2019-09-18

Generator disappears while fire station operates as comfort centre

by Keith Corcoran

The 10,000-watt Wallenstein-brand generator a rural Lunenburg County volunteer fire department used to power their station as a comfort centre post-Dorian disappeared the day after the storm.

Walden Fire Chief Melanie Langille told LighthouseNOW the department is confident as to when the equipment went missing in the early afternoon of September 8.

"It happened within 20 minutes," she said, "we pretty much have the timeframe nailed down."

Members of the Walden volunteer fire department had been coming and going from the Woodstock Road station after the all-black 8,000 continuous-running generator was put into use at 9 a.m. the day after Dorian hit the Maritimes. Langille said firefighters spent time checking on the welfare of elderly neighbours.

Langille said many in the community were using the generator-powered fire hall to charge devices, while others stopped by to obtain water.

"People were coming and going all day," she said.

The plan was to leave the hall open until about 6 p.m. but that idea was disrupted when the generator, purchased in the early 2000s, vanished.

Langille believes it's unlikely anyone is borrowing the equipment "but you can always hope for the best." She considers it stolen and contacted the RCMP within an hour of it going missing.

The fire chief pointed out that if images of the generator appear online or on a buy-and-sell site, she's aware of a feature on the equipment that will confirm it's their's.

The generator is very heavy and would take more than one person to carry it away, Langille added.

She wasn't sure of the dollar value of the generator but a Wallenstein sales rep contacted by LighthouseNOW said it was likely in the $3,500 range. The rep said a new one comparable to that older generator would be valued at about $4,000 but would be 14,000-watts.

Langille called the incident upsetting and prays the circumstances change.

"I'm still holding out hope they'll bring it back but I doubt it."

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