East Texas Community Without Fire Department - KLTV.com - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

9/8/06-Bettie

East Texas Community Without Fire Department

The small Upshur County community of Bettie is without a fire department because of the actions of their former chief. Last week, the Upshur County Sheriff's Department siezed the building housing the Bettie Volunteer Fire Department, and all the equipment inside.   Members of the county's Emergency Services District say the former fire chief bought two four wheelers with a loan under the department's name, and that he drove them for personal use, but the loan was never paid off and now the department owes more than $1,300. The current fire chief is now getting a lot of heat from the community.  

"There are a group of us that are willing to take on the task and get these debts taken care of and get this department back on track, but it's not going to happen with the current administration of that department," said Mike Kuza, concerned resident. 

"They should not be angry at me," said Richard Nunley, current Fire Chief. "They should be angry at the people that caused this mess. They should be angry at themselves for not being involved in that fire department. It's volunteer. It's not volunteer when you want to."   If the fire department cannot come up with the money, the department and its equipment will be auctioned off. For now three nearby volunteer fire departments are helping out.

Molly Reuter, reporting. mreuter@kltv.com

 

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