Firefighter memorial vandalized

A plaque honoring a Sparks firefighter who died while on duty has been stolen from the Nevada Firefighters' Memorial in Carson City.

The bronze plaque honoring Charles W. Steiner was put up in 1997. Steiner was one of the original organizers of the Sparks Fire Department at the turn of the century and served until March 1953, when he suffered a heart attack while responding to a blaze at age 74.

"During nearly 50 years of service to the Sparks Fire Department, Steiner earned a reputation for never missing an alarm if he was within hearing of the alarm," read the dedication accompanying the plaque.

His grandson Charles, a Sparks resident, said he was frustrated and disappointed by the vandalism. He asked that whoever took it return the plaque.

"Nothing is sacred anymore," he said, expressing hope the plaque would be returned.

The memorial was built in Mills Park in 1994. It bears the names of 45 Nevada firefighters who have died in the line of duty over the years.

The cost to replace the plaque is $150, but donations are the only source of income for the memorial.

Firefighters had to clean graffiti from the memorial a few weeks before the Oct. 11, 1997 ceremony placing Steiner's plaque on the wall.

Volunteers scrubbed stray spray paint and marker scrawls from the memorial.

Any information on the theft should be forwarded to the Carson City Sheriff's Department, 775-887-2020.


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