A classic fire truck known around South St. Paul was heavily damaged by vandals last week, and now its owners are asking the public for help.
Known as the "Ashes Fire Truck" or "Ruby," the 1968 Pirsch fire engine was found "severely vandalized and set on fire," with its cab and rear bumper having been torched:
"How (the truck) didn’t explode is beyond me since the gas tank is under the cab," the owners wrote.
They're offering a $500 reward for information that leads to the person or people who did this.
“We both shed some tears because we've put so much love, blood, sweat and tears and, to be honest, money into this truck,” said one of the owners, Natalka Kramarczuk, in an interview with KSTP.
They told the station police are now investigating the fire, and that the perpetrators left behind evidence in the form of a cigarette.
According to Ruby's official website, the truck served South St. Paul for "many years" and after its retirement was sold a number of times until it was found in a field in the northern suburbs of the Twin Cities.
The full extent of the damage isn't yet clear, but the owners are vowing to "bring this old Firetruck back to the streets" in the near future. They also say a fundraiser at Mama T's Castle Tap is in the works: