By Mannix PorterfieldRegister-Herald Reporter

Raleigh County voters heard the distress call from the hills and hollows and came to the rescue Tuesday of 13 struggling volunteer fire departments, approving a special fire levy with a little room to spare.

With all 87 precincts in, the levy attracted 7,447 votes, or 63.36 percent, while 4,306 other voters, or 36.64 votes, opposed it. All levy issues require a 60 percent majority.

“Happy, relieved — just a gamut of emotions,” exulted Beckley Fire Chief Billie Trump, a leading advocate of the levy, which will pump some $700,000 into the county’s only paid department.

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