Raleigh Fire Department History

1920-1929



1920

Three stations protecting 6.9 square miles and 24,418 residents.


City Commission combats false alarm. From January 10, 1920 edition of the Raleigh Times

"Reward Offered For Those Who Ring False Alarms

"The City Commission has determined to try to put a stop to the large number of false fire alarms that are turned in in this city if they can do so by an aggressive campaign against the offenders and with this and in view of Mayor Eldridge has been authorized by the Commission to offer a reward of $50 for the detection and conviction of any one guilty of this offense.

"Publication of the offer of reward will be made in the next few days and the mayor asks all good citizens to aid in any way possible in helping in the campaign. For one thing, an appreciable number of false alarms are supposedly turned in by thoughtless children. Parents may aid by cautioning children of the danger and of the trouble they are likely to get themselves and their parents into by this form of amusement. The mayor does not expect, however, that any appeal will reach the more mature offenders except vigorous enforcement of the law, hence the campaign.

"The penalty is a minimum fine of $100. The campaign is decided on for one reason, because it is costly to run the fire trucks out, but mainly because of the unnecessary danger involved in racing the trucks through the streets to answer false alarms. They necessarily have to go at a high rate of seed and the danger is ever present. It cannot be avoided in case of fire but false alarms should not be permitted to almost double the number of times the trucks have to go out."

Administration building at State Prison burns. Fire is discovered by a prisoner at 3 p.m. in east tower above building. Warden Busbee and "scores of prisoners" begin combating flames with "chemicals" through a trap door in the ceiling of the fourth floor. Fire is kept under control until chemicals are exhausted. By the time of the arrival of the fire department, the top of the tower is burning rapidly. Seriously handicapped by a lack of water pressure, firefighters and prisoners can do little until two lines are stretched from Harrison and Ashe Avenues, more than a thousand feet away. The extinguishing is witnessed by hundreds of spectators who hurried from the downtown district upon word that the "prison was on fire." The section of the building burned was occupied by Superintendent Collie and his family. The two top floors, which were gutted, were not in regular use. Firefighter Ralph Upchurch suffers "painful burns" when he is "caught on the burning tower for a time without water." Another firefighter is "stunned for a minute" when a hose line, extended to the top of the tower, fell and struck him on the head. (March 15, 1920)rt16mar20

City Commissioners make parking in front of a fire hydrant illegal. The ordinance reads "Be it ordained by the Board of Commissioners of the city of Raleigh:

  • Section 1. That it shall be unlawful for any person, firm or corporation, to park any automobile or other vehicle within fifteen feet of any fire hydrant in the city of Raleigh.
  • Section 2. That is shall be unlawful for any person, firm or corporation to place any building material or other obstruction within fifteen feet of any fire hydrant in the city of Raleigh.
  • Section 3. Any person, firm or corporation violating the provisions of this ordinance shall suffer a penalty in the sum of two hundred dollars ($200).
  • Section 4. This ordinance being in the interest of public safety shall go into effect immediately." (March 27, 1920)rt27mar20

City firemen and policemen get $10 monthly raise. (July 15, 1920)rt16jul20

Seaboard Air Line Railway roundhouse on Johnson Street burns. Fire starts at southeast corner of roundhouse where machinists are working at a forge, when an oil pipe breaks due to a piece of iron falling on it. Oil shoots to the ceiling and flames from the forge immediately ignite it. The railroad's volunteer fire department responds and quickly controls the flames before the Raleigh fire department arrives. The volunteer fire department has two hose reels and a membership of sixteen men, eight for day and eight at night. M. B. Holmes is the fire chief. (August 25, 1920)rt25aug20

Laundry Building at State Hospital for the Insane burns. Laundry building is destroyed by blaze and later explosion from store gasoline. Fire is discovered at 3:15 a.m. and firefighters arrive at 3:30 a.m. Hundreds of spectators attend as well and, in the excitement, 200 female patients are inadvertently "liberated." More than 1,000 "insane patients" are also "thrown into a wild panic," though none are injured. Firefighters successfully prevent the spread of the flames to other buildings and, by 6 a.m., have returned to quarters. The lost is estimated at over $100,000. (September 25, 1920)no26sep20


Metropolitan Hall demolished. Building not damaged by fire, as prior historical entries had indicated or been interpreted as such. Building largely vacant, except for food shops?

