Stony Hill Fire Department (1958-2017)


See also Northern Wake Fire Department family tree - JPG | PDF


  • Part I - Research from 2004
  • Part II - Additional Notes - 2016
  • Part III - More History

Part I - Research from 2004


Series of "mysterious fires" destroy two schoolhouses, one church, and two residences in New Light Township. Buildings believed burned as reprisals for destruction of eight whiskey plants in community.  Fires occur in Hurricane neighborhood, some twenty miles from Raleigh.  Destroyed are L. J. Sears school, Stoney Hill school, West Grove Baptist Church, Leo Ray's residence, and Lonnie Harrison's dwellings.  Community is located in the eastern part of the township and northwest of the Falls of Neuse. (March 12, 1921) rt12mar21


1958, organized as Stony Hill Fire Department.  Incorporated as Stony Hill Rural Fire Department Inc. (June 12, 1958) sos

1958, charter members:

  • Howard Keith
  • Novlen Perry
  • Pearl Moody
  • Shorty Perrott
  • Horace Perry
  • Bill Bailey
  • Vernon Keith, Sr.
  • Vernon Keith, Jr.
  • J.C. Ray
  • Owen Ray
  • Bervin Woodlief
  • Stonewall Harrison
  • J.P. Bailey
  • Kenneth Harrison
  • Truby Powell
  • Ed Grice
  • O.L. Holliday fdr

1958, first fire station is two-bay tin shed located beside 2713 Durham Road, behind and beside present Falls Lake Grocery.  Sign on building misprints Stony Hill as Stoney Hill.  Misspelling persists for decades. fdr

1958, first fire apparatus: oh

  • 1951 Chevy pumper, 500/750, front-mounted pump
  • 1952 Autocar tanker, 0/3000, no quick dump, former military aviation tanker.

1958 or later, apparatus deliveries: wcfar

  • 1954 Jeep brush trucks (2), 140 gallons
  • 1956 GMC/Alexander pumper/tanker, 500/1250


1963, new fire station constructed at 7025 Stony Hill Road. Property donated by Bill Ray, nearby resident, with stipulation that ownership reverts back to him if no longer used for fire station. fdr, oh

1960s, apparatus deliveries:

  • 1966 Ford brush truck w/PTO pump, 140 GPM.
  • 1966 GMC pumper/tanker, 500/2000, tandem-axle with quick dump, only second quick dump in County (after Cary), later sold to fire department near Southport, NC.


1974, first barbecue held.  Becomes semi-annual event on same Saturday in April and October.  Fire department averages $16,000-$17,000 profit per cookout (in later years?). Food qualities average (in later years?):

  • 3,000-3,500 pounds of beef
  • about 800 whole chickens
  • 1,600 pounds cabbage
  • 800-1000 pounds.

During first year, food runs out by 2:30 p.m.  During second year, food runs out by 3:30 p.m.  By fourth or fifth year, correct food quantities determined. Barbeque continues for twenty or twenty-years, until discontinued around 1996. oh

1974, apparatus delivery: 1954 Mack B75/Howe pumper, 750/750.  Cost $10,0000.  Original owner Independence, NJ.

1979 (?), apparatus delivery: 1979 Ford F-250 brush truck, 250-300 gallons.


1980, old lodge building burns across from Woodland Chapel on SR 1922.  Fire is believed suspicious, with several old abandoned houses and barns burned in the last few weeks.  Wake Forest, Bay Leaf, Rolesville, and Falls fire departments respond as mutual aid.  All are returned to quarters except Wake Forest. (December 11, 1980) ww

1980s, early, fire department publishes cookbook of favorite recipes. oh

1981, Texas Supper held from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. (April 25, 1981) yfdr

1984, department establishes tax district with Wake County, enabling funding as percentage of property tax. fdr

1984, station additions: two more bays and/or rear meeting space.

1985, beef barbecue held. (November 2, 1985) wcfar

1980s, apparatus deliveries:

  • 1983 GMC 7000/FMC/Bean tanker, 250-300/1250.
  • 1984 Chevy 3500/E-One first-responder/brush truck, 300.
  • 1987 Ford 8000/FMC pumper/tanker, 1250/1000.


1990s, early, siren at Station #1 discontinued.oh

1995-96, last barbecue held. Fundraising no longer necessary with changes in tax districts. oh

1997, Station #2 completed at 15633 New Light Road.fdr

1990s, apparatus deliveries:

  • 1991 Chevy 30 step van, purchased from Rolesville Fire Department. (Likely delivered late 1990s.)
  • 1993 KME/Hale pumper/tanker, 1250/1000.
  • 1999 International 4900/KME pumper/tanker, 1250/1000.


