- Realized as a need for the some 700 families of the
New Hope community.
- Begin under the sponsorship of the Junior Order, a men's
- First meeting held in October 1956.
- They start with less than $300.
- Eighteen months of effort results, including several
door-to-door solicitations, two turkey shoots, and one barbecue.
- By April 1958, they're in debt for most of their equipment.
- Building Committee consists of Ervin Haithcock, Otis Arnold,
and Curtis Hodge.
- Incorporated as Wake New
Hope Volunteer Fire Department, Incorporated. (September 11,
1956, September 25. Applications approved for volunteer
- Jack Allen
- Jordon L. Allen Jr.
- Carlyle E. Allen
- Oris O. Arnold
- M. Ray Barker Jr.
- Lawrence E. Bordeaux
- Rev. Donald Bowen
- J. K. Buffaloe
- William E. Giles
- Harold Glover
- T. G. Green Jr.
- J. G. Lee
- B. Guthrie Montague
- C. G. Mullen
- Dan Murray
- Walter J. Paschall
- Robert M. Pearce
- Sidney Perry
- G. Wilbur Rosenburger
- R. P. Wilder
- Source: WNHFD minutes.
1957, September 28. Meeting of board of directors at home of Mr.
& Mrs. T. G. Green Jr.
- Called to order by Harold Glover, all repeating the Lord's
- Minutes of last meeting read and approved.
- All board members present.
- Treasurer Robert Kirkman reports $150 in bank.
- Votes to purchase lot from Mrs. C. V. Batts, 200' road
front, 150' back, for $7.50 per foot road front. Property in St.
Matthews township is valued at $9.400.780 in tax books.
- Votes to set tentative rate of 15 cents maximum per $100 tax
valuation on property owners in fire district. No date for
- Votes to not establish boundary lines for fire district at
- Reported that Mr. Bishop Brantley can probably help create
plans for fire station.
- Source: WNHFD minutes.
1957-58, first fire station
is "L" shaped building at corner of Louisburg and New
Hope roads, with loaned/rented garage pay on New Hope
Road side. First fire truck is stored there oh
1957-58, first apparatus delivered:
pumper, ?/500. Costs $18,000.
- Harold V. "Sam" Glover is Fire Chief. He's a
34-year-old Westinghouse employee with considerable experience
in organizing volunteer fire departments and fighting fires. The
father of three children, he helped organize the first rural
fire department in his native Rowan County in 1950. He helped
organize seven other fire departments in that area before moving
to Wake County in 1954.
- Guthrie Montague is Assistant Chief. He's owner of
Montague's Upholstry Shop, and a native of Person County. The
40-year-old is also Treasurer, and served three years as a
civilian Captain with the Fort Bragg Fire Department.
- Ervin Haithcock, 50, is the second Assistant Chief. He's a
New Hope native and operator of Haithcock's Store across the
street from the fire station, on Louisburg Road.
- Kenneth Buffaloe is President.
- Robert Kirkman is Vice President.
- Carlyle Allen is Secretary.
- Montague, noted above, is Treasurer.
- Glover, Buffaloe, Kirkman, Allen, Montague, Otis Arnold,
Curtis Hodge, McClyde Godwin are directors. cfd,
1958, new fire station
constructed at 4615 New Hope Road. Erected on a 0.71
acre lot. Built by volunteers on Saturdays and after work. Three-bay
building with blackboard and entrance to right of bays. Decades later, the property is renumbered 4415 St. James Church
Road. By April 1958, a fire siren is installed and is expected to
be installed soon, connecting the fire department to the central
switchboard at Raleigh Central. (April? May? 1958). oh, wcrer,
1958, tax district established. Property owners pay eight cents
per $100 of property value.rt04jul68
1959, fire department given $1,000 check by
manager of Westinghouse Meter Plant, toward the purchase of fire
equipment. Though the plant is protected by the city--due to prior
arrangements for fire protection, as the plant is outside the city
limits--some 100 employees live in the New Hope area. (March 10, 1959) rt10mar59
1950s apparatus deliveries:
1956 GMC/____ pumper, ?/500. See
- Tanker #1 of 2
- Tanker #2 of 2
1960, by this time a tax district has been created.
