HomeMoorestown News1952 engine returns home to Moorestown

1952 engine returns home to Moorestown

A 1952 Mack engine that was part of the Moorestown Fire Department’s fleet from 1952 to 1977 made its way back to Relief Engine Company 312.

On Saturday, Feb. 23, a piece of Moorestown history made its way back home. A 1952 Mack engine that was part of the Moorestown Fire Department’s fleet from 1952 to 1977 made its way back to Relief Engine Company 312.

Max Fisher, a former battalion chief with the fire department and a member of Relief Engine Company 312 for almost 50 years, said the department purchased the engine in 1952, and when he arrived, it was the engine he was trained on.

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In 1977, it came time to sell the engine to purchase a piece of new equipment. The department sold the engine to a department in Fayette, Maine. The open cab truck was driven from Moorestown to Maine in the winter of 1977, and Fayette’s department operated the truck for another 20 to 25 years, according to Fisher.

But when that department began acquiring more engines, the truck was ultimately parked outside and stored under a tarp. At one point, the department decided the engine wasn’t doing it any good sitting outside, so they decided to sell the engine.

Meanwhile in Moorestown, the department, which also has a 1922 engine in its fleet, had been discussing the piece.

“We here in Moorestown had always spoken about how much we loved this truck and how we’d love to have it back,” Fisher said.

When a friend of the department saw Fayette’s listing on Facebook, he informed members of Relief Engine Company 312 about the sale, and they reached out to Fayette. They began negotiations in the early fall of 2018, and by October, they had struck a deal to purchase the engine for $4,600. Fisher said they paid for it using money from various fundraisers the department holds throughout the year.

The engine was not roadworthy, so a local trucker hauled the engine down on a flatbed. One of the department’s former volunteers who works on heavy trucks began working on the engine at his shop in Southampton. All of the brakes had to be rebuilt, the bearings were checked and the lights were put back in working order. Once all of the safety issues were addressed this February, the engine made its Moorestown debut.

So on Feb. 23, Fisher drove the 1952 truck down Chester Avenue where he was met by some of his predecessors who had trained him on that very truck.

Fisher said the truck is an important piece of the department’s history, so it’s only natural that they’d want to preserve the engine. While there are still a few cosmetic touches to make, the engine is almost fully restored.

The plan is to showcase the truck at parades and town events. The engine will be on display at the department’s upcoming Easter flower sale.

Fisher said, at the end of the day, the engine pays homage to the firefighters who trained and came before them, so it’s only right that it’s back in Moorestown.

“It was time to bring it home,” Fisher said.


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