Early Hand Engine Deliveries in North Carolina

This is a blog version of an earlier Facebook posting.

Research alert. New findings about 1840s and 1850s hand engines in Edenton, Greenville, Greensboro (posted earlier), and Raleigh. The clippings (3 of 4) are from “Baltimore Builders of Fire Apparatus, 1823-1964” by the Fire Museum of Maryland, second edition, researched and written by Stephen Heaver, and published in 2012. It’s available on their web site.

Edenton, NC – Received a William Simpson suction engine around April 1846. Had a 5 1/2-inch cylinder, a 10-inch stroke, and threw a stream 177 feet. Source: Baltimore Sun, April 21, 1846.

Greensboro, NC – Received a William Simpson suction engine named General Greene in July 1849. Had a 5 1/2-inch cylinder, rode on springs, and was painted blue with wheels of purple, blue, gold, and white. Threw a stream 170 feet. See prior posting on Facebook

Greenville, NC – General Green Fire Company received a William Simpson suction engine in/around July 1849. Had a 5 1/2-inch diameter chamber, rode on springs, and was painted a deep blue with wheels of purple, gold, and white. Threw a stream 170 feet. Source: Baltimore Sun, July 2, 1849.

Raleigh, NC – Was shipped a John Rodgers & Sons suction engine in/around March 1853, plus a hose carriage. Had 7-inch cylinders. From Legeros research, two new engines were received in Raleigh that year, named the Excelsior and the Rescue. The fire companies then took their names from those engines. Presumably both were built by Simpson. Source from Legeros 1850s timeline

Continue reading ‘Early Hand Engine Deliveries in North Carolina’ »

Facebook Comments

How Many Battalion Chiefs Have Served Raleigh

This is a blog version of an earlier Facebook posting.

Random Raleigh history. How many battalion chiefs have served the department, since the position was created (as District Chief) in 1971? By my count, the total is 92. < And expands to 93 this month, with the promotion of D. M. Ali. 

1 – H. Y. Altman
2 – C. J. Atkins
3 – R. C. Atkinson
4 – G. R. Bagwell
5 – E. H. Beasley
6 – D. C. Blackwood
7 – D. W. Boyette
8 – G. R. Bridges
9 – P. J. Brock
10 – K. S. Capps
11 – L. V. Choplin
12 – W. H. Clifton
13 – K. L. Coppage
14 – S. J. Corker
15 – R. D. Davis
16 – D. L. Deyo
17 – J. A. Ennis
18 – J. P. Fanning
19 – E. F. Fowler
20 – L. T. Frazier
21 – D. B. Gardner
22 – W. P. Gaster
23 – W. T. Gautier
24 – C. K. Gibbons
25 – W. N. Glover
26 – W. B. Hamilton
27 – E. D. Harris
28 – J. L. Harrison
29 – B. R. Harvey
30 – M. T. Hayes
31 – F. C. Hicks
32 – F. C. Hobson
33 – K. T. Hocutt
34 – R. T. Hodge
35 – T. W. House
36 – J. H. Hunnicutt
37 – L. P. Johnson
38 – P. D. Johnson
39 – R. R. Johnson
40 – R. E. Keith
41 – C. E. Kelley
42 – R. K. Lane
43 – A. E. Lynn
44 – W. R. Mabrey
45 – P. B. Marks
46 – D. C. Marshall
47 – E. M. Martin
48 – C. T. May
49 – F. G. McLaurin
50 – R. L. Mitchell
51 – R. D. Mizell
52 – J. T. Owens
53 – J. G. Pace
54 – S. R. Page
55 – J. R. Patterson
56 – D. L. Perry
57 – D. A. Peruso
58 – P. G. Pickard
59 – J. D. Poole
60 – A. C. Rich
61 – S. A. Richards
62 – J. W. Robertson
63 – J. B. Sandy
64 – B. L. Sherrill
65 – R. M. Siebel
66 – C. E. Smith
67 – L. W. Smith
68 – B. D. Spain
69 – G. G. Spain
70 – L. Stanford
71 – A. G. Stell
72 – T. A. Styons
73 – W. R. Styons
74 – D. M. Sykes
75 – S. J. Talton
76 – W. K. Tessinear
77 – I. S. Toms
78 – N. W. Walker
79 – A. R. Wall
80 – L. A. Walters
81 – H. F. Warner
82 – J. E. Warren
83 – J. A. Weathersby
84 – S. S. White
85 – D. P. Whitley
86 – R. M. Whittington
87 – J. K. Wilder
88 – D. H. Williams
89 – C. W. Wilson
90 – J. A. Wilson
91 – L. B. Woodall
92 – P. C. Woodlief

