions to what could have been a tremendous tragedy,” Seidl said. “It goes without question that this is a great example of people helping people.”
    Contact Josh Arnett by email at jarnett@mcphersonsentinel.com and follow him on Twitter @ArnettSentinel.

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