1921

Pullen Memorial Baptist Church at Fayetteville and South streets burns. The Friday night blaze for a time threatens the Wake County clinic, Rex Hospital, and nearby residences. Aided "by wind and rain," firefighters "confine the flames to the church by some of the best firefighting seen in this city in some time." Damage is estimated at $20,000. (April 22, 1921)rt23apr21


Hill's city directory dated 1921 summarizes department as:

  • Headquarters - 110-112 W. Morgan
  • Chief - H. H. Horton
  • Assistant - W. E. Holland
  • Hose Company No. 1, 110-112 W. Morgan - E. B. Smith, Captain
  • Hose Company No. 2, S. Salisbury near Davie - G. W. Higgins, Lieutenant
  • Hose Company No. 3, 135 E. Hargett - W. H. Denning, Lieutenant
  • Truck Company No. 1, 110-112 W. Morgan - A. A. Doolittle, Lieutenant.

1922

Apparatus delivery: 1922 American LaFrance Type 75 pumper. Photos and more information. (August, 1922)cm

Apparatus delivery: 1922 American LaFrance Type 14 combination service truck placed in service. First motorized service truck for fire department. Photos and more information. (October 10, 1922)rfd


Hill's city directory dated 1922-23 summarizes department as:

  • Headquarters - 110-112 W. Morgan
  • Chief - H. H. Horton
  • Assistant - W. E. Holland
  • Hose Company No. 1, 110-112 W. Morgan - E. B. Smith, Captain
  • Hose Company No. 2, S. Salisbury near Davie - G. W. Higgins, Lieutenant
  • Hose Company No. 3, 135 E. Hargett - W. H. Denning, Lieutenant
  • Truck Company No. 1, 110-112 W. Morgan - A. A. Doolittle, Lieutenant.

1923

Lewis F. Hicks appointed fourth Fire Chief, serves 1923-1926. Hicks joined the fire department in 1913. He succeeds Chief Horton. (June 1, 1923)yb84, rfd

Building at 109 W. Martin Street burns. The 7:45 a.m. is transmitted from box 31_. Three lines and 1,500 feet of hose are used on the three-story, brick building. (September 5, 1923)rfd

Engine 1 strikes onlookers as Southern School Supply burns. The 2:50 p.m. alarm is received by telephone. Five lines and 2,000 feet of hose used on the one-story frame building. A second one-story frame building is also involved. During the incident, Engine 1 crashes into a group of spectators on a sidewalk on W. Martin Street. A ten-year-old boy is killed, and another man is seriously injured. A dozen people total are struck. [AI] (November 7, 1923)rfd, no08nov23

Building at 123 Fayetteville Street burns. The 12:00 a.m. alarm is transmitted from box 29. Four lines and 2,000 feet of hose are used on the three-story, brick building. (November 27, 1923)rfd


Hill's city directory dated 1923-24 summarizes department as:

  • Headquarters - 110-112 W. Morgan
  • Chief - L. F. Hicks
  • Assistant - W. E. Holland
  • Hose Company No. 1, 110-112 W. Morgan - E. B. Smith, Captain
  • Hose Company No. 2, S. Salisbury near Davie - G. W. Higgins, Captain
  • Hose Company No. 3, 135 E. Hargett - W. H. Denning, Lieutenant
  • Truck Company No. 1, 110-112 W. Morgan - C. F. Gaston, Lieutenant.

