A 1944 Seagreave fire truck is up for sale that has a strong historical connection with Niagara Falls. It was used here in the 1940s and was part of a fire truck collection that belonged to the late Ken Feren.
The well-known Niagara Falls businessman, owner of Feren Signs & Awnings on Kinsmen Court, served two terms on city council. He died in April 2014 at the age of 68.
A year before his death, Feren showed me his collection of fire trucks, which he kept in a large warehouse along with a number of other antique trucks. His father, Ken Sr., had been in the fire department during the 1960s, so it’s easy to see where his passion for fire trucks started and continued to bring him much joy and happiness all his life.
Feren didn’t just collect fire trucks, some of them were plated and in excellent condition so he would actually drive them around town or take them to special events.
Three of the fire trucks in the collection have been sold. Two trucks are left: the 1944 Seagreave and a 1986 Thibault aerial truck that once belonged to the Brantford fire department.
Ken’s wife, Diana, hopes a buyer from Niagara Falls will purchase the 1944 vehicle so that it can remain in the city.
“I would love to have it stay here,” said Diana. “That was the city’s first aerial truck. Ken’s dad drove it, and I’m sure Wayne Thomson’s dad probably drove it.”
Diana has a large black and white photo that a firefighter gave to Ken, showing that vehicle in action.
“The truck has always been stored inside and Kenny did a lot of work on it,” said Diana, who would like to keep it, but that would be impossible because of its size.
‘If I could take it home I would, but it’s not something that I can just keep at home in my garage,” she said.
The 1986 Thibault, which is marked Aerial 9 and has air-brushed photos of fire scenes painted on it, is in excellent working condition. Diana hopes that a fire department in a small town might be able to put it back into service.
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