Fire Engine Graveyard Where Mothballed Appliances Stand Silent

This warehouse in France turned out to be an eerie fire engine graveyard where abandoned or mothballed fire trucks and appliances have been collecting dust for decades 2 (Image: Vincent MichelFacebook; mothballed fire engine graveyard in France)

I wanted to be a fighter pilot when I grew up, but seeing a shiny red fire engine go hurtling past never failed to spur the imagination. What’s more, such impressive emergency vehicles seemed invincible. It was inconceivable to think that they too had a finite life expectancy, and would one day find their way to the scrap heap. The lucky ones, of course, go to museums, and having them preserved seems like an appropriate fate for any vehicle that serves the public good. But as interesting as museums are, sometimes a different kind of behind-the-scenes tour can be far more compelling; especially when it comes in the form of a graveyard full of abandoned fire engines, quietly gathering dust in an anonymous warehouse.

This warehouse in France turned out to be an eerie fire engine graveyard where abandoned or mothballed fire trucks and appliances have been collecting dust for decades 3

This warehouse in France turned out to be an eerie fire engine graveyard where abandoned or mothballed fire trucks and appliances have been collecting dust for decades 8

This warehouse in France turned out to be an eerie fire engine graveyard where abandoned or mothballed fire trucks and appliances have been collecting dust for decades 4

This warehouse in France turned out to be an eerie fire engine graveyard where abandoned or mothballed fire trucks and appliances have been collecting dust for decades 5 (Images: Vincent MichelFacebook)

Okay, so these captivating scenes of unloved fire trucks and appliances stored in France don’t exactly constitute a behind-the-scenes tour. They were taken by urban explorer Vincent Michel, and their location remains firmly under wraps. However, we understand from Messy Nessy that they are located somewhere near Le Havre, Normandy, in the northwest of the country. The title of the Flickr album – Caserne Sainte-Barbe (Barracks St. Barbara) may offer a clue of their whereabouts.

This warehouse in France turned out to be an eerie fire engine graveyard where abandoned or mothballed fire trucks and appliances have been collecting dust for decades

This warehouse in France turned out to be an eerie fire engine graveyard where abandoned or mothballed fire trucks and appliances have been collecting dust for decades 6

This warehouse in France turned out to be an eerie fire engine graveyard where abandoned or mothballed fire trucks and appliances have been collecting dust for decades 7

This warehouse in France turned out to be an eerie fire engine graveyard where abandoned or mothballed fire trucks and appliances have been collecting dust for decades 9 (Images: Vincent MichelFacebook)

Messy Nessy writes that during the 1990s, fire departments across France embarked on a campaign to raise enough money to restore dozens of retired fire engines and donate them to museums. But funds dried up in the early 2000s and those fire appliances that weren’t in good enough shape for preservation were placed in storage.

This warehouse in France turned out to be an eerie fire engine graveyard where abandoned or mothballed fire trucks and appliances have been collecting dust for decades 10

This warehouse in France turned out to be an eerie fire engine graveyard where abandoned or mothballed fire trucks and appliances have been collecting dust for decades 11

This warehouse in France turned out to be an eerie fire engine graveyard where abandoned or mothballed fire trucks and appliances have been collecting dust for decades 17

This warehouse in France turned out to be an eerie fire engine graveyard where abandoned or mothballed fire trucks and appliances have been collecting dust for decades 16 (Images: Vincent MichelFacebook)

It was hoped that a museum would come along and rescue them. But as these all-but abandoned fire engines demonstrate, supply would seem to rather outweigh demand. The Facebook group Dark Taz Photography writes that a museum in Belgium, which was poised to open in 2009, had offered some hope for the neglected fire trucks. But when the facility failed to open, the vehicles remained in their dusty resting place. It’s also understood that another new museum opened near the Swiss border in 2014, but we’re unsure how many, if any, old appliances from this warehouse made the journey.

This warehouse in France turned out to be an eerie fire engine graveyard where abandoned or mothballed fire trucks and appliances have been collecting dust for decades 15

This warehouse in France turned out to be an eerie fire engine graveyard where abandoned or mothballed fire trucks and appliances have been collecting dust for decades 18

This warehouse in France turned out to be an eerie fire engine graveyard where abandoned or mothballed fire trucks and appliances have been collecting dust for decades 12

This warehouse in France turned out to be an eerie fire engine graveyard where abandoned or mothballed fire trucks and appliances have been collecting dust for decades 13 (Images: Vincent MichelFacebook)

What is in no doubt at all, however, is that this cemetery of mothballed fire engines makes for a visually compelling photography subject. Those who love transportation and motor vehicles in general can’t fail to be drawn in by these scenes of decay, the subjects of which illustrate the history of French fire departments from the 1930s to the 1970s. Though it may not be as valuable, the dusty fire engine graveyard brings to mind a cache of vintage World War Two aircraft revealed several years ago on a Texas ranch.

This warehouse in France turned out to be an eerie fire engine graveyard where abandoned or mothballed fire trucks and appliances have been collecting dust for decades 14 (Image: Vincent MichelFacebook)

Related: 10 Abandoned Police and Fire Stations of the World

 
 


 
 
 

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