Fire company closed after sexual abuse scandal

WILLOW STREET, Pa. (WHTM) – Lights were out at the West Willow Fire Company on Wednesday.

The volunteer fire company on West Willow Road in Pequea Township is closed, effective Tuesday night.

“They came out and covered our roof one night,” Charles McGill said.

McGill, who lives right next to the fire company, said he was sad to hear the news of the closure.

“This company has been in existence for a lot of years,” he said. “My wife’s father used to help.”

In 2015, Stanley Todd, a former West Willow volunteer, was charged with sexually assaulting five underage girls. Police said some of the abuse happened inside the fire station.

Todd eventually pleaded guilty and two other fire officials were also charged with not reporting the abuse. The case led to a lawsuit against the fire company. According to online records, the suit was settled last week.

For the time being, the New Danville Fire Company, which shared coverage with West Willow, will respond to most fire calls in Pequea Township.

Sandra Dickel, a township resident, said she was relieved to hear that because New Danville is not that far away.

“That’s only five minutes away,” she said.

Pequea Township supervisors still have to approve a permanent fire coverage plan.

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