Susquehanna County Fire Company Says It Was Scammed

THOMPSON -- The Thompson Hose Company is a volunteer fire department with about 35 members. Those members say they have been scammed by a contractor they paid to renovate and expand their building.

"There was no answering the phone or returning phone calls,” said hose company president Bob Conklin.

In 2016, the fire company took out a $400,000 loan to pay for the expansion and renovation project. Members signed a contract with a contractor they will not name and say right away there were issues.

"We just were never satisfied with what we received for work, but the biggest thing was not coming back and finishing and we had already paid a substantial amount of money,” said Conklin.

Toward the end of the project in October 2017, Conklin says the fire company cut the final check of nearly $18,000 to the contractor to finish the work. Conklin says that man and his crews never returned and the fire company had to pay another contractor to finish the job.

State police are now involved in the investigation.

The fire company is holding fundraisers to pay off the loan, but members say it is hard.

"We have bingo every week we have all sorts of fundraisers throughout the year, and there's just a handful of people that work it, and it's a basic volunteer full-time job,” said Conklin.

"Everything we do is to function as a fire department and EMS, and they just put their hand in the till and take what they want and not to take anything in return? It's sickening."

State police call this a possible case of theft by deception. Their investigation continues.

28 comments

  • Capt Bogart

    What do you expect in Susquehanna County? They should have run a back ground check. Why, quite a few felons have picked up a hammer & saw, and only after their poor workmanship, does the customer wish they had. They should have got references, and physically went and checked the work these contractors finished! Go to the location. Why, a lot of these less than desirables are using their friends to give them bogus ratings to make them look good.

    • Hector the erector

      Sure you could. Slab, utilities, permits, inspections, all those doors and operators. Right. Get your labor from the 7-11 in Hazleton? Hablo Englese?

  • Huggy

    Haha oh lord. Firemen are too busy receiving slam-slam to hire a reputable contractor. Fire Dept people are pretty pathetic. Pa state troopers are coming close to being just as shameful.

  • laura

    i’m curious as to why if they were unhappy with the work they had him continue and kept paying him money. be interesting to find out how much of the 400k the contractor actually received (is this why they aren’t naming names) and what just disappeared

  • Audit Them

    This sounds like the hose beaters management hired a friend or relative and got a cut of the scam. Problems right from the start yet they still paid all but 18k of 400k for poor work? That doesn’t even make any sense.
    I think we’ll be seeing some of those in the fire department taking the perp walk to the magistrates office in a few weeks.
    Every volunteer fire department should be required to have an outside auditor check their books at least every two years. Too much fraud involved with these people.

    • Auditor general

      They already get audited numb nuts, and the state sends auditors in every two or three years to audit their relief association. It’s all a matter of public record and available online.

      • Audit Them

        Oh really, Einstein?
        I guess that’s why so many volunteer companies go bankrupt because the treasurer and others steal money for years at a time? Must be all those auditors are just missing those thefts, right?

      • How’s That

        It looks like I hit a sore spot with the snowflake! Since you’re such a brilliant guy I thought you’d know you were wrong and let it go. Obviously not. Instead of Google, try a real search engine like Bing.
        And for Bankrupt, who is just Auditor General under another name, three minutes after his last idiotic post, how about taking your own advice and do a search. Try Conneaut Lake and Glenbrook.
        How’s that, chit for brains?

  • Common Sense

    Look VERY closely PSP………Bingo every week…CASH…. catering services… beer sales in a dry town…
    A handful of members with their hand out for MORE money too disappear…… NOPE.
    Mis-management. See who is related to whom….????. The answers are obvious.

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