Raleigh Fire Department History

1940-1949



1940

Five stations protecting 7.3 square miles and 46,879 residents.


Business section of Knightdale burns. Fire department sends engine company. See Knightdale Fire Department history. [MA] (February 7, 1940)

Private plane crashes on Highway 15-A, 300 yards south of Raleigh Municipal Airport. Both people aboard killed the Fairchild 24. The next day, the plane bursts into flames while being towed from site. Unknown if fire department responds. [AA] (February 12, 1940)no12feb40, 13feb40

Delegation of 12 firefighters representing Firemen's Union appears before City Commissioners to request "uniform pay raise of $20 a month for each of the 56 men from chief to private." Raleigh firefighters are the lowest paid in seven comparable cities they note. From "captains through privates, Rocky Mount pay is higher, as the following cities are in all ranks: Winston-Salem, Charlotte, Greensboro, Durham, Asheville, High Point." (August 27, 1940)no28aug40

Capt. K. J. Smith elected first president of North Carolina Fire Fighters Association at the first state convention in High Point. The group is affiliated with the American Federal of Labor. (October 29, 1940)no30oct40, 31oct40

First national lottery drawing conducted for Selective Service Draft. (October 29, 1940)no29oct40

Drug store and apartment building at corner of Glenwood Avenue and Hillsboro Street burns. The 9:38 p.m. alarm is received by telephone. Four lines and 2,300 feet of hose are used. Firefighters remain on the scene until about 11:00 p.m. (December 12, 1940)rfd, no13dec40R. C. Powell,

Fire Station 1 is declared unsafe for occupancy by City Building Inspector Pallie Mangum. He cites "gaping cracks in the walls" and notes that frame supports protecting the walls can be used only as temporary supports. The station, designed for horse-drawn apparatus, has been weakened by motor trucks. Rear walls have been struck by backing trucks and further weakened the walls. The Morgan Street building must be either permanently repaired or replaced. No time limit for use of the present structure is announced. (December 18, 1940)no19dec40


Hill's city directory dated 1940 summarizes department as:

  • Headquarters - 110-112 W. Morgan - dial 6514
  • Chief - Ellis D.. King
  • First Assistant Chief - W. Ralph Butts
  • Second Assistant Chief - Alvin B. Lloyd
  • Engine Company No. 1, 110 W. Morgan - Kenneth J. Smith, Captain
  • Aerial Truck Company No. 1 & Truck Company No. 1, 110 W. Morgan - Chas L Hayes, Captain
  • Engine Company No. 2, E Worth corner Fayetteville - R. Lee Matthews, Captain
  • Engine Company No. 3, 135 E. Hargett - W. Leonard Choplin, Captain
  • Engine Company No. 4, 505 Jefferson - John G. Harrison,, Captain
  • Engine Company No. 5, 1914 Park Dr. - Edward G. McGhee, Captain.

1941

Residence at 713 Kimborough Street burns. Firefighters watch helplessly as the new home burns to the ground. The house is a half-mile past the city limits and thus lacked a water supply. The fire truck's chemical tank is used, but a stiff wind fans the flames out of control. Fire is reported at 2:45 p.m. by telephone, a half-hour after the residents leave home. Within an hour, the building is entirely aflame. (January 11, 1941)no12jan41

Committee of firefighters address letter to City Commissioners stating that "after February 15, the men will stop at the city limits unless they are provided personal accident insurance, liability insurance, and relived of responsibility for fire department equipment." The question of "fire coverage beyond city limits" has been "in the air for several years." Last week, a "suburban house no Stanhope Avenue" is lost because of "the reluctance of firemen to proceed without authority." (February 6, 1941)no07feb41

Coal company in 500 block of W. Hargett Street burns. The 3:55 a.m. alarm is received by telephone. Three lines and 1,500 feet of hose are used. (February 24, 1941)rfd

Police-Firemen's Civil Service Commission adopts a rule requiring oral or written examinations for personnel offered promotions. (April 4, 1941)no05apr41