1924

Two-platoon system created. Firefighters on duty ten hours a day for four days and fourteen hours a day for four nights. (August 4, 1924)yb84

Four houses burn in the 800 block of Canister Street. The 3:05 a.m. is received by telephone. Four lines and 1,000 feet of hose are used on the one-story, frame buildings. (August 16, 1924)rfd

National Board of Fire Underwriters presents report on Raleigh's fire protection capabilities. Read the report. (October 1924)

Downtown Angier burns. The $150,000 blaze destroys four businesses. Fire department responds to nighttime request for assistance, along with Fuquay Springs and Dunn fire departments. The Raleigh engine company covers the "27 miles of rough road" in 55 minutes. The town subsequently sends a letter and $75 check in appreciation. Angier is located 21.71 miles from Station 1. [MA] (November 20, 1924)cm

Royal and Borden Furniture store at 123 Fayetteville Street burns. The 3:00 a.m. alarm is transmitted from Box 29. Three lines and 1,200 feet of hose are used on the two-story, brick building. (December 23, 1924)rfd

The Grand Theater at 127 Fayetteville Street burns. The 3:05 p.m. alarm is received by telephone. Three lines and 1,200 feet of hose are used on the two- story, brick building. (December 30, 1924)rfd

1925

Commercial Printing Company at 115-117 Salisbury Street burns. The 6:35 a.m. alarm is verbal. Three lines and 1,000 feet of hose are used on the two-story, brick business. (January 25, 1925)rfd

Apartment building at 123 E. Hargett Street burns. The 5:25 a.m. alarm is transmitted from box 216. Three lines and 900 feet of hose are used on the three-story, brick building. (January 26, 1925)rfd

Motor Service Company at 310-312 S. Salisbury Street burns. The fire spreads to Raleigh Roofing Service, a one-story metal shop. The 1:30 a.m. alarm is transmitted from box 314. Nine lines and 4,000 feet of hose are used on the one-story brick building. [MF] (January 28, 1925)rfd

Residence at 507 E. Cabarrus Street burns. The 9:00 p.m. alarm is transmitted from box 248. Three lines and 850 feet of hose are used on the one-story, frame structure. (March 6, 1925)rfd

Residence at 1210 Filmore Street burns. The 8:30 a.m. alarm is transmitted from box 515. Three lines and 1,200 feet of hose are used on the one- story, frame structure. (March 23, 1925)rfd

Almo Theater at 215 Fayetteville Street burns. The 12:05 a.m. alarm is transmitted from box 29. Eight lines and 4,000 feet of hose are used on the two-story, brick business. [MF] (July 15, 1925)rfd

Two homes on West Cannon Street burn. The 5:40 p.m. alarm is transmitted from box 315. Six lines and 3500 feet of hose are used on the one-story, frame structures at 419 and 621 W. Cannon Street. [MF] (August 31, 1925)rfd

Purchase of equipment authorized for upgrade of fire alarm system. Amount of $17,318.50 includes 2-circuit switchboard, four battery racks, 360 battery cells, 10-circuit repeater, 35 fire boxes, and 5 recording sets consisting of punching register and take-up reel. (November 6, 1925)cm


Apparatus delivery: 1925 American LaFrance Type 75 pumper. Photos and more information.

Life net purchased during Fiscal Year 1925 at cost of $95.cad

1926

Construction bid awarded for "fire alarm station" adjacent to Station 1. The $1,632 bid is awarded to J. N. Bryan with the provision that work must be substantially completed by March 1, 1926. (January 23, 1926)cm

Commercial Printing Company at 227 S. Salisbury Street burns. The 1:00 a.m. alarm is transmitted from box 29. Nine lines and 3,500 feet of hose are used on the brick business. [MF] (February 17, 1926)rfd

Apparatus delivery: 1926 American LaFrance Type 75 pumper, placed in service as Engine 2. Photos and more information. (March, 1926)rfd

Main building at State Hospital For The Insane burns. The 12:30 a.m. alarm is received by telephone. Fifteen lines and 7,000 feet of hose are used. Read narrative describing the fire. [MF] (April 10, 1926)

