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Historic South St. Paul Fire Truck Damaged in Possible Arson

August 11, 2019 09:14 PM

(KSTP) -- An investigation is underway in South St. Paul after a historic fire truck was damaged by a fire on August 4.

The cab of the truck is now charred from the gear shaft to the American flag in the windshield.

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“You can see the extensive damage here,” said co-owner Jeff MacDonald, pointing to the interior of the truck. “The wiring, the knobs for the heater, it’s just sickening.”

Co-owners MacDonald and Natalka Kramarczuk got the call on Monday while they were on vacation.

“We both shed some tears because we've put so much love, blood, sweat and tears and, to be honest, money into this truck,” said Kramarczuk.

They bought the 1968 Pirsch Fire Truck about two years ago, bringing it back to South St. Paul where it had been in service. They’ve taken it to city fundraisers and parades and rented it out for birthday parties and wedding photo shoots.

“We had no idea who would do something like this to our firetruck,” said MacDonald. “We give back to our community.”

On the back of the fire truck, they had put up a vinyl replica of an American flag.

“They lit that on fire, and that touched us. That hurt us a little bit. That frustrated us probably the most,” said MacDonald. “It’s just ashes and damage and destruction.”

“The damage kind of says it all,” said Kramarczuk. “Someone was maliciously trying to set the truck on fire.”

South Metro Fire confirms police are looking at this as possible arson.

The fire in the cab was inches from the gas tank under the seat.

“The opportunity for explosion was unbelievable,” said Kramarczuk. “I’m really shocked that nothing happened to any further damage.”

Whoever is responsible left behind a cigarette, which the couple said is now part of the investigation.

MacDonald told 5 EYEWITNESS NEWS they are now offering a $500 reward, hoping it helps catch whoever did this.

“It’s a violation and it's heartbreaking,” said MacDonald. “We vow to get this truck back on the road, this won’t stop us.”

KAAL-TV

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