Firefighter ‘imposters’ were real firefighters, Minn. sheriff says

After the Dilworth Police Department issued a warning about potential firefighter imposters in the area, the sheriff, who is also the fire chief, set the record straight


By Laura French

DILWORTH, Minn. — After a Minnesota police department issued a notice on social media warning the public about two men impersonating firefighters in order to gain access to people’s homes, the county sheriff – who is also the town’s fire chief – confirmed the men were real firefighters.

In a now-edited Facebook post published Sunday night, the Dilworth Police Department said they received reports of two men claiming to be firefighters asking to conduct a training exercise in an apartment building, and stated, “At no time will the fire department or police conduct any training in an occupied building without first notifying all residents.”

Dilworth Fire Chief and Clay County Sheriff Mark Empting confirmed that two suspected firefighter imposters were actually real firefighters after a public safety notice was released by the police department. (Photo/Dilworth Fire Department Facebook)
Dilworth Fire Chief and Clay County Sheriff Mark Empting confirmed that two suspected firefighter imposters were actually real firefighters after a public safety notice was released by the police department. (Photo/Dilworth Fire Department Facebook)

However, Dilworth Fire Chief and Clay County Sheriff Mark Empting said the incident was a misunderstanding.

In a statement added to the Dilworth Police Department’s Facebook post on Monday, Empting said a Dilworth Fire Department firefighter and a fire department instructor with Minnesota State Community and Technical College were looking at potential locations for a future training exercise, not attempting to access the building.

“I spoke with the second person involved this morning as well and was able to confirm that this was NOT an incident of Fire Department imposters,” Empting wrote. “They were approached by a person that lived in the building and they spoke with this person for some time. They explained to the person what they were doing and who they were. This person further requested to see their Fire Departments ID’s, which they both produced and showed to him.”

McClatchy-Tribune News Service

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