Danville’s first motorized fire truck

Published 9:08 pm Friday, June 7, 2019

A new fire truck complete with equipment arrived Aug. 5, 1920, in Danville. It was the first motorized fire truck for the city.

Charles Cecil Jr., member of the fire committee, and Fire Chief George T. Thurmond, accompanied by John P. Ahrens of Ahrens & Fox Company in Cincinnati, Ohio, brought the truck to Danville.

“The equipment is complete in every detail and is of the most modern type,” according to an article in the Kentucky Advocate. The truck was equipped with high power pumps and was going to add to the firefighting efforts of the local department.

The 1920-model fire truck was refurbished a few years ago. (Photo contributed)

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“All those who have seen the outfit are much pleased with it and compliment the fire committee on their selection,” according to the article.

The city ordered the truck in February 1920.

The truck had the distinct trademark — a large, chrome-like nickel-plated chrome compression chamber out front on top of the truck.

The equipment included a 1,000-foot hose, several ladders, a pump that could throw water over the top of a building four or five stories high and had the capacity of 750 gallons per minute.

The cost was $12,950 through a bond issued by the city.

The fire committee in 1920 included Ed Dillehay, E.T. Dunigan and Charles Cecil Jr. W.O. McIntyre was mayor.

The truck was used until the late 1960s when the city replaced it with a newer vehicle.

The old fire truck was acquired in 1973 by Jerrold Voisinet of Piqua, Ohio, who restored it.