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News, Events, and Activities in the Alaska Department of Corrections

Spring Creek’s Hobby Shop Creates Firefighter Memorials

It’s 1941. Late November in Alaska. As America is about to plunge into World War II, the small port town and railroad hub of Seward sees its three-digit population swell by nearly 3500 officers and enlisted men. The Seward Fire Hall receives a brand new, cherry red, state-of-the-art, 1941 Ford Engine. And a fire rages down 4th Avenue. At least 16 buildings are engulfed in the town’s business district. For the truck, a virtual trial by fire.

It’s 2015. An unusually warm winter in Alaska. Seward Fire Department’s Morgan Woodard, a volunteer firefighter, dreams of creating a memorial for SFD’s firefighters. He remembers seeing a miniature replica of an engine created by Donald Seek, an inmate and a member of Spring Creek’s Hobby Shop.

“Morgan crawled all over old Engine 41, in the back garage, to provide Mr. Seek with photos,” said Janice Melvin, the department’s secretary.

Mr. Seek, the master craftsman, was assisted by other members of the Hobby Shop. Randall Smith and Kirby Anthoney helped with metal and wood work, and some detail work was provided by Carl Abhul, Noel Fears, James Hemingway, and Michael James. This collaborative effort was another example of the Hobby Shop at its finest.

According to Melvin, the plan is to make small, brass plates engraved with names for those members who have departed. The result will be an incredible piece of art that will be cherished for generations to come.

And a dream realized.

The fire engine will be displayed at the Seward Fire Department.