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Mark Cuban's Generosity Stuns Struggling Crandall Fire Department

CRANDALL (CBS 11 NEWS) - Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban stunned a North Texas volunteer fire chief when he sent a hefty check to the financially burdened department.

Crandall Fire Chief Allen Cousins said he didn't expect to hear from the Mavericks owner, but his department is so desperate he figured it wouldn't hurt to try.

That's when Cousins wrote a letter to Cuban asking for help.

A short time later, a whopping $10,000 showed up from the Mavs owner.

"When I saw that check …I fell out of my chair.  I was excited.  I really was," said Cousins.

The Crandall Fire Department needs it; it's down to just one engine truck.

The north Texas fire department was forced to sell its other two trucks earlier this year to pay off fraudulent loans.

The department's former treasurer was arrested late last year after allegedly using the department's equipment as collateral on two personal loans totaling more than $140,000.

"Everybody just had their mouth wide open on what happened," said Cousins.

The chief says there's no way his department can provide adequate protection for the town of around 3,000 people along with the 56 square miles it's responsible for with just one truck.

Ten thousand dollars won't buy a new truck, but firefighters said it gives the department the kick-start it needs.

On Saturday night, more than 500 people showed up for fish-fry and auction fundraiser at the local high school to raise money for a new fire truck.

(©2014 CBS Local Media, a division of CBS Radio Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

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