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Firefighter's home burglarized during ice storm

Friday, Feb. 21, 2014 9:07 PM
Last updated Saturday, Feb. 22, 2014 12:10 AM
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While Jeff Prouty was out helping others during last week’s ice storm, others were helping themselves to valuables inside his Martinez home.

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Jeff Prouty was performing storm damage cleanup with Columbia County Fire Rescue when his Martinez home was burglarized last week. Firearms that had been passed down through his family were among the items stolen.  MICHAEL HOLAHAN/STAFF
MICHAEL HOLAHAN/STAFF
Jeff Prouty was performing storm damage cleanup with Columbia County Fire Rescue when his Martinez home was burglarized last week. Firearms that had been passed down through his family were among the items stolen.


The Columbia County Fire Rescue employee returned to his Old Evans Road home after a 24-hour shift on Feb. 13 – his birthday – to find his house completely ransacked.

Prouty, 40, called his job as a firefighter his “calling,” and said he had worked all day and night to help clear debris from Columbia County roadways caused by the storm, even responding to some medical calls for some of the county’s stranded residents.

In all, the department handled more than 360 calls for service Feb. 12, Prouty said.

After parking his truck in his driveway, he walked around back to check for storm damage. When Prouty rounded the corner, he found his rear sliding glass door wide open and knew something was wrong.

“It was clear that somebody had been here,” he said. “Things were thrown about. The house was basically ransacked. I was definitely shocked.”

Prouty immediately checked his bedroom, where most of his gun collection was stored, and found his closet completely destroyed.

His gun cabinet was stripped of its contents – mostly firearms that had been passed down through the family. Among the guns stolen was his Mossberg 835 Tactical Turkey shotgun he had spent years saving money to buy.

In shock, Prouty called 911, but was unable to tell the operator his address.

“It took me a few minutes to get my bearings,” he said.

After gathering himself, Prouty was able to fill out a report with the Columbia County Sheriff’s Office, but quit listing the items stolen after he reached the bottom of the third page.

“I stopped counting at $8,000,” Prouty said.

Gone was a 50-inch television and a Playstation 4 that Prouty had bought as a Christmas present for his 13-year-old son, Gage, who suffers from Asperger’s syndrome.

The burglars entered through Gage’s bedroom window.

“I’m just thankful that he was not here at the time,” Prouty said.

His sister-in-law, Jocelyn Prouty, said she is amazed at the support her brother-in-law has received since the break-in.

The family created a page on GoFundMe.com to help offset the cost of replacing the stolen items. As of Friday evening, it had raised more than $6,000 of its $10,000 goal.

“Some of the comments (on the Web site) are just wonderful, and they’re people who don’t even know Jeff,” she said. “Going through this, we kind of see how great of a community we have here. I just hope the people that stole from him can see that.”

Though Jeff Prouty said he still feels somewhat violated by the burglary, he doesn’t dwell on it.

“The main things that I lost were possessions that took a long time to achieve,” Prouty said. “But at the end of the day, we’re OK. I still have a job and I can still provide.”

Prouty’s attitude is admirable considering the cirucmstances, Jocelyn Prouty said.

“He seems to be more at peace with it than I am,” she said. “I think it says something about the guy he is.”

Comments (17) Add comment
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crc
156
Points
crc 02/21/14 - 10:27 pm
3
5
Insurance?

Will insurance not cover the losses?

AutumnLeaves
10250
Points
AutumnLeaves 02/21/14 - 11:48 pm
10
4
crc, I don't think you "get

crc, I don't think you "get it". Insurance doesn't even begin to cover the losses here. It's not the material things that are damaged the worst, either. I guess you have to go through it to understand what this does to a person, his sense of security for himself, his family, and possessions he treasures for more than their financial value, but on the other hand, I hope you never do. I wouldn't wish this on anyone, friend or foe. I especially hate that it happens while the victim is risking his life and limbs in his work to help other people. It is sickening.

geecheeriverman
4576
Points
geecheeriverman 02/22/14 - 06:01 am
10
0
So sad

Sad story. Out protecting and serving his fellow man and some low-life steals not only his possessions but his dignity. I would think that it was someone who knows him and his schedule. I hope they catch this person soon and the law will punish him the fullest extent.

