Renovations to Station 11 – Rendering Added

December 7
Rendering Added
The city has posted a rendering of the renovated station, along with a project page


Here’s the rendering side-by-side with the current incarnation, via Google Street view. The new bays will be taller, and include a mezzanine. The site will be brighter, as well, with one of the trees replaced with a path to the front door. 


December 6
Companies Moved
Station 11 was vacated on Wednesday, December 5, with Engine 11 relocating to Station 7. Renovations will start soon to the 1971 fire station. See below for project details. See also this new Legeros photo album, created for the project. 

Continue reading ‘Renovations to Station 11 – Rendering Added’ »

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Building a Better Rescue

This posting is an expanded version of an article that first appeared in the fall 2018 issue of the Raleigh Fire Department Newsletter.

New Rescue, New Quarters

The City of Raleigh Fire Department recently placed a new heavy rescue in service, a 2018 Pierce Arrow XT that was custom-designed by department members. The truck was placed in service at Station 15 on October 3. Five days later, it was moved to its new home at Station 16.

The $940,000 truck took about twelve weeks to build. It started production in April, and received its final inspection the last week of July. (Before its formal delivery in September, it visited Raleigh for an appearance at the South Atlantic Fire Rescue Expo.)

It replaces a smaller 2007 Pierce Enforcer heavy rescue. Benefits of the new truck and its walk-in body style are numerous, beginning with the very design.

The five-member project committee spent 15 months designing the truck down to each individual tool tray and compartment.

“There was a lot of wasted space on the old truck,” says Lt. Shawn Burns (R1-A). “Such as up high in the transverse compartments. We also couldn’t mount equipment on the slide-out transverse tray.”

He adds, “Most of the equipment is now mounted and has a place. Before, lots of equipment was laying on top of each other. This led to damage in transport, and increased time getting the tools off the truck and in use.”

“It’s also much easier to check and service equipment on a daily basis now,” Burns adds.


Six Feet Longer

The new rescue has a longer body—25 ½ feet compared to 19—and can carry more gear, such as trench panels, ground pads, and air shores used for trench rescue.

Continue reading ‘Building a Better Rescue’ »

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Legislation Proposed for Fairview Fire District

Here’s some surprising news. Local legislation has been introduced to the North Carolina General Assembly, to remove the Fairview (Ten Ten) Fire District from the governance and jurisdiction of Wake County. It was introduced on November 28 by Representative Nelson Dollar.  

Read the text of the House Bill

Recall that the department has been strongly critical of a recent county proposal, to close Fairview Station 2 at a future date, and deliver service to that district from a new Garner fire station. 

This posting has also been posted on the Facebook side, with this discussion prompt: Readers, please unpack and react. Curious on thoughts on (a.) what will happen and (b.) what this bodes for the future of Wake County fire governance. 

Reference Materials

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Meet Raleigh’s New Firefighters

On Wednesday night, December 5, twenty-seven new firefighters will join the ranks of the Raleigh Fire Department. Recruit Academy 43 will graduate in a ceremony at 7:00 p.m. at the Fletcher Opera Theater in the Duke Energy Center for the Performing Arts, 2 E. South Street.

The new firefighters have completed 32-weeks of classroom, practical and physical fitness training. Each of them will be certified by the State of North Carolina as a Firefighter Level II, Emergency Medical Technician, and Hazardous Materials Responder I.

See photos of the recruits in action.

