|Updated: 12/12/2013 1:32 pm
||Published: 12/11/2013 1:43 pm
Hometown heroes are victims in a small Green Country town where public safety is now threatened.
Someone broke into the Avant Fire Department, stole money and totaled a fire truck before setting it on fire.
When thieves broke in, they got into the office through a window, tried to pry open filing cabinets, and a computer no longer works because water was sprayed all over and it looks like someone tried to stab the monitor, leaving destruction and taking nothing of value.
"We fight for everything we've got," said Mayor Justin Brown.
Avant's volunteer fire department has one fewer truck to respond to calls with because of someone set the truck on fire.
"(It was) burnt to a crisp, nothing left to it, just nothing," said Brown.
Brown is a former volunteer firefighter and told FOX23 finding the truck was heartbreaking because it wasn't just any truck, but the truck.
"That was the No. 1 truck for everything. The first truck out on a fire, any medical assistance, assisting surrounding agencies, that was the truck they got into first to go asses the scene of any situation," said Brown.
And now public safety is compromised.
Brown said Avant's 250 residents can expect longer response times for emergencies because the department only has big, slow, old trucks.
"You can't take them out or get anywhere fast with them," he said.
But it's not just losing the truck that Brown said hurts, but what the truck meant.
He said the department's former fire chief campaigned for two years to get the new fire truck and died only months after the town was awarded the new equipment.
"For the truck to just be gone, that was his baby, that was our last piece of Dale we had," he said.
Damage estimates top $100,000, but the mayor said the department lost more than that.
And while he doesn't know how they'll replace the truck, he said he does know how the department will bounce back.
"Just like this department's always done, you just kind of pull yourself up by the bootstraps and just keep going. They don't have a choice. Nobody quits," he said.
The Osage County Sheriff's Office is working the investigation into this case. A fund for the fire department has been set up at RCB Bank in Skiatook.