Huntington, WV fire station burglar on the loose - WOWK 13 Charleston, Huntington WV News, Weather, Sports

Huntington, WV fire station burglar on the loose

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HUNTINGTON, WV - Around 11 p.m. Monday, June 16, Huntington firefighters from Station 10 sprung into action to combat a structure fire, only they never found it.  Huntington Fire Chief Carl Eastham says the firefighters were led to other locations for a phantom fire they never located and returned to the fire station to find the rear door kicked open. 

The thief made off with about $1,000 worth of stolen property, including two laptops.  The fire chief says it appears that the suspect stole things that could be quickly pawned or gotten rid of.  Although there is no indication of a motive for this crime, Chief Eastham wonders if the burglar committed this crime to sell the items to make money for his or her drug habit.

Losing personal property makes the firefighters feel violated, but a phantom fire call could have cost lives.  Chief Eastham says it delays response time to a real fire if those trucks are out in another part of town.  It also costs dollars to send five fire vehicles out on a wild goose chase.  Chief Eastham says the fire trucks only get about 3 miles to the gallon and right now gas is near $4 per gallon.

The Huntington Fire Department has already been planning improvements to their security system like installing keycard locks, but now they are hoping to speed up the process and add exterior cameras to make sure history doesn't repeat itself.