Local firefighters have launched a $50,000 fundraising campaign to restore an antique fire engine that was stripped of thousands of dollars worth of parts over a two-week period — some almost irreplaceable.
The Lee Fire Company plans to use the donations to pay for full restoration — including the stolen parts — for its 1939 Maxim pumper and a new building to store the classic vehicle and other firefighting apparatus the company owns and maintains.
Nearly two years ago, company volunteers discovered copper pieces, a chrome radiator, and a rare windshield frame, were among the items picked clean from the vintage fire truck being stored at the town’s former landfill garage. The vehicle has since been moved to a secret location.
At the time of the thefts, reported in December 2012 and January 2013, Fire Chief Alan Sparks estimated the radiator cost $3,000 and maybe only two other Maxim windshield frames exist in the world.
“Good luck trying to finding replacement parts. If you do, at what cost as it’s rare to find them,” said Tony Giarolo, president of the Lee Fire Company, is a private organization separate from the town’s Lee Fire Department.
The case remains unsolved and the stolen parts were never recovered, according to Giarolo.
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