KIDDER TOWNSHIP -- The pleas to save the Kidder Township Volunteer Fire Company were passionate at a supervisors' meeting Thursday night, from members of the company to people living in the community.
“Here we are today fighting for the life and history of the Kidder Township Fire Company and the residents we serve because of one person,” said Carisa Bellas, vice-president of the company.
Bill Krantz credited the fire company members with saving his wife.
"They resuscitated her and I really appreciate it. It was just great they were there, thank you guys."
Jeffrey Ache of Kidder Township said members of the fire company quickly responded and put out flames on his property.
"They got my butt out of there and they said, 'Excuse me, sir. We'll take care of the rest.' I hate to see something go down because of one mistake."
In the end, Kidder Township supervisors voted not to continue a relationship with the troubled company. Instead, fire calls will be sent to Lake Harmony and Albrightsville.
Lake Harmony's fire department is about 15 miles from the Kidder Township Fire Company building. Albrightsville's is about 10 miles away.
"We sincerely hope you can reorganize to the point where you can apply for certification,” said Chairman Tom Bradley of the Kidder Township Supervisors.
Recently a member, and wife of the chief, Amanda Devine was charged with stealing more than $30,000 from the company. Her husband, John Devine stepped down as chief to become assistant chief.
There were problems before that, too. A prior chief was accused of stealing money.
Township officials say they want to reinstate the fire company, but only when leadership has been restructured and they can prove things will get better.
"We understand the benefit of having you there. We'd like to see you there. In the interim, Albrightsville and Lake Harmony and other mutual aid companies are going to have to try to pick up the slack. We'd like to see it happen sooner rather than later,” said Bradley.
The Kidder Township Volunteer Fire Company has about 30 firefighters.
The president of the fire company tells us they may contact an attorney to see if there's some way they can move forward despite the decision.