58 North Road, East Windsor, CT

1928 American LaFrance, Type 145 Pumper

  • Builder: American LaFrance
  • Year: 1928
  • Service: Hartford, Connecticut - 1928-late 1940s
  • Acquired: 1998


In 1927 American LaFrance introduced the new Metropolitan series which sported an entirely new front end, new taller radiator and cast metal cowl. The pumper engines were called Type 145 with 1000 gpm rotary gear pumps and the tried and true 120 horse power engine. The 100 Series were only built from 1927 until 1929 when the all new Master Series was introduced.

Placed in service January 22, 1929 at Engine Company 7 at Main and Sanford Street. Assigned builders number 6537 by American LaFrance it was originally going to be assigned to Engine 9 which was opening on New Britain Avenue. Instead it was assigned to Engine Co. 7 and served Engine 7 until it was replaced in the late 1940's. This truck served the Hartford Fire Department as a first line piece for almost 20 years.

On July 6, 1944 the Ringling Briothers and Barnum & Bailey Circus was in town on Barber Street. On the hot summer day the mantinee perfromance had apprioximatley 6,000 in attendance. Due to wartiem restrictions, the "big top" had been waterptoffed with a mix of 6,000 gallons of gasoline and 1,800 pounds paraffin wax. At 2:44 pm 1st almrm Box 82 at Clark & Westaland St was struck, bring Engine 7 and two other engiens and ladders to the area. Upon arrival at the circus gronds, they foundthe big top fully engulfed in flames and stretched 900 ft of hose and worked for 3 hrs and 17 minutes to extinused the baze. Despite their efforrts 168 were dead and over 700 injured, making this one of the worst fire disastes in US history.

Sold at auction sometime in the early 1950's the truck eventually was donated to the Hayward Fire Company in Colchester, CT. In 1998 the truck was donated to the fire museum and after a 3 year restoration process is operational again.

On July 6, 2019, with the help of the Hartfird Fire Department this this truck was transported down to the Circus Fire Memorial, on the exact same grounds where the Big Top once stood, for the 75th Anniversary remembrance ceremony.


880 cubic inch cyl ALF
3 speed manual
1,000 GPM ALF rotary
90 gallon
12 foot roof
20 foot extension
10 foot Pompier
1,200 foot 3 inch

Connecticut Trolley Museum