Chris obtained six of these Gamewell fire alarm boxes which were then outfitted with phones and given to the groomsmen in his wedding party.

The Ultimate (Fire) Man Cave

Wouldn’t it be totally cool to have a real fire truck in your basement as a bar? Chris Steel, a veteran volunteer firefighter from Long Island (NY) thought so. With that idea in mind, he came across an old fire truck while traveling along the back roads on the east end of Long Island and decided to make his dream a reality...








Coasters were fashioned from pump pressure gauges which were collected from a fellow Manorville FD member who works as an apparatus repairman.

The original ladder from Engine 7 was restored by Chris’s friend who then cut it to size to fit behind the bar.

Steel FD Engine 7 - 1963 International VCO 190/Young

Originally serving as Engine 7 of the Brookhaven (LI, NY) FD, this rig was found sitting on a farm owned by a commissioner of the Brookhaven Fire District. After negotiating to buy the truck, a week later the farm was sold - fortunately, the new owner honored the deal. Purchased for $500, it was towed to Chris’s home in Manorville where with the help of friends and family over a period of 2 to 3 weeks, the rig was gutted and cut into four pieces (fortunately, his neighbor was a member of FDNY so he had no complaints about an old fire truck sitting in the street). After moving the disassembled parts into his basement, it was welded back together with the basement turned into a spray booth where it was repainted. To complete the restoration, the chrome rails were sent out to be re-done, new diamond plate was cut to replace what was rusted away, Chris did all the electrical work wiring warning lights, siren & LED lighting on the underside and his brother-in-law redid the button tuft interior. Gold leaf lettering done by a local artist specializing in fire apparatus coupled with the installation of a custom bar top & cabinets completed the restoration to the pristine condition seen above. After five years and $15,000 in expenses, the fully restored Engine 7 made its’ maiden “run” on Labor Day 2006.

Special thanks to Chris Steel for providing me with the opportunity to photograph this “unyque” fire truck as well as the Manorville FD’s fleet. Thanks are also extended to Mike Sev for his assistance in putting me in contact with Chris to arrange this photo shoot.

Click here to visit Manorville’s page to see their entire three station fleet

A reminder of America’s darkest day - Chris maintains a copy of his boarding pass from his Atlanta bound flight on the morning of 9/11.

The interior of Engine 7 features a fully functional siren, scanner, a Minitor III pager tapped into a strobe light and even an old Interspiro SCBA from Oceanside (this pack saw service during a spectacular commercial fire in the late 90’s where several FF’s were injured during an explosion).

This plaque showcases all the company shields of the Oceanside FD where Chris started out as a volunteer fireman 20+ years ago. 

With the pump panel 95% intact, Chris and his best friend spent the better part of a New Year’s Day laying it out on the the framework of the bar. Chris then recreated many of the faded marker panels using a label maker.

Another eclectic accessory “procured” during an MVA in Oceanside.

With the pump panel laid out, new diamond plate was cut to replace rusted sections and Chris wired LED lighting to the underside of the custom bar top.