Local Volunteer Fire Department Crippled After Burglary

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LEROY (August 19, 2012) - A local fire station is in the hole thousands of dollars after an overnight burglary.

The Leroy-Axtell Volunteer Fire Station No. 1 was ransacked and burglarized early this morning according to VFD Chief Scott Garner.

Bunker gear, medical bags, an AED defibrillator, and power tools were reported stolen from the station.

"We're looking between 4 to 5 thousand dollars just to have that equipment replaced," Chief Garner said.

It's money that Chief Garner says the station doesn't have.

Leroy-Axtell VFD Station No. 1 has a total of four volunteers. For now, they'll be using replacement bunker gear to fight fires in the area.

However, Chief Garner says they'll now be behind on medical calls.

"We have no oxygen or AED capabilities. So if a cardiac arrest came in, we would do nothing until the truck from Axtell got here," Chief Garner said.

"It's going to add 7 or 8 minutes to our response time."

Garner says some bunker gear with the station's stitching on it was recovered earlier today near Elm Mott.

Regardless, the burglary has left Chief Garner scratching his head.

"It just makes you disappointed that somebody would stoop to that level of breaking into a fire station."

The McLennan County Sheriff's Department didn't return phone calls in regards to the investigation.