NEWS | April 16, 2009

Soto Cano members help Honduran authorities battle devastating blaze

By Tech. Sgt. Mike Hammond Joint Task Force-Bravo Public Affairs

Emergency crews from Joint Task Force-Bravo at Soto Cano Air Base, Honduras, worked alongside local responders to battle a blaze that consumed a historic building in Comayagua April 15.

Seven firefighters and two security forces patrolmen left Soto Cano just 20 minutes after base officials were notified of the request for support from local authorities.

The JTF-Bravo members joined dozens of firefighters and emergency officials from Comayagua and neighboring cities La Paz, Siguatepeque, and Tegucigalpa, Honduras, in battling the fire, which engulfed a church building that had stood since 1775.

Though the centuries-old building was destroyed by the flames, the coordinated response effort prevented further spread of the fire to nearby structures -- especially the historic church on the central plaza. Joint Security Forces members assisted with crowd control and ensured onlookers remained at a safe distance.

"This professional response to a very unfortunate event in our neighboring community is indicative of the positive and cooperative relationship Joint Task Force-Bravo has with our friends and partners here in Honduras," said Army Col. Rich Juergens, JTF-Bravo commander. "We're happy to work side-by-side with our hosts to help the local community in a time of need."