Facebook Comments

Durations Between Raleigh Fire Station Closures

This is a blog version of an earlier Facebook posting.

Random Raleigh history. What are the shortest and longest durations of station closures, between the time that an active engine house was closed and its permanent replacement (either same site or new site) was opened?

Believe there are just six such instances, Stations 1, 2, 5, 6 (twice), 22. The rest were same-day moves from old station to new station, as records have shown.

Shortest was Station 5 and two months between the closure of the 1926 engine house and its replacement opening in 1961, and on the same site. (The new building was built beside the old one.)

Longest was Station 1 and twelve years between the original engine house closure and the opening of its newly constructed replacement. (For temporary quarters, Station 1 operated out of old Station 2 on South Salisbury Street.)


Station 1
W. Morgan Street – Aug 12, 1941 – Closed
S. Dawson Street – Oct 5, 1953 – Opened

Station 2
Fayetteville Street – Circa Mar 1914 – Closed
S. Salisbury Street – Circa Sep 1914 – Opened

Station 5
Oberlin Road – Jul 24, 1961 – Closed
Oberlin Road – Sep 26, 1961 – Opened

Station 6
Fairview Road – May 1948 – Closed
Fairview Road – Jun 25, 1949 – Opened

Station 6 again
Fairview Road – May 29, 2017 – Closed
Fairview Road – Mar 29, 2021 – Opened

Station 22
Durant Road – Feb 5, 2019 – Closed
Durant Road – June 2022 – Opening soon




Facebook Comments

Relocating Fire Station 22 – July Update

This is an ongoing blog posting about the relocating of Fire Station 22. 

See Legeros updates below. See also ongoing Legeros photos. And here’s the official project site from the city.


  • 7/2/22 – July Update
  • 4/2/22 – April Update
  • 10/20/21 – December Update
  • 6/12/21 – June Update
  • 5/29/21 – Walls Going Up
  • 5/7/21 – Building construction started
  • 2/22/21 – Site clearing started
  • 12/23/20 – Construction bid awarded  
  • 9/16/20 – Construction bids started 
  • 6/25/19 – June Update
  • 4/23/19 – Revised Design Drawings / Demolition Fone
  • 3/23/19 – Demolition Starting
  • 2/15/19 – Temporary Quarters Occupied 
  • 10/22/18 – Temporary Quarters Being Installed
  • 12/1/17 – Design Services Selected
  • 8/14/17 – City Council to Approve Project

July Update

July 2, 2022

Yesterday, more furniture was moved into the building. The facility will be opening in the next number of days.

April Update Continue reading ‘Relocating Fire Station 22 – July Update’ »

Facebook Comments

Raleigh Fire Department History – Charts and Data

Recent random data play about the Raleigh Fire Department and its history. Each of these charts originally appeared as postings on Legeros Fire Line on Facebook.

Counts of Companies

Counts over time of Raleigh’s aerial ladder and service ladder companies[1], plus battalion chiefs and rescue companies[2].

[1] Counts of staffed companies, versus frontline + reserve units.
[2] Beginning in 1953, “Raleigh Rescue” operated a two-piece unit, but the heavier rescue was rarely brought. Thus the count is shown as one instead of two, to keep apples to apples in comparing with later counts.

