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APPARATUS
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1860 Hand Pumper
1888 Silsby
1899 American Steam
1900s A.L.F. Ladder Wagon
1903 American Steam
1905 Nott Steam
1907 A.L.F. Steam
1915 Chief's Car
1915 Ford A.L.F.
1916 A.L.F. "Disneyland"
1923 A.L.F. Ford TT
1924 A.L.F.
1924 A.L.F. Home Gardens
1925 Stutz
1925 Ford Model T
1927 Chevy Phaeton
1928 Seagrave
1930 Moreland
1947 Ford Wagon
1954 Mack B-85
1955 Crown Triple
1970 Chevrolet Ambulance
1965 Crown
1972 Dodge D300
1973 Ward LaFrance
1981 A.L.F.

 

1924 American LeFrance
Type 75

Home Gardens · Lakewood


1916 American LeFrance

Another 1924 American LaFrance in our collection is Engine 15, delivered on October 30, 1924 and assigned to the Home Gardens Fire Protection District. Home Gardens was a short-lived fire protection district. It was formed in 1924 and dissolved in 1928 when the area was annexed to the City of South Gate.

Engine 15 then became South Gate Engine 2. It was driven on its last mission by Curtis Jones, a Los Angeles County Fire Department retiree. At the time, Jones was a "boot" (newly hired) Fireman with the South Gate Fire Department. One of his duties was to care for the ’24 LaFrance, then a reserve engine. During a large commercial fire in South Gate, Jones was ordered to bring the reserve rig to the scene of the incident to make use of its 750GPM pump and fire hose. The old girl pumped for three hours straight, proving she still had what it took.

1924 American La FranceNonetheless, Curtis Jones then was told to drive the rig to the playground at South Gate Park. There, its hoods were welded shut and equipment removed. She served as a large toy for generations of children who succeeded in pounding her exterior to scrap.

In about 1996 we learned that old Engine 15 was scheduled to be disposed of. At the time we knew nothing of the old rig’s history but we thought it might be a good source of parts for other restorations. What we found was a remarkably preserved motor and drive train, which piqued our interest and encouraged further research. After exchanging letters with the City of South Gate, Engine 15 returned to her original home with the Los Angeles County Fire Department. When the time comes, both the Signal Hill and Home Gardens engines will be restored side by side, simultaneously.

Engine Company 15, 1924