Shropshire Star

Callous thieves target fire station to take life-saving equipment from fire engine

Firefighters have been left "deeply saddened" by the second break-in at Shropshire fire stations in just six weeks.

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Hodnet Fire Station was targeted by heartless thieves on Sunday night, who left the community without essential and life-saving equipment.

According to the firefighters, the culprits forced entry into one of the fire engines at around 11.30pm, to steal some Holmatro spreaders and rams - equipment used at road traffic collisions to free casualties trapped in vehicles.

Area Manager Scott Hurford said: "We are extremely disappointed that this has happened at one of our fire stations. The equipment that was stolen saves lives and will now need to be replaced using public money.

"Fortunately the service does have contingencies in place to ensure we can still attend incidents and carry out procedures necessary to help those in trouble. The offenders also damaged part of the station itself to get in which has now been repaired.

"We are saddened that anyone would target a fire station and take valuable pieces of technology that are essential to helping people in the community in their time of need."

West Mercia Police confirmed a number of tools were stolen, including bolt cutters, a large axe and hydraulic cutting equipment.

Firefighters have been left "deeply saddened" by the second break-in at Shropshire fire stations in just six weeks
Firefighters have been left "deeply saddened" by the second break-in at Shropshire fire stations in just six weeks

The incident occurred almost exactly six weeks after callous burglars put Newport's fire engine out of action for two days during a break-in.

Newport Fire Station on Salters Lane was broken into in the early hours of Monday, February 19. It was the third time the station had been targeted.

After forcing a door, the burglars gained access to the fire engine and ripped out the thermal imaging camera. The act caused damage to the fire engine's electrics, which meant it was off the road for around 48 hours.

Following the break-in at Hodnet, fire stations across the county were appealing for the public to keep an eye on their nearby stations.

Newport watch manager, Charlie Cartwright after the break in at Newport Fire Station six weeks ago

A spokesperson for Church Stretton Fire Station said: "It's disheartening to share that Hodnet Fire Station was broken into, leaving them for a period of time without vital life-saving equipment.

"This theft affected their ability to respond to emergencies to their fullest potential. Their community's safety was at stake. This is the second break-in at a fire station in our county in recent months, Newport, being the other.

"If you notice any suspicious activity around Oswestry station please don't hesitate to call 999 and report it to the police immediately. Together, we can help prevent such incidents and keep our community safe."

Those that may have seen anything suspicious in Hodnet are being asked to contact the police through Crimestoppers on 0800 555111 or by visiting and quoting incident 00446_I_31032024.