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Neel Volunteer Fire Department might be a total loss after tornado

MORGAN COUNTY, Ala. - It's probably an odd feeling as a first responder to be the one who needs help. But, in the case of the Neel Fire Department that's what they're going through right now.

In the wake of the EF3 tornado that touched down in Morgan County, the Neel Fire Department and surrounding community were hit hard.

The Neel Fire Department is doing everything they can as first responders to get people what they need, but it's tough when they're the ones that need help as well.

"We've got severe roof damage and all the windows blown out, fortunately no damage was found on any of our trucks so we've been able to get out and help people, but we're gonna have substantial damage to the building," said Chief Alan Lacy.

Neel is a volunteer fire department. Chief Lacy said they have to wait and see, but he thinks the building will be a total loss.

"A lot of supplies come in, trying to get tarps and food, we've had food dropped off here, of course it's kind of hard to do, this is normally our central location but we've got a lot of damage," he said.

But despite that, in the aftermath of the tornado, Lacy is thankful.

"The most important thing is we have no injuries, no loss of life, no anything, all this can be rebuilt,"he said.

He said the way the community has risen to the challenge has been overwhelming to witness.

"Anywhere you go out here you see twenty-five to thirty people helping one homeowner, so it's all community and everybody's coming together to help," said Lacy.

The assistant chief of the Neel Fire Department was actually the first one to make the call about the tornado. He and about thirty others sought safety in the Neel storm shelter as the tornado hit.