What the blazes! Converted fire truck is a hot hit as coffee dock

July 24th, 2021 11:40 AM

By Kieran O'Mahony

Carrigaline fire station officer Chris Gledhill and his wife Lesley-Anne with his daughter Chloe and Kayla Cotter at their converted fire engine which now operates as a coffee shop at the popular Drake’s Pool amenity near Crosshaven. (Photo: David Creedon)

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A station officer with the Cork County Fire Service has transformed a former civil defence fire truck into a spectacular coffee dock, complete with hoses and a fire hat.

‘Blazing Beans’ made its debut appearance at their pitch at Drake’s Pool outside Carrigaline last Saturday – much to the delight of kids and even some adults.

Chris Gledhill, who works out of the Carrigaline Fire Station, told The Southern Star that he always had the idea of converting a fire truck into a coffee dock but never had the time to do it.

‘That was until Covid came and I then started looking online for one. I found it in Louth and it was an ex-civil defence fire truck from the UK. I bought it for just €4,000 in January and the seller brought it down south and I collected it in Kerry,’ said Chris.

‘It’s fully functional and the lights, siren, pumps and hoses all work – it was in good nick.’

The dad-of-two started work on the truck in March – without telling his work colleagues – and  finished it in the early hours of last Saturday morning, hours before its debut.

‘I gutted the whole interior and re-sprayed it all and started fitting everything back in and getting the shell done for the roof, as well as cutting holes for the service hatch and displays. I left a few things there, too, as a little fire display.’

But things didn’t go according to plan that morning as the fire truck wouldn’t start!

‘We couldn’t start it as the battery went dead, so there was a slight delay,’ he said, but they eventually got it going.

‘There were loads of people down there and we were very busy. 

‘I have my daughter Chloe and her cousin Kayla working in it for the summer, so they are delighted.’

While they are new to the coffee business, they received barista training from Independent Coffee Solutions and they are looking forward to a busy summer ahead. Chris also hopes to add more fire trucks to his collection in the future.

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