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.