Apartment building and home on S. Person Street burn. The 8:25 p.m. alarm is transmitted from Box 211. Four lines and 2,000 feet of hose are used on the one-story frame apartment building and the two-story frame residence. The addresses are 1104 and 1102 S. Person Street. (May 1, 1926)rfd

State Prison at 835 W. Morgan Street suffers fire. The 12:45 p.m. alarm is received by telephone. Three lines and 850 feet of hose are used. (May 8, 1926)rfd

Station 4 opens at 505 Jefferson Street. Engine 4 placed in service with 1920s American LaFrance pumper. Photos and more information. The following men are assigned to the station:

  • Capt. C. F. Gaston
  • Lt. J. G. Harrison Hose man
  • J. A. Allen, Driver
  • B. A. Edwards, Hydrant man
  • K. J. Smith, Hose man
  • E. D. King, Driver
  • H. L. Riverbark, Hose man
  • E. B. Schineder, Hydrant man. (June 15, 1926)

Apparatus delivery: 1926 American LaFrance Type 75 pumper, placed in service as Engine 1. Photos and more information. (August, 1926)rfd

Fire Chief Lewis Hicks dies of illness. (August 21, 1926)cm

W. Ernest Holland appointed fifth Fire Chief , serves 1926-1939. Holland joined the fire department in 1913. (September 1, 1926)yb84, rfd

Three businesses in downtown Clayton burn. The Johnston County town suffers about $90,000 in losses when an early Friday morning fire, originating in the L.H. Johnson Hardware Building, sweeps through three other stores. Believed started in a pile of rags, "possibly by spontaneous combustion," the fire is discovered about 3:45 a.m. The Clayton Fire Department responds but soon calls Raleigh for help. Engine Company 5 arrives shortly after 5:00 a.m. and are "of material assistance in preventing the spread of the flames." The stores that suffer losses are The Clayton Department Store, the L.H. Johnson Hardware Company, and the Owen Gulley Company, Inc. (general merchandise). Clayton is located 18.87 miles from Station 5 at 1914 Park Drive in Raleigh. Reference: The Raleigh Times, October 8, 1926. [MA] (October 8, 1926)rfd

The Rainey Estate at 102 Hillsboro Street burns. The 12:45 a.m. alarm is received by telephone. Six lines and 2,500 feet of hose are used on the two-story, frame residence. [MF] (November 4, 1926)rfd

Station 5 opens at 1914 Park Drive. Engine 5 placed in service with 1920s American LaFrance pumper. Photos and more information. (November 18, 1926)rfd

Saint Agnes Colored Hospital on Oakwood Avenue burns. Fire starts about 7:25 a.m. and is confined to the third floor of the three- story, brick building. Students from Saint Augustine College battle flames before three pumpers and two ladder trucks arrive. Students also remove 44 patients from the building. Damage initially estimated at $25,000. Overheated pipe believed to be cause. The alarm is received by telephone. Five lines and 3,250 feet of hose are used. [MF] (December 16, 1926)no17dec26, rfd


Apparatus notes: New automobile purchased during Fiscal Year 1926 at cost of $960. cad

Hill's city directory dated 1926 summarizes department as:

  • Headquarters - 110-112 W. Morgan - phone 414
  • Chief - L. F. Hicks
  • Assistant Chief - W. E. Holland
  • Second Assistant Chief - E. B. Smith
  • Engine Company No. 1, 110-112 W. Morgan - J. S. Campbell, Captain
  • Truck Company No. 1, 110-112 W. Morgan - G. G. Sauls, Captain
  • Truck Company No. 2, 412 S. Salisbury - G. W. Higgins, Captain
  • Engine Company No. 3, 135 E. Hargett - P. L. Morgan, Captain
  • Engine Company No. 4, 505 Jefferson - C. F. Gastor, Captain
  • Engine Company No. 5, corner Park Dr. and Oakland Ave. - R. D. Upchurch, Captain.

