American LaFrance Unexpectedly Closes Down

American LaFrance, a fire truck maker that has been in business since 1873 and was based in Moncks Corner, closed for good this week.

According to several sources, employees were told at 5:00 p.m. Friday not to return to work this week.

There are an estimated 150 employees at that branch of the company.

The company has released a statement confirming the closure, along with sites in Ephrata, Penn. and Los Angeles.

The company blames its “unexpected current financial condition” for the closure, but didn’t offer specifics.

American LaFrance says customers will soon be able to get replacement parts and service for their vehicles from an unspecified third-party vendor. The company says it will contact customers with that information “in the near future.”

American LaFrance has been a common name among the fire fighting industry for decades. The North Charleston and American LaFrance Fire Museum is named after the company and displays their manufactured trucks inside.

There is a federal law that requires 60 day notice of such closures when a company has more than 100 employees.

WCBD asked the parent company of American LaFrance, Patriarch Partners, if this is violation of the federal law. They have not answered that question but issued the response below.

Statement from the company:

“American LaFrance, LLC, the manufacturer of fire, rescue and vocational vehicles, announced Friday the closing of its warehouse, production and service facilities in Monks Corner, SC Ephrata, PA and Los Angeles.

The company is advising its customers that they will be able to continue obtaining replacement parts and service for vehicles manufactured by American LaFrance from a new third party vendor. American LaFrance will contact customers with information about where they can obtain parts and service for their vehicles in the near future.

Unfortunately, the company’s unexpected current financial condition requires the discontinuation of operations in these locations at this time and these facilities are not expected to reopen.”

American LaFrance has been a common name among the fire fighting industry for decades. The North Charleston and American LaFrance Fire Museum is named after the company and displays their manufactured trucks inside.

Saturday Mayor Summey issued this response to the closure, “The North Charleston and American LaFrance Fire Museum and Educational Center remains open and will continue to provide top notch fire safety and history education to the public.  The company’s closure does not affect the museum’s functions and day to day operations.”

For more information, view www.wbtw.com and more on the closing

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