Antonito mural thanks volunteers

A mural thanking volunteer firefighters is now clearly visible on the exterior wall of the “old firehouse” in downtown Antonito, thanks to the South Conejos Fire Protection District. Armed with cans of spray paint, Murals Now artists Diego Florez (right) and Zehb are shown with their chihuahua mascot. Photo by Keith R. Cerny

ANTONITO– Somewhat inspired by murals being painted on the exterior of a local cannabis shop, the South Conejos Fire Protection District board decided they should add a mural to the north wall of the “old firehouse” downtown.

Antonito Fire Chief Paul Duran said the decision was made to add a mural, in an already mural-ridden town, to thank volunteer firefighters. And the AFD’s own 1937 Ford pumper is featured on the large painted image.

The fire district contracted with “Murals Now” from Denver to paint the giant mural that is easily seen from southbound drivers on U.S. Highway 285.

Murals Now partners Diego Florez and Zehb said they donated a portion of their time due to the nature of gratitude being shown to volunteer firefighters. The pair does most of their painting solely with spray paint, and the ladder they used came off the ’37 Ford.

“We donated a lot of our time as gratitude to the firefighters,” Florez said. “They are out there putting their lives on the line.”

 He added that murals are their “life mission and we’re always looking for more projects.” They can be reached at [email protected].

Chief Duran said the ’37 Ford, VIN No. 001, would still be in use if not for a broken valve. The truck’s pump was updated years ago and at one point had its engine rebuilt, “but it still got the original tires,” he said.

The AFD’s main fire station is near the highway junction just south of town, but the downtown location stores the ’37 and some other equipment. The rest of the building is rented out to other businesses.


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