Bend's first fire engine getting big spruce-up

Dates back to 1918; may roll in Christmas Parade

POSTED: 10:16 AM PST December 24, 2013    UPDATED: 9:27 PM PDT October 26, 2013 
Reviving Bend's first fire engine image2

If you've been over to Wade Bryant Auto Repair in the last couple of weeks, you may have noticed something different. In the garage is the first fire engine in Bend's history, being revived so it can hit the streets once again.

The engine is a big piece of Bend history, a 1918 model that hasn't been active since the 1940s It was found in Poulsbo, Wash. and returned months ago after a fund-raising effort.

We caught up with Bryant on Saturday to hear how the project is going, and what it means to have a piece of Bend history in his shop.

“This is like working on the Mona Lisa of vehicles,” Bryant said, “It's very exciting to be able to work on this old engine, especially something that is this old --nearly 100 years old -- and to be able to see that operating again is just really exciting.”

Bryant is almost done fixing it up and hopes it will be ready to roll for this year's Christmas parade, although that decision is up to the committee.