Well known fire historian, antique restorer and SPAAMFAA member Ken Soderbeck who owns Hand in Hand Restoration had a major fire in his shop last week. An article about the fire can be found HERE and HERE.

The five major pieces being restored were saved, some suffering only minor damage (two steamers, 2 hand carts, and an American LaFrance Roadster). Much of Ken’s personal collection was destroyed including helmets, buckets, bugles, photos, negatives, silk screens and historical records depicting the history of American LaFrance. A tremendous outpouring of help has travelled to Jackson, MI since the fire and will continue daily as friends and colleagues come to help out anyway they can.

I travelled there on Sunday and spent several hours polishing the chrome and brass on one of the steamers along with ancillary parts. The overall loss (including the structure which has been part of Ken’s life for many years) is quite devastating.

Anyone that is interested in helping out has the opportunity.  A  fund has been setup to collect donations to help Ken and his wife Aggie get back on their feet. Click HERE to read about the fund and another short description. For those who travel to Jackson for the annual fire flea market (listed below), you have no doubt been to Ken’s shop.

Saturday April 24,  2010 -33rd Annual GLIAFAA Fire Flea Market, Jackson County Fairgrounds,  Jackson Michigan Indoor & Outdoor Swap spaces available.   Info: 734-621-0350 George or GLIAFAA, PO Box 510507, Livonia MI   48151-6507 www.gliafaa.com

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