Around Town

Rescuing a Classic

A local firefighter has restored a '47 Dodge fire engine

So Rhode Island Magazine ·

In 2010, the Block Island Fire Department sold Engine 2, their 1947 Dodge fire truck to the Jamestown Fire Department Museum. Parked and out of service for years, it was in disrepair and in desperate need of a full restoration. Jamestown’s former chief, Bob Bryer put up the asking price of a single dollar bill and Firefighter Lew Kitts got to work. For five years, Lew invested his personal time and money to restore it to a working fire engine; now it’s operational, pumping 250 gallons per minute and shining with new paint and lettering. Every two weeks, Lew steers the four-speed, flat head six cylinder from the open cab down to Beavertail Light, even right through the winter. Now, just awaiting the perfect new brass bell, Engine 2 is ready for a parade.

On September 25, Lew will be back behind the wheel for the South Kingstown Firefighters Memorial Parade. Departments will gather at the Fireman’s Memorial in Peace Dale at noon, rain or shine, before beginning their march down Main and High Streets at 1pm. All their stations will be represented along with high school marching bands, the Yankee Volunteers Fife and Drum Corps and the Mystic Highland Pipe Band. After the parade and a few final touches, Jamestown Fire Department plans to show off the restoration in next summer’s Block Island Fourth of July parade. 1070 Kingstown Road, Peace Dale.

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