Norfolk-Southern Railway coal chute at Glenwood Yards on Sunrise Avenue burns. The 10:20 a.m. alarm is received by telephone. Three lines and 2,400 feet of hose are used. The pumpers operate for 8 hours total. The stubborn fire brings thoughts of dynamite as a means of extinguishing the 200 tons of blazing locomotive fuel. All but 40 tons are saved. Trains are temporarily rerouted while Raleigh firefighters use all available equipment from Station 1. Workmen notice the first signs of smoke from the overhanging coal chute about 10:00 a.m. The fire is eventually controlled without the use of explosives. The railroad yards are located in the northern part of Raleigh, near Roanoke Park. [UF] (May 9, 1941)rfd, no10may41

City officials release information about fire equipment damage occurring several weeks ago, including the seeming sabotage of 400-500 feet of hose with acid and an open oil petcock on the department's newest pumper. The incidents are reported to the FBI, SBI, and State Commissioner of Insurance. Neither the FBI nor SBI chooses to investigate. The open petcock, according to Fire Chief E. D. King, is discovered a fireman notices oil streaming from beneath the truck, after it answered a grass fire. Subsequently, three petcocks were discovered open. One, the oil drain, was wide open, but hadn't leaked enough oil to damage the engine. At the time, the driver reported thinking that he had hit a stump under the engine. When two other valves were found opened, sabotage was suspected. International Association of Firefighters President Fred Baer later investigates and refutes the claims of sabotage. He finds damage to some 400 feet of fire hose was accidental. He also cites natural or accidental causes for both the alleged tampering of an eye-wash solution and opened oil and water petcocks on the fire engine. (April 11, 1941)no12apr41

Residence at 1800 Sunset Drive burns. The 1:39 p.m. alarm is received by telephone. Three lines and 1,350 feet of hose are used. (May 11, 1941)rfd

Warehouse outside city destroyed by fire. The blaze at Raleigh Hide and Junk Company, located more than a mile outside the city limits, is discovered between 5:00 and 6:00 p.m. When firefighters arrive, the roof and nearly all of the building has collapsed. Crews also extinguish a fire that starts at a nearby three-room house. Engine 2 responds and three lines are used. (May 29, 1941)rfd, no30may41

Station 1 site sold to state of North Carolina for $35,000. On same day, the city purchases a $15,000 lot on S. Dawson Street from J. J. Towler for construction of a replacement fire station. (June 27, 1941)no28jun41

Southern Eastern Compress & Warehouse Company on Firwood Avenue burns. The 11:10 a.m. alarm is received by telephone. Three lines and 1,500 feet of hose are used. (July 2, 1941)rfd

W. Ralph Butts appointed seventh Fire Chief, serves 1941-1947. Butts joined the fire department in 1926. He succeeds Chief Holland. He is appointed July 9, approved by Civil Service Commission on July 11, and takes oath today. (July 14, 1941)cm, no10jul41, no12jul41, no15jul41

Gasoline leaks and ignites at the National Oil Company on Lenoir Street (?). About 22,000 gallons escapes from four storage tanks after heavy rain and flooding causes a stone wall to collapse and damage the outlet pipes. The leaking gasoline ignites on Lenoir Street. Firefighters prevent the flames from catching any structures ablaze. [UF] (July 13, 1941)no14jul41

Vacant house at 15 N. West Street burns. The 9:06 a.m. alarm is received by telephone. Three lines and 1,050 feet of hose are used. (July 28, 1941)rfd

Alarm system equipment purchase announced. The $13,992 purchase includes a new switchboard, batteries, battery charging system, and an automatic timing and tape system. Also announced is $2,700 of fire alarm cable. The new system, purchased without bid from Gamewell, has a capacity of 300 boxes. The city presently has 130 boxes and 35 miles of cable, wire, and poles. Some of the replacement equipment is 30 years old, or 16 years old. The new system is a three-fold system, allowing alarms to transmit even if wires are broken. An underground cable system is planned down Dawson Street from Morgan Street, to the front of the property for the new Station 1. The city's old equipment is transferred to the Gamewell company as part of the transaction. (July 29, 1941)no30jul41

