Former firefighter arrested after stealing life-saving equipment from station, sheriff says
The Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office said equipment was stolen from the New Market Fire and Rescue Station.
JEFFERSON CO., Tenn. (WVLT) - The Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office responded to a burglary at the New Market Fire and Rescue Station #2 at 475 Old Dandridge Pike in Strawberry Plains Wednesday.
The fire department was responding to a brush fire when they noticed equipment had been taken from an engine and tanker. The items missing include chainsaws, fans, power tools and a combination Amkus extrication tool, also known as the ‘jaws of life.’ In total, all valued at $60,000 to $80,000.
“You’re a volunteer fire department. Nobody gets paid here, and something like this happens. It just blows my mind,” said New Market Captain Sammy Solomon.
Three people were arrested in connection to the theft, according to Jefferson County Sheriff Jeff Coffey.
Chief Frank Solomon started the department with his family in 1975. He said nothing like this has ever happened before. There were no cameras on the property.
Solomon said the thief had to be someone who knew the codes to get into the department’s garage and office building because there was no forced entry. One of them was a former firefighter at the station, James Marshall, according to officials.
“Somebody that was in the fire department or has been in it, they had to of known the code to get in because there wasn’t no forced entry to the buildings,” he said.
Every item except one was recovered as of Wednesday night.
The Knox County Sheriff’s Office assisted in the arrest and recovery of the items.
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