By Andrea Lucia, CBS 11 News

COVINGTON (CBSDFW.COM) – In a supreme example of tragic irony, a debilitating fire broke out at the fire department in the Hill County town of Covington Saturday, prompting the mayor to call it a “total loss.”

“It’s a little ironic, but that’s what we’re faced with,” said fire captain Chris Lidster.

The department in the 300-population town is made up of volunteers. All its members were already home for the night when they were paged to respond to a fire at the station.

Firefighters said they found smoke billowing out of the doors and windows when they arrived. Lidster said his first reaction was confusion; how would they fight a fire with all their equipment trapped in the middle of the blaze?

Fortunately, firefighters from surrounding cities helped out, bringing their trucks – and equipment – to put out the flames.

“Now we know what it’s like for our victims,” Lidster said. “Seems like it takes forever.”

Officials are still unsure of what caused the fire. The department also lost at least two trucks, including an EMS vehicle. Lidster said this will be the toughest loss to handle, as much of their calls are medical.

In the meantime, surrounding cities have offered to help the Covington Fire Department with medical and fire calls until they can handle them again.

They’ve even gotten an offer to borrow a fire truck until they can replace the ones they’ve lost.