1956 fire truck returns to Michiana

Published: Oct. 21, 2021 at 11:43 PM EDT
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SOUTH BEND, Ind. (WNDU) - A 1956 Seagrave fire truck, that was once owned by South Bend’s airport, returns to Michiana.

The South Bend International Airport bought the fire truck many years ago.

Brian Cassady and James Temple, both firefighters who worked in the airport’s safety division, spent hours and hours restoring it.

“It was in pretty tough shape. They wanted to fix it up for a parade vehicle. Brian and I took on the task of restoring it,” said Temple.

The airport eventually sold it to a man in Michigan, who stored it at a private museum.

“When the airport sold it, I didn’t think I would ever see it again. So, I didn’t think it would come back here,” Temple said.

“I wasn’t sure I would ever see this truck again,” Cassady said.

When the owner sadly passed away, the truck went up for auction.

Ironically enough, Brian and his wife, Kathy Cassady, just happened to see a post about it on Facebook.

“We were competing with another museum out of New York and somebody had told the guy, ‘hey he is the one who restored it.’ So he quit bidding,” Cassady said.

The couple bought it for $9,000.

“We’ve had people ask, ‘Why would you buy a firetruck?’ And I am just like it’s a firemen thing, I don’t think you’d understand,” said Cassady.

On Thursday, the fire truck made its way back to South Bend.

“It’s heartwarming to see the men so emotional and I keep telling Brian, once a firefighter, always a firefighter,” said Cassady.

Brian named it “Charlotte.”

“It means a lot to me and my wife, but I wanted to do it for anybody who ever worked on that. There were a lot of people. It’s for the airport family,” Cassady said.

The truck needs a little work, but it will be ready to go soon.

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