Historic vehicles lost in midtown Tucson fire

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TUCSON, Ariz. -- Monday night in midtown Tucson, historic vehicles in the Old Pueblo Trolley collection were destroyed by flames.

"During World War II they had a need for buses and they converted a lot of auto haulers to carry passengers," said Gene Caywood from Old Pueblo Trolley.

The buses date back to 1928. Several of them were in the process of being restored. After Monday night's fire they are headed to their last stop.

"Clean up and send the buses that got destroyed in the fire to the scrapper, and take a few valuable parts off them before we send them to the scrapper," said Caywood.

The first fire crews arriving on scene were surprised to see the buses and several ambulances nearby on fire.

"When they arrived on scene they realized that this was a huge brush fire and they need a lot assistance. So, about 20 additional fire trucks were sent to the scene and about 60 fire fighters," said Capt. Trish Tracy from Tucson Fire.

It took the crews more than an hour to get things under control. It wasn't an easy fight for the firefighters.

"On the vehicle you have all different types of things that can burn," said Capt. Tracy.  "We had power lines that were impinging on the area where we needed to place the water."

Several buses were destroyed and its not a pretty sight to see hard work go up in flames.

"Oh certainly.  Your always sad when you lose some historic stuff," said Caywood.  "We don't have a lot of money, but we spend money to get them here, so then if they get burned up, we wasted a lot of time and money."

The cause of the fire is still under investigation.

Also due to the fire, the Old Pueblo Trolley group will have to find a new home for the buses that survived.