1960, B. G. Montague is Fire Chief. (May 7, 1960)wcfa
1961, fall. Fire department receives special recognition by
National Fire Protection Association as an outstanding rural fire
1962, July, snapshot:
- twenty firemen, all who live in immediate vicinity of fire
- have weekly training meetings
- are "available in seconds" after the alarm signal is sounded
- one of seventeen fire departments serving Wake County
- serves area roughly bordered by the Neuse River and Perry
Creek to the north, the Seaboard Air Line Railroad to the west,
the city limits to the south, and about one mile east of US 64
to the east.
- governed by Board of Directors who are elected by the
taxpaying property owners each September
- only entirely volunteer fire department in the state
that is tax supported, cites July 1962 newspaper story
- has two pumpers and two tankers, and can carry 3,500 gallons
of water to fire.
- Source: Raleigh Times, July 14, 1962.
1962, apparatus delivery: 1962 GMC/American LaFrance pumper, 750/500. Cost $16,289.
Can supply up to five lines of one-a-half-inch hose. (July
1962, water tank installed on station
property, for refilling the tankers. Capacity 15,303 gallons. (Summer 1962) rt14jul62
1963, Cabin at Southward
Motor Court on US 1 north of Gresham's Lake destroyed by fire. The
fire is reported between 4:00 and 4:30 a.m. Passing motorist
sees fire and notifies motel owner. He awakens the occupants of
the adjoining cabins, and help the proprietor in wetting down the
surrounding area. Four trucks and 20
firefighters respond and battle the blaze in
26-degree temperatures. Firefighters save two adjoining cabins. (November 15, 1963) rt15nov63
1965, Beacon Drive-In
restaurant on Highway 64 burns. Kitchen and stockroom are
damaged by 4 a.m. fire. Flames were "shooting up from the
stockroom" when firefighters arrived. Some twenty-six members
fight the fire. Losses estimated at $20,000 to equipment and
furnishings and $30,000 to the building.
(December 14, 1965) no15dec65
1968, July. Tax rate reduced by six cents per $100 property
valuation for property owners in fire district. The reduction is
possible because the fire department has paid off the debt on their
fire station and fire equipment. Since 1958, taxes have been paying
for the $14,000 building and $50,000 worth of apparatus. The 8 cent
rate brought $20,000 in revenues last year. The 2 cent rate will
bring $5,600 in revenues this year. rt04jul68
1968, snapshot. Fire department has 35 volunteers who answer an
average of 95 to 100 calls a year. They serve most of the Brentwood
and New Hope communities. rt04jul68
1960s, apparatus deliveries:
- Late 1950s/early 1960s Chevy panel trunk. Originally painted
green. Carried fans, long tools, etc.
- 1962 GMC/American LaFrance pumper, 750/400. See above.
- 1965 Chevy/American pumper
- 1966 Chevy/American brush truck, front-mounted pump.
- 1968 Chevy/Atlas pumper-tanker, ?/1250.
- 1968 Plymouth Fury II station wagon, white.
- 1969 Chevy tanker, ?/1250.
- Generator trailer.
Note: Some of the later trucks may have been delivered or
obtained in the early 1970s.
1972, Beacon Restaurant on
US 64 near the Beltline destroyed by fire. Four-hour fire
causes estimated $75,000 damage. Building is described as a
total loss. Fire believed started from either the deep-fat
fryer or the furnace, both located in the kitchen area. (May 28,
1972, Fire Chief is Walter A. King. (May 28,
1973, Plane crashes near Melrose
Drive, after failing to clear the trees from a nearby
airstrip. The four occupants are not injured. The accident occurs
about 11:37 a.m. Two fire trucks from New Hope arrive, but no fire
is found. (Saturday before July 29, 1973)no29jul73
1974, circa, apparatus delivery:
1974 Chevy/Murphy ambulance. Rescue services
also added with delivery of Hurst
tools, procured at the same time as the delivery of ambulance. Herb Wall sold the tools when the new
truck arrived. There was also a plan, related to Truck 6 and
controversial among members, to enter into the patient transport
business. That was halted when Wake County EMS was created in
1975, Plantation Inn burns. Fire is discovered about 11:00 a.m. by
employee who sees smoke coming out of vents in attic wall. When
the fire department receives the call at 11:03 a.m., they call Wake Forest and Six Forks fire departments as
precaution. Smoke is "pouring out of the vents in the gables" on
arrival. Fire is quickly extinguished, after firemen take a line
into the attic. Damage to
attic, wiring, and furnace is extensive, though only smoke and
water damage results to first floor dining room and kitchen. The
restaurant reopens in time to serve dinner that night. One New
Hope fireman burns his hand while "carrying an auxiliary generator
back to his truck."
