MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — The two male firefighters from Minnesota who battled a truck fire in evening gowns are telling their side of the story.

The fire happened last weekend during a St. Patrick’s Day parade in Pope County.

Ben Terhaar and Ted Aubart were dressed up to promote a beauty pageant they hold ever year as a fundraiser. Terhaar was wearing a green dress, and Aubart was dressed in red.

Both are members of the Sedan Volunteer Fire Department in Pope County.

They were on their float when a pickup truck caught on fire. They both leaped into action, even though Aubart had to fight falling straps on his gown.

“I remember looking over to my right and seeing people with cellphones up to their face. And i thought, ‘Oh my gosh,'” said Terhaar.

Their chief said he’s not surprised by their efforts and aplomb.

“These guys would stand out there in underwear and wouldn’t care,” said the chief. “They’re that way.”

Comments (18)
  1. Scott says:

    You’re an ignorant piece of garbage… go back to your couch

  2. t says:

    Tom is for more rules, regulations, red tape and bigger governmant. We must be saved from ourselves!

  3. @Mike says:

    Come on, Mike. They were involved in fundraising for the Fire Department in a town of 45 people. Lighten up.

  4. Justin says:

    How is this a disgrace to the Department? They were raising money for a beauty pageant, which is a fundraiser… I believe these two men are helping out their community greatly, and even while dressed like this, still helped out the community by putting out this fire! If you people think this is a disgrace, then when your house catches on fire, I hope these guys think twice about helping you! To the Two fire fighters, good job on helping out your community and for serving!

  5. eric says:

    terrible headline, makes it sound like they like to cross-dress “they’re that way”. Terrible choice, terrible, terrible.

  6. eric says:

    so you’re saying they should have left the fire, went and got their gear, and come back. Yeah, that would have gone over real well.

    1. Tom Wilson says:

      Rule # 1 of firefighting. You never risk your life to save property. Rule #2. You risk your life to save a human life.

  7. GrandmaJ says:

    The headline meant THEY ARE THAT WAY, meaning whether they were “butt naked”, they would still be in the fire fight. You can tell which posts are metro and which are reality rural–you kick in and help without question—YEAH for the small towns. Some place for those who tire of the rat race to live out their lives in peace and harmony!
    Volulnteer fire departments aren’t on the backs of the taxpayer to cough up or go on strike. Whether they ever get paid $1 for their work, they would still be there cause it IS THEIR COMMUNITY. And THEIR COMMUNITY supports them with the best equipment and skills, as metro fire departments have.


  8. Rox says:

    Why are people so uptight all the time. That is funny. If it was me who was in a fire or an accident or whatever I wouldn’t care how they were dressed as long as they are there for the rescue. Way to go guys you gave me a laugh for the day. 🙂

  9. Tom Wilson says:

    The pumper is right there in the picture so the firefighter gear should have been there. A properly trained firefighter can put on his protective in three minutes.

    1. Shana says:

      Protective gear would have been important for an indoor fire – where there are falling items & flames everywhere ( the skirts would have been a real impediment there) For an outside conflagration, involving a vehicle, however, there was no need to change – except perhaps to not offend your delicate sensibilities Tom!

  10. J Lawrence says:

    T all of you uptight, judgmental indivduals who have shared your so negative thoughts: would you share the same sentiments if it was YOUR VEHICLE ON FIRE!?!?!?! Get a life! In my opinion, the firefighters did an admirable job taking care of business.

    1. Tom Wilson says:


  11. Captain Obv. says:

    How can anyone come to this article and find something wrong with what they did, it was a truck fire they wern’t pulling children from a burning building, full gear was quite unnecessary, so you firefighters criticizing them quit acting like you know so much.

  12. Concerned for My Brothers says:

    Everyone in the fire service knows it was wrong. If they were firefighters they would have had their protective gear and been prepared. Had something gone wrong, and there are plenty of examples, even with car fires and even at a distance, they would have become part of the emergency. Their collegues would have felt bad, their agency would pay for their mistake. MN is an OSHA State. My department was on the recieving end of a decision that went terribly wrong. A very similar mistake. You can rationalize it all you want but, it was wrong! Own up to it, we all make those decisions, even me.

  13. T says:

    Wow. In OUR state we appreciate our firefighters and everything they do including fundraising. Feel free to send your heros to Colorado. We’ll take ’em.

  14. big banjo says:

    bad bad mistake…..completely uneccesary and does nothing to garner more support and frankly i question their judgement and their motive……….typically guys who dress as women on halloween have a desire to cross dress and only use halloween as a way to justify their actions….i cant help but think and question whether these guys enjoy this too much….simply wearing firefighting gear will at any time of the year get the point across and not throw into question these two guys real interests……..normal guys dont ever wear female clothes for any reason regardless……..i’d have to get paid a good chunk of money to do such a thing as they have done.

    1. Denise says:

      know the guys personally, they are my neighbors and very proud to say friends! Would it matter if they did like dressing as females??? Don’t see why I feel the need to explain but…. We do a yearly fundraiser, which involves food, waterball fights and a nite time event. One of the gals from town is incharge of the nite time event, the one yr was a bachelor auction,but decided to change it cuz alot of other communities have done it so she decided to do the pagent. And it has been a huge success! And as far as NORMAL, IT TAKES A REAL MAN to do what they do for their community!

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