By John Anderson
While firefighters were behind Headquarters yesterday morning training on the new tower truck, David Murphy was in the parking lot unloading his Mini Fire Bike and attaching its trailer. This is not ordinary mini bike, and neither is the trailer.
The bike is complete with an air horn, siren, and strobe light while the trailer has a working pump and water tank. The bike’s gas tank is off a Harley, and the exhaust pipes are custom-made. There’s even a fire extinguisher, axe and ladders to add to the realism. All this stuff is really cool, but a driving force behind the project is Murphy’s desire to say “thank you” to firefighters.
Most people go through their lives never having to call the fire department. Unfortunately, that was not the case for David Murphy who was burned out of three Worcester residences over the last 28 years. The first was on Gates St. in 1987, and the second was on Freeland St. The last fire was on Jaques Ave. when an evicted tenant allegedly set fire to the rear porches.
Each time, Murphy says, “The fire department was there to save us.” While two industrial accidents have left Murphy permanently disabled, he still tinkers in his home shop where the Mini Fire Bike was created. He previously built a bike with a John Deere theme, and both have been big hits in local parades.
Yesterday’s visit to the Auburn Fire Rescue Department was one of several planned. He has also been to Worcester, Shrewsbury and Clinton.
Murphy still lives in Worcester and calls it home. He has 10 children and 13 grandchildren.