Nova Scotia

Vintage 1948 fire truck comes home to Westville

The town of Westville, N.S., is celebrating the return of the 'Old 48,' a vintage fire truck that ended up in Ontario and was listed for sale on Kijiji.

Truck nicknamed the ‘Old 48’ turned up on Kijiji, was purchased by resident for Westville Fire Department

Westville, N.S., firefighter Bill Chace in the 'Old 48' fire truck, purchased by town resident Rhonda Cougais as a gift for the department. (Jack Julian/CBC)

The town of Westville, N.S., is heralding the return of a relic from the past.

A 71-year-old fire truck affectionately named the "Old 48" has returned to Westville after it was purchased by the family of local restaurateur Rhonda Cougias. 

The truck was for sale on the website Kijiji.

Cougias told CBC's Information Morning that when she saw a Facebook post about the truck she thought it was a was a joke.

"It still had Westville on it, and I'm like, 'Oh my heavens, we have to buy it,'" she said with a laugh.

Then she decided to spend the $5,000 to bring the truck home to Pictou County.

The 'Old 48' arrives home from Ontario. (Jack Julian/CBC)

"The fire department is doing so much, why don't we do something for the fire department?" she said.

Cougias contacted firefighter Bill Chace, who spoke with the department chief.

Chace said the truck is a 1948 GMC American-LaFrance. It carries about 730 metres of hose and 150 gallons of water.

"The old legion when it burnt back in '74 was the last time it was called in to do anything," he said. "It was top of the line for the year when it was brought in."

How the truck ended up in Ontario

The truck was eventually retired and sold from buyer to buyer, until it ended up in an Ontario barn.

After Cougias​​​​​​​ contacted the Westville department, they contacted the Kijiji seller to explain the situation.

"I basically reached right out to the owner of the truck and said, 'Listen, this is our old truck, would you be able to provide me with some pictures of what the truck looks like now?'" said Chace. "It was pretty exciting to see our piece of history that is still in one piece."

While the truck won't be attending fires in the area, it will be on display for residents to enjoy.

Chace said the first big occasion is a local car show in September.

Cougias said the truck is in "fabulous" condition.

"It was really emotional to see it, that it was in such fine shape and you could picture it back in its day," said Cougias​​​​​​​.

With files from CBC's Information Morning


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