Dash cam stolen from Wash. firefighters

The camera had footage of crews battling the Marble Valley fire, which has burned more than 3,000 acres

The Spokesman Review

STEVENS COUNTY, Wash. — Two thieves in Stevens County picked an unlikely target Monday morning: the firefighters at Arden Fire Rescue Stevens County Fire District 7.

Crews from the all-volunteer department saw two young men in hoodies running away from a truck parked outside the station just before 5 a.m. Monday, fire chief Joe Paccerelli said.

The thieves stole a dashboard camera that has footage of crews battling the Marble Valley fire, which has burned more than 3,000 acres northwest of Addy since it started on Aug. 14.

"It was stunning," Paccerelli said. "We don’t have a huge budget but we do our best, and to have people stealing stuff, it’s baffling to me."

The station’s fire trucks have been parked outside so other regional fire crews working on the Marble Valley fire can sleep inside, Paccerelli said.

The camera recorded firefighters’ first 32 hours responding to the fire, when crews were working to save homes in the area. The fire is now 85 percent contained according to the federal website that tracks wildfires.

Paccerelli said firefighters worked close to 136 hours non-stop to get the fire under control and lost only one mobile home and several outbuildings in the process.

"We’re all volunteers. That’s our only way of recording those memories," he said.

Firefighters reported the theft to the Stevens County Sheriff’s Office. Paccerelli is hoping they’ll be able to recover the camera with the footage intact.

"It’s not the camera that means something. It’s what’s on it," he said.

He said the best thing the community can do to help is to call the Sheriff’s Office with any information about the theft.

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