Equipment stolen while Detroit firefighters in action

By Lauren Podell - Reporter

DETROIT - Robbed and vandalized.

That's what happened to two Detroit fire trucks overnight while crews were on the job.

"It's disheartening," said Sgt. James Thompson of Engine 41. "You'd hope our work would speak for itself, we don't know why the people we are trying to help want to hurt us."

Crews at Engine 41 and Engine 52 in Detroit tell Local 4 while they were battling flames at a vacant apartment building Sunday night, someone stole equipment from one truck and someone else threw a used colostomy bag in another.

"It was a mess and it turned into a hazmat situation," said Capt. Mark Simmons of Engine 52. "We had to take the rig off the streets to clean it out and it wasn't available to go to another fire if needed."

"Someone from the local neighborhood opened the back door and took out our bucket of foam and our spray gun," said Sgt. Thompson. "That's a door that doesn't open on its own."

This all happened at E. Forest and Algonquin. It was 11:30 p.m. Sunday when flames fully engulfed a two-story abandoned apartment building. The Detroit Fire Department was called back to the scene Monday morning to put hotspots back out, fortunately with all of their equipment.

"Whoever took our equipment realized it wasn't worth cashing in on and dumped it on Mack, less than a mile away from the scene," said Sgt. Thompson.

The fire crew saw their equipment on the side of the road when they were heading back to the fire house and recovered it. This is equipment that DFD can't afford to lose and can't afford to lockdown because precious seconds could mean the difference between life and death. This comes only days after two saws were stolen from Ladder 22.

Story: Saws stolen from Detroit firefighters, again

"If we're forced to chain equipment up, that seriously delays our operation," said Sgt. Thompson.

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