Cooling shelter opened in Kerens

Some local residents have been concerned with beating the heat, and one local fire department has an answer for them.

On Monday, the Leading Creek Volunteer Fire Department in Kerens has opened its doors to people in need of a place to cool down. The fire station had been getting calls from residents who do not have air conditioning in their homes and were wondering if the station had any space for people to come and escape the heat.

“We’re telling people to come on down,” said John Simmons, who works at the fire station. “We’ve got air conditioning, water and even cots and blankets for people if they feel the need to stay overnight.”

The cooling center is designed for people who do not have access to air conditioning or any other type of consistent and reliable relief from hot summer conditions.

According to the National Weather Service’s website, the temperatures are supposed to stay in the mid-to-upper 80s with humidity pushing 100 percent all week, which doesn’t bode well for people who do not have sufficient shelter from the heat.

It is not uncommon for shelters to open up to the public in difficult weather conditions. Last year’s derecho storm and Superstorm Sandy were examples of weather incidents that left many people in need of care and protection from harsh conditions.

“All people need to do is call us and we’ll come down and let them in,” Simmons said.

For more information on the cooling shelter, call the Leading Creek Volunteer Fire Department at 304-636-7414.