ACME, Wash. — Whatcom County Fire District 16‘s Station 86 in Acme was found to have been burglarized Saturday, January 29th.
According to WCFD16 Fire Chief Hank Maleng, they had been dispatched respond a vehicle crash when the theft was discovered. Personnel arrived at the station to discover a locked door open and several important lifesaving devices missing. Possibly worse was that the thieves had opened every compartment on every rig in the station, rummaged around and left the compartment doors open. This meant those apparatuses would not be available for service until inventories could be performed and all items returned to their specific locations.
Video taken shortly after WCFD16 Station 86 was discovered to have been burglarized (January 29, 2022). Video courtesy of WCFD16
“We were fortunate not have been needed at a more serious incident,” Maleng told Whatcom News. He estimated the replacement cost of the missing equipment to be over $20,000. The district has insurance to cover such loses but it will take some time to apply for and receive a payment and there is a chance some of the items will not be readily available given current supply chain challenges.
There are a few backup items on hand and some items have been temporarily loaned by other districts.
The following items were among those taken.
- 5 power saws
- 2 generators
- a “jaws of life” tool
- a large floodlight
This was the second burglary at a WCFD16 fire station after the Van Zandt station was broken into 2 and a half years ago, but they have never had a problem in the 50 years before at this station according to Maleng.
“I wouldn’t be so mad about this had it been my personal equipment. But the items taken were the peoples’ equipment, used to save people’s lives and property and paid for by the people,” Maleng said. “That’s infuriating.”