Thieves target fire company in Cressona

Author: , Reporter
Published: Feb 19 2013 06:06:12 PM EST   Updated On: Feb 20 2013 07:31:54 AM EST
CRESSONA, Pa. -

Firefighters risk their lives to help others, but those good deeds did not prevent them from becoming a target for burglars.

The Cressona Volunteer Fire Company in Schuylkill County was hit last week.  The burglars did not get away with much money, but they did take away something much more valuable -- people's trust.

Most of the fire company's money comes from fundraising, said Chief Mike Mansell, who noted that the building always has people coming in and out to either rent the hall or to attend fundraising events like "wing night."

"Ninety-nine percent of the money that we have here is all raised by our members by doing fund raisers and to find out somebody wants to steal from us," said Mansell.  

Someone broke into the fire company sometime Valentine's Day night or the next morning, police said.

"They came in the front of the building and they kicked the basement window in, which they were able to get into the building up through the basement into the hall," said Mansell.

The chief said it looks like the burglars tried to get into the engine room but couldn't.

"They finally got into the kitchen by kicking the one vent in through the door," said Mansell.

The kitchen of the firehouse has an honor system when it comes to soda. You leave money and take your drink from the fridge.  The chief said the thieves took $50 worth of soda and about $15 in cash.

"We kind of think that was a last resort of taking the soda and the cash," said Mansell.

The fire company now has to replace the damaged windows, and they said it will be more watchful.

"We did just get a security system put in over the weekend," said Mansell, "So, hopefully it wouldn't happen again, but if it would."

One member of the fire company said you try and do good and somebody does a bad thing to hurt us.

"It's pretty heartbreaking," said Mansell.

The chief said the fire company hopes the people responsible are caught soon.