LOUISVILLE, Colo. — When the Marshall Fire happened, some fire trucks that were used to respond had to be abandoned by firefighters due to the conditions.
“I was actually the fire engine that was behind this truck and we had gotten to a neighborhood that was just south of here that we had to quickly abandon," recalled Brian Saxon, a firefighter and engineer for the Louisville Fire Protection District. "And as we were exiting the neighborhood…there was so much debris that was flying around that had actually caught the air filter on fire of this engine and it broke down in front of us.”
Crews that day thought they had lost Engine 1, a large truck with several ladders.
When it was recovered, it was found to be damaged, but salvageable.
After months of repair the fire department got it back around three weeks ago, in time for what would be a grand "welcome back" - the Stanley Cup Parade in downtown Denver.
Saxon drove the truck Thursday morning, joined by fellow Louisville firefighters Brian Jackson and Andrea Crass.
“It was really neat to be part of it all and it's just one of those special breaks – almost like that highlight moment in your career to be part of something like that," said Jackson, who is also a training captain.
For these firefighters, they describe the break they received through the parade, as joyful.
“Kind of [a] cloud nine feeling," Crass said. “All joined up together for something that’s joyful rather than something that is terrible."
The three firefighters said the feeling of being in the crowd was energizing.
“Driving along in that parade and seeing that sea of people…and just the huge championship environment it is…bringing home that Stanley Cup – that’s pretty amazing – that’s pretty special," Jackson said.
On a side note, they described using the truck as a symbol for how far the community has come in coming back from the Marshall Fire, during the long road to recovery.
“That’s why I thought it was a great honor not only to be a part of that parade of the championship parade…but to bring this rig …it’s rejoining the fight, it’s this grand welcome back to, you know, welcome back to the fire service after we almost lost it," said Saxon.
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