An Iron Range fire department is dealing with thousands of dollars in damages and stolen items after somebody got into a trailer and took equipment.
At first the Hibbing Fire Department thought someone had just slept in the vehicle when they noticed something off a few weeks ago, the department said in a Facebook post Thursday morning. But they've since realized a thief actually made off with items.
The department lists the security surveillance system, PA system, vacuum cleaner as having been taken, and say the person tried to make off with the generator from the front of the trailer. There's also damage to it.
"The items by themselves were not of great value but will cost significantly more for us to replace them," Hibbing Fire Department wrote.
The trailer is a "big part" of the department's fire prevention program, the post says, after being donated by the City of Duluth years ago. More than 1,000 kids went through it last year alone during sessions, and other local fire departments use it for similar efforts.
"People don't realize how much vandalism and theft affects the community and obviously the fire department is not immune," the post continues.
The trailer is stored inside during the winter, but was being brought out to the headquarters for upcoming events, and had been stationed in the city's Bennett Park. The trailer was insured, and they're going through that process now – the department estimates more than $5,000 in damages and stolen items, but is hopeful it will be ready to go for safety town program coming up in June.
The Hibbing Fire Department is staffed by 24 firefighters/paramedics, plus additional paid, on-call firefighters, its website says. The city of Hibbing is actually the largest in Minnesota by land area, and the 46th largest by that measurement in all the U.S.
The fire department there is responsible for a huge section of northern Minnesota – 200 square miles in all – and also provides life support, extrication, ice and water rescues, and other services.