[email protected] (661) 257-5255 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! SANTA CLARITA – When flames are shooting from a house afire there’s no need to ask who’s got the “special suds” – firefighters know: the truck with the black cab. The engine’s retardant foam penetrates flames, sticks to structures and helps quash fires faster, fire officials say. And Santa Clarita’s got one of just four deployed countywide. “It’s one of the best innovations in the fire service in the past 20 years,” said Capt. Gabe Etchverry of Fire Station 126 across from the Valencia Town Center. All engines carry foam, but air compressors in the special units plump the suds and create a voluminous spray, which requires less water and adheres better. The city’s new unit went into service last week and answered its first call Wednesday, the 15-acre Castaic brush fire. “The winds were fairly significant but we didn’t have to use the foam,” Etcheverry said. The truck hauls extra foam canisters and the standard 500 gallons of water. The county bought almost 100 new fire engines in the past year, but just four with the special apparatus, which are based in Santa Clarita, Palmdale, La Ca ada Flintridge and the City of Industry. Fire Inspector Jason Hurd said the units are placed strategically to provide optimal coverage. The color scheme of two-tone trucks – the first of their kind in the county – was not handpicked; they came that way from the manufacturer, KME Fire Apparatus.