Hometown heroes are now 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.
They were able to get inside the office by climbing through a small office where there was evidence of someone trying to pry open locked filing cabinets. We’re told a computer no longer works because water was sprayed throughout the office and you can see where someone tried to stab the monitor.
“We fight for everything we've got,” Avant Mayor Justin Brown said.
But now Avant’s volunteer fire department has one fewer truck to respond to called with because the fire truck was set on fire.
“Burnt to a crisp” Mayor Brown said. “Nothing left to it, just nothing.”
Mayor Brown is a former volunteer firefighters and tells FOX23 finding the truck was heartbreaking because it wasn’t just any truck, but the truck.
“That was the number one truck for everything,” he said. “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.”
And now public safety is compromised.
Mayor Brown says Avant’s 250 residents can expect longer response times for emergencies because now the department only had big, slow, old trucks.
“You can't take them out or get anywhere fast with them.”
Damage estimates top $100,000, but the mayor says the department lost more than that. And while he doesn’t know how they’ll replace the truck, he says 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 boot straps and just keep going. They don't have a choice, nobody quits.”
The Osage County Sheriff’s Office is investigating the crime.