Class of 2018


Back row:

  • Jordan D. Lairson – Wendell, NC
  • Jordan T. Lamotta – Harrisburg, PA
  • William M. Stanfield, II – Benson, NC
  • Aaron M. Hicks – Apex, NC
  • Matthew T. Wacenske – Raleigh, NC
  • Corey S. Raven – Hope Mills, NC

Fourth row:

  • Anthony L. White – Bennettsville, SC
  • Damian R. Lynch – Rocky Mount, NC
  • Roy C. Hicks, V – Raleigh, NC
  • Travis J. Jackowski – Huntington, NY
  • Scott M. Clark – Wake Forest, NC

Third row:

  • Steven L. Cantin – Wendell, NC
  • Cameron J. McAuliff – Middlesex, NC
  • Jordan B. Capps – Kenly, NC
  • Patrick W. O’Dell – Jermyn, PA
  • Donnell F. Boyles – Columbia, SC
  • Phillix  Sterling – Rio Piedras, Puerto Rico

Second row:

  • Brandon G. Strickland – Raleigh, NC
  • A’Dren J. Hye – Fayetteville, NC
  • Jakob W. Snipes – Selma, NC
  • Jennifer L. Mastin – Daytona Beach, Fl
  • Charles I. Coleman – San Bernardino, CA

Front row:

  • Anna M. Capps – Middlesex, NC
  • Yada E. Beener – New York, NY
  • Latrel D. Fields – Henderson, NC
  • Moises  Cabasquini – New Britain, CT
  • Misty L. Bingham – Fort Mill, SC

Class Portrait

The recruits were photographed on the Boylan Street bridge on October 4. Click to enlarge:


Family Connections

  • Cantin – Nephew of Anthony
  • Capps – Son of Eric
  • Jackowski – Nephew of Robert
  • Lairson – Son of K.C. Ray, Grandson of Stan, Great Grandson of Joe
  • Lamotta – Brother of Nick and Kelly
  • McAuliff – Son of Keith Wilder
  • Stanfield – Son of William

Other Fire Department Connections

  • Antioch FD – Snipes, volunteer
  • Benson FD – Stanfield, volunteer
  • Clarks Summit FD (PA) – O’Dell, volunteer
  • Davenport FD (FL) – Sterling, paid
  • Durham Highway FD – Strickland, volunteer
  • Kenly FD – Capps, volunteer
  • Knightdale FD – Bingham, volunteer
  • Middlesex FD – McAuliff, volunteer
  • Smithfield FD – Capps, paid
  • Spartanburg FD (SC) – Boyles, paid
  • Vance County FD – Fields, volunteer
  • Wendell FD – Sterling, paid
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When Gateway Plaza Burned, December 1987

December 2
Log book excerpts added at bottom of posting.

November 25
Development is comin’ to the Capital Boulevard corridor inside the Beltline. Or, perhaps, more development. The Gateway Plaza shopping center, built in 1968, is planned for Big Things.

Here are a couple news stories on same, from the Triangle Business Journal (2016) and News & Observer (2018). And, as of this month, demolition of the parking lot is underway.

But did you know that the shopping center once burned, in one of the Raleigh’s few strip mall fires?


Fire Through The Roof 

December 3, 1987. Dispatched about 12:10 a.m. Crews from two stations responded, reported that day’s Raleigh Times. Presuming Engine 7, Engine 11, and  Truck 11, by that time an aerial ladder company. (The city’s fourth, recently activated.) Fire through the roof on arrival.

Presuming that a second alarm was called. From news photos, a second aerial company was there, the 1977 Mack/Baker Aerialscope. (Mike’s notes say Truck 8 was operating same by December 1987. Seems more likely it was running as Truck 1. Or, perhaps, a third ladder was special-called to the scene. Need to consult the old log books.)

Thirty-five firefighters “worked through the night”, said District Chief Jonny Sandy. One firefighter was injured, Captain Wade Boyette, when “spots of hot tar” from melted roofing materials  fell onto his hands. Several other firefighters were also struck by falling tar, but were not injured.


Several Shops and Businesses Damaged

Six shops and businesses were gutted by the blaze: Personnel Pool Temporary Services, J. R. Lee Electric Company, a shoe shop, a dentist office, a cosmetics office (Avon), and an accountant’s office. Another was heavily damaged, Radio Reading Services, a broadcast service that read the newspaper to some 500 sight-impaired listeners.

Others suffered smoke damage: Eckerd’s drug store, Colorcraft photo processing, the African Supermarket and Gift Shop, and the Gateway restaurant. (Need to find a phone book from the era, and add the listings here.)

