After theft, repairs to vintage fire engine will be costly

AUGUSTA, Ga. (AP) — It will cost thousands of dollars to repair a vintage Augusta fire engine after it was damaged in a recent burglary, officials said.

The break-in happened last month at Old Engine Company No. 7, which was built in 1914 and was the first in Augusta to house motorized trucks, authorities said.

The last crew moved out of the building in 2003, and fire officials have been working to transform the building into a fire museum, The Augusta Chronicle reported (

A 1924 American La France fire engine was heavily damaged in the burglary.

The suspect kicked in the front door and used a 36-inch metal pry bar to remove items from the fire engine, damaging the engine’s exterior, a police report stated.

The thief stole brass items from the engine including caps, adapters, a 35-pound drum of nozzles, and damaged wood boards on the fire engine, said Dee Griffin, a fire department spokeswoman. A fireman’s ax was also stolen, the Augusta newspaper reported.

“It’s pretty bad,” Griffin said of the damages. “The trucks sit there and they’re a reminder of the past. It’s a source of pride for our firefighters.”

Griffin estimated it would cost about $5,000 to replace the stolen items. The damaged boards will also have be repaired or replaced.

The 1924 engine had been in various places around the city before coming back to the fire department in 2005, Griffin told the Augusta newspaper. At that time the fire department disassembled the engine and refurbished it.

“Now they have to start all over,” she said.


Information from: The Augusta Chronicle ,

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