Stephenson Music Store at 121 Fayetteville Street burns. The three-story brick store suffers $16,000 loss. The 4:08 a.m. is received by telephone. Three lines and 1,600 feet of hose are used. The fire is controlled in a few minutes. (August 10, 1941)rfd, no11aug41

Station 1 moves to 412 S. Salisbury Street, former Station 2. Due to space considerations, both the aerial ladder and service truck are moved to Station 2 at Memorial Auditorium. Engine 2 is relocated with Engine 1 at S. Salisbury Street. Firefighters spend the entire day moving equipment, except when two trucks are called to help extinguish blaze at the Professional Building annex. For two and a half hours, workers connect the fire department switchboard to the City Hall switchboard, where two firefighters will assist the regular operation. The equipment of the fire alarm system is also moved to the S. Salisbury Street station until a dedicated building is completed on S. Dawson Street. Chief Butts warns motorists to watch for fire trucks at the intersection of Davie and Salisbury streets. Ten firefighters and two switchboard operators are housed in the new station. Photos and more information. (August 12, 1941)rt, no

Construction begins on a fire alarm house on S. Dawson Street. The two-store, brick-and-tile building is located on the lot where a future Station 1 will be erected. The building includes materials salvaged from Old Station 1, including window frames. The value of alarm system is estimated at $120,000. (August 12, 1941)rt13aug41

Old Station 1 at 112 W. Morgan Street demolished. The two-story brick building, built in 1896, originally housed the Capital Hose and Hook and Ladder volunteer fire companies. An addition to the adjacent Revenue Building is planned for the site. Photos and more information. (after August 12, 1941)

Gateway dance hall near Carolina Pines burns. The fire is discovered by a passer-by around 8:45 a.m., who sees smoke billowing from the back of the building. The fire department responds but is unable to obtain sufficient water pressure from nearby Carolina Pines Lake. Though the building is destroyed, a small portion of contents are removed. Loss estimated at $20,000. (October 19, 1941)no20oct41

Garage at 223 Elm Street burns. One- story frame building is owned by Meredith College. The 3:39 p.m. alarm is received by telephone. Three lines and 1,050 feet of hose are used. (October 24, 1941)rfd

Army plane on nighttime approach to Raleigh airport. The A-24 Douglas dive bomber slices off tops of several pine trees and crashes and burns in the middle of a tent encampment of the 25th Air Base Group. Plane bursts into flames immediately after striking a recreation tent and a mess tent. Pilot is killed and plane's radio operator is thrown from the plane, injured but able to walk away. Two men in the recreation tent are also injured. Fire department is not called. [AA] (November 10, 1941)rt, no11nov41

House at 2630 Barmettler Road burns. When firefighters arrive, the roof has caved in. Crews are hampered by a lack of nearby hydrants and a "whole truckload of hose" is needed to reach the scene. (November 14, 1941)15nov41


Hill's city directory dated 1941 summarizes department as:

  • Headquarters - 110-112 W. Morgan - dial 6514
  • Chief - W. Ralph Butts
  • First Assistant Chief - Alvin B. Lloyd
  • Second Assistant Chief - R. Lee Matthews
  • Engine Company No. 1, 312 S. Salisbury - J. Robert Marshall, Captain
  • Engine Company No. 2, 312 S. Salisbury - James M. Burnette, Captain
  • Aerial Truck Company No. 1 & Truck Company No. 1, Auditorium - Chas L Hayes, Captain
  • Engine Company No. 3, 135 E. Hargett - W. Leonard Choplin, Captain
  • Engine Company No. 4, 505 Jefferson - Edward G. McGhee, Captain
  • Engine Company No. 5, 1914 Park Dr. - John G. Harrison, Captain.

