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Maine Town Gives Fire Wagon to NYC

July 27, 2002

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OWLS HEAD, Maine (AP) _ A painstakingly restored 19th century fire wagon was presented Saturday to the New York City Fire Department as a post-Sept. 11 gift from the people of Maine.

The wagon will be used as a funeral caisson to honor fallen New York City firefighters. Except for adaptations to allow it to be pulled by people instead of horses, the restoration is accurate down to the finest detail.

``It’s absolutely gorgeous,″ New York Deputy Fire Commissioner Thomas Fitzpatrick told a gathering at the Owls Head Transportation Museum. ``It represents so much to the fire department.″

The restoration project was spearheaded by Andy Swift of Firefly Restorations in Hope, and Ken Soderbeck of Jackson, Mich.

``In the firefighting profession, honoring your dead is something sacred,″ Swift said in a statement. ``It is a great honor to pay tribute in this way.″

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