Population Growth vs. Response Growth

Growth trends of Raleigh population (orange) and Raleigh FD responses (blue). Sorry for the gaps. Also, the number ranges are NOT equivalent. The population range is 10x (or more) of the call volume range. Also, also, the first responder program expanded citywide in 1980, which may be a factor in the climb of call volumes.

Most Popular Month for Opening New Fire Stations

This section was written on May 29, 2022.

New Raleigh Fire Station 22 will be opening any day now. Looks like it’ll happen in early June, based on window peek-throughs today. As it happens, June is the most frequent month for opening newly constructed city fire stations in the career-era of RFD. (Sorry Charlie, temp facilities not included.) Here’s that distribution, from data beginning in 1926. See comments for source data. Which specific dates are the most popular? Those are June 9 (3), June 15 (2), and October 9 (2).

Recruit Academy Sizes

This section was written on May 28, 2022.

Raleigh Recruit Academy 48 started this week with 56 new recruits. It’s the largest academy in RFD history. What has that distribution looked like over time? Here’s a chart of academy sizes, plus notes on those years that new stations and new ladder companies were added, and those academies that started concurrently, or included members of other departments.

Facebook Comments

Wake New Hope Station 1 Has Closed

This is a blog version of a Facebook posting.

End of an era. At 0800 hours this morning, Friday, July 1, 2022, Wake New Hope Fire Chief Lee Price marked Station 1 at 4415 St James Church Road out of service. Engine 281 and its full-time crew was subsequently relocated to Station 2, at 4909 Watkins Road.

Listen to Chief Price’s radio message.

Also at 0800 hours this morning, the Raleigh Fire Department started their contractual service for areas greater than five miles from Wake New Hope Station 2, e.g. the former response area of Station 1.

Incidents in those areas will receive the same response plans as those in the city, plus with augmented responses for structure fire-related calls. The Raleigh response will include the addition of one Wake New Hope engine and three county tankers.

Continue reading ‘Wake New Hope Station 1 Has Closed’ »

Facebook Comments

Wake New Hope Fire Department – Then and Now

This is a version of an earlier Facebook posting.

Fifty-seven years later. Top is Wake New Hope Fire Department in 1965, as photographed for a News & Observer story titled “Rural Fire Units Have Financial Struggle.” Bottom is New Hope’s fleet today, parked at Station 1 last night, for a dinner and reunion of past members.

They gathered to share fellowship and celebrate the station, which will close on July 1, 2022, when the city takes over the response area, and the full-time crew at Station 1 is moved to Station 2. 

Opened in 1958, the station was one of the earliest fire stations in Raleigh to serve “suburban” unincorporated areas. Continue reading ‘Wake New Hope Fire Department – Then and Now’ »

Facebook Comments

Wake New Hope Community Meeting – May 9, 2022

This is a version of an earlier Facebook posting.

View photos by Legeros

Scenes from a community meeting at New Hope Baptist Church on Monday night, May 9, 2022, to inform and answer questions about a new city-county partnership. On July 1, 2022, the city of Raleigh will begin covering the response district of Wake New Hope Station 1. Wake County Fire Services Director Darrell Alford gave a great presentation on same, and fielded questions along with Wake New Hope Fire Chief Lee Price and Raleigh Fire Chief Herbert Griffin.

The response district dates to 1958, when Wake New Hope FD started service. The current Station 1 service area has undergone dramatic changes since the late 1950s, and most of the area has been annexed by the city of Raleigh.

Less than five square-miles of unincorporated area remain in the Station 1 district. By the numbers, that’s 4.69 square-miles with 1,244 occupied housing units and a population of 3,280 people. The property value is estimated at $489M and it had 247 fire/EMS calls in calendar year 2020. And, of important note, there are five Raleigh fire stations within five miles.

Continue reading ‘Wake New Hope Community Meeting – May 9, 2022’ »

Facebook Comments

Cary as Nexus of the Career Fire Service

As we celebrate the centennial anniversary of the Cary Fire Department this year, let’s look at the many connections between CFD and other career departments around Wake County and else in North Carolina. Here’s a new infographic:

View  JPG |  View as PDF

Facebook Comments