1942

Locomotive cab burns. Sparks from the firebox of the Southern Railway locomotive set the cab interior aflame and destroy seats, cushions, window frames, and other parts. Firefighters extinguish the blaze. (January 6, 1942)no07jan42

Residence on Ellington Street burns. The 6:59 p.m. alarm is transmitted from box 234. Three lines and 1,050 feet of hose are used. (January 23, 1942)rfd

Residence at 301 N. Haywood Street burns. The 11:30 p.m. alarm is received by telephone. Three lines and 1,400 feet of hose are used. (February 21, 1942)rfd

Apartment building at 614 Harp Street burns. The 7:23 a.m. alarm is received by telephone. Five lines and 2,300 feet of hose are used. [MF] (February 23, 1942)rfd

Andrew Johnson Hotel at 100-102 W. Martin Street burns. Noon fire starts in storeroom of eight-story brick building and quickly spreads throughout basement, through the barber shop, workshop, and pressing room. Smoke pours throughout building, but flames never reach first floor. Damage is several thousand dollars. Three firefighters are injured: Chief W. R. Butts, burned on the forehead and ears; Lieutenant J. B. Blake, burned on the back of the head and ears; and Private D. C. Blackwood, cut on the hand. The 12:02 p.m. alarm is transmitted from box 312. Five lines and 2,600 feet of hose are used, along with "gas masks" and a new "portable light transmitter." [MF] (February 28, 1942)no01mar42, rfd

Raleigh firefighters sell defense saving stamps at fire stations. The drive is sponsored by the Raleigh Fire Firefighters Association, and is the first drive by any city department, and any North Carolina IAFF local. (March 1942)no017mar42

Staudt's Bakery on Hillsboro Street burns. The 1:51 p.m. alarm is received by telephone. Two lines and 900 feet of hose are used. Firefighters extinguish blaze about 2 p.m. Damage estimated at $2,500. Lieutenant P. L. Avery injured after stepping on large nail. He's later given an anti-tetanus shot. Firefighters each receive one large cake for their efforts. (April 3, 1942)

Residence at 530 N. Person Street burns. The 3:15 a.m. alarm is transmitted from box 13. Three lines and 1,550 feet of hose are used. (April 12, 1942)rfd

Store at 117-119 W. Morgan Street burns. The 4:01 p.m. alarm is transmitted from box 35. Three lines and 1,200 feet of hose are used. (April 25, 1942)rfd

Fire alarm building completed at 220 S. Dawson Street. An automated switchboard is installed, unlike the previous manual switchboard. The fireproof building is located on the site for a future replacement Station 1. Photos and more information. (April 4, 1942)

154 auxiliary firemen receive certificates of training, arm bands, and Civil Defense stickers at ceremony at Hugh Morson High School. State Fire Marshall and former Raleigh Fire Chief Sherwood Brockwell appears and speaks, as does Frank Daniels, chairman of the Wake County Defense Council, Prof. Earl H. Hostetler, local citizens defense corps commander, Robert Powell, local Commissioner of Public Safety, and W. R. Butts, Fire Chief. (July 12, 1942)rt

Apparatus delivery: 1919 American LaFrance Type 75 pumper, purchased used from Farmville, NC. The pumper is purchased in preparation of a new fire station and to help train auxiliary firefighters. Photos and more information. (July 13, 1942)ccmrt14jul42

No progress is made on constructing a replacement Station 1 on S. Dawson Street. Priority papers for obtaining building materials are filed with the government, but no action has been taken. (July 23, 1942)rt23jul42

Twin-engine Army bomber crashes after taking off at Raleigh Airport. Aircraft strikes group of scrub pine trees about 75 feet from the end of the shorter of the airports two runways, remains airborne for about three-quarters of a mile, and lands in middle of small swamp about 9:30 a.m., kill two airmen and seriously injuring the other five crew members. Six are transported to Rex Hospital, where one dies later. All are burned and suffer other injuries. Rescuers include employees of Serv-Air, operators of the airport, and golfers playing on nearby Raleigh Golf Course. Plane is not carrying any bombs, but 50- caliber machine-gun ammunition is detonating as rescuers arrive. Ambulances are dispatched. Fire department is not called. [AA] (August 9, 1942)no10aug42

Auxiliary firefighter teams from Stations 1 and 5 compete in two races at 5:00 p.m. on Morgan Street. The area between Boylan and Snow avenues is blocked off for the event. (August 21, 1942)no21aug42

Residence at 209 S. McDowell Street burns. The 10:15 p.m. alarm is transmitted from box 361. Three lines and 1,400 feet of hose are used. (December 20, 1942)rfd


