BATON ROUGE, La. (WAFB) - Louisiana State Fire Marshal Butch Browning is asking the public for donations to help build a new fire house for the Spirit of Louisiana, a fire engine with quite a story.
The Spirit was initially paid for entirely through donations, the fire marshal says, and was built by Ferrara Fire Apparatus in Holden for the New York City Fire Department after 9/11. Since then, the truck has served during three other catastrophes.
Browning says the Spirit was in New York City from December of 2001 until September of 2005, when it returned to New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina along with 400 firefighters and 15 support vehicles from FDNY. The truck was used in New Orleans until 2010, when its engine was rebuilt.
Then, after Hurricane Sandy, the truck was sent back to New York, where it was used for several months, before returning home to Louisiana.
At that time, it was recommissioned and given to the Louisiana Office of State Fire Marshal (LAOSFM) as a funeral caisson truck, and also to be used for education and outreach events.
LAOSFM is currently working to build a new fire house for the Spirit on the grounds of the LAOSFM headquarters in Baton Rouge next to the Louisiana Fallen Firefighters’ Memorial. Browning says the building will be a fire house replica and will serve as a tribute to FDNY and NOFD. The fire marshal’s office is hoping to raise $400,000 for the project.
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