The center section of the building’s roof caved in, though the businesses located at either end of the “L”-shaped building were the ones that “escaped with smoke damage.”

Fire officials received reports that two doors were open at the back of the shopping center, when firefighters arrived. They would investigate whether the businesses had been broken into, but Chief Sandy sold reports he didn’t see any evidence of a break-in, looting, or arson. Though he noted “we concentrated all our efforts on extinguishing the fire.”


No Evidence of Arson

The investigation into the fire cause was conducted by a team led by Fire Captain Dudley L. Gill. He estimated at least $250,000 of structure damage had been suffered. The property was owned by Meredith College, which received the site as a donation several years ago by Raleigh developer Seby Jones, who built the shopping center.

The following day, the Raleigh Times reported that investigators had ruled out arson. The fire apparently started in the ceiling, and was most likely electrical in cause. The City-County Bureau of Investigator also spent the day looking into the fire, and found no evidence of any break-in before the fire.

Recent Property History

From Wake County real estate records, recent deed transfers:

  • 1982, Dec 23, prior – Deed held by Seby and Christina Jones.
  • 1982, Dec 23 – Deed to Meredith College
  • 1999, Feb 16 – Deed to Meredith College
  • 2004, Aug 20 – Deed to Murray Gateway LLC
  • 2016, May 16 – Deed to Elixir Retail Partners LLC

The site has 6.77 acres and three one-story buildings totaling about 76,000 square-feet. 


  • News & Observer, December 4, 1987
  • Raleigh Times, December 3, 1987
  • Raleigh Times, December 4, 1987

