Messenger photos by Rick Palsgrove
Ladder Truck 18, from the Fort Pitt Fire Station of the Fire Department of New York, arrived at Motts Military Museum in Groveport on Aug. 31. The fire truck, which was heavily damaged during the terrorist attack on New York’s World Trade Center on Sept. 11, 2001, will become part of a 9-11 exhibit at the museum.
State Fire Marshal Larry Flowers, formerly the Madison Township fire chief, looks inside the cab of the truck.
Madison Township firefighters get a close look at the damaged fire truck.
One of the fire truck’s smashed and deflated tires.
A fire truck, which was heavily damaged during the terrorist attack on the World Trade Center on Sept. 11, 2001, arrived from New York at Motts Military Museum in Groveport on Aug. 31.
"We will display this fire truck here to help remind future generations of what happened on 9-11," said Motts Military Museum Director Warren Motts.
Ladder Truck 18 is from the Fort Pitt Fire Station of the Fire Department of New York. It is a 1999 Model Seagrave that is approximately 41-feet long and weighs about 28,000 pounds. It had been stored in a hangar at JFK Airport in New York since 2001.
A flat bed semi-truck, escorted by an honor guard made up of the Patriot Guard on motorcycles and several fire and police vehicles, carried Ladder Truck 18 to its new home in Groveport.
Motts worked with New York officials and Ohio Congressman Steve Stivers to obtain the fire truck for Motts Military Museum’s growing collection of 9-11 artifacts. Motts has been negotiating with Washington, D.C., officials, as well as those who are caring for the World Trade Center artifacts in New York City, to obtain 9-11 artifacts for his museum. He said the officials gave him free rein to select what he wanted.
"When we’re finished we will have the biggest collection of 9-11 artifacts outside of Ground Zero in New York," Motts said.
Motts said Ladder Truck 18 will be stored inside the museum.
"We want to leave all the dust and damage as is so people can see what happened to this truck and appreciate what the firefighters who manned it went through," said Motts.
Ladder Truck 18 on Sept. 11, 2001
Stivers said firefighters of Ladder Truck 18 rushed to the scene of the attack on the World Trade Center on Sept. 11, 2001.
"The firefighters had worked their way up to the fifth floor of the second tower when they felt it shake for 30 seconds," said Stivers. "Their chief ordered them out of the tower and they made it out of the building just before it fell. As the tower came down, the firefighters got under their fire trucks for protection from the falling debris."
Despite being smashed by the falling debris, Ladder Truck 18 did not give way completely under the crushing weight.
"Because of their trucks, like Ladder Truck 18, all 18 firefighters from the Fort Pitt fire station survived," said Stivers.
Stivers said Ladder Truck 18 is a symbol of what it means to be a policeman or a firefighter.
"This fire truck is living history," said Stivers. "It is good it will be here at this museum where people can see it rather than in a warehouse where it would never be seen."
Other 9-11 artifacts at the museum
Among the other 9-11 artifacts items Motts has received are: a piece of the damaged superstructure from the Pentagon; a 20-foot piece of the antenna from the North Tower of the World Trade Center; damaged police vehicles; a large directional sign from the World Trade Center; marble slabs from the World Trade Center; flags and more.
He said the marble slabs could be used for flooring in a proposed, new $500,000 building he hopes to build at Motts Military Museum to house the Sept. 11 artifacts.
"We hope to raise the $500,000 through donations," said Motts.
Additionally, Motts will obtain a piece of damaged concrete weighing more than a ton from the earlier terrorist attack on the World Trade Center on Feb. 26, 1993 when a truck bomb was detonated at the base of the North Tower.