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Kernersville Fire Rescue Department restoring 100-year-old fire truck

The department will celebrate 100 years of service in November 2023. To help mark the special day, it is restoring a 1923 fire truck.

KERNERSVILLE, N.C. — Next November, the Kernersville Fire Rescue Department will celebrate 100 years of service in the Town of Kernersville. To help mark the day, the Fire Rescue Department is restoring a special piece of history. 

Over the last several months, the Department has been working to restore a 1923 American LaFrance Brockway Torpedo Fire Truck. It's the department's first fire engine and was purchased in the Summer of 1923 for $6,500. Battalion Chief Barry McLean said the Town of Kernersville helped to fund the special restoration project. 

"It being around for 100 years makes it special," McLean said. "It is really the only artifact, anything that we can put our hands on from day one of the fire department. That really makes it unique and the fact that it still runs, it's going to have the original engine in it." 

Credit: Kernersville Fire Rescue Department

Mclean said finding the parts to restore a nearly 100-year-old engine hasn't been easy, with several coming from across the country. 

"The engine is currently in Boston being redone by a specialist in Boston, the carburetor is being done in the mountains of North Carolina, there's a guy there that specializes in that," Mclean said. "There were two brass lanterns on the back, they're in Connecticut right now being restored. There were a couple of pieces missing.  I got a piece from Maine and a foundry in the Amish Country of Pennsylvania actually made some new nobs for the pump on the truck and the tires came from California."

The department hopes to have the truck completed by next summer. It will be housed at the new fire station off Highway 66 in Kernersville.   

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