1927

Residence at 307 E. Edenton Street burns. The 7:50 p.m. alarm is transmitted from box 18. Three lines and 950 feet of hose are used on the one-story, frame structure. (January 3, 1927)rfd

Three buildings in downtown Wake Forest burn. Three buildings, housing two cafes and the town's only movie theater, are destroyed by a late morning fire. Discovered about 11:00 a.m., the flames also consume a pair of barbershops housed in the second stories of two of the buildings. The Raleigh Fire Department is "summoned immediately," arriving at the college town in a mere 17 minutes. They aid Wake Forest firefighters in "checking the flames" and preventing their spread to other structures. Total damage is estimated at between $40,000 and $50,000. (Nearly all of the fixtures of H.E. Joyner's luncheonette are rescued; the other two buildings are "but superficially furnished.")Wake Forest is located 18.94 miles from Raleigh. The fire department's 17-minute run averages 66.93 mph. Reference: News & Observer, April 23, 1927. [MA] (April 22, 1927)rfd

Residence at 501 Cleveland Road burns. The 2:55 p.m. alarm is received by telephone. Three lines and 1,800 feet of hose are used on the one-story, frame structure. (March 29, 1927)rfd

Residence on Oberlin Road burns. The 11:20 p.m. alarm is transmitted from box 57. Three lines and 1,200 feet of hose are used on the one-story, frame structure. (April 12, 1927)rfd

Store at 112 W. Hargett Street burns. The 6:35 p.m. alarm is transmitted from box 361. Eight lines and 6,000 feet of hose are used on the two-story, brick business. [MF] (April 18, 1927)rfd

Residence at 212 W. Morgan Street burns. The 10:05 a.m. alarm is transmitted from Box 35. Three lines and 1,300 feet of hose are used. (April 24, 1927)rfd

West Side Inn in Cary burns. Raleigh Engine Company 4 unleashes a "speed burst" with a 12-minute run. Firefighters arrive in time to save the lower half of the two-story wooden structure. The town's firefighting equipment is already in use, but flames "had gained such headway" that the Raleigh Fire Department was summoned. Select furniture is saved and the kitchen is not damaged. The entire upper story is destroyed, however, with only the frame work remaining. Cary is located 10.17 miles from old Station 4 at 505 Jefferson Street in Raleigh. The fire department's 12-minute run averages 60 mph. References: News & Observer, May 6, 1927. [MA] The Raleigh Times, May 5, 1927. (May 5, 1927)rfd

Furniture company at 109 E. Martin Street burns. The 8:10 p.m. alarm is transmitted from Box 23. Three lines and 1600 feet of hose are used on the three-story, brick structure. (August 18, 1927)rfd

Fire department responds to Morrisville. Engine company arrives to find building nearly burned down and no water supply available. [MA] (October 1927)rfd

Tailor shop at 22 W. Hargett Street burns. The 1:55 a.m. alarm is transmitted from box 29. Three lines and 1350 feet of hose are used on the two-story, brick business. (November 6, 1927)rfd

The Capitol Club at 14 W. Martin Street burns. The 7:40 p.m. alarm is received by telephone. Four lines and 2,500 feet of hose are used on the three-story brick building. (December 21, 1927)rfd


Hill's city directory dated 1927 summarizes department as:

  • Headquarters - 110-112 W. Morgan - phone 414
  • Chief - W. E. Holland
  • Assistant Chief - E. B. Smith
  • Second Assistant Chief - J. S. Campbell
  • Engine Company No. 1, 110 W. Morgan - R. D. Upchurch and G. G. Sauls, Captains
  • Truck Company No. 2, 412 S. Salisbury - G. W. Higgins, Captain
  • Engine Company No. 3, 135 E. Hargett - W. L. Choplin, Captain
  • Engine Company No. 4, 505 Jefferson - A. B. Lloyd, Captain
  • Engine Company No. 5, 1914 Park Dr. - E. B. McGhee, Captain.