(October 23, 1975) no23oct75
1977, gasoline tanker overturns and burns
on Beltline ramp at New Bern Avenue. New Hope and
Knightdale respond, and Raleigh sends one unit. The truck
overturns about 4:40 p.m. on a Saturday. The driver suffers minor
cuts and bruises. According to witnesses, it caught fire almost
immediately after overturning. The thick smoke from the fire was
"clearly visible from downtown Raleigh" and the Five Points area.
New Hope had four trucks and Knightdale had two trucks on scene.
Wake County EMS also responded, along with the Raleigh Fire
Department. (August 6, 1977)no07aug77
1978, Countrywood Village
Apartments at 5127 New Hope Road burn. Damage is similar to
November 1981 fire. (December 1978)no25nov81
1979, Asphalt tanker explodes at Rea Construction Company on Nichols
Road. No one is injured by 4:30 p.m. blast. Two employees are working near
tanker when the fire starts and run to safety before the explosion.
Asphalt was being transferred from the tanker to the other vehicle
when a spark from the second vehicle starts the fire. The blaze is brought
under control within 30 minutes. Also on scene were Wake County
EMS and "Raleigh Rescue Squad." (October 17, 1979) no18oct79
1970s, fire station
improvement: three apparatus bays added. Perhaps in 1971, a
date noted in tax records?. oh
1970s, apparatus deliveries:
- 1971 _____/Bean pumper, 750/500.
- 1974 Chevy/Murphy ambulance, Truck 6
- 1977 GMC/Atlas tanker, 350/1500
- 1979 Ford/Atlas tanker, 350/1200
- 1979 Ford/Atlas mini-pumper, 500/200. Engine 7.
Resource Recovery Plant off
New Bern Avenue burns. Eighteen acres of woodland also
destroyed. Fire starts at 9:30 a.m. and burns into night.
Nearly every fire department in Wake County responds as mutual
aid. Fire is fueled by 2,000 tons of baled cardboard and
paper stored inside and around the main building. Though brought under control by 1 p.m.,
it continues to burn. By 2:45 p.m., an irrigating system of hoses
and sprinklers is set up around the plant to continually wet down
the smoldering bales. Flames are still leaping into
the air at 8 p.m. and burn through the night.
The intense fire ignites trash in several dumpsters 30
yards from the flames, and also melts parts of a Southern Railway
freight car and four truck trailers near the building. Pieces of flaming cardboard are blown
distances of up to a half mile from the site, igniting six
separate fires in surrounding woods. A propane tank near the
main building is threatened and kept cool by firefighters.
Due to lack of fire hydrants, water is shuttled from the
nearest hydrant, about 1.5 miles away at the Tower Shopping Center. A total of 47 hours
of firefighting is performed with continuous flow of 800 gallons
per minute and
no accidents. Over 890 gallons of fuel used and $900-1000 in
food and drinks. Total water flowed: 1,238,000 gallons.
The Fairgrounds [Fire Department?] Auxiliary dispenses
"soft dreaks, iced tea, water, and chocolate bars" to the exhausted
volunteer firemen, some of whom had worked most of the day without
stopping to eat. Damages are estimated at $2 million, with the most
serious fire damage done in first 30 minutes. (April 21, 1980) wcfar, no23apr90
1980, upper floors of Plantation Inn main building
burn. Fire engulfs the three-story building on US 1 North.
The fire starts in the attic about 9:45 p.m. Some of the guests
were coming down from the nearby restaurant, and they see smoke
coming out of the windows. The desk clerk called the fire
department, and then the "phone went out... [and she] could hear
the fire crackling in the walls." The clerk and other employees
went door-to-door alerting guests. About 50 people were evacuated.
