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Kids Firehouse Museum selling out to the walls

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This 1956 Ford F750 Pumper 302, V-8 with 4 speed
transmission came from Live Oak, Fla.

The 9,000 sq. ft. museum located in Largo, Fla., was established in 1994 with the goal of teaching young children the basics of fire safety and prevention. Over the years the museum acquired an impressive array of firefighting equipment and accessories.

The main pieces of firefighting equipment range from the oldest piece in the inventory, an 1875 hand-drawn water cannon with hose reel and nozzle from the Boston Fire Department, to a 1965 Ford 1000 gallon pumper. The oldest truck in the museum is a 1924 American La France pumper with original ladders and toolbox. This chain driven venerable old fire horse last saw service in the Palmetto, Fla., fire department.

Other major pieces of equipment include a 1941 Pirsch Pumper made by Chevrolet and donated by the Crestview, Fla., fire department in 1993. This was one of the few fire engines made during World War II. It retains its original wooden ladders and 113,000 original miles. A 1950 American International L-185 was donated to the museum in 1994 by Metal Industries of Clearwater, Fla., after it was discovered sitting in a field in northern Florida. A 1951 Seagrave 400B-750 Pumper from Concord, N.C., comes with a 150-foot brush fire hose and foam firefighting unit along with it dual ignition, 12-cylinder power plant.

A 1954 American La France Hook and Ladder truck, last used by the Indian Rocks, Fla., fire department, has been modified by the museum for use as workhorse capable of towing any of the other trucks in the museum. A 1956 Ford Big Job F-750 Pumper from Live Oak, Fla., served double duty as both a pumper and a hook and ladder. It is fitted with four types of hoses, suction with strainer, 100 feet of reel hose, 100 feet of fire hose and 50 feet of hydrant hose with a Hale pump.

A 1956 Pirsch Pumper from Lakeland, Fla., can pump 1,000 gallons a minute and its 33,000 miles have been powered by a twelve cylinder motor. A 1958 American La France Pumper from Clearwater was one of the first to have an enclosed cab for the firemen’s safety while en route. A 1958 Seagrave Bullet Nose Hook & Ladder, also from Clearwater, is the biggest truck in the Museum and requires two drivers to maneuver in city streets. The sale also includes a 1966 Ford 750 BIS Tub Pumper. All trucks were in running condition when staged for museum exhibition in 1995 with fluids drained and batteries removed per insurance requirements.

Other items in the sale inventory include an Atlas Life saving Jump net, a large variety of metal and cast fire truck toys, vintage fire hats, fire suits, hydrants and a large selection of vintage equipment including nozzles, alarm pulls, bells, telegraph station, patches, pins and belt buckles.

The sale starts at 10 a.m. Tuesday, Sept. 15. Preview is scheduled for 1 to 4 p.m. Sept. 14 and on the sale day beginning at 8 a.m. at the museum, 1094 95th St. N., Largo, Fla. The trucks and select items of the memorabilia will be available for live online bidding at For more information visit the Bay Area Auction Services Web site at, e-mail or call 727-548-9303 or 800-452-3905.

Photos courtesy of Bay Area Auction Services. Article republished courtesy of Antique Trader (

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