Argyle Hail Storm Forces Fire Chief to Seek Shelter | NBC 5 Dallas-Fort Worth

Argyle Hail Storm Forces Fire Chief to Seek Shelter

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    NEWSLETTERS

    A North Texas fire chief found himself in an emergency situation as he was trying to respond to calls for help while dodging baseball-sized hail Sunday.

    (Published Monday, March 27, 2017)

    Dents, shattered glass and the sound of repairs are the only remnants of Sunday's storm that ripped through Argyle.

    "I have been wanting this car for a couple of years," said Kelly Walls, an Argyle resident as she looked down at her badly damaged Chevy Cruz she bought five weeks ago.

    Large hail hit her house and many others Sunday evening in Argyle, breaking windows and leaving dents.

    The storm took aim at her driveway, too.

    "It wasn't until I came around this side, and I'll be honest I cried," Walls said.

    The small town's fire chief was also in the storm's path as he was trying to respond to calls for help while dodging baseball-size hail.

    "I'm telling you that's the biggest hail balls I've had coming down on me," said Argyle Fire Chief Mac Hohenberger.

    The fire chief was trying to respond to a house fire in nearby Justin when the large hail struck his windshield and hood.

    "It sounded pretty horrific," he said.

    One piece of hail smashed through his rear-view mirror, knocking the mirror down.

    "I said, 'Yeah, it's time to find cover,'" he said.

    Hohenberger pulled off the road and sought refuge in an unoccupied house.

    "I just wanted to find some cover, and I knew it was there," he said.

    The hail storm also forced the assistant fire chief to take cover.

    "It started cracking the windshield, and I figured it was about to come in, and so I tried to get to the back of the vehicle where I figured I'd at least have protection over my head," said Assistant Fire Chief Michael Lugo.

    They say this is when first responders' safety comes first.

    "We do no good trying to take care of citizens if we can't take care of ourselves," Lugo said.

    "A house can be replaced," said Hohenberger. "You don't want to put someone in danger to try and put the house fire out by getting hit in the head with a hail ball and killing them."

    Walls is also putting things into perspective.

    "We weren't in an accident, we weren't driving anywhere, so this can all be replaced. My family is safe," she said.

    The fire chief is expecting a damage adjuster to survey the damage to the fire trucks and any minimal damage to the roof of the fire department.

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