KNOXVILLE, TN – The Knoxville Fire Department has spent months waiting for repairs to be made on a broken fire truck, according to the Web site And since Feb. 7, firefighters are down two trucks. On Feb. 9, the city opened bids for a new ladder truck to replace Ladder 3. It’s still unclear if insurance money will cover the loss.

Firefighters scrambling to get flames under control had to hurry out of the way when a building collapsed. Ladder 3 didn’t make it. While a smashed windshield can be replaced, the truck’s back end was in bad shape.

Ladder 1 hasn’t been used for four months. Suspension problems put it on blocks and out of service for more than eight months in 2001. It was eventually sent back to the manufacturer for a new suspension system. Four months ago, an annual inspection revealed new cracks in the bucket truck’s arm.

The city will award a bid for a new truck to replace Ladder 3 on Feb. 20. Officials will also secure a loaner to use for about five months until the new truck arrives. Two other trucks were already on order.