Dave Smith loves to buy things from auctions.
And when a very big item came up for sale last year, a red fire truck, Smith just couldn’t resist bidding. He won the bidding and now has this vehicle nicely parked in his residence in the rural area just north of Qualicum Beach.
“With what’s going on with all the fires and drought, I though it would be a good thing to have around,” said Smith, who owns the rebuilt Lost Lodge on Nahmint Road.
The firetruck is a 1991 Superior pumper, previously owned by the Winfield Volunteer Fire Department in Kelowna.
“This was their first fire/pumper truck and they were sad to see it go,” said Smith, who was reluctant to divulge how much the vehicle cost him. “It was a good price. It is in excellent condition for a 1991 and it runs well. I’m pretty stoked with it.”
Smith keeps the fire truck in good shape. He often starts it and mostly drives it around his property, like a youngster who enjoys playing with a toy.
“When the kids are here I would toot the horn and just have fun with it,” said Smith. “They get to ride on it and they think it’s cool. My nephew who lived up here has a two-year-old boy and he had him in there. Taking a picture and you see the biggest smile on a two-year-old boy on a big fire truck.”
Although he is happy with his collection, Smith would truly love to try the pumper out but would need 1,500 gallons of water to fill up the truck.
“I just don’t have that water to fill it up,” Smith said. “I just wish I have a little bit of water, so I could spray all my trees and that would save me a whole day of watering all my trees, versus getting a little hose out.”
Smith has no intention of keeping the fire truck for long. He is currently selling it and hopes a small community or town would find it useful. He was selling it for $30,000 at first but has dropped the price.
“A brand new one costs around $1 million,” said Smith. “This thing is not bad for a fire truck. It can save a few houses in your area.”
Smith hopes the Regional District of Nanaimo would be interested in it, as it is now looking at establishing a fire protection services in Horne Lake. He said no one has contacted him yet.
“Having a fire truck in that area would make a big difference as the closest fire department is eight kilometres away,” said Smith.