ALIQUIPPA (KDKA) — The Aliquippa Fire Department retired one of its trucks after a 100-foot ladder collapsed, injuring a firefighter.

Aliquippa Firefighter J.T. Pennington was on the ladder responding to a fire at Junak’s Auto Repair on Franklin Avenue.

“It bent in the middle, came down kind of slow and then the last 15-20-feet it really picked up some speed,” Aliquippa Fire Chief Dave Foringer said. “Fortunately, he was wearing all his safety equipment and that probably saved his life.”

Normally, a 1976 aerial ladder truck would not be kept in service this long, but Aliquippa is a distressed community and could not afford a new truck.

The federal government provided a grant to purchase a nearly $800,000 apparatus. A new 42-foot truck with a 100-foot ladder was supposed to arrive in December, but won’t be delivered until the end of the month.

“The new truck has a lot more safety equipment on it than the old one did,” Foringer said. “The other one was a pretty simple piece of equipment.”

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