A fire has destroyed the dining facility and two containerized housing units on a patrol base in Mahmudiyah, Iraq, military officials said.
The blaze, which started early in the morning Oct. 30, displaced seven soldiers at Patrol Base Deason, but no one was hurt, according to a news release issued Saturday by Multi-National Division—Center.
The night-duty battle captain and a member of a military transition team responded to a burning smell just after 2 a.m. A master sergeant who was awakened turned off the circuit breakers and knocked on doors to wake the soldiers. Soldiers on security detail helped pull people’s gear out of rooms.
While soldiers labored to put out the fire and save equipment, the Mahmudiyah Fire Department and Iraqi army were alerted and responded, according to the release. The patrol base is on an Iraqi army compound in the city, which is south of Baghdad.
Iraqi soldiers showed up with a bucket loader to push burning housing units away from those that were untouched and toward the dining facility, which was already in flames. They also brought several loads of sand to dump on the fire.
The loader was the only thing that saved the rest of the housing units from going up in flames, according Master Sgt. Alfred Dalton, with the 17th Iraqi Army Division military transition team. "That was key," he said.
Iraqi troops volunteered to help haul away debris, clean up and rebuild the dining facility.
No cause for the fire was given.