1928

The Grand Theater at 115 Fayetteville Street burns. Both the theater and office are damaged. The 6:35 p.m. alarm is received from boxes 216 and 231. Four lines and 3000 feet of hose are used on the two-story, brick building. (January 3, 1928)rfd

Storage building at 213 Fayetteville Street burns. The 12:15 a.m. alarm is transmitted from box 216. Six lines and 4000 feet of hose are used on the two-story, brick building. Another building at 220 S. Wilmington Street is also involved. [MF] (April 18, 1928)rfd

Hiner Supply & Manufacturing Company foundry plant at 800 N. North Salisbury Street are destroyed by fire. Damage is estimated at about $25,000. The adjoining H. Steinmetz Floral Company plant is threatened but saved. Fire can be seen for "ten miles in all directions." The 9:00 p.m. alarm is transmitted from box 164. Five lines and 2500 feet of hose are used. [MF] (April 23, 1928)rfd, no24apr28

Residence at 541 E. Lenoir Street burns. The 5:35 p.m. alarm is transmitted from box 242. Three lines and 800 feet of hose are used on the one-story, frame residence. (May 29, 1928)rfd

Eagle Life Insurance Company at 718 S. Bloodworth Street burns. The 6:30 p.m. alarm is transmitted from box 234. Three lines and 700 feet of hose are used on the one-story, frame building. (June 11, 1928)rfd

Store at 218 S. Salisbury Street burns. The 6.18 p.m. alarm is received by telephone. Three lines and 1,550 feet of hose are used at one-story, brick structure. (June 15, 1928)rfd

Yarborough House at 327-327 Fayetteville Street burns. Four-story brick building with 46,500 square-feet, built 1852, contains the regionally famous Yarborough Hotel as well as stores. Fire starts in basement at base of elevator shaft, and quickly spreads through entire structure. The entire fire department responds, with five pieces of apparatus. Durham and Smithfield send engines as mutual aid. Total of 750,000 gallons of water is used, with over a half mile of hose. No injuries, and only one piece of equipment damaged, a ladder run over by an automobile. The 1:20 p.m. alarm is transmitted from box 314. Fifteen streams and 7200 feet of hose are used. [MF] (July 3, 1928)rfd, no15jul28

Residence at corner of Hillsboro and Salisbury streets burn. Alarm is sound during Yarborough Hotel fire. Blaze is extinguished by number of citizens who break into house before the fire truck arrives. Home of R. B. Raney is empty and damage to building and furniture is around $1,000. (July 3, 1928)no04jul28

Residence at 130 Park Avenue burns. The 3:00 a.m. alarm is transmitted from box 516. Three lines and 900 feet of hose are used at the two-story, frame building. (October 17, 1928)rfd

Wakelon High School in Little River burns. The building, located in "district No. 4, Little River Township, white race," is destroyed by an early Wednesday morning fire. Discovered in the basement, the $60,000 conflagration consumes both the building and its entire contents. Zebulon's fire department and a truck from Raleigh respond to the 4:00 a.m. alarm. The lack of a sufficient water supply prevent firefighters from saving the structure. The two-story, brick building was built two years ago to "relieve congestion" in the older school building. Zebulon is located 20.73 miles from Raleigh. References: The Raleigh Times, November 14, 1928; Wake County Board of Commissioners Minutes, November 22, 1928. [MA] (November 14, 1928)rfd

Three buildings in 600 block of Gaston Street burn. The 11:18 a.m. alarm is received by telephone. Four lines and 1200 feet of hose are used. Two residences and a church, all one-story frame buildings at 607, 609, and 611 Gaston Street are involved. [UF] (November 25, 1928)rfd

