"I do not feel protected at all," says Troy Hafley.
People who live and work in Hustonville are in fear for their safety, after more than a dozen volunteer firefighters, including the fire chief, abruptly quit Wednesday night following claims they abused the fire hall. The mayor says the fire chief recently allowed people into the department's building to change into costume before heading to a nearby haunted house and then left it unlocked. He says if someone would've gotten hurt; it would've been the city's fault.
Paul Gray, is one of the firefighters who walked off the job and he also owns the haunted house. He says he's hired a lawyer and can't go into details about what happened but it wasn't an easy decision.
"It was very hard. I talked to my wife about it and I made the decision. And, it was also hard knowing that I own a business in town that if something happens to my business, it's no loner covered under fire protection," explains Gray.
The mayor says if the remaining firefighters need help, they will reach out to Moreland or Lincoln County's Fire Departments. But, many who live here say that extra time can be a matter of life and death.
"Five minutes is a big difference. If our firefighters get here in a minute and a half and then the ones from the county come here five minutes later, that can make a big difference between losing something or having a little kitchen fire," comments Paul Isaacs.
"I think this town has no coverage right now, as far as fire protection. My house caught on fire and I know how long it takes to get people to respond. If there's a fire in Lincoln County and that crews already on a call and we have a fire here, do we have to wait for the next county? I mean, how are we going to be covered?" asks Hafley.
The assistant fire chief has been promoted to fire chief. A meeting about the changes is planned for Thursday night at 7.