Community supports Powhatan marching band after fire

By Ben Garbarek - bio | email

POWHATAN, VA (WWBT) - The Powhatan High School Marching Band is still sifting through what's left of their equipment after a fire this weekend destroyed much of their brand new uniforms and instruments.

The marching band says they plans to compete this Saturday even after losing much of their new equipment in a trailer fire.  The band says they're overwhelmed by the outpouring of support since news of the fire broke out.

The band hit a high note winning a competition in Virginia Beach this weekend, only to see its equipment go up in flames shortly after coming home.

"We were all devastated," said senior Demi Keller.  "It's just so unexpected.  Grand champions, we're all excited, had a great time and then right out hearing this."

"It's pretty rough to say the least," said Band Director Scott Gordon.  "Basically we lost everything that we haven't been able to assess and recover yet.  We're still going through a lot of stuff."

School officials say there's been a large outpouring of support from the Powhatan community but the band director says high schools from throughout Virginia are calling to see what ways they can help.

School officials say roughly $50,000 in equipment was lost in the fire. Now the band says it's ready to move on.

"We'll get over this," he said.  "We'll beat this.  Let's move on.  A lot of effort went in to get those things, but they're just things and they can be replaced."

"We have a competition this Saturday and I think we should just go to it and move on," said Keller.  "It's in the past now.  We just have to make it better.  If we were great before, we're going to be even better."

Wachovia Wells Fargo announced it would donate $5,000 and a professional drum and bugle corps in South Carolina also announced it'd be donating instruments.

The Powhatan County Fire Department says the fire was likely an accident. The Powhatan High School principal says all the equipment was insured.

Copyright 2010 WWBT NBC12. All rights reserved.