Men honored for help during fire

Published 10:31 am Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Two men were honored Monday for their roles in the effort to battle the downtown fire that destroyed almost one block Jan. 15.

Austin Fire Chief Dan Wilson praised Lee Hansen, of Hansen Hauling & Excavating, Inc., and Steve Davis, owner of Steve’s Pizza, during the city council meeting Monday with words of thanks and personalized fire helmets.

Hansen was called to the scene shortly after the fire started late that afternoon with a backhoe to clear away some of the debris so firefighters would more easily access the fire.

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“It would have been a lot more dangerous for those individuals if we were not able to get at the fire,” Wilson said. “Lee, we could not have accomplished what we did without your help.”

Hansen was given a blue helmet with his name and “Technical Specialist” engraved on it.

Davis was recognized for allowing firefighters and other emergency personnel into his new building — the former Granle’s Custom Framing, which he will move into this March — for a warming station.

“He has just been an unbelievable supporter of the department,” Wilson said. “They went all night long and they never went without pizza.”

Davis was given a white helmet, also with his name and “Assistant Chef” on it.

“It’s not that big of a thing,” Davis said. “It was something I could do when the situation arose.”

Mayor Tom Stiehm presented Hansen and Davis with their helmets during the meeting.

“It’s a time when the community really pulls together,” he said of the fire.