Firefighter memorial ladders stolen from graves
About 100 miniature memorial ladders that marked the graves of Bridgewater firefighters in Brookside Cemetery have gone missing.
“We noticed it during Fire Prevention Week that it looked like a few of the ladders were among the missing,” said Bridgewater fire chief Michael Nauss. A tradition that has been done by numerous fire departments, the miniature ladders are a way to recognize and honour firefighters who have passed away. “We’ve been doing it well over 100 years,” said Nauss. “It’s one way we honour our firefighters during Fire Prevention Week who had passed on the year before by placing the ladders on the graves.”
After a bag with 10 of the ladders was found in a ditch on the Centennial Trail in Bridgewater, Nauss said the department reported the gravesite thefts to the police department and did an inventory of the gravesites.
“There are about 100 in total missing,” he said. “Brookside Cemetery is the main area that was hit hard. It’s hard to say how long it has been going on,” Nauss said, adding the department did speak with a number of family members who had visited the sites earlier in October who said the ladders were still on the graves when they visited. “There’s over 200 firefighters buried at the cemetery,” he said.
The fire department is hoping anyone with any information about the missing ladders will come forward. “Not so much to get anyone in trouble, we’d just like to see them come back if at all possible,” said Nauss.
Anyone with information can contact the Bridgewater town office at 902-543-4651, the Bridgewater Police Department at 902-543-2464 or the Bridgewater Fire Department at