MARTIN COUNTY, Ky. (WYMT) - A volunteer fire department in Martin County is now crippled after thieves broke in and stole thousands of dollars worth of equipment.
It happened earlier this week at the Pigeon Roost Volunteer Fire Department, and officials say because of the theft the trucks cannot be driven, and they cannot respond to nearby emergencies.
"The trucks themselves are pretty much out. The wiring has been cut in them," said Chief Greg Alley.
They did not leave much behind.
They took hoses, clamps, oil, even gas for the trucks.
"They didn't steal off me personally except for my tax money because tax money pays for this place. They've actually stole from every person in this county," said Alley.
It appears the thieves broke the hinge off of one door so they could go in and open the bay doors on the other side to load their truck with the equipment.
They also kicked in another door and broke the bay doors off the rails.
"The metal parts they'll probably scrap. We've contacted the scrap yards of course, but burnt metal is burnt metal. It's hard to tell," said Alley.
Sheriff Garmon Preece is investigating.
He says it left the whole community wondering why.
"I think that is about one of the worse things you can do is take something from a volunteer fire department. It could save people's lives and that equipment they need," said Preece.
They are warning people to keep an eye out for someone selling any of the items, but say they do not expect any of it to be returned.
"These people are there to help you, and for somebody to take from that is stealing from everybody. That's as low as you can go in my world. It's like slapping a baby," said Alley.
Now they are just trying to figure out how to get things running once again.
They are still totaling up the losses.
For now they are relying on Warfield and Inez Fire Departments to help respond to emergencies.
Anyone with information should contact the Martin County Sheriff's Office.