American LaFrance Closes; Doesn't Expect to Reopen

Longtime fire apparatus builder American LaFrance, which opened in 1873, closed its doors on Friday.


Almost six years after filing bankruptcy, longtime fire apparatus builder American LaFrance told employees that Friday was their last day.

All three facilities, in Moncks Corner, S.C., Los Angeles, Calif. and Ephrata, Pa., closed at the end of the business day, WCSC-TV reported.

The company was founded in 1873 and in 1995 it was purchased by Freightliner.

In 2005, investment firm Patriarch Partners took ownership of American LaFrance.

A new 497,000-square-foot manufacturing facility opened in Summerville, S.C. during the summer of 2007.

Late in January 2008, American LaFrance filed Chapter 11 bankruptcy. One of the factors was $100 million in debt.

Weeks later they had one truck on display at Firehouse World in San Diego, and the American LaFrance representative did not elaborate on the situation.

During July of 2008, the company closed the doors on its Hamburg, N.Y. facility and moved those operations to Ephrata. 

They released the following statement to employees Friday:

American LaFrance, LLC, the manufacturer of fire, rescue and vocational vehicles, announced Friday the closing of its warehouse, production and service facilities in Monks Corner, SC Ephrata, PA and Los Angeles.

The company is advising its customers that they will be able to continue obtaining replacement parts and service for vehicles manufactured by American LaFrance from a new third party vendor. American LaFrance will contact customers with information about where they can obtain parts and service for their vehicles in the near future.

Unfortunately, the company's unexpected current financial condition requires the discontinuation of operations in these locations at this time and these facilities are not expected to reopen.