Man Might Have Posed as Firefighter, Officials Say
Brookfield police and fire investigating whether a man who inspected Hallmark store was an imposter.
Brookfield police and fire officials are investigating whether someone was impersonating a firefighter while inspecting a local Hallmark store last month.
Brookfield Fire Chief Charlie Myers said in an interview that when his firefighters conducted a routine fire inspection last week at Hallmark in the Ruby Isle shopping center, an employee asked why they were back again so soon.
The young male employee said he thought a man who was in the store Sept. 15 conducting a fire inspection was a member of the Brookfield Fire Department. He said he thought it was a little strange at the time because the "inspector" was wearing jeans and a hoodie, and no fire uniform, Myers said.
"He showed (the employee) a T-shirt with an emblem that appeared to be a fire department emblem," the chief said.
Also strange: The man took about an hour to inspect the small store. Brookfield firefighters usually take about 15 to 30 minutes, Myers said.
The chief said he was checking to see if perhaps it was a college student or fire trainee doing an inspection as part of school work, as opposed to someone impersonating a firefighter.
Nevertheless, Myers urged businesses and homeowners to ask for credentials in such situations.
"Please ask for appropriate ID," he said. "Our firefighters will always be in uniform and always have the appropriate identification."