The fire lights up the sky for miles in north Raleigh, and draws
motorists to the area, who tie up traffic. Water is pumped from
the motel's swimming pool. Crews try to fight the fire from the
roof. "We stayed on the roof as long as we could," says Fire Chief
H. C. Thomas. "We cut holes on the roof, but we just couldn't stop
it." He added "We almost had it under control at one point,
shortly after arrival, "But we just couldn't contain it." They
contained the fire to the one building, and protected the other
buildings and even their "old tree." Said the owner, they "wet
down one huge tree behind the building that would've gone up like
a torch if it had caught fire." He thought the fire had been
burning for several hours, likely started by an electrical short
in a second-story bathroom.
The fire is fought until about 4:00 a.m., and then crews
returned about 6:30 a.m. to handle a few small fires that had
rekindled. Damage estimated at
$300,000. The three-story building was connected to two one-story
wings. It was 27 years old old, and housed an office, a ballroom,
and three guest rooms. About 90 percent of the motel's 107 rooms
were occupied, though most of the rooms were in other buildings. The
motel was open the following day, with the cash register recovered
from the hotel lobby, and a temporary office set up in a room near
the burned building. Nine fire departments and 24 units respond: New
Hope, Wake Forest, Rolesville, Stony Hill, Bayleaf,
Falls, Knightdale, Wendell, Fairgrounds, and two units from
Raleigh. (September 6, 1980)no07sep80, no08sep80
1981, Countrywood Village
Apartments at 5127 New Hope Road burn. Smoke is
smelled about 9 a.m. from fire that may have started from faulty
wiring. Twenty-two residents are forced out of twelve
apartments. Fire destroys the roof and guts six rooms on the top
floor. Damage estimated at $270,000. More than a dozen fire and
rescue units respond from departments including New Hope and
Falls. (November 24, 1981)no25nov81
1982-83, false call at Plantation Inn results in
criminal prosecution, the first (or one of the first) for
1985, first responder service added. First class was taught by
Linwood Barham. Several classes after that were taught by "Tramp"
1985, fire department purchases and installs
Eagle air compressor system. Has 5,000 PSI storage
tanks. Cost $12,458.02, paid in full at time of delivery and
subsequently reimbursed by County with agreement that fire
department provides housing, availability, and service to all fire
departments on full-time basis. (April-May, 1985) wcfar
1987, Neuse Baptist Church
on US 1 burns. Fire is reported at 4:03 a.m. by commuter
driving past church. Seeing 15 foot flames shooting through
the roof, the arriving Fire Chief calls for second and third
alarms to Wake Forest and Falls fire departments. Six Forks
Fire Department also responds with air truck, requested due to the
dense smoke and the many air tanks used by crews entering the
building. More than 40
firefighters fight blaze, knocking down most of the flames in less than ten
minutes. The fire is brought under control within an hour. Blaze
was caused by midnight welding job, after three church members
welded half-inch steel plates around a termite-weakened roof bean.
They "soaked it with water, used wet towels and made sure it was
cool before [they] left." Fire officials said that the adjoining
plates were cooled, they retained enough heat to ignite the
laminated word. A church Pastor estimated $700,000 to $850,000 to
repair the 17 year-old structure. (June 12,
1987, Courtney Square Apartments at 4604
Dansey Drive burn. Two alarms. Fire starts about 5:30 p.m.
and guts four apartments in eight-unit building. One fatality,
child later found in closet. Neighbors attempt rescue by are
driven back by flames. About 30 firefighters from Raleigh and New
Hope battle the blaze. Fire believe started by artificial logs
left on a couch. Firefighters arrive six minutes after dispatch
and find building engulfed in flames.
Volunteer firefighters from New Hope are not dispatched, despite
the fire station's location just a half-mile away. This is
questioned by area residents, some 30 of whom meet with Fire Chief
Jeff Mullen at the fire station a few days after the fire. The
department wasn't dispatched as the city's contract with the
department had expired. The Fire Chief instead dispatched his
volunteers, after overhearing the call on his radio at home.
