After 55-Year Journey, Larchmont Fire Engine Comes
by Ned Benton
Larchmont Fire Engine One is back in Larchmont. The
1922 American LaFrance Pumper served Larchmont from
1922 to 1947, when it was sold off. On the death of
its last owner, Seattle antique car collector Richard
Cooper, the family contacted Larchmont's Volunteer firefighters
via Larchmont Online, the Village web site.
Memorial Day Parade 2002
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The excited volunteers arranged to purchase the pumper
and had it "Fed-Exed" to Larchmont just in time for
the Memorial Day Parade on May 23rd - where it was quite
a hit. For the parade, it was towed on a flat-bed truck,
but the department has plans to get Engine One in operational
condition for parades and demonstrations.
Ettore Viazzo inspects Engine One. Walter
Bell "steers" the pumper as it rides a flatbed to the
Memorial Day Parade.
"We were pleased to discover that the Larchmont lettering
is still intact -- there appears to be little change
in the apparatus since we sold it in 1947," observed
LFD Chief Brian Payne. "This is a unique opportunity
to preserve some of the history of Larchmont. We need
to carefully evaluate its condition, and develop a plan
Fire Capt. P.J. Abrahamsen thinks his late grandfather
John Hynes rode Engine One as a member of the department
around World War II. "I think it's pretty cool to get
something like that back. It should be fun to play with."
Engine One was front-page news back in 1922. Larchmont
Historical Society Archives include 1922 editions of
the Larchmonter Times with reports of voters approving
a $10,000 bond issue to purchase the pumper. (See
the text) There's also a stern warning from the
then Chief scolding volunteers for lack of attendance
Though the eighty year-old Engine One will be the oldest
vehicle in Larchmont, it only served for twenty-five
years. Larchmont's Engine 35, which began service in
1965 is 37 years old and still responding to alarms.
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