This is the second installment of a series on the volunteers at the Hinckley Fire Museum. Watch next week's issue for the next profile.
This week's volunteer is Bob Kinblom. Bob is originally from Iron River, Wisconsin. He moved to Hinckley five years ago to be closer to family. Bob's in-laws are Greg and Barb Loiselle, who are also long time members of Fire Museum team as Depot Agents, Board Members and Volunteers of the Year.
When asked what he did before retirement, Bob said that he has been retired so long he doesn't remember what he did. He said, "Each year of retirement, it takes less to keep busy!"
Bob has been volunteering at the museum for two years as a Depot Agent. He was drawn into the museum family by Mike Milano, and of course, the Loiselles. He said he keeps coming back because it is an activity he enjoys and he likes to keep busy. "I always know what I'm doing on Wednesday," he said.
He can be found most Wednesdays at the museum working with Diane. He said if you are looking for something to do, it's a great activity and there is so much to learn. Also, the people that come in are fascinating.
We asked Bob about his favorite piece of trivia about the fire. He told a story of a family who fled from the vicinity of Sandstone trying to escape the fire. The fire was too fast and they had to change course for the river. The man couldn’t coax his horses into the river and was left with no choice but to leave them on shore. The horses were frightened and ran off down the bank of the river. The family thought for sure they would lose the horses and wagon. The next morning, the next morning the man set out in search of his animals, he was about to give up hope when he found fresh wagon tracks, he followed the tracks and found a little mill pond. There he found his two horses alive and the only damage his wagon suffered was a half burned wheel. Steve Johnson, director of the Fire Museum, added "It was truly amazing that the horses survived in the midst of so many charred human corpses. The animals were not only hitched to each other but to a wagon and had very limited options of escaping the fire. We will never know their story. What we do know is that the horses never talked about it!"