Idle Island ’s Fire Truck Goes Quickly on the Web

February 13, 2008

NEW YORK – Governors Island utilized a surplus online auction to sell old fire truck that had been idle for years.

A red fire engine with the 100-foot-long extendable arm was called Super Truck. Left behind by the Coast Guard a decade ago, it sat on Governors Island in New York Harbor, unwanted by the firefighters stationed there and unavailable to others who coveted it from afar, according to the New York Times.

A small fire company at a veterans’ hospital in western New Jersey asked for it in 2004. But officers of the Governors Island Preservation and Education Corporation, the city-state entity that now oversees the island in New York Harbor, said the truck, though idle, was too valuable to give away. But eventually, they sought bids on the Internet for the truck. They quickly got an offer of more than $75,000, a bid they accepted last week.

The sale resulted from the posting of an ad on Craigslist, a Web site filled with classified ads for a broad array of merchandise. The “for sale by owner” post offered a 1993 Pierce aerial platform truck with 450-horsepower motor that it said had “not been used in several years.” No mention was made of a price or of the truck’s location several hundred yards off the coast of Brooklyn.

But that was enough to catch the eye of Curvin Wolfgang, the chief of the East Prospect Fire Company in the exurbs of southern Pennsylvania near Lancaster. Wolfgang had been looking for a replacement for his company’s 33-year-old workhorse, according to the New York Times.

Posting the ad was a first for the executives of Governors Island and a departure from city agencies’ practice of selling surplus equipment through live auctions. The vehicle was sold “as is” and “where is,” which is on a 150-acre island.

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