Autryville fire officials and Sampson County Sheriff’s authorities are warning of scammers using the rebuilding of Autryville Fire Department to play on people’s generosity and con them out of their money.
Sheriff’s officials said Friday that there have been reports of individuals soliciting donations for “rebuilding the Autryville Fire Department” as well as reports of people going door to door in the Autryville community soliciting donations.
“The Autryville Fire Department has not and will not conduct solicitations for donations by phone or door-to-door contact,” a statement issued via the Sheriff’s Office stated.
The department is still recovering from a devastating EF1 tornado on May 23 that crippled the station
The building for the Autryville Fire Department, located at 305 North Hotel St., went through a demolition phase in June and it was estimated that it would take about a year to build a new station, the cost for which is around $500,000. In the wake of the disaster, firefighters have utilized a mobile unit, with several other departments offering equipment and loaners while also meeting regularly to discuss development plans.
There have been fundraising events held, including a turkey shoot series this fall for children and adults. And, even as they raised money to rebuild the station, firefighters have been accepting donations of gifts for children to help during the holiday season.
“We’ll just keep going until we recover,” Rusty Lance of the Autryville Fire Department said.
Anyone interested in making a donation to assist the Autryville Fire Department may do so by mail or in person from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday at the Autryville Fire Department, located at 305 North Hotel St., Autryville, N.C. 28318, to ensure that the money goes toward its intended purpose.
If anyone has concerns on the legitimacy of people saying they are affiliated with the Autryville Fire Department or fundraisers being held on behalf of the department, they may contact Chief Andrew Hawkins at 910-385-6341.
Reach Managing Editor Chris Berendt at 910-249-4616. Follow the paper on twitter @SampsonInd and like us on Facebook.