Jay Turner has lived on his land all of his life since 1947. His parents owned the land before that where his dad started a seed business. Mr. Turner operated this seed business until recent years and he still farms cattle on the land. This is the place he has always called home.
In the early morning hours of January 4, 2001, Mr. Turner was feeding his cattle as he does every morning on their family farm. While on his tractor, he noticed his wife speeding up next to him in their car. She told him that their house was on fire. Having just left his house a few minutes ago, he thought that there was no way it could be very involved, so he grabbed a fire extinguisher and started toward the house. When he opened the door to go inside he was met with a wall of smoke. It was obvious to him that he could not go in and put the fire out. While his wife called 911 and waited on the fire department’s response, Mr. Turner came to the conclusion that there was nothing that could be done, so he decided to go ahead and feed his cows rather than stand there helplessly watching his house burn. He had given up hope.
Soon, Mr. Turner could hear sirens in the distance and before he knew it, E501, from the Boone County Fire Protection District Prathersville station was at his house. Firefighters worked quickly to get inside the house and extinguish the fire. Mr. Turner was impressed as fire trucks from Station 5 (Prathersville), Station 3 (Hallsville) and Station 1 (Lake of the Woods) arrived to help in the extinguishment efforts. Before he knew it, his fire was out. Though there was a great deal of smoke and fire damage, the house was saved.
As The Turners gathered in their seed company’s barn on the cold January day to discuss what the next steps would be, they had not thought about where they may be sleeping that night. One of the firefighters who lived nearby explained the Turner’s situation to his landlord and the landlord made her vacant house available to the them. Mrs. Mary Gonnermann was that landowner and she showed up to offer her home to the Turners while they rebuilt the house that was damaged. The Turners lived in the vacant home for the next 4 months while renovations were completed.
In 2014 when the Boone County Fire Protection District was putting a bond issue for station and apparatus improvements on the ballot, an advisory group of citizens was created. Mr. Turner was asked to be on that committee and he accepted. During those meetings, the need for a new station in the Highway HH corridor was brought up. The population in that area had grown and there was a greater need for fire service than there had been before. After giving it some thought, the Turner family offered up a piece of their property for the new station to be built and thus Station 16 was birthed.
Jay Turner says that you can see Station 16 from most parts of his farm. He takes a great deal of pride in knowing that his contribution led to additional fire protection for the citizens in that area. The Boone County Fire Protection District appreciates the land donation that helps place this fire station in a much needed area of Boone County. Both apparatus at Station 16 have “Turner Farms” displayed on them to signify to which station they belong.
Station 16 was opened in May of 2017 and houses Engine 1601, a 2001 Pierce Engine with a 1250 GPM pump, 750 Gal water tank and 30 gal foam tank. This engine also has basic rescue equipment and many other tools needed at the onset of an emergency. Additionally, the station houses G1606, a Chevy 3500 brush truck with a 200 gal tank and pump. This apparatus is equipped as a quick response vehicle to respond to medical emergencies and natural cover fires. Station 16 also houses 4 resident rooms where volunteer fire fighters live in order to allow for quicker response times for emergencies.