Hill's city directory dated 1942 summarizes department as:

  • Headquarters - 412 S. Salisbury - dial 7733
  • Chief - W. Ralph Butts
  • First Assistant Chief - Alvin B. Lloyd
  • Second Assistant Chief - R. Lee Matthews
  • Engine Company No. 1, 412 S. Salisbury - J. Robert Marshall, Captain
  • Engine Company No. 2, 412 S. Salisbury - James M. Burnette, Captain
  • Aerial Truck Company No. 1 & Truck Company No. 1, Auditorium - Chas L Hayes, Captain
  • Engine Company No. 3, 135 E. Hargett - W. Leonard Choplin, Captain
  • Engine Company No. 4, 505 Jefferson - Edward G. McGhee, Captain
  • Engine Company No. 5, 1914 Park Dr. - John G. Harrison, Captain.
Sanborn fire insurance map dated October 1942 summarizes fire department as:
  • fully paid, one chief, one assistant, 56 men
  • five stations
  • one American LaFrance with 48 gallon booster and 200 feet of hose
  • one American LaFrance aerial ladder with 280 feet of ladders
  • one American LaFrance pumper 1000 GPM with 1200 feet of 2 1/2 hose, 100 gallon booster tank with 150 feet of booster hose
  • one American LaFrance " hook and ladder" with 203 feet of ladders
  • five American LaFrance "triple combination" pumpers each 750 GPM with 1250 feet of 2 1/2" hose and 40 gallon booster tanks on four and 100 gallon booster tank on one, with 150 feet of booster hose
  • 128 alarm boxes.

1943

Leased signed for 2513 Fairview Road, for temporary site of Station 6. The building, a former drug store, was previously occupied by the Victory Soda Shop and, earlier, a bottling company. The fire department will occupy the building on February 15. The station will serve such areas as Budleigh, Anderson Heights, Woodrow Park, Vanguard Park, and Villa Park. Previous considerations included the Country Club Apartments grounds. FHA regulations, however, prohibit a garage. (January 2, 1943)rt,no

Wake County Home for the Aged and Infirm on E. Whitaker Mill Road outside of the city burns. The fire is discovered by a cook who rang the dinner bell as an alarm. Flames sweep the roof as Civil Defense workers, neighbors, and other volunteers help remove the 134 residents. The 4:33 p.m. alarm is received by telephone. Five lines and 4,350 feet of hose are used. [MF] (January 7, 1943)rfd, rt07jan43

Quinn's Furniture Store at 108 E. Martin Street destroyed by fire. The 10:06 p.m. alarm is transmitted from box 23. Eight lines and 5,150 feet of hose are used. [MF] (January 26, 1943)rfd

Residence at 206 N. State Street burns. The 5:32 a.m. alarm is received by telephone. Three lines and 1,800 feet of hose are used. (February 28, 1943)rfd

Station 6 opens at 2513 Fairview Road. Engine 6 placed in service with 1919 American LaFrance pumper. Photos and more information. (March 3, 1943)

Fire department participates in blackout drill starting at 9:09 a.m. (March 18, 1943)rfd

Residence at 404 Polk Street burns. The 5:00 p.m. alarm is transmitted from box 12. Three lines and 850 feet of hose are used. (April 4, 1943)rfd

Home Ice & Coal Company at 323 S. Bloodworth Street burns. The 2:20 a.m. alarm is transmitted from box 233. Three lines and 850 feet of hose are used. (April 28, 1943)rfd

Big Star Store at 109 W. Morgan Street burns. Early morning fire sweeps through back part of building. Most serious loss is storeroom where thousands of dollars of food is destroyed. Fire is discovered shortly after 5:30 a.m. by the janitor of the State Revenue Building. The 5:44 a.m. alarm is transmitted from Box 35. Three lines and 1,600 feet of hose are used. (May 19, 1943)no20may43

