Western Md. Fire Company Could Close Amid Lawsuit

MCCOOLE, Md. (AP) — A volunteer fire company in rural western Maryland is in danger of shutting down after lenders filed a lawsuit seeking to seize all its assets and property.

The federal court action was filed last week against the McCoole Fire and Rescue Department in Allegany County.

The fire company defaulted in September on quarterly $13,000 payments on a $624,000 loan.

McCoole’s volunteers have answered 113 ambulance calls and 85 fire calls this year. Residents say they’re concerned about who’ll respond to emergencies if the company closes.

McCoole Fire Chief Charles Pearce says the struggling economy took its toll on the company, and that bingo proceeds declined by more than half between 2000 and 2010.

But former chief William Ambrose says Pearce ruined the company by buying equipment he couldn’t afford.

(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

  • pigeon

    Allegany County needs to come to the rescue of this fire company. The State of Maryland needs to come to the rescue of this fire company. If need be, Chief Pearce should resign to save the fire company. People need to come to their aid also – it’s there to serve/assist them.
    I’d like to see every paid and volunteer fire company in MD pitch in to keep this organization up and running.
    I am sure they are members of IAFF – then they too need to help out their brothers/sisters.!

  • s. snyder

    If Chief Pearce would resign I believe you would see more people helping the Fire Company. I think everyone in this community needs to know were he has been spending the money. As long as he is Chief not very many people are going to pitch in! Some people talk about all the nice vacations he and his wife take. This matter should hve been looked into years ago.

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