It looks like The Case of the Missing Firetruck is solved.
Officials with D.C.’s Department of General Services said the firetruck that disappeared from Walter Pierce Park’s playground last week wasn’t stolen. It was thrown away.
Kenneth Diggs, a spokesman for DGS, released the following statement on behalf of the DGS this afternoon:
The Department of General Services’ (DGS) Contract Services Unit responded to community requests to repair the broken equipment. It had been reported to DGS that children were being injured due to a broken plank on the fire truck. After evaluating the equipment, it was determined that the fire truck could not be repaired. In effort to err on the side of safety, the fire truck was disposed of by DGS to ensure there would be no further injury to children.
The decision to remove and dispose of the fire truck to protect children should have been communicated to community members who purchased the apparatus and to the Department of Parks and Recreation (DPR).
DGS regrets both the lack of communication to the community – specifically to those who worked together to purchase the fire truck – and DPR of the removal and disposal of the play equipment.
DGS apologizes for the communication oversight and will replace the equipment with a new fire truck in the next six to eight weeks.
Mindy Moretti, one of the neighbors who helped kick off the campaign to find the playground vehicle known around Adams Morgan as “Freddy Da Firetruck,” said the whole process has been “absolutely maddening.”
“I am completely frustrated,” she said. “The miscommunication and lack of communication really does boggle the mind.”
Still, at least the neighborhood kids get a new firetruck out of the deal, Moretti said.
“I’m going to go out and hug it when it arrives… and I might even sleep it in the first night,” she said. “Might also try to organize some sort of welcome back party for it.”
“Freddie Da Firetruck” photo courtesy Mindy Moretti