03/11/09 434 W, 2 I - + 12 - 19 Bridgeton Fire Department History


Before 1958, the town of Bridgeton in Craven County had received fire protection from the New Bern Fire Department for many years. The town was located one mile across the Neuse River from the neighboring city. After some disagreements between Craven County and New Bern officials regarding this service, a group of Bridgeport citizens headed by Edward N. Brinson began planning and creating their own fire department.

While they worked to acquire a truck, build a station, and get organized, town officials made an agreement with New Bern for interim fire protection. The Bridgeton mayor appointed a temporary Fire Chief to organize a department. On August 20, 1958, a group of 36 young men had a meeting and formed Bridgeton Fire Department No. 1. They elected a Fire Chief, Asst. Chief, Captain, First Lieutenant, Secretary, and Treasurer. They also created a committee to investigate acquiring a government surplus truck, but those members reported that a new truck was a better purchase.

The Bridgeton Board of Alderman bought a vehicle suitable for their requirements of a 500 GPM pump and 600-gallon tank, which could draft water from the river, and was equipped for fog or straight streams. The truck was selected to meet the requirements of the North Carolina Rating Bureau. While the young fire department members were awaiting delivery of the truck, they renovated the old city hall and jail. They tore out the jail cells, and turned the building into a suitable fire station. The firefighters provided the labor, and the town provided the materials.

The truck arrived in April 1959, and the fire department was placed in service1. The Bridgeton Fire Department operated until 1999, as my records indicate. The town is presently served by the Tri-Community Fire Department. Did BFD merge into said department? The city hall/jail-turned-fire station on B Street2, shown below, was still standing a couple years ago. It was built in 1923.
 

 

At a later time, the Bridgeton Fire Department into a building at 408 Bridge Street. This structure was still standing a couple years ago. There was a Tri-Community Fire Department truck parked inside. Thus the speculation that BFD became (part of?) TCFD. Perhaps our readers can complete the story.
 


 

1Source: North Carolina State Firemen's Association conference proceedings, 1959.
2Sanborn Maps of 1948 show a "town hall & fire dept." at 125 B Street. This should be the same one-story structure still standing today. The population that year was 700, and the fire department was described as "no membership. One 50 gallon chemical hand cart with 100-feet 1-inch hose. Alarm sounded by bell on Bridgeton M.E. Church."





I was told that Bridgeton contracts with Tri-Community for fire protection. They have 4 stations in their “large district.” The one above is one of their current stations. Unknown of why the split.
car3550 - 03/12/09 - 08:56

Ask Chief Brinson at Fairview…
Guest - 03/12/09 - 12:43

Bridgeton FD ceased operations and the town does indeed contract fire protection from the Tri-Community FD.
John Maynard - 05/14/12 - 00:14



  
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