Log Book Entries

12/3 Car 51 (none) Fire Crabtree Blvd. Code 3.
12/3 R7 0007 R-7 to 2400 Crabtree Blvd. (structure fire).
R-7 assisted eng. co. at fire.
12/3 Sta 11 0007 Eng and Trk 11 went to Gateway Plaza to a building fire. Tic. No. 8627. Trk 11 set up and ladder pipe used. Eng 11 used 400’ of 2 ½” and 3” hose. Personnel from Sta 15 relieved Eng 11 and we got 10-8 as Eng 11 at 0406. Eng 11 and all equipment was left at fire scene.
12/3 Sta 7 0007 Eng 7 responded to 2400 blk of Crabtree Blvd. Gate-Way Plaza Shopping Center, found fire coming through roof. Laid lines from fire to hydrant, corner of Timber Dr. & Crabtree Blvd. Proceeded to extinguish fire at rear of shopping center. Eng 11 & Truck responded to front of shopping [center]. Eng 7 called in for a second alarm to the fire. Proceeded to fight fire. 9 + 13 + T12 + R6 was sent on second alarm. Eng 7 was relieved by Eng 6. We drove Engine 6 back to station & left Engine 7 at fire. Rear door was open.
12/3 Sta 7 0010 Eng 7 10-23.
12/3 Sta 1 0013 Eng 13 & Truck #1 responded to Gateway Plaza – Structure fire – Second alarm. Truck #1 left one 28’ extension ladder at fire scene.
12/3 Sta 9 0013 Eng 9 to Gateway Plaza N. Blvd. structure fire 2nd. alarm.
12/3 Sta 9 0018 Eng 9 10-23 working fire.
12/3 R6 0022 R-6 to Gateway Plaza 10-70. Used air packs and crowbar.
12/3 Sta 12 0105 T-12 respond to North Blvd & Crabtree to relieve firemen that was already on the scene. Use three Scott air pack.
12/3 Car 53 0115 Car 53 filling in at Station #1.
12/3 R6 0335 R-6 10-8.
12/3 Sta 1 0400 Eng #1 responded to Gateway Plaza.
12/3 Sta 11 0406 Eng 11 10-8
12/3 Sta 15 0410 Eng 15 & Trk 15 to 2400 Crabtree Blvd. Eng 15 & Trk 15 relieved E-11 & E-7, T-11.
12/3 Sta 6 0410 Engine Six responded to 2400 Crabtree Blvd.
12/3 Sta 6 0418 Engine Six 10-23. Working fire.
12/3 Sta 11 0426 Trk 15 relieved Trk 11 and Trk 11 got 10-8.
One 8’ pike pole left at scene. One axe handle broken at the fire.
12/3 Sta 12 0433 T-12 10-8
12/3 Sta 1 0440 Truck #1 10-8
12/3 Sta 7 0450 Eng 7 10-8.
12/3 R7 0457 R-7 10-08.
12/3 Sta 7 0503 Eng 7 back in station.
12/3 Sta 9 0667 Eng 9 10-8.
12/3 Sta 6 0728 Engine Six 10-8.
12/3 Sta 15 0746 Eng 15 10-8.
12/3 Sta 15 0750 C shift Tr.15 crew relieving A shift.
12/3 Car 53 0800 Car 53 responded for 51 & 53.
Have two men Marshburn & Kimbell working 4 a.m. to 8 a.m. fire scene.
12/3 Sta 7 0800 C shift on duty. G. R. Bagwell on vac. All other personnel went to fire scene (2400 Crabtree).
12/3 Car 52 0915 Chief Sandy relieved from C52 due to fire.
12/3 Sta 11 0930 E-11 to Station 7 for 38 gal fuel. Stopped by fire scene and got 14’ roof ladder.
12/3 Sta 9 1000 D. Chief Beasley picked up hose washer.
12/3 Sta 11 1010 T-11 to Station 2 to get fuel and gas.
12/3 Sta 11 1100 T-11 back in station.
12/3 Sta 11 1230 T-11 & E-11 to Gateway Plaza to stand by.
12/3 Sta 15 1239 Tr. 15 10-8.
12/3 Sta 11 1400 T-11 back in station.
12/3 Sta 9 1800 Chief Hunnicutt returned 1 air-pack Eng 9.
12/3 Sta 7 1830 Eng 7 was returned to Sta 7 and reloaded.
12/3 Sta 11 1900 E-11 back in station.
12/3 Car 52 1920 T12 manned and sent to Gateway Shopping Center fire scene to stand by 1920-2400
12/3 Sta 15 2345 Jay Faison to Crabtree Blvd. fire.
12/4 Car 52 0001 T12 returned to #12. Light trailer remained at fire scene.
12/4 Sta 6 0315 W. R. Marshburn detailed to fire watch at Gateway Plaza fire scene until 0800.
12/4 Sta 15 0415 Jay Faison back.
12/4 Sta 7 0800 C Patterson to 2400 Crabtree Blvd, to stand-by scene of fire.
12/4 Sta 7 0900 Eng 7 to 2400 Crabtree Blvd.
12/4 Sta 7 1155 Eng 7 back to Station 7
12/4 Sta 7 1220 Eng 7 10-8 with Eng 11 – left Eng 7 at fire scene.
12/4 R7 1602 R-7 to 2400 Crabtree Blvd. 10-70 alarm.
12/4 Sta 11 1602 Engine 11, T11 was dispatched to Gateway Plaza Shopping Center along with Engine 7. Was 10-19 by Engine 7 on arrival.
12/4 Sta 7 1602 Eng 7 responded to 2400 Crabtree Blvd. Checked out building. Nothing found.
12/4 Sta 7 1604 Eng 7 10-12.
12/4 Sta 11 1606 Engine 11 Truck 11 10-8.
12/4 R7 1609 R-7 10-8 10-9 by Eng. 7.
12/4 Sta 7 1627 Eng 7 10-8.
12/4 Sta 7 1631 Eng 7 back in station.
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Locating a Line of Duty Death – Cary, 1960

November 19
Looking More Closely…
Let’s revisit our recent postings about the June 16, 1960, apparatus accident that killed Cary firefighter Vernon Thompson. Super-close cropping of the News & Observer images gives clues on the Raleigh FD response to the incident.