2001, fire department publishes revised cookbook.  Includes recipe for trademark barbecue sauce. (June 2001) oh

2003, construction started on new Station #1 at 7045 Stony Hill Road.  The 15,136 square foot facility, a combination fire and EMS station, will including living and sleeping quarters, on-site parking for approximately 50 vehicles, and is designed to accommodate future expansion of dormitory areas. wcm

Part II - Additional Notes - 2016

2008 - Apparatus delivery: 2008 Spartan Metro Star/Hackney walk-around heavy rescue. First type of this body built by Hackney. Equipped with rescue and extrication tools on one side, and fire suppression support on other side. Includes compliment of ground ladders in rear compartment. Delivered July 24, 2008.lw

2009 - Pumper 264 overturns on Purnell Road, about a half-mile east of Camp Kanata Road. They were dispatched at 1:31 p.m with Wake Forest and Falls fire departments to a reported house fire in Wake Forest at 2120 Purnell Road. No fire was found at the house. While responding, the engine overturned on its side. They reported they were overturned about 1:38 p.m. Additional fire and EMS units were immediately dispatched to their accident, including Stony Hill Pumper 262, Falls Pumper 212, EMS 12, EMS 33, and EMS District 6. Command was assumed by SHFD 101. The three personnel on the pumper were transported to WakeMed with minor injuries. All were wearing seat belts. They were treated and released Saturday evening. Other units on scene included Stony Hill 100, 101; Wake Forest Car 2, Car 4, Battalion 1, Utility 6, Falls Utility 21, Bay Leaf 100, Wake EMS Chief 100, and WC 1. Falls and Wake Forest assisted Stony Hill on scene and also with coverage. They also helped transfer equipment from Pumper 264 back to the station. The 2005 Pierce Contender was up-righted about 3:20 p.m. and removed from the scene after 4:00 p.m. Purnell Road was closed between Camp Kanata and Thompson Mill roads during the operation. (Saturday before March 1, 2009)mjl-blog

2011 - Apparatus delivery: 2011 Pierce Saber pumper-tanker, 1250/1000. New Pumper 392 at Station 2. Delivered April 25. Dedicated and placed in service on June 5, 2011.lw

2015 - Apparatus delivery: 2015 Pierce Impel pumper-tanker, 1250/1000/20. Pumper 261, serving at Station 1. Delivered November 24. Placed in service December 10. Dedicated on January 10, 2016. Replaced 2005 Pierce, moved to Station 2 as Pumper 395.lw

2017 - Consolidation with Bay Leaf FD completed. Begins operation as Northern Wake FD. (July 1, 2017)

More History

Stony Hill's Mack Before Stony Hill

December 4, 2015 - Source

In October, this photo was posted to the SPAAMFAA Facebook group. Stony Hill's 1954 Mack before it was Stony Hill's. The truck originally served the  Independent Fire Company of Westville, NJ, as Engine 77. The 1954 Mack B/Howe 750/400 was bought by Stony Hill in 1974.

They paid $10,000 for the truck, which was purchased from Slagle's in South Boston, VA. The truck had been modified there with a new 500 gallon booster tank. Stony Hill further modified the truck, with wooden extension to the hose bed. The truck is still on their roster as a parade pierce.

As for IFC in Westville? They merged with Union Fire Company in 1987, which also protected the town. They merged and formed Westville Fire Department

[ photo ]


The Curious Case of the Copied Patches

April 19, 2014 - Source

First was Burlington's design, which was copied by Raleigh in 1986. These were the first uniform patches for the Raleigh Fire Department. There was a committee that proposed and discussed designs, as the story goes. The Burlington patch was chosen, and not coincidentally due to the fact that new Fire Chief Sherman Pickard was a former member of BFD. (Pickard was appointed as Raleigh’s chief in 1986. He started his fire service career in Burlington. He was a member from 1949 to 1955 and left the department as Director of Training.)

Burlington has since adopted a new design. What year? And when their prior patch adopted? And did they copy from another department? (In the earlier decades of the fire service, there were generic patch designs that were used across numerous departments throughout the state, and probably the country.) Maybe readers can help.

Eight years after Raleigh adopted Burlington’s emblem, the Stony Hill Fire Department in Wake County followed suit. In 1992, the membership cast their votes for a design, also their first. Asst. Chief A.C. Rich, who was (and still is) a member of the Raleigh Fire Department, wasn’t at the meeting. He learned of the decision later, but only after the produced patches had been received. SHFD used the design until 2007. (Read a prior posting about their new patch.)

Archer Lodge Fire Department in Johnson County also copied the patch design, though they copied Raleigh's emblem. They adopted the patch in October 2000, and used the design for four years. The department proposed a new design in March 2004, and it was accepted in October 2004. (That's their current patch, and the design was credited to former Fire Chief Pete Barnes.)

The Raleigh Fire Department is still using their patch. The design also appears on apparatus, signage, and printed materials. The other three departments, as noted above, have adopted different designs.

And that’s the story of that.

Thanks to AC and Duane, for the historical assist.

[ image ]


New Stony Hill patch

November 6, 2007 - Source

Stony Hill has a new patch. Their prior, original patch was adopted in 1992. Based on Burlington's emblem, it was identical to Raleigh's, which was also based on BFD. Raleigh adopted the patch in the 1980s. The oops was not discovered until after Stony Hill had placed their first order, and so it was adopted.

Fire Chiefs

See Wake County Fire Chiefs (pdf).


See Wake County apparatus register (pdf).


Raleigh Fire Museum photo albums.


  • fdr Fire department records
  • oh Oral history
  • sos NC Department of the Secretary of State
  • wcm Wake County Board of Commissioners minutes
  • wcfa Wake County Firemen's Association records
  • yfdr Yrac Fire Department records

Last updated: January 4, 2017