DETROIT - Detroit firefighters were on a roof making sure a suspicious fire didn't spread to houses when someone stole two saws worth $5,000 right off the truck.
"We were on the roof. We were fighting the fire," said firefighter Jeremy Mullins.
Ladder 22 needs those expensive saws.
"We do need that equipment. That equipment is vital to our job," said Mullins.
The tools are vital for firefighter safety. The chain saw is used to cut a hole in a roof to let super-heated gasses out so firefighters going in don't get hurt. The other saw, called a K-14, has a $500 diamond-tipped blade which cuts through just about anything.
Without those saws:
"We go up there with axes and sledge hammers," said Mullins.
The firefighters at Ladder 22 paid for the saws themselves. They raised money by selling T-shirts while hoping to rehab their kitchen. Their saws were stolen before, so the kitchen money went to the new saws, only to have those stolen, too.
"They don't know that they're taking valuable, life-saving tools out of our hands," said firefighter Jon Frendewey, Ladder 22.
Sheila Crowel lives in southwest Detroit. She wants to get the word out that Ladder 22 needs money.
"I called you, Local 4. That was it, just called you," she said.
The firefighters are facing the coming winter without heat in the building, a leaky roof and now this.
"Somebody comes up and steals something, you gotta be kidding me!" said Crowel.
UPDATE: The Detroit Fire Department has given Ladder 22 extra saws -- the two they needed. The firefighters at Ladder 22 have gotten new chains to secure the saws in the truck in an effort to prevent another theft.
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