Engine 8 as I knew her was Tacoma Fire Shop #43, and she started her career in 1970 as Engine 5 at Station #5 in the Hilltop neighborhood.
|Shop #43's first assignment at Hilltop Station #5|
Photo: Richard Schneider via Thorsten Umbach
Just a few years later, Fire Station #4 near where the Tacoma Dome is today was permanently closed, and Fire Station #5 was renamed as #4. Engine 4 kept its number and moved to the Hilltop station, and Shop #43 was reassigned to Fire Station #8. Here is the only picture I have of Shop #43 at Station #8, and below is a much later picture of Station #8 as she appears today in retirement (a new Station #8 opened in 2003).
|Shop #43 at Station #8 with my niece, circa ~1984|
|Historic Station #8 today|
Where Shop #43 went after Tacoma sold her I don't know. She may have gone on to serve another agency like Engine 17 did. At this point all I know for sure is that at some point the sandwich shop Firehouse Subs obtained Shop #43 and repainted her to their signature Dalmation scheme for work down in Florida. I have no idea how she got to Florida, if she was already there when they bought her, or they transported her there from somewhere else. I got this picture from company reps back in 2010 - but at that point I did not know it was #43, I only knew that their rig was one of the E17 sisters.
|Shop #43 as a marketing tool for Firehouse Subs, circa 2010|
Photo: Mike Kelly, Firehouse Subs
|Shop #43 looking pretty rough, January of 2013|
Photo: Flickr user VinceFL
Have to admit, the deterioration in condition from 2010 to 2013 is significant: Peeling red stripes, quite a bit of rust, flat tire (!).... kind of hard to look at. Here are some more pictures from 'VinceFL' with some finishing effects applied to the images.
Yesterday I sent an email to the contacts I made with Firehouse Subs back in 2010 to see if they still have Shop #43, and if so how she is doing and where she is. Not sure what I think I want to do with that info if she is still around. She would be a much bigger project now than in 2010, and I haven't been able to make any realistic headway on the fire engine I already have! But it would be nice to know. Fingers crossed that she still has a future and isn't already gone. Will post more when I know.