College building burns in Louisburg. Flames consumed the west wing and two top stories of the old Central Building at Louisburg College about 1 a.m. Some 150 girls are asleep inside when the fire is discovered. They walk to safety, albeit being "forced to flee in scanty attire." Units from Raleigh, Henderson, Rocky Mount, and Franklinton rush to the scene to assist Louisburg firefighters, with the Capital City's crew reaching the scene in 38 minutes. They make "a world's record," Louis-burg Fire Chief B.H. Meadows notes. When they arrive, notes Raleigh Fire Chief W.E. Holland, the main building appears "doomed." Thus they concentrate their efforts on saving the front section and the kitchen. With Raleigh firefighters working on one side and Rocky Mount firemen on the other side of the T-shaped building, the blaze is brought under control by 4 a.m. Three people are slightly injured: a local banker, when he is struck in the head by a chair thrown from a building; a Henderson fireman struck by falling brick; and an unidentified Raleigh fireman. The Capital City crew remain on scene until dawn. "The boys did a good piece of work," says Chief Holland. Louisburg is located 31.58 miles from Raleigh. The fire department's 38-minute run averages 49.86 mph. Reference: The Raleigh Times, December 5, 1928. [MA] (December 5, 1928)rfd

Junk shop in 300 block W. Cabarrus Street burns. The 7:12 p.m. alarm is transmitted by box 343. Three hose lines and 900 feet of hose are used at the one-story, frame building. (December 30, 1928)rfd


Apparatus purchase: new automobile during Fiscal Year 1928 at cost of $660. cad

Hill's city directory dated 1928 summarizes department as:

  • Headquarters - 110-112 W. Morgan - phone 414
  • Chief - W. E. Holland
  • Assistant Chief - E. B. Smith
  • Second Assistant Chief - J. S. Campbell
  • Engine Company No. 1, 110 W. Morgan - R. D. Upchurch and F. S. Solomon, Captains
  • Truck Company No. 2, 412 S. Salisbury - G. W. Higgins, Captain
  • Engine Company No. 3, 135 E. Hargett - W. L. Choplin, Captain
  • Engine Company No. 4, 505 Jefferson - A. B. Lloyd, Captain
  • Engine Company No. 5, 1914 Park Dr. - E. B. McGhee, Captain.

1929

Economy Store at 223 S. Wilmington Street burns. The 8:17 p.m. alarm is transmitted from box 343. Three hose lines and 1,050 feet of hose are used on the two- story brick structure. (January 6, 1929)rfd

Plane crashes at Poindexter Field. Pilot is killed at airstrip located outside city limits. Fire department responds. Incident is first fatal airplane crash in Raleigh. [AA] (January 11, 1929)rfd

Warehouse and cotton gin in Apex burn. The buildings are destroyed by a 6:30 a.m. fire that brings the Raleigh Fire Department to western Wake County. Discovered in a warehouse, which was "formerly the property of Mr. Sorrell" and now "belonged to a man who lives in the Eastern part of the State," the flames spread to a gin owned by Beasley and Williams after the wind shifts and blows sparks onto the neighboring building. Engine 1 is dispatched at 6:45 p.m. Alas, the Raleigh firemen arrive after the buildings have burned down. Apex is located 14.83 miles from Raleigh. [MA] (January 24, 1929)rfd, no25jan29

Mansion Park Hotel at 100 N. Blount Street burns. The 2:00 a.m. alarm is received by telephone. Six hose lines and 3,400 feet of hose are used at the four-story, brick building. [MF] (June 13, 1929)rfd

Three homes in 200 block of Forest Road burn. The 2:30 p.m. alarm is transmitted from box 524. Three hose lines and 1,200 feet of hose are used at the two-story, frame residences at 221, 223, and 225 Forest Road. [UF] (July 27, 1929)rfd

Livery stable in Wendell destroyed by fire. Blaze begins shortly before midnight at stable of J. P. Richard. Six men are injured, including four firefighters. They are injured by a falling brick wall during the height of the fire. One fire truck from Wendell responds and firefighters have situation in hand when Raleigh engine arrives. No livestock is in the building at the time. Damage is estimated at $7,000. Wendell is located 17.54 miles from Raleigh. [MA] (September 9, 1929)no10sep29, rfd