Observe what’s seen here. Top is one of the city’s four 1951/1953 ALF 700 pumpers (based on the top warning light), along with one of the two 1960 GMC/Alexander tankers.

Bottom left is the 1939/1916 ALF ladder, which might’ve been Truck 6 by that time. Bottom right is the Raleigh Emergency Rescue Squad’s 1954 GMC panel van. (They were a two-piece company, also operating a 1954 Reo CD rescue.)

Since it’s June 1960 and a couple months after the city expanded to the west, let’s presume that’s Engine 8 from its temporary quarters on Method Road, and Tanker 1, also at Station 8.

At midnight on April 1, 1960, the second engine at Station 1 was moved to the rented house just north of Western Boulevard on then-named Kent Road. Engine 9 (as it was called) was renamed Engine 8.

But wait, Batman, my records say Engine 9 at Station 1 operated a 1958 ALF, with a different style warning light. The mystery deepens. See Mike’s apparatus register for more.

The two tankers, meanwhile, were placed in service at Station 2 on April 1, and at Station 8 by May 19. The city operated the tankers until 1986. As the story goes, one of Chief Pickard’s early actions was retiring the tankers.

As for the ladder truck, that’s another mystery. It was moved to reserve status in 1953. And old-timers remember the thing at Station 6, because a back window had to be removed, ’cause the thing was so long. Was it Truck 6 for a stretch? Or maybe their regular apparatus, the 1922 ALF service truck, was in the shop.

Mysteries, mysteries.


November 17
Locating a Line of Duty Death – Cary, 1960
On June 16, 1960, Cary firefighter Vernon Lee Thompson, 28, was killed, and firefighter Willis Edward (Billy) Henderson, 32, was injured, when their tractor-drawn tanker overturned outside Raleigh. Or, perhaps, inside the Raleigh, as the city limits had been extended effective April 1 of that year. 

They were responding to a trash fire, near the Camp Polk prison farm on the later-named (and likely only later-paved) Blue Ridge Road. The apparatus overturned while “they were turning from Highway 1 onto a service road that runs between the [Meredith] college property and the State College animal husbandry frame,” as news accounts reported. 

2018-11-17-cfd1 2018-11-17-cfd2
Courtesy Raleigh News & Observer, via North Carolina State Archives

Locating the Accident Site Continue reading ‘Locating a Line of Duty Death – Cary, 1960’ »

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Fairview Station Closure – Update, November 30

Note: This page is a placeholder for current and future updates about the proposed concept of closing Fairview Fire Station 2.

November 30, 2018

Legislation Proposed for Fire District

Local legislation has been introduced to the North Carolina General Assembly, to remove the Fairview (Ten Ten) Fire District from the governance and jurisdiction of Wake County. It was introduced on November 28 by Representative Nelson Dollar. Read blog post.

November 15, 2018

Minutes from Fire Commission Meetings

See this document for minutes from the Wake County Fire Commission meetings on July 19 and August 16, which included presentations and discussions about the proposal. 

August 21,  2018

Rebuttal to Allegations of Propaganda

From this Facebook post

Fairview Fire Department Rebuttal To The Allegations of Spreading Propaganda During the Fire Commission Meeting on August 16, 2018

It is very important to us that our citizens, the Fire Commission and others involved in the discussions about the proposal to close Fairview Sta. 2 know we have been truthful. Please see the links below to Fairview’s rebuttal to allegations of spreading propaganda. The first link is to the letter sent out to the Fire Commission, Wake County Commissioners and Wake County Fire Chiefs. The links following that are for documents referenced in the letter.

Document 1
Document 2
Document 3


Documents also copied to this blog repository.

August 17, 2018

Work Session Update

The Wake County Fire Commission held a work session last night. Though no voting was done, members reached a consensus decision to take the station closure proposal “off of the table.”

Also, Fairview FD made this annotated version of the Q&A document, originally included in the work session agenda pack.

