Cheney Free Press -

By Roger Harnack

Help comes to Malden


Last updated 2/18/2021 at 3:22pm

Roger Harnack

Malden Mayor Dan Harwood, left, accepts a $20,000 donation from Rocky Eastman of Walla Walla County Fire District No. 4, presenting the check on behalf of the Washington Fire Chiefs organization. In the background, Whitman County Emergency Management Director Bill Tensfeld watches the exchange.

MALDEN – Mayor Dan Harwood accepted a $20,000 check Tuesday, Feb. 16, on behalf of the Fire Department.

The donation from the Washington Fire Chiefs association was presented to the city "no strings attached," organization Executive Director Steve Wright said during a brief ceremony in the temporary City Hall.

"These funds will assist us in rebuilding our Fire Department and Fire Station, along with funds from our insurance and FEMA," Harwood said.

Both the Fire Station and City Hall were destroyed Sept. 7 during the Babb Fire that burned approximately 80% of the structures in town and in neighboring Pine City.

Other dignitaries present for the presentation of the check included Whitman County Emergency Management Director Bill Tensfeld, Lonnie Rash of Spokane Fire District No. 8, Rocky Eastman of Walla Walla County Fire District No. 4, City Councilman Bob Law, and Pine Creek Long-Term Recovery Director and City Councilman Scott Hokonson.

As several area residents and other watched, Wright handed the check to Eastman to present to the mayor. Eastman represents the Washington Fire Chiefs district south of Whitman County.

"On behalf of Washington Fire Chiefs, congratulations," Eastman said as he handed the check to the mayor.

The funds will be added to the $10,000 previously received from ADT security company and an insurance settlement to pay to rebuild firefighting services in the rural community.

Harwood said he is optimistic the funds and insurance will be enough to rebuild, although the city has yet to begin the bid process for rebuilding the Fire Department.

Wright said the Washington Fire Chiefs decided donating $20,000 to the city "just fit" the purpose the organization has funds.

"We want you to use it as you see fit to help this town's fire protection for the future," Write said. "Whatever you need, we wish you well."

Mayor Harwood thanked the association.

"This check will do us so much good," he said. "We're humbled, and grateful."

Roger Harnack can be reached at

Author Bio

Roger Harnack, Publisher

Roger Harnack is the co-owner/publisher of Free Press Publishing. Having grown up Benton City, Roger is an award-winning journalist, photographer, editor and publisher. He's one of only two editorial/commentary writers from Washington state to ever receive the international Golden Quill. Roger is dedicated to the preservation of local media, and the voice it retains for Eastern Washington.

Phone: 509-235-6184
Twitter: @RogerHarnack


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