Fire department participates in blackout drill. Over 105 auxiliary firemen participate, as well as five "regular firefighters" who are on vacation. Nine trips are made during the 48-minute drill: Engine 1 to a Salisbury Street hotel; Engine 6 to the Flatiron Building at Glenwood Avenue and Fairview Road; Truck 1 to the Raleigh Building; the reserve 1,000-gallon pumper to Washington High School; Engine 5 to the Little Theatre; Engine 2 to a cleaning firm on Fayetteville Street; Engine 4 to Lewis School; Engine 3 to a motor company on S. Blount Street; and the reserve pumper to the old Negro Blind Institute. (June 16, 1943)rfd, rt17jun43

Train derails at Boylan Heights viaduct. Two crew members are killed and three others injured when a Southern Railway steam locomotive leaves the tracks and crashes into two pilings. The seven-car passenger train derails at 10:19 p.m. on a Saturday evening. The engine's firemen attempts to jump and his body, minus part of his left leg, is found about 40 feet south of the wreckage. Badly scaled, he dies en route to the hospital. The engineer is killed when the cab telescopes between the tender and the boiler. Fire Chief W. R. Butts and a crew of firefighters are first to arrive. They remain on scene to direct and assist with operations until about 11 a.m. the following morning. [RA] (July 12, 1943)rt13jul43

Fire department participates in blackout drill beginning at 10:33 p.m. (August 10, 1943)rfd

Navy pursuit plane crashes outside the Raleigh Airport. Aircraft makes crash landing in plowed field at edge of woods beyond airport. Plane is demolished but pilot escapes without serious injury. Accident occurs while plane is flying in formation with two others. [AA] (October 19, 1943)no20oct43

Pair of Army pursuit planes crash about three miles south of Raleigh on Garner Highway. Both pilots killed, two of three aircraft flying in formation at time of accident. Raleigh fire department is dispatched at 11:02 a.m. and immediately sends one unit. [MA] [AA] (October 29, 1943)no30oct43

Strop Taxi Company at 112 W. Davie Street burns. The 3:20 a.m. alarm is received by telephone. Three lines and 2,300 feet of hose are used. (December 26, 1943)rfd

Business district fire does $250,000 damage. One of the largest fires in years strikes the Bellas-Hess clothing store that fronts both S. Wilmington and E. Martin Streets. The store had reopened a week earlier after being remodeled and restocked with $100,000 worth of merchandise. Flames also eat into an adjoining food market and wholesale grocery. The 11:19 p.m. alarm is transmitted from box 29. Eight lines and 6,050 feet of hose are used. The fire is brought under control shortly before 2:30 a.m. [MF] (December 28, 1943)rfd, no30dec43

Shipment of protective garb arrives. The waterproof "globe suits," ordered early in the fall, both "shed water" and prevent melted tar and other substances from soaking through clothing. (December 31, 1943)no01jan44


Hill's city directory dated 1943 summarizes department as:

  • Headquarters - 412 S. Salisbury - dial 7733
  • Chief - W. Ralph Butts
  • First Assistant Chief - Alvin B. Lloyd
  • Second Assistant Chief - R. Lee Matthews
  • Engine Company No. 1, 412 S. Salisbury - J. Robert Marshall, Captain
  • Engine Company No. 2, 735 Fayetteville - James M. Burnette, Captain
  • Aerial Truck Company No. 1 & Truck Company No. 1, Auditorium - Chas L Hayes, Captain
  • Engine Company No. 3, 135 E. Hargett - W. Leonard Choplin, Captain
  • Engine Company No. 4, 505 Jefferson - Edward G. McGhee, Captain
  • Engine Company No. 5, 1914 Park Dr. - John G. Harrison, Captain.

1944

Hollywood Cafe at 215 W. Martin Street burns. The 3:41 a.m. is transmitted from box 312. Three lines and 1,750 feet of hose are used. (January 12, 1944)rfd

Army Air Corps bomber crashes in Garner. Two crew members are killed after a B-17 bomber crashes into a wooded area, five miles southeast of Raleigh. Eight others parachute to safety. The fire department is notified of the accident at 5:30 p.m and sends two trucks and twelve men to the scene. Firefighters are directed by Chief R. W. Butts, who is one of the first officials to arrive at the scene. Highway Patrol officers and military authorities arrive at about the same time. The burning wreckage is scattered over an area 600 yards long and 100 yards wide. Bombs and bullets continue exploding long after the crash. Spectators attracted the scene are warned to keep clear for fear of further explosions. [AA] [MA] (May 9, 1944)rt10may44, no10may44

