False alarm interrupts Christmas party

Any time five fire trucks pass you with their sirens blaring and lights flashing, it’s cause for concern; but on Saturday night, it might be the one occasion where it was worth a good laugh.

A man driving on Smith Valley Road by Greenwood Community High School at 7 p.m. saw five Greenwood Fire Department fire trucks pass him heading toward U.S. 31.

By midweek, he hadn’t seen any news reports about a fire in the Daily Journal, so he contacted the newsroom.

Curious that we never learned of any emergency that required five fire trucks, we went through our normal steps.

We checked the emergency dispatch log — nothing there.

The next step was to call Greenwood Fire Chief James Sipes.

He had a chuckle and said he has fielded several calls from residents wanting to know where the fire trucks were headed. Here’s what happened:

On Saturday evening, a false alarm interrupted the Greenwood Fire Department’s Christmas party at the Moose Lodge. Since the party is for all firefighters, those who were on-duty were at the party with their engines outside in case of an emergency.

The fire department received an alert from a security company about smoke in a vacant home and sent its typical response on such a call: three engines, a ladder and a battalion chief. Firefighters did not find any smoke or fire inside the building.

While the number of crews sent to the scene was typical for such a call, they caught residents’ attention because they left the same location at the same time.

Corey Elliot is a reporter at the Daily Journal. He can be reached at celliot@dailyjournal.net or 317-736-2719.