They came from Forestville, Sheridan, Fredonia, and especially Dunkirk.
But where they were from really did not matter. What mattered was the job at hand - fighting a major fire in the downtown district of Dunkirk.
Fortunately for our area, major fires are not the norm. Other upstate cities, such as Utica, are not as lucky.
Wednesday night was extraordinary. Every person on the scene had a job to do - and they did it well.
"The fire spread very quickly to all levels of the building," said Dunkirk Fire Department Capt. Alan Loeb. "At that time we made a determination that we had to evacuate the building for the safety of our personnel. We did that and continued to attack the fire from the outside. We also used the buildings on either side to gain access to the building as long as we could before the structural integrity of the other buildings were such that we even had to abandon those buildings."
The reality - and lesson - from the major fire is: there was no boundary in a time of emergency. All those who were needed from across the county showed up. All are members of the Chautauqua County Fire Department. They live in Dunkirk. They live in Mayville. They even live in Ashville.
Wednesday night was a tough night. But when all is said and done, it was a job well done. By everyone.
It certainly looked like the beginning of a regional Fire Department.