Fire department stages a "victory ball" and "New York follies show" at Memorial Auditorium to benefit firefighter activities and the Firemen's Fund. The show, attended by nearly 2,500 people, includes a souvenir program on the history of the Raleigh Fire Department. The entertainment includes Dean Hudson's orchestra for the ball, and a New York company-presented stage show to precede the ball. The stage show includes "a line of chorus girls and a number of specialty acts," which featured "blackface comedian" Emmett Miller, a quartet of jugglers named the Elgins, "adagio dancer" Billy and Nancy Long, "musical comedy performer" Ruther Whitney, comedians Hal Parker and Co., and "Thelma Carmens and her line of chorus girls." The stage show brought its own orchestra. The doors opened at 7:00 p.m., and the show started at 8:30 p.m. with fifteen minutes of music by Dean Hudson and his orchestra. After the two-hour stage show, Hudson and his band returned to the stage. The rest of the night was "devoted to dancing until 1:00 a.m." The members of the entertainment committee that planned the event were Chairman J. B. Keeter, Chief W. R. Butts, C. L. Hayes, L. G. Stephenson, O. K. Ellen, R. C. Lassiter, J. R. King, J. M. Burnett, and R. L. Matthews. (May 15, 1944)no26mar44, no04apr44, no14may44, no16may44

State Association of Firefighter's convention held in Raleigh. The two-day event is conducted at the Sir Walter hotel. Lt. J. B. Keeter is elected President. The first day's session is "devoted largely to discussions of Civil Service for firemen, better working conditions, and the adjustment of salaries based on a universal wage scale for firemen." The group decided to send association representatives to appear before the 1945 General Assembly, to "promote legislative action in the firemen's interest." (July 27, 1944)no28jul44, no29jul44

North Carolina is exempted from further blackout drills, the State Director of the Office of Civilian Defense announces. (August 13, 1944)no13aug44

Barbecue held on Memorial Auditorium grounds for fire department and auxiliary fire department members. Understaffing situation noted and auxiliary members surveyed for availability to answer "extreme emergency calls," serves as "volunteer firemen to answer general calls if need" and the like. Auxiliary Fire Chief Landon Hill notes "the regular fire department of the city of Raleigh is about 59 percent undermanned. At present there are 47 paid firemen and two women, making a total of 49 employees in the regular fire department. They are operating on what is called a two-platoon basis, which means they have about 23 persons, excluding the chief and two assistant chiefs, on duty at all times. The National Board of Standards, based upon a population of 50,000, would call for not less than 56 men, excluding the chief and two assistant chiefs, on duty at all times. From this you will see that on a two-platoon basis, they should actually have 115 men in the paid fire department." The event included a demonstration of stretching 1,600 feet of hose by auxiliary firemen from stations 1 and 5, with assistance from "regular firemen." (August 25, 1944)no

Carolina Trailways bus on the Louisburg Highway burns. The "heavily loaded bus" with some 50 passengers stops about a mile out of Raleigh, when the driver sees smoke coming from the front of the vehicle. The Raleigh Fire Department is notified and sends a truck rushing to the scene. The bus is destroyed, but most luggage is saved. [UF] (September 2, 1944)no03sep44

Night watch discontinued at 6:00 p.m. by Chief Butts. The replacement schedule is a day watch from 7:55 a.m. to 11:00 p.m., with one man on the engine room floor at all times between 7:55 a.m. and 11:00 p.m. (September 5, 1944)rfd

Fire inspections are conducted during Fire Prevention Week, with fire department members checking "Raleigh schools and colleges and business establishments in the business districts of the city." This special effort to "detect and eliminate fire hazards" is conducted because the fire department "is operating with less than the normal personnel." Citizens are also requested to "clear their homes of all materials and conditions that might constitute fire hazards." He particularly urges the owners of vacant lots to "clear away all trash and other inflammable materials." Through the week, the department also shows a fire prevention film at local movie theaters. (October 8, 1944)no06