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Family searching for answers after Pink Heals fire truck goes up in flames

Posted at 10:59 AM, Jan 15, 2020
and last updated 2020-01-15 18:17:56-05

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WTXL) — A pink fire truck you may have seen at different locations around town went up in flames overnight.

The truck is named Ariel after a young girl who died from liver cancer in 2012. Ariel's family is struggling with who or what could have caused the fire.

Ariel's father says he's very upset.

"I got a phone call last night from the police department that someone has set that truck on fire," said Frank Gandy, Ariel's father.

Frank struggled with his words as he tried to understand who would set fire to the pink fire truck named after his daughter Ariel.

"I think it's pretty pitiful that someone can destroy something like that," Gandy said. "I mean there was a lot of love that was put into that truck."

Ariel died after her battle with liver cancer in July 2012 at the age of 18. Her father says her toughness helps him battle through this tough time.

"She was just a good kid... very tough... she endured a lot," said Gandy.

Personal letters and messages from the Tallahassee community, including Ariel's family members, were written all over the truck. But some of them, including Frank's signature, are now burnt away.

He says this tragedy impacts more than just him.

"I couldn't tell you how many thousands of people -- That truck has touched a lot of people," Gandy explained. "My sister right now is fighting cancer. Her signature is on the outside of it so hers is fine but that truck has touched a lot of people."

The family is searching for answers as TFD continues their investigation. Frank says he's just grateful for the community's support.

"I'm appreciative for everybody that has ever helped with that truck -- all the phone calls that I've gotten so far -- the world is full of good people."

The firetruck is parked right outside Gandy's business Universial Collision Center.

ANC 27 reached out to the Fire Department to get more information about the investigation, but they were unavailable to comment.

An investigation is underway after a Pink Heals fire truck in Tallahassee was damaged in a fire.

The truck was found around 9:30 p.m. on Tuesday. The truck was parked at Universal Collision Center on Apalachee Parkway.

The truck was allegedly vandalized before being set on fire, though fire officials have not confirmed that information.

The truck is named Ariel in memory of Ariel Gandy, an 18-year-old who died from cancer a few years back.

The truck's body, including the now charred insides, also paid homage to the battle against cancer in the form of signatures from family members who've lost someone to cancer.

The Tallahassee Fire Department says the fire is under investigation.

Pink Heals is a donation based non-profit that has a chapter in Tallahassee.