Hovea resident starts fundraising to help Mt Helena volunteer firey replace stolen unit

At front John Rhodes (Pres) with Merv Potts, Brett Abbott and Hilary Wright.
At front John Rhodes (Pres) with Merv Potts, Brett Abbott and Hilary Wright.

HOVEA resident Naomi Gunton has set up a fundraising page after hearing about a mobile firefighting unit being stolen from volunteer firefighter John Rhodes’ home.

She offered her help on Wednesday and kickstarted the appeal with a $20 donation to help pay for replacing the equipment.

“I never know when you and your water tank might be what comes to my help,” she said in an email to the long-serving firey.

Mr Rhodes was left reeling after someone stole the fire unit from his Mt Helena property.

“It is a low act for some¬one to steal a piece of equipment that was there to bene¬fit the community and when the fire season is about to start,” he said.

His immediate neighbours knew the equipment was available for their use in the case of a fire and emergency.

“I put the kit together for community use and had a laminated sign made up with instructions in case I was out when a fire started,” Mr Rhodes said.

“In 47 years of living here, this has never happened. It’s heartbreaking.”

The $3000 unit was used to save properties in the 2014 fire storm that raged through Stoneville, Parkerville and Mt Helena.

It was stolen between Wednesday and Thursday night and comprised a green trailer, a 1000-litre water pod, Honda engine and pump with a 30m hose.

The volunteer firefighter runs a small kennel with his wife Myra on their 1.2ha property and friends have offered the Stoneville fire brigade president temporary use of a trailer and water pod.

Mundaring police have appealed for the thief to return the equipment.

To donate to the fundraising appeal, visit https://tinyurl.com/mobilefireunit.

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