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Vintage fire truck revs up retro aesthetic at FS6

A month after Axiom took up residence within the historic Fire Station No. 6 at Washington and Ash, it was time to reach back for a little inspiration.

An old-school American LaFrance fire truck would do the trick. The catch: Need it in 72 hours.

On short notice, the chances of finding one for a March 27 photo shoot in front of Fire Station No. 6 appeared daunting. Restored early 20th-century fire trucks are not impossible to find, but the clock was ticking. Searching over the preceding weekend, an Axiom envoy located a 1929 Chevy fire truck for sale in Katy, but it fell short of Axiom’s needs. A fire truck club based in Humble had American LaFrance trucks including a 1914 and a 1930 model, but neither could be taken out of the garage without the risk of damaging them.

One day before the scheduled shoot, our prayers were answered.

Thanks to Clint Johnson, emergency manager and fire marshal of the City of Humble, he arranged for an 1926 American LaFrance model that was in storage at Hobby Airport to be placed on a flatbed tow truck and transported to the Axiom parking lot. The truck arrived at 4:30 p.m. on Monday, March 26, and remained in the Axiom lot overnight.

The next day, photographer Pete Lacker and assistant Aggie Brooks, along with Axiom creative director David Lerch, were up before the crack of dawn to begin setting up for the photo shoot in the Axiom parking lot. Johnson arrived at the lot a few minutes later in a red Jeep, then drove the 1926 truck into position within the lot. It was a clear day for capturing the character of the vintage ALF truck and those of Axiom employees posing with it.

Lacker snapped shots for about an hour before Axiom employees returned to work. Shortly afterward and unexpectedly, four firefighters from HFD No. 38 (which serves the Spring Branch section of Houston) stopped by FS6 in their fire truck. They took photos of the vintage fire truck and were given a tour of the building. Thanks for stopping by, guys!

Later that morning, firefighters from the current Fire Station No. 6 at 3402 Washington visited the historic FS6 in their modern fire apparatus. The Axiom staff came back outside to pose for photographs in front of the building with the vintage fire truck, and again with the modern fire truck. HFD district chiefs Wallace Page (No. 6) and Brennan Hershey (No. 30 at Irvington and Frisco streets), and former HFD spokesman Jay Evans also visited historic FS6.

The fire officials and HFD No. 6 firefighters went inside the building after the shoot, but their tour was cut short because of an emergency call. That was only the start of the brisk activity taking place at the historic site.

And so, Axiom embraces the historic Fire Station No. 6’s past and present, and continues to chronicle history in the making.

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