Biltmore Fire Departments A Short History

Research notes by Mike Legeros - Last updated August 30, 2015 (annotations)


George Vanderbilt's Biltmore Estate was completed in 1895. The property was protected by various types of fire equipment, including fire hydrants with hose and fire apparatus. Though the Biltmore House has never caught fire, smaller buildings on the estate burned in early decades. In 1903, a fire department was organized at nearby Biltmore Village. The Biltmore Fire Department protected both the estate and the village until 1929. They operated hand and motor apparatus including a 1926 Ahrens Fox triple combination pumper. That year, the village was annexed the city, and Asheville Fire Station 5 opened at the former Biltmore Village fire station. Also that decade, the town of Biltmore Forest was charted in 1923. The planned residential community was developed from some 1,500 acres of estate property. The Biltmore Forest Fire Department operated with combination firemen and police officers, as well as volunteer firemen. They had a single combination fire and police station and five pieces of apparatus over the decades until they ceased operation in 1995. The town contracted with the Asheville Fire Department until 2013, and then the Skyland Fire Department, which completed a new fire station near the town in 2014.

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