August 12, 2018

Fire Commission Work Session on August 16

The Wake County Fire Commission will continue their discussion, and continue receiving information, about the proposed closure concept.

The work session meeting starts at 7:00 p.m. at the Wake County Emergency Services Education Center, 221 South Rogers Lane, Suit 160, Raleigh.

See meeting documents (PDF), from this blog post about the meeting.

Community Meeting on August 9

On Thursday, August 9, the Fairview Fire Department held a community meeting, to present information and answer questions about the proposed future closure of Fairview Station 2. 

The web site has posted both slides and audio from the meeting. They’ve been downloaded and copied here:

Note: Recommend paging through the slides, as Former Fairview Fire Chief Donald Pierce speaks. 


Proposed Concept 

The proposed concept of closing Fairview Station 2 in a future year, after opening a new Garner fire station, was publicly presented at the July 19, 2018, meeting of the Wake County Fire Commission.

Read a summary in this earlier blog post about that meeting, which includes copies of slides that were presented, a handout provided by a concerned citizen, and an audio recording of the meeting.


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Wake County Fire Commission Meeting – November 15, 2018

Here’s the agenda for tomorrow night’s meeting of the Wake County Fire Commission, for Thursday, November 15, 2018. Starts at 7:00 p.m. at the Wake County Emergency Services Education Center, 221 S. Rogers Lane, Raleigh. 


Meeting Called to Order: Chairman Chief McGee

  • Invocation
  • Pledge of allegiance
  • Roll of Members Present

Items of Business

  • Approval of Agenda
  • Approval of Minutes July 19, 2018
  • Approval of Minutes Special Called Meeting August 16, 2018

Public Comments

  • Comments from the public will be taken at this time. Members of the public are invited to make comment to the Commission, with a maximum of 3 minutes per person. A signup sheet for those who wish to speak during the public comments section of the meeting is located at the entrance of the meeting room.

Regular Agenda

  • Wake County Human Resources Compensation Presentation ( if available )
  • Apex Fire Department Re-Direction of Funding Request
  • Fuquay Varina Fire Department Emergency Funding Request
  • North Region Committee Appointments
  • West Region Committee Appointments
  • Fire Commission Administrative Committee Chair Appointment

Information Agenda

  • Fire Tax Financial Report
  • Sub Committee Reports
  • Fire Services Report

Other Business

  • Adjournment
  • Next meeting, January 17, 2019 at 7:00 PM

Agenda Packet

View agenda packet.

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Looking Closely at the Capital Hose Company, Circa 1902

Alert! Alert! 

New old photo found!

The North Carolina State Archives recently added this image to their collection. It was cataloged in 2014 and one of a handful of surviving turn-of-the-century images of the Raleigh Fire Department. Call number N. 2014.9.1.

It shows the Capital Hose Company competition reel team, circa 1902. They won the “world’s championship” reel contest that year, at the state firemen’s tournament, which was held along with the state convention in Durham on July 23-25, 1902. (Read newspaper articles about the tournament.)

They’re pictured in front of fire department headquarters at 112 W. Morgan Street. The 1896 engine house housed two volunteer fire companies, the Capital Hose Company and the Hook and Ladder Company. Both operated horse-drawn apparatus, the former with a hose wagon, and the latter with a ladder wagon. 

In 1902, the volunteer Raleigh Fire Department had around 100 men, along with paid drivers on “constant duty” at each of the three fire houses. Three two-horse hose wagons were stationed on W. Morgan Street (above), Fayetteville Street, and E. Hargett Street. They carried 2 1/2-inch hose, which was connected directly to the hydrant system, for pumping pressure. (In 1902, the city had 129 public hydrants, 15 private ones, and 33 fire alarm boxes.)

The volunteer companies served until December 1912, when they were replaced by a career Raleigh Fire Department. The volunteer’s equipment and facilities, and even a few members, were transferred to the new department. (Read about that time period, in this 1900-1909 timeline.)

Click to enlarge these views:







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