NEW CUMBERLAND, W.Va. -Were it not for the rain Wednesday night, the Hancock County Sheriff's Department's incident command truck might have gone up in flames, Sheriff Mike White said.
"We're lucky the damage is minimal," White said.
Detectives believe someone intentionally tried to set the 16-foot box truck on fire Wednesday night while it was parked at the county garage on Sedgwick Street in New Cumberland.
"The evidence we've gathered at the scene indicates that an accelerant was used," White said. "Somebody thought they'd catch it on fire by igniting the tires."
The fire apparently went out on its own, partly because of the rains Wednesday night, he said.
One tire was damaged, as well as the wheel, the wheel well and some electrical equipment, he said. The damage estimate is $3,000 to $5,000, which will put the truck out of commission for a while, White said.
The truck, which houses expensive radio equipment, is used by the sheriff's department as a mobile communications unit at the scenes of major crimes, accidents and emergencies, White said.
"Without it, if we have a major disaster, it could put us in a real pickle because we don't have a backup," he said.
The sheriff's department has had the specially-equipped GMC truck for eight years.
Anyone with information about the incident is asked to call the sheriff's department at 304-564-4100 or 304-564-3311, ext. 234.