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Penticton company helps out fire department after fuel theft

After a devastating blow of fuel theft, members of the Willowbrook volunteer fire department said they have had their faith in humanity restored.

"Ok Region Towing said they want to give back and they are phoning our fuel supplier and paying $800 on our account to cover the better part of our two losses, so my faith in humanity is now restored," said Brad Fossett fire chief of the department located near Oliver.

The Willowbrook department was robbed about six months ago when thieves cut locks to gain access to their property and storage fuel tank and took about 500 Litres of diesel. Fossett said they put new locks on only to be hit a second time when the thieves found a different way in around Nov. 11 and lost another 500 L.

The fire chief said they keep their tank topped up because they are in an isolated area and if a major emergency happened they would rely on that reservoir because there is not a service station close by.

"We are a little fire department with a little budget so when something like this happens it is a pretty dastardly blow. I mean how low can you get? You have an organization that all they do is give to the community. The only thing they are there for is to lower the cost of insurance, help the neighbours when they are in need and we are a total volunteer organization," said Fossett. "When someone does something like this it undermines your faith in humanity."

With a small budget, Fossett said they were looking at having to cut into it by replacing the fuel and putting out money for a surveillance system. For now, at least part of that has been covered thanks to the generosity of Rene Bourque, owner at Ok Region Towing. Bourque said he heard about the losses the Willowbrook fire department had and decided he wanted to help. Fossett said the news is an unexpected, but very welcome surprise.

"We work with the fire department in Summerland and Penticton all the time and they are really good people. They are volunteers and what would we do without them?" said Bourque. "The community has been behind us 100 per cent with recycling cars so why not give a little bit back."

Bourque phone the Willowbrook fire department fuel supplier and put $800 on their bill.

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