Avant Fire (OK) Apparatus Found Torched by Vandals

Early Wednesday morning, vandals torched the Avant Volunteer Fire Department’s go-to truck.

The Ford F-350 was parked inside the station. 

Volunteer Fire Chief Gene Atkins said the vandals dumped it about three miles away in a secluded field.

Then set it on fire around 6:45 Wednesday morning. 

Atkins said thieves also stole money, all the medical supplies, and broke into the office where a urine-like liquid still soaks the desk.

Chief Atkins said the thieves came in through the ceiling with a crow bar left behind. 

“I hope you had a good time, I really do,” Gene Atkins, the volunteer fire chief of Avant said, addressing the thieves. “It may be your family that needs us and we can’t get there quick enough.”

Said Avant Mayor Justin Brown: “The time they’ve spent, the effort to get what they have, for it to be taken senselessly — I’ll be here. We will fight for them and with them.”

Atkins said what upsets him the most about the break-in is the amount of effort it took to bring the fire truck into the town’s inventory. The former fire chief campaigned for years for the truck, said Atkins, eventually succeeding in 2008, only months before he died.

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