Abaco fire equipment stolen and vandalized

Months after Hurricane Dorian destroyed or damaged all of Marsh Harbour Volunteer Fire and Rescue’s trucks, the fire department was hit with additional setbacks, including the theft and damage of other critical resources, Fire Chief Danny Sawyer said yesterday.

Sawyer said the fire department, which services all of Marsh Harbour and other Abaco settlements, has been grappling with non-functioning equipment and the loss of “thousands and thousands and thousands of dollars’” worth of apparatus in the last few months due to repeated break-ins.

“After the hurricane, we had five vehicles in the station. They went in and they stole everything they could have off our trucks,” Sawyer said.

“Two of the fire trucks had generators on it. They removed one off the fire truck. We had a brand new generator in our conference room; they removed that.

“We had a high-pressure compressor that we filled our tanks with. They carried that. I don’t know why they carried that. It’s only good to fill the breathing apparatus.

“A lot of the stuff in the station they carried, like all of our equipment, helmets, boots and bunker gear.”

Sawyer said two of the department’s five fire trucks were destroyed during the storm. The remaining three were damaged. Only one of those trucks has since been repaired. However, he said three trucks were donated to the department.

Sawyer said vandals have since hit one of those trucks.

“A couple nights ago, they went to the assistant chief’s home where we’ve got the trucks stationed now and they drilled a hole in one of the fire engine fuel tanks; they drained that then they stuck a stick in it,” he said.

“That’s one truck down. If you get a bad bush fire where you need all four trucks, that’s going to put a burden on you.”

Hurricane Dorian devastated parts of Abaco and Grand Bahama last September. In the immediate aftermath of the storm, reports of looting were widespread. 

Sawyer said while things have since improved, looting is still a concern.

“This has been an ongoing situation,” Sawyer added.

“I know the police can’t patrol everywhere, but we contacted the superintendent who’s in charge now and he told us that they would step up the patrols around the home.

“The situation now is, after the hurricane, we still have people going around breaking into people’s homes and stealing their property, taking what they want. Until it’s brought under control, you’re going to have these same situations.”

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Krystel Brown

Krystel covers breaking news for The Nassau Guardian. Krystel also manages The Guardian’s social media pages. She joined The Nassau Guardian in 2007 as a staff reporter, covering national news. She was promoted to online editor in May 2017. Education: Benedict College, BA in Mass Communications

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