By Patrick Winderl/Havre Daily Newsfirstname.lastname@example.org
The next Havre firefighters fund-raiser will feature an image of the aftermath of 9/11 on a quilt made by a Havre woman.
The 6-foot quilt crafted by Denise Thompson will be raffled off during a pancake feed on April 19. The event is intended to help the Fire Department purchase a thermal-imaging camera.
"Denise contacted us and said she wanted to help out with the fund-raiser," Havre fire Capt. Mike Anderson said. "For the past few months, she has been working on a quilt for us to raffle off. It's just amazing."
Centered in the middle of the quilt is a color image of firefighters holding a flag near the site of the fallen towers of the World Trade Center. Nine other images surround that scene, each showing firefighters performing a different task.
The design for the quilt was inspired by other quilts Thompson has made, she said.
"I make a quilt every year for American Legion baseball," she said. "Last year I made one with silhouettes of baseball players, so I decided to do something similar with this quilt."
The Fire Department took pictures of firefighters in full gear and sent them to Thompson, she said. She then used black fabric to create outlines of the firefighters, which she placed on the quilt.
"I started with about 20 images, and selected the ones I liked best," she said.
Firefighters indicated they would like to have an image of the fire crew at ground zero, so Thompson printed the image from a photograph on fabric, she said.
Anyone wishing to view the quilt can see it on display at Barkus Home Center.
The pancake feed will run from 8 to 11 a.m. on April 19. The feed is free to the public, though donations are encouraged.
Havre firefighters raised about $1,800 at last year's feed, Anderson said.
Tickets for the raffle cost $1 apiece or six for $5. All of the proceeds will go toward the purchase of a thermal-imaging camera for the Fire Department.
In all, the department has raised $7,200 for the camera, which costs about $20,000, Anderson said.
The camera uses heat sensors to help find people trapped in a fire, and can help find the source of a blaze, he said.
Kelly Jones, who has been with the Fire Department for five years, said a fire crew in Baltimore used a thermal-imaging camera to locate a boy who had fallen through a frozen lake.
"It's similar to the night vision goggles the military uses," he said. "It allows you to see through smoke and other obstacles."
The technology has been invaluable to other fire departments across the country, he added.
Firefighters originally hoped to raise enough money for the camera by last year, but was unable to do so, Anderson said. The department has looked at several different models of cameras and hopes to being using one by this time next year, he said.