Fire truck stolen while firefighters fight 2-alarm blaze

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SULLIVAN, MO (KTVI) - While Sullivan Missouri firefighters were battling an apartment complex blaze someone stole one of their fire trucks.

Sullivan Fire Chief Rick White said, one unit was burning when they arrived and the flames were spreading, “It was engulfed in flames.”

The fire broke out around three Thursday morning in a four unit building.  30 firefighters from four different departments were called out. Two of the units were vacant five people lived in the other apartments everyone escaped injury.

While firefighters were putting their lives on the line someone stole one of their trucks, an $80,000 brush truck loaded with expensive emergency supplies.  Chief White said, “Never happened here it’s a marked truck says fire all over it red lights on it.”  People were stunned something like that could happen in their community.  Rick Webb is a former firefighter, “It’s pretty sad it makes you feel bad that society around here is capable of something like that.”

Police started searching and two hours later the fire truck was found about a half mile away on a dead end street, nothing taken and it was not damaged.  Chief White added, “It’s just different, we never had anything happen like that before.”

It turns out there maybe another crime to solve besides the stolen truck.  Fire Investigator Jim Schumacher said, “I did some photographing, I did some diagraming, I’m just getting ready to go back in and start processing.” The fire investigator with the county prosecutor’s office was called in. Narcotics detectives were also investigating and a source indicated meth making supplies may have been discovered at the scene. The two people who lived in the apartment where the fire started were nowhere to be found when fire crews arrived.



  • Idiots

    They are firefighter putting out a fire and you guys are worried on why they didn’t take the keys out of the ignition! Unbelievable! Where in earth do you expect them to put the keys, in their pockets… That’s under pounds of heavy duty protection gear? Here let me wait to get to the fire to put on my gear so I can put the truck keys in my pocket, saving someone’s LIFE and personal belongings isn’t important anyway.

  • sarah

    Some of these people are not to smart to be blaming the firefighter for not pulling the keys out of the ignition. If this had happened while they were not on an emergency call, I would agree; however, they were on an EMERGENCY call and in order for the emergency lights, radio, ect. to work the truck must be running. Come on people, use your brains a little.

  • Just Amazed

    I’m just amazed that someone would steal a fire truck, but I’m more amazed at the stupid people that ask why the keys where left in the emergency response vehicle. Are you really that ignorant?

  • idiot comments

    The comments go to show how ignorant people are. To begin with most fire trucks do not have keys. But from the looks of the story this was a small ford brush truck, which has keys. But the trucks are left running to power the lighting, pump, generators etc….know before you speak people.

  • Bob Smith

    Yes that truck does have a key. But you keep it running and key in the truck incase it’s needed or needs to be moved. You can go find whoever has the key to a truck to move it cause there isn’t time for that. Those unintelligent idiots saying the key needs removed is like saying why didn’t they take a key out of the pumper or rescue or ladder truck. They simply don’t know anything about fire fighting. For those who do not know move pumper ladder and rescue trucks don’t even have keys. Learn about what you’re wanting to comment before you comment

  • diek

    I thought they leave keys in there for cops to move when fire protection parks them blocking roadways unnecesarily

  • Liz

    Even though a normal intelligent person knows the car needs to be left running, let’s assume for a second that it wasn’t. Why does that mean it’s his fault that someone else committed a crime? Leaving your car running isn’t a crime. An honest person walks by a running car and does not steal it. It is no one’s fault that the car was stolen except the criminal who thought it was okay to steal.

  • randy


  • ByeByeToTheRite

    When I first heard this story this morning, I assumed it was East St. Louis! My bad! Have I turned into a racist overnight?

    But behold, this was in the land of the right-wing rural hick! So it must’ve been one of those good ol’ boys in the rural areas who stole this!

    Same thing, just a different area.

    P.S. Hey, there’s nothing wrong with leaving keys in and engine running for these – that’s routine. But being around people who would steal such a thing isn’t so routine – usually says something about the area, not the firefighters.

  • Erik

    Some of these comments are just redickulous. For those that don’t know, most fire trucks don’t have keys. And if they did, we don’t lock the doors before running into burning buildings risking our lives to save others. Trucks don’t operate at fire scenes if they are turned off

  • pot

    we all know one of the meth heads from the house did it hoping the house would burn up so they wouldnt have to go to jail.

  • B

    I would bet if they fingerprint the truck that they would match the occupants of the apartment who were making meth!

  • jessica

    For those of you that say they should have taken the keys out, emergency vehicles are required to have the keys in the ignition, running while on calls. Even when they are not on calls emergency vehicles should always have the keys in the ignition to help get on scene faster instead of searching around for keys. With the keys in the ignition, you know exactly where they are.

  • Steve the FF

    Most fire trucks don’t have keys but rather electric start ignitions. They’re built as such so you can’t lose the keys and make the vehicle inoperable. Sorry, stealing a fire truck is beyond low.

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