New Hope Fire Department had been contracted by the city to
provide service to an area that included Courtney Square until July
1. They were still contracted for fire protection in some other
areas of the city. The contract expired after the two sides failed
to reach an agreement on how money the city would pay the
department. (December 5, 1987)no06dec87
1987, December. Apparatus note: Department has nine pieces of
1988, fire station #2
completed at 4909 Watkins Road. The 3.36 acres are
purchased on February 9, 1988.wcrer
1989, dive team placed in service. Organized by Fire
Chief Jeff Mullen. First members include Chuck Elgin, a volunteer
with Falls Fire Department. The team is available county-wide. By
1991, they have thirty male and female members, most of who are
law officers or paramedics. Though they concentrate on body
recovery, they also retrieve criminal evidence and stolen
vehicles. (July 14, 1989) wcfar, no05sep91
1980s, fire station improvement: two
more apparatus bays added, each two-vehicle deep. oh
1980s, later fire station
improvement: original three bays transformed into office
and meeting space. Perhaps in 1984 for both, a date noted in tax
1980s, apparatus deliveries:
- 1981 Ford/FMC pumper, 1000,750, Engine 3
- 198_ M-1 Mule brush unit
- 1986 Mack CF/EEI pumper tanker, 1500/1000.
- 1989 Mack CF/EEI pumper tanker, 1500/1250, Engine 1.
1991, May. Dive team is no longer supported by fire department.
Board of Directors votes in April to stop supporting the service.
Only two of the team's last 12 to 15 recovery calls have been in
the fire district. Team members form Wake Underwater Search and Recovery Inc.,
a non-profit organization incorporated in June 1991. The service is again offered county-wide.
By September, they are operating from a donated one-room building
on Louisburg Road.oh,
1998, first full-time employee hired: Ashley Bradshaw.oh
1999, January, second full-time employee hired: Ashley Bradshaw.wnhfd,
1990s, apparatus deliveries:
- 1990 Chevy/______ mini-pumper, 350/250
- 1991? Chevy/1974 Chevy/Murphy ambulance, Truck 6. Remount
- 1992 International 4900/S&S tanker, 500/1800, #1 of 2,
- 1992 International 4900/S&S tanker, 500/1800, #2 of 2 ,
- 1992 International/_____ tanker, 300/1250
- 1993 International/S&S service truck, Truck 14
- 1995 International/S&S tanker, 500/1800, Tanker 10
- 1995 Spartan Gladiator/S&S pumper/tanker,
1500/750, Engine 2
- 1997 Spartan Gladiator/S&S pumper/tanker,
1500/750, Engine 8.
Plus small vehicles:
- 1990 Chevy Tahoe
- 1995 Chevy Suburban
- 1998 Chevy 2500 Suburban, Truck 2
2002, fire station
improvement: administrative space added to Station #2.
(summer-fall, 2002) oh
- 2000 Ford F-550 light rescue, Truck 6.
- 2005 Ford F-550/____ brush truck, 1500/1000.
- 2005 Pierce Contender pumper-tanker, 1500/1000.
- 2009 Pierce Contender pumper-tanker, 1500/1000. New Engine 1.
(April 24, 2009)lw
Plus small vehicles:
- 2006 Chevy 2500
- 2008 Chevy Suburban
- 2013 International 4400/KME elliptical tanker, 500/2000.
Tanker 10 at Station 2.lw
- 2014 International 4400/Rosenbauer elliptical tanker.
- 2015 Spartan ERV MetroStar walk-around heavy rescue. New Rescue 14
at Station 2. (April 8, 2015)lw
- 2015 Pierce Impel pumper-tanker, 1250/1000. New Engine 4 at Station
2. Replaces 1995 Spartan S&S. (November 17, 2015)lw
Plus small vehicles:
See Wake County Fire Chiefs
County apparatus register (pdf).
Raleigh Fire Museum photo albums.
- cfd Cary Fire Department records
- lw Lee Wilson
- oh Oral history
- no News and Observer, May
- sos NC Department of the Secretary
- wcfa Wake County Firemen's
Last updated: January 17, 2017
Copyright 2017 by Michael J. Legeros