One dark night in Ballard, Washington, a fire started inside the local chemical plant and in a blink of an eye it exploded into massive flames. The alarm went out to all the fire departments for miles around.
When the volunteer fire fighters appeared on the scene, the chemical company president rushed to the fire chief and said, "All our secret formulas are in the vault in the center of the plant. They must be saved. I will give $50,000 to the fire department that brings them out intact." But the roaring flames held the firefighters off.
Soon more fire departments had to be called in as the situation became desperate. As the firemen arrived, the president shouted out that the offer was now $100,000 to the fire department who could bring out the company's secret files.
From the distance, a lone siren was heard as another fire truck came into sight. It was Ballard's Norwegian rural township volunteer Fire Company composed mainly of Norwegians over the age of 65. To everyone's amazement, that little dilapidated fire engine roared right past all the newer sleek engines that were parked outside the plant.
Without even slowing down it drove straight into the middle of the inferno. Outside, the other firemen watched as the Norwegian old timers jumped off right in the middle of the fire and fought it back on all sides. It was a performance and effort never seen before.
Within a short time, the Norske old timers had extinguished the fire and had saved the secret formulas. The grateful chemical company president announced that for such a superhuman feat he was upping the reward to $200,000, and walked over to personally thank each of the brave fire fighters.
The local TV news reporter rushed in to capture the event on film, asking their chief, "What are you going to do with all that money?"
"Vell," said Ole Larsen Zubic, the 70-year-old fire chief, "Da first ting ve gonna do is fix da brakes on dat dere truck!"