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Fire chief speaks out on investigation, suspended firefighters


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Fire chief speaks out on investigation, suspended firefighters

By Charles Benson. CREATED Oct 3, 2013 - UPDATED: Oct 3, 2013

MILWAUKEE - For the first time since nine firefighters were suspended, Milwaukee's Fire Chief is talking about the fiasco.  

The crew is accused of vandalizing their own firehouse. It's a story our I-Team first broke.
The Fire Chief says the investigation is just underway. But based on what he knows already he doesn't like what he's hearing. 
"It's really disappointing for us as a department that someone would give us a black eye," said Chief Mark Rohlfing. 
It's been a few days since Chief Rohlfing suspended nine of his own at the fire house on the corner of 30th and Galena and he's still reeling by the allegations. 
"I have that feeling like what in the world would they be thinking to do something like this in their workplace," said Rohlfing.
The chief won't confirm what they did but sources describe damage to the fire house and fire fighting equipment soiled with bodily fluid. 
It followed a change in command at the fire house and a decision by the chief to reassign other members.
"We needed to move the individuals who served there and work on that culture of that engine house."  
The nine fighters will be paid while off the job. At this point the the Fire Chief does not believe the alleged behavior rises to the level of criminal wrong doing.
But he does worries," that a handful of individuals would make bad decisions and make us all look bad." 
Chief Rohlfing hopes to have the investigation wrapped up in two weeks.
Charles Benson

Charles Benson

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Charles Benson is one of the most reliable, trusted and experienced reporters in southeast Wisconsin. If there's a big story going on, Charles is usually there leading the way.