RoadkiII
6807
Points
RoadkiII 02/22/14 - 06:31 am
9
1
Sean would spank me if I said

Sean would spank me if I said what I really think of the low life that would do this to one of our local heroes.

nocnoc
49130
Points
nocnoc 02/22/14 - 06:41 am
3
0
An opportunity to Help those that Helped

It shows there are those that care about those that stick it out there for us.

HOW ABOUT A REWARD FUND?

InChristLove
22485
Points
InChristLove 02/22/14 - 06:47 am
9
3
AutumLeaves, I believe crc

AutumLeaves, I believe crc was referring to the comment in the article "The family created a page on GoFundMe.com to help offset the cost of replacing the stolen items. As of Friday evening, it had raised more than $6,000 of its $10,000 goal."

It appears that funds are being raised to replace items that were lost but crc is asking doesn't insurance cover the replacement value. No one can replace the sentimental value of the items but wondering why funds are need to replace the monetary value if Mr. Pouty had insurance.

I think he/she "gets it", I believe they were just asking.

corgimom
38384
Points
corgimom 02/22/14 - 07:47 am
3
3
He probably has a policy that

He probably has a policy that pays depreciated value, or basically NOTHING.

crc
156
Points
crc 02/22/14 - 08:28 am
7
1
AutumLeaves, I believe crc

Thank you InChristLove for understanding a question...

seenitB4
97405
Points
seenitB4 02/22/14 - 08:37 am
6
0
A lowlfe did this

I hope they find them & they end up paying dearly for this breakin....someone KNEW what he was doing that day---someone KNEW he would be very busy....some things can't be replaced.

KSL
143740
Points
KSL 02/22/14 - 08:50 am
3
3
Like I said on another

Like I said on another thread, a little research can lead to enlightenment. He is renting and did not have renter's insurance.

KSL
143740
Points
KSL 02/22/14 - 08:55 am
2
3
Hint

gofundme.com, quick search for prouty.

soapy_725
44111
Points
soapy_725 02/22/14 - 09:06 am
1
0
$4 a month for renters insurance. A new ad for Allstate?
Unpublished

$4 a month for renters insurance. A new ad for Allstate?

KSL
143740
Points
KSL 02/22/14 - 09:49 am
3
2
soapy_725
44111
Points
soapy_725 02/22/14 - 10:04 am
0
0
Where were his police buddies? Serving and Protecting.
Unpublished

Where were his police buddies? Serving and Protecting.

soapy_725
44111
Points
soapy_725 02/22/14 - 10:05 am
0
0
Guvmit can't protect you from anything. Better be prepared.
Unpublished

Guvmit can't protect you from anything. Better be prepared.

burninater
9921
Points
burninater 02/22/14 - 12:08 pm
3
0
"I would think that it was

"I would think that it was someone who knows him and his schedule."
------
I was thinking the same thing, geechee.

itsanotherday1
48305
Points
itsanotherday1 02/22/14 - 12:15 pm
4
0
I am very sorry this happened

I am very sorry this happened to him, but gee whiz, no renter's insurance?

TIP: Even when you have insurance, this type of claim can be maddening as they want EVIDENCE of everything stolen; original receipt preferred.

Darby
29234
Points
Darby 02/22/14 - 02:43 pm
4
0
When that happened to me, I immediately went

downtown and got a concealed carry permit. Then I spent six months to a year just hoping for the opportunity to confront a burglar. After that, I kind of gradually came to accept what happened. (Perhaps revenge REALLY IS a dish best served cold.)

On the other hand, I'm still ready if the need arises. Though my wrath has faded, my cc permit will remain fully active.

AutumnLeaves
10250
Points
AutumnLeaves 02/23/14 - 04:52 pm
2
0
Sorry about the way I took

Sorry about the way I took your comment, crc, that is a hazard in very brief posts. I read from the point of view of someone that has been burglarized multiple times in multiple locations, (me and my family) with various levels of security, and had insurance that covered the financial values, but some things cannot be replaced in what they meant to us. It was still devastating on many levels and the thieves, although caught in the first burglary, basically had minimal consequences, but at least they were caught. Due to my proactive work toward solving the case, by the way. Can't tell you more, or someone might figure out who I am.

bernardbarbour
257
Points
bernardbarbour 02/24/14 - 07:08 am
0
0
Somebody knows something

This was done by someone close to him that knows the way around his home and what he had. It's just awful. But, I bet you they will be found out and I hope soon. There are really some low life scumbags out there. These are the kinda people when caught they need to have their asses whipped and then jailed. I would be glad to do it.

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