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Ladder truck leaves Marlinton for New York

By Suzanne Stewart, The Pocahontas Times

MARLINTON, W.Va. — On March 2, the 1936 American Lafrance ladder truck saw the light of day for the first time in decades as it was hauled out of Brenda Ricotilli Murphy’s airplane hangar in Marlinton as the first step of the journey to its new home in New York.

Murphy inherited the truck from her dad, Tony Ricotilli, who bought it from the Marlinton Volunteer Fire Department in 1975. Ricotilli was a long standing member of the fire department and wanted to keep the fire truck for parades and special occasions.

The truck has a long history of service spanning decades and multiple states. 

On October 31, 1965, the truck was purchased by Marlinton Volunteer Fire Department and joined a fleet of three trucks and an ambulance.

Members of the department traveled to Ocean City, Maryland, to pick up the truck and had a very chilly ride home.

“My brother, Doug Dunbrack, one of my cousins, Jack Daniels, and Tony Ricotilli – there may have been more – they went up there and drove the truck back,” Tommy Dunbrack recalled.

“They were telling a tale about how cold it was. They had to alternate drivers because it was an open cab truck. Those old trucks didn’t have heaters in them, so it was just like driving a convertible all the way.”

Dunbrack added that the large truck probably couldn’t have gone faster than 45 miles per hour, so it was not only a cold trip, but also a long one.

“They thought it was kind of fun,” he said.

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