Smithwick TX Man Collects and Restores Fire Apparatus

Jeff Sellers, of Smithwick (TX), enjoys collecting and refurbishing fire apparatus. Sellers owns Wildfire Consultants LLC., which helps property owners develop plans in fire prevention. He also consults with homeowners about fire protection and alarms.

He currently owns three: a tanker and two brush trucks.

Until recently, Sellers was the general manager of Hidden Falls Adventure Park, which covers about 3,000 acres in Smithwick. He and his family own and live on 200 acres adjacent to the park.

With all the brush, trees and grasslands, Sellers saw a need for onsite firefighting capabilities.

“With a fire truck here, we could respond quickly instead of having to drive into town and get a truck or wait on one to come out,” said Sellers, who is a member of the Marble Falls Area Volunteer Fire Department. “It allowed us, and still allows us, to get water on a fire quickly. I can also use it, and I have, to respond to fires in the Smithwick area.”

Sellers’ tanker, a 1981 GMC 6000, started with the Grandview Volunteer Fire Department before it landed in the hands of one of his friends, who then gave it to Sellers.

At the time, the tanker needed extensive repairs. Rust ate at parts of it. The water tank was useless. The motor needed a tremendous amount of work. On top of that, the truck was white.

Once in his hands, Sellers transformed the tanker. He put six months into the vehicle before it was ready to respond to fires, both on and off the ranch. And, he painted it red.

He purchased one of the flatbed trucks from a pawn shop. It was maroon and, like the tanker, needed a little TLC to get it into firefighting shape. Sellers shrugged at the notion he pursued an unconventional hobby.

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