Vintage Fire Engine Returns Home

The 1948 truck was recently discovered by landowners in West Texas

NBCUniversal, Inc.

A unique piece of history has returned home to one North Texas town.

A 1948 fire engine was recently discovered in a field by landowners in Sweetwater, Texas.

Anna Fire Chief Ray Isom says the landowners contacted the department and offered to donate the engine back to the city.

“They actually sent photos of it,” Isom said. Historical photos confirmed it was the truck from Anna, Texas.

Not long after, the 1948 engine was being loaded on the back of a tow truck, headed home.

Wayne Tilley was a volunteer firefighter in Anna from the late 1950s until 1980. He’s made hundreds of calls on the truck but never knew what happened with it.

Seeing it parked outside the fire station brought back memories, he said.

“I'm tickled to death to see it,” Tilley told NBC 5.

Coincidentally, the department moved into its new central fire station this week.

“The timing of it is just what's incredible now that we're getting into the new station, you know, here we are having something that connects us to our history,” Isom said.

It's believed the truck was sold to people who intended to restore it. Instead, they let it rust and wilt in the west Texas heat.

The goal, Isom says, is to get it back up and running.

He said the department has wanted a vintage fire engine to use for events but never imagined it would be one of their own.

"I couldn’t be thankful enough for the owners that found this and actually donated it to the city because they didn’t have to do that," Isom said.

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