An official says an inmate escaped from a state prison in San Diego County by stealing the prison fire engine on New Year's Day.
Authorities are seeking 51-year-old Thomas Kelley, a convicted car thief who was jailed at Donovan state prison in November for a parole violation.
Prison spokesman Lt. Patrick Logan says Kelley worked as a firefighter at the prison near the Mexican border. He was discovered missing Sunday night from the minimum security section.
Logan says at about the same time, sheriff's deputies saw a fire engine being driven erratically about 10 miles from the prison.
Prison officials say the driver fled when the truck was stopped.