Firefighter discovers rude reward after blaze

Published 12:00 am Saturday, June 3, 2006

ELIZABETH TOWNSHIP — Who did this — and why?

Fire department officials are looking into an incident that left a volunteer firefighter with six slashed tires.

On April 17, Elizabeth Township Volunteer firefighter Ben Mullins responded to a brush fire off State Route 93 near the old Lone Star Cement plant. Mullins brought with him a four-wheeler that he used to go into the woods to get close to the fire.

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While he was gone, someone slashed the four tires on his truck and the two tires on the trailer he used to haul his four-wheeler.

“We’re looking into a couple of people we have received information about,” Elizabeth Township Fire Chief Dale Waugh said. “We’ve just started checking into this. I know whoever did this will face state charges but they may also face federal charges as well since the fire was on federal government property and we were assisting federal people with their brush fire.”

Waugh said he has been a firefighter 26 years and has never had something like this happen to one in his department.

“It’s a sad situation when a firefighter — a volunteer firefighter — uses his own gas and his own equipment to go and his own time to go and put out a fire someone deliberately set and then have something like this happen to his vehicle while he’s gone,” Waugh said. “I feel like its just mischief. But I feel like, if there had been more cars there with Ben’s (truck) all of them would have had tires slashed.”

Anyone with information about the incident is encouraged to call the non-emergency number at the fire department at (740) 532-5075.