fire engine

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English[edit]

A fire engine in Iraq

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Noun[edit]

fire engine (plural fire engines)

  1. (firefighting) A vehicle used by firefighters to pump water to fight a fire. Typically, a fire engine carries a supply of water and has the ability to connect to an external water supply.
    • 2023 March 22, “Network News: Class 175s withdrawn for safety checks after fires”, in RAIL, number 979, page 13:
      A fire aboard TfW 175007, working a Holyhead-Cardiff Central service on February 8, closed the A483 road while five fire engines from Wrexham, Deeside, and Cheshire attended the scene.
  2. (archaic) Steam engine.
    • 1844, William Pole, A Treatise on the Cornish Pumping Engine - Parts 1-3, page 110:
      A plan somewhat similar to this was adopted by Smeaton in the boiler of his portable fire engine.
    • 1866, Charles Frederick T. Young, Fires, Fire Engines, and Fire Brigades: With a History of Manual and Steam Fire Engines, page 93:
      In the same year a very compact arrangement for a stationary fire engine was described by Mr. Wm. Baddeley, in which he proposed it should be worked like a capstan by means of handspikes, and it could be bolted down to a ship's deck, or fastened wherever wanted.
    • 1868, John Bourne, A Treatise on the Steam-engine in Its Various Applications to Mines, Mills, Steam Navigation, Railways, and Agriculture, page 4:
      This discovery gave a great impulse to mechanical ingenuity, and many schemes were contrived to make this new agent available as a motive power; but the first of these projects that appears to have been of any avail was the fire engine of Captain Tomas Savery, who produced a vacuum by condensing steam in close vessels, and then applied the vacuum so obtained to the elevation of water.

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