Firemen Refurbish Antique Fire Truck
By Allan Jamail
Galena Park, TX. – February 6, 2018 at the regular council meeting Mayor Esmeralda Moya recognized and commended Firemen Sam Henry and Robbie Beall for their volunteering to restore the city’s first fire truck.
Because of the invaluable volunteer service of Henry and Beall the 1936 Ford Seagate fire truck was restored for $14,000 compared to the $124,000 price tag quoted by a company specializing in fire truck restorations. Their work took 22 months to complete with the help of two local companies. AmSpec restored the chrome, Burbank Barrel polished the brass and San Jacinto College painted it. The antique truck is only used now for parades or on display at city events.
Fire Chief Paul Gregory said Galena Park firemen and a policeman drove this fire truck to aid in the historical Texas City disaster. It was an industrial accident that occurred April 16, 1947, in the Port of Texas City. It was the deadliest industrial accident in U.S. history, and one of the largest non-nuclear explosions. Originating with a mid-morning fire on board the French-registered vessel SS Grandcamp, her cargo of approximately 2,200 tons of ammonium nitrate detonated, with the initial blast and subsequent chain-reaction of further fires and explosions in other ships and nearby oil-storage facilities. It killed at least 581 people, including all but one member of the Texas City fire department.
Gregory said the Galena Park firemen stayed at the disaster for days doing rescue work and the Galena Park police officer was placed in charge of the onsite temporary morgue.