Service station explodes and burns in Garner. "Gas Blast at Garner" reads the newspaper headline after an explosion and fire destroy a service station early Saturday morning. Lynn Broughton, employed at the filling station, is killed and another employee, W.M. Wall, is injured. Another person, Arch Wood, is injured by the 3:45 a.m. blast, after stopping at the station while en route to Raleigh. He is preparing to leave when he is hurled "to the top of the station" where he cuts his head. Despite his injury, he pushes his automobile "to safety from beneath the shed of the burning building." The Raleigh Fire Department is called "by telephone" shortly before 4:00 a.m. Despite making a "quick run," the building is completely destroyed by the time they arrived. "Chemicals" are " thrown" on the smoldering debris and "hastened the recovery" of Broughton's body. An examination by Henry Allen, manager of the station, and Brooky Poole, owner of the building, lead to the conclusion that the explosion followed the fire, and that an oil barrel rather than the gas tank had exploded. The scene also draws spectators. By that evening, "thousands of Raleigh people" have visited the "charred mass of wreckage." Garner is located 6.2 miles from Raleigh. Reference: The Raleigh Times, September 29, 1928. [MA] (September 29, 1928)rfd

Residence at 303 Bragg Street burns. The 8:55 p.m. alarm is transmitted from box 211. Three hose lines and 3,000 feet of hose are used on the one-story, frame building. (October 18, 1929)rfd

Fire department responds to Angier , located 21.04 miles from Raleigh. [MA] (December 12, 1929)rfd


Fire department assists with recapture of two black bears escaped from Pullen Park zoo. pph

Hill's city directory dated 1929 summarizes department as:

  • Headquarters - 110-112 W. Morgan - tel 414
  • Chief - W. E. Holland
  • Assistant Chief - E. B. Smith
  • Second Assistant Chief - R. D. Upchurch
  • Engine Company No. 1, 110 W. Morgan - E. D. King and F. S. Solomon, Captains
  • Engine Company No. 2, 412 S. Salisbury - G. W. Higgins, Captain
  • Engine Company No. 3, 135 E. Hargett - W. L. Choplin, Captain
  • Engine Company No. 4, 505 Jefferson - A. B. Lloyd, Captain
  • Engine Company No. 5, 1914 Park Dr. - E. G. McGhee, Captain.



Abbreviations

[AA]   Aircraft accident
[AI]   Apparatus incident
[EF]   Early fire
[HM]   Haz-mat incident
[MA]   Mutual Aid
[MF]   Major fire
[RA   Railway accident
[TF]   Tanker fire
[TR]   Technical rescue
[UD]   USAR deployment
[UF]   Unusual fire
[UI]   Unusual incident
[WE]   Weather event

Sources

ar   City of Raleigh Annual Report
bd   City of Raleigh budget documents
cvh   Cameron Village: A History 1949-1999, Nan Hutchins, Sprit Press, 2001
cad City of Raleigh Auditor's Office
ccm / cm   City Council Minutes / City Minutes
ccor   1792-1892, The Centennial Celebration of Raleigh, NC, Kemp D. Battle, Edwards and Broughton, 1893
cer   Chief Engineer's Report
dah   North Carolina Department of Archives and History
dahni   North Carolina Department of Archives and History News and Observer index
fp   City of Raleigh Fire Protection Study
hr   Historical Raleigh with Sketches of Wake County and its Important Towns, Moss N. Amis, 1912
oh   Oral History
mjlr   Mike Legeros records.
mp   Morning Post
nc   North Carolinian
no   News and Observer
noi   News and Observer Index
pb   Peter Brock
pph   Pullen Park History
rla   Raleigh Fire Department Ladies Auxiliary scrapbooks
rpu   Raleigh Fire Department Photo Unit records
rr   Raleigh Register
rt   Raleigh Times
ruh   Raleigh: An Unorthodox History
yb84   Raleigh Fire Department 1984, Raleigh Fire Department, Taylor Publishing, 1984
yb02+   Raleigh Fire and Rescue: 1984-2002, Raleigh Fire Department, Taylor Publishing, 2002, plus additional historical information also compiled by the Raleigh Fire Department around 2002.
wch   Wake: Capital County of North Carolina - Volume 1, Prehistory Through Centennial, Elizabeth Reid Murray, Capital County Publishing, 1983


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