Raleigh and Wake County Firefighting

By Michael J. Legeros

ISBN 0738515124 - Arcadia Publishing - 2003 - Softcover
128 pages - 6.5 x 9.25 inches - 235 black-and-white photographs

Annotations  |  Author  |  Clippings  |  Corrections  |  Flyer (PDF)  |  Index (PDF)  |  Sources  |  Volume 2

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Page 1
Pictured aboard this American LaFrance 700 Series pumper.
Notice the pump panel on the passenger side of the apparatus, versus the traditional driver side placement.  Four such pumpers were purchased by Raleigh, two in 1951 and two in 1953.

Page 10
...by the newly named Rescue Steam Fire Engine Company.
They were formerly known as the Merchants Fire Company, organized along with three other fire companies in 1869.

Page 11
Five volunteer fire companies and 281 men served the Capital City in 1884...
Both the Rescue and Phoenix companies had their own "engine houses"; the remaining three companies were located at Metropolitan Hall.

Page 12
Built in 1896, it also housed the fire department alarm system.
During the construction of the W. Morgan Street station, a temporary "hook and ladder house" was used next door.

Page 14
The city's second steam-powered fire engine
This apparatus is still owned by the fire department and is present housed, on a trailer, at a fire station.

Page 15
A banner displaying the achievement hung above the doors to the engine house...
The Rescue Company station was constructed in 1870 on a 18 x 30 foot site on the Salisbury Street side of the County courthouse lot.

Page 16
He became the first paid, full-time fire chief in America.
Chief Brockwell was subsequently sent north for three months of training as a special member of the New York City Fire Department.

Page 17
...the first motorized fire engines were two American LaFrance Type 5 combination chemical and hose cars...
Early fire apparatus were often equipped with "chemical tanks," which carried water and a quantity of water-reactive chemicals.  When mixed, the resulting reaction pressured the water, which was sprayed using a connected hose.  Alas, chemical tanks had to be cleaned and refilled before being reused.

Page 19
Despite both student-manned hose streams and the later arrival of the fire department...
The 1914-15 student catalog of the North Carolina College of Agriculture and Mechanic Arts listed the fire protection equipment as "a standpipe and reservoir, hose and hose reels.  Hydrants are conveniently located about the grounds, with attached hose nozzles, etc.  The buildings are supplied with chemical extinguishers."

Page 20
Fire Station Three, c. 1915.
Until the formation of a fully-paid fire department, the building was occupied by the all-black Victor Fire Company.

Page 24
State Hospital For The Insane, April 10, 1926.
Read the author's detailed account of this fire.

Page 27
Three locomotives were damaged when this Norfolk Southern Railroad maintenance shop burned.
Other notable railroad fires: Raleigh & Gaston engine house in 1848, Raleigh & Gaston roundhouse in 1890; old Seaboard Air Line roundhouse in 1936; and Seaboard Air Line commissary in 1939.

Page 28
The two-story building at 212 S. Salisbury Street became a fire station again when Station 1 moved into old Station 2.
Due to space considerations, Truck 1 was moved to Station 2 at Memorial Auditorium.  Engine 2 was housed with Engine 1 at the new Station 1.

Page 29
After taking off from Raleigh Municipal Airport...
Raleigh Municipal Airport was located just south of Raleigh on Fayetteville Road, near the present-day intersection of Highway 70 and Tryon Road.  Established in 1929, the airport was an airline hub until the construction of Raleigh-Durham Airport in the early 1940's.  The airport was also used by military aircraft during World War II.  The airport closed in 1972 and the property was sold to a developed who failed to transform the area into a shopping center and industrial park.  In 1973, the Norfolk-Southern Corporate purchased the property.  In 1974, the hanger and administration building were razed.  The 250-acre site is still owed by the railroad company, but is not used.  No buildings remain, but the remains of the three runways are there.  [Source: http://members.tripod.com/airfields_freeman/NC/Airfields_NC_W.htm ]

Page 30
Auxiliary Firefighters
The training curriculum included "forcibly entry," "fire streams," "pump operation," "salvage and overhaul practices," "blackouts," "war gases," and "decontamination."

The Libes Wrecking Company of Winston-Salem and Raleigh was contracted to perform the demolition.

Page 31
Assistant Chief R. L. Matthews from Station 2...
Matthews and his men are posed in front of an American LaFrance Type 17 "combination service truck."  See page 46.

Page 32
This building at 2513 Fairview Road was leased from 1943 to 1949 and served as the city's newest fire station.
The fire department considered locating the station at the Country Club Apartments, but the Federal Housing Authority (FHA) ruled against it because regulations forbid a garage.

Page 36
Three years later, Engine 6 overturned...
The wrecked American LaFrance pumper was operating as a reserve engine, while repairs were being made to the 1950 Mack Type 85 pumper shown on page 37.

Page 37
Fire Station 5, 1950.
Pictured is the first of two FWD pumpers purchased in the 1950s.  One was purchased in 1949, the other in 1957.  Both were 750 GPM capacity.

Page 38
Hundreds watch the A&P Supermarket burn at the corner of Hillsboro and West streets.

The grocery store never reopened.

Page 40
The spring-assisted, wooden ladder...
A foot pedal on the turntable released the ladder from its resting position.  Springs raised the ladder about 30 degrees, after which it was hand-cranked.

Page 45
Engine 9, the second "downtown engine," was later renamed Engine 10 and finally Engine 13, as Raleigh's ninth and tenth fire stations opened.
After the completion of a twelfth fire station in 1973, the next fire station was named Station 14.  No fire station has ever been named Station 13.

Page 55
The identical 1,500-gallon, trucks were placed in service in the 1960s...
They were removed from service in 1985 and saw short stints as watering trucks for the Parks Department.

Page 57
Hose was laid as a precaution as a trackside heater's propane tank was damaged. It was later determined that the tank was empty

Page 58
The Saturday night blaze destroyed both the tire company's warehouse and an adjoining office building.
Stacks of burning tires shot flames five stories into the air and spread the stench of burning rubber throughout Raleigh. Firefighters stayed on the scene until about noon Sunday.

Page 63
Fire companies, August 1987.
Pictured from left to right: Tim Keeter, Michael Alford, Danny Poole, Capt. Donald "Donnie" Perry, David Godfrey, Basil Vassilion, Tim Beasley, T. C. Brown, W. Randy Robertson, Capt. N. M. Peacock, David Timberlake, plus District Chief Hubert Altman.

Page 70
Dressing Up
The 1931 Chevy was outfitted with a new motor, brakes, tire, paint, 350 GPM front pump, and 250-gallon booster tank.

Page 72
Emergency Rescue Truck
Cary became the first volunteer fire department in the state to operate such a unit

Page 75
The newly created district was named Yrac, which later became the name of the fire department.
On July 1, 1998, the Yrac Fire Department merged with the Fairgrounds Fire Department to form Western Wake Fire Rescue.  The Yrac fire station was renamed Western Wake Station 2.

Page 75 and 76
Yrac Fire Department
Photographs by Tim Murphy.

Page 92
Six Forks Fire Department
On July 1, 2002, the Six Forks Fire Department merged with the Bay Leaf Fire Department.  The Six Forks fire station was renamed Bay Leaf Station 3.

Page 93
Residents of Knightdale formed a fire department in 1954...
On April 14, 2003, the Knightdale Fire Department changed its name to Eastern Wake Fire-Rescue.

Page 98
Fairground Fire Department
On July 1, 1998, the Fairgrounds Fire Department merged with the Yrac Fire Department to form Western Wake Fire Rescue.  The Fairgrounds fire station was renamed Western Wake Station 1.

Page 105
...1959 Walter Class 1500 crash truck (left) and a 1973 Walter CB3000 crash truck (right).
The older Walter was later donated to the North Carolina Museum of Life and Science in Durham, N.C., where it was parked outdoors for playground use.

Page 109
...this 1957 FWD pumper originally owned by Raleigh.

Model F722, chassis D80353, with a 750 GPM Waterous pump, dated March 1957 and serial number 16962.  It was purchased from A. E. Finley Associates for $17,904.00.

Page 111
Mill Outlet Village Fabric Store
Fifteen employees and customers at the clothing and upholstery store were transported to Wake Medical Center after breathing burning foam rubber. Damage to the building and its contents was estimated at $300,000.

Page 119
Hopkins Fire Department photographer Aubrey Gay...
From 1977 to 1998, Mr. Gay shot over 2,000 slides of fire department incidents and activities. Pictured, left to right, is Zebulon Rescue member Sally Penny, unknown (wearing helmet), and Zebulon Rescue members Ken Griswold (back to camera) and Bobby Sutton (man with arms showing).

Page 124
...the Holly Springs Department of Public Safety in 1996.
The town of Holly Springs formed a municipal fire department in 1995 which merged with the town's rural fire department in 1997.  The rural fire department was organized in 1971.

Page 125
Both of Zebulon's fire departments...
The town of Zebulon's municipal and rural fire departments merged in 2000.

Page 126
Raleigh-Durham International Airport received two of these Oshkosh TI-1500 crash trucks in November 2000.
The old crash trucks saw service in Florida for tanker duty during the wildfire season, before being shipped to South America.

Created: 13FEB04. Corrected: 15SEP09.