Historic fire truck set to turn 100 years old

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HICKORY, N.C. - It’s not every day that a fire truck has a birthday. However, on March 10, Hickory’s first fire engine will turn 100 years old and the city is having a celebration to recognize the event.

The fire engine was the city of Hickory’s first motorized engine and was delivered on March 10, 1914. Prior to the truck, the fire pump was pulled by two horses.

The American LaFrance truck was used to protect the city of Hickory until it was removed from service in the 1950s.

The current owners are the children of Bert Huffman of Huffman Hosiery Mill in Granite Falls.

According to a city release, sometime in the 1950s, the truck was purchased by the late Mr. Huffman and used to decrease his insurance costs at his mill. He maintained the truck, and many other automobiles, as a hobby over the years. Huffman’s children -- Lee, Al, and Adele -- now oversee the many fire engines and automobiles in the family’s personal collection.

Lee Huffman has requested the opportunity to bring Hickory’s first fire engine to Hickory Fire Station #1 to celebrate its birthday and showcase it next to the newer trucks. In honor of the event, he will also be dressed in fire gear, which represents the 1914 time period.

The celebration will take place at Hickory Fire Station #1 at 19 Second Street Drive, NE, on Monday, March 10, from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m.