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Firefighters mark Halifax Explosion

An old fire truck was restored and rededicated yesterday as a funeral engine.

An old fire truck was restored and rededicated yesterday as a funeral engine.

It was dedicated after the annual ceremony to remember nine firefighters killed in the Halifax Explosion. Engine Number 1 will carry the casket during the funeral of a firefighter killed on duty.

The Duffus Street Fire Station is home to the annual Halifax Fallen Firefighters Monument Service.

Wreaths were laid and pipes and drums were played yesterday to remember the firefighters who were killed when they responded to a call on Dec. 6, 1917. The only survivor was the driver, Billy Wells, who was found clutching half a steering wheel.

“He had all the muscle blown out of his arm,” said Colleen Burgess, Wells’ niece.

A bell, traditionally used by firefighters to mark shift changes or the end of a call, rang out during the ceremony for the firefighters who did not return to base that day.

“They reflect honour and respect to those who have given so much and served so well,” said Capt. Paul Edwards. “Our methods may change but our goals remain the same: To save lives and protect property. Sometimes at a terrible cost.”

 
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