GLOSTER — The Gloster fire chief asked for direction Tuesday on how far to fight fires outside town after being called back from a fire west of Crosby.

Chief Frank McCurley said the department responded to a fire at the old Crosby Depot on Christmas Eve.

The building was moved years ago from Crosby to the intersection of Highway 563 and Macedonia Road about five miles west of Crosby, where it became known as Longmire Store before being abandoned.

Gloster firemen were battling the blaze when Alderman Tommie Lee radioed them to come back to town, McCurley said.

In November, Gloster sent its only fire truck to a fire at Netterville Lumber Co. in the Buffalo community of Wilkinson County 20 miles from Gloster.

Mayor Jerry Norwood said he would like to meet with the volunteer fire department and come up with a plan. He said he’s in favor of helping outside of town when needed, but within certain limits.

“It would depend, I would think, on the size of the fire and the emergency,” Norwood said. “We’ve got to make sure it’s feasible and Gloster is still covered.”

McCurley said other fire departments — Southwest, O’Neil, Centreville, Liberty Rural — can step in if the Gloster truck is out of town when a fire breaks out in town.

But Tommie Lee, a former fire chief and now secretary of the fire department, expressed concerns about incidents as far off as the one at the old Crosby Depot.

“That’s a pretty good piece from Gloster,” he said.

“That was the Crosby Depot,” McCurley countered. “That’s a piece of history.”

The building was a total loss.

“Let’s come up with a game plan to say if a fire happens in Gloster, how are we going to cover it,” Norwood said. “I don’t see a problem with going to Crosby.”

But Norwood said the final call belongs to McCurley.

“You are the fire chief. You make the decisions,” he said.

Police chief Terry Boss, also a former fire chief, suggested letting other fire departments respond first if they’re closer.  

In other business, the board:

• Accepted a bid from Trustmark National Bank to continue serving as the town’s financial depository for one year. Trustmark bid 1.29% interest for one year and 1.35 for two. United Mississippi Bank bid 1.1%.

• Renewed property, equipment and crime coverage with Foster and Liberty insurance agencies for $12,865, an increase of $149, and fire department coverage for $829, same as last year.

• Approved payments of $55,656 to W.E. Blain & Sons and $4,375 to Dungan Engineering to close out the street overlay project, and $7,750 to Dungan for work on a Community Development Block Grant sewer lagoon upgrade.

• Heard praise from board member Betty Green about the Christmas parade and fireworks show. She suggested the town do more to publicize such events.

• Granted a request from Jerry White to hold a Martin Luther King march 5 p.m. Monday, Jan. 20, from the post office to Penny Pincher cafe.

• Agreed to advertise for a part-time police officer.

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