A VALUABLE piece of equipment stolen from the Candelo Rural Fire Service has brought out the spirit of generosity far and wide.
A hot water system worth over $800 was ripped off the side wall of the brigade’s headquarters earlier this month.
As word spread about the shocking theft, brigade captain Harmen Kampman said he has been inundated with offers of a replacement system.
“People have been very generous,” Mr Kampman said.
“As far away as Canberra and Tuross Heads, community groups with a spare system have offered to give us one.”
Mr Kampman and his brigade is still deciding what to do in regard to the hot water system.
“This unit was relatively new, we upgraded so we had a unit that provided instantaneous hot water so that the station could be used as an emergency centre in a bushfire for people to shower,” Mr Kampman said.
“All the units we have been offered are not instantaneous, but everyone has been very kind.
“We may use one of these units and upgrade again before the bushfire season.”
The station is used throughout the year by local community groups because it has a kitchen and seating for meetings.
It was one of these groups, the Meals on Wheels Candelo Seniors Social Club, which discovered the theft at its weekly meeting.
“I got a call from the group last Wednesday to say the hot water wasn’t working so I went down to fix it,” Mr Kampman said.
It was then he discovered the whole system had been removed from the wall.
“It was a very professional job, whoever took it cut the pipes in the right places and cleanly removed it,” he said.
“The police took an incident report, but unfortunately they wouldn’t come and take fingerprints because it was outside and moisture would have destroyed them.”
In addition to the cost of the new system, the brigade will also have to invest in additional security to ensure it doesn’t happen again.
“It’s very disappointing, we paid for this hot water through community donations and the money we make from running the parking at Candelo Markets each month,” he said.
“The person who stole this is just stealing from the community, it’s very sad.”
Mr Kampman asks anyone who has any information about the theft to contact Candelo police on 6493 2244 or Merimbula police on 6495 1366.