Monday, 14 September 2020 19:42

Selah, WA, Firefighters’ Vandalized Cars to be Repaired for Free

Written by Emily Goodell, YakTriNews.com


After two days with no sleep, battling the Evans Canyon Fire and risking their lives to protect hundreds of homes threatened by the wildfire, three Selah, WA, firefighters returned to their fire station early Sept. 9 to find their car windows smashed.

“It is a sad day when criminals will prey on the first responders that are potentially keeping them safe,” Yakima County sheriff’s spokesperson Casey Schilperoort said. “I am sure all they wanted to do was drive home and sleep; now they have to deal with this mess and insurance companies.”


But after one firefighter posted pictures of the damage, the Selah community rallied to help. Local businesses donated the materials, money and labor to fix the car windows and community members donated money, water, food and other supplies for those still fighting the wildfire.


“We are so grateful for the community’s support,” Selah Fire Chief Gary Hanna said. “Anytime we have any kind of event like this, we get the same response: people, everywhere, wanting to help.”


Community members flooded local Facebook groups with messages of support, offering up their properties for firefighters to park their vehicles and offering to set up watches outside the fire station to make sure their cars are safe.


Hanna said it appears nothing was taken and that the windows were broken as an act of vandalism. He also said he’s working to get approval to budget in getting security cameras for all the fire stations next year.


“When you just vandalize the cars, to me, that’s directed directly at the firemen,” Hanna said. “There’s no other intent there, other than just doing it to the firemen.”


Yakima County sheriff’s deputies are investigating the vandalism. No arrests had been made as of the evening of Sept. 9.


With vehicle repairs already covered and countless donations made to the Selah Fire Department, Hanna said he encourages people to donate to the American Red Cross or other places that are helping those people who have had to evacuate their homes due to the fire.

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