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Local volunteer fire department, borough buildling hit by burglars

By: Melanie Gillespie

SUMMERHILL, Pa. -- Over the course of Saturday night and Sunday morning, two area towns were targeted by burglars.

Summerhill Borough and South Fork had thousands of dollars in damage done to buidings and items stolen.

South Fork Volunteer Fire Company was one of the locations hit by the burglars.

Fire company president Mark Wadsworth said door framers were busted, a soda machine was cracked and bent, and locked cabinets were pried open.

"I noticed the compartment doors on the [fire] trucks were all opened and that kind of put up the red flag," Wadsworth said.

The department's TV also went missing, in addition to four portable radios and a pager, Wadsworth said.

"If one of our firemen doesn't have the proper equipment, proper radios and gets lost in the shuffle, so to speak, that could be life threatening," Wadsworth said.

Not even three miles down the road, the Summerhill municipal building was hit the same night.

The suspected thieves got away with tools and equipment.

Summerhill Mayor Eric Miller said the Summerhill Volunteer Fire Department building also had damage to its back doors after someone tried to get inside.

Miller and Wadsworth said residents should be concerned because the thieves are not just taking equipment, but also taking items paid for by tax dollars.

"It does belong to the tax payers, it does belong to the donors and firefighters who put in countless hours to fundraise, and the public should be outraged," Wadsworth said.

Miller urged residents to keep an eye out for suspicious activity.

"If you see something that doesn't look right at your neighbors' house, call them or call 911," Miller said. "Say something looks out of the ordinary and just keep a watch out."

Cambria County Crimestoppers is offering a $1,000 reward leading to an arrest.

Both the fire department and borough building are insured to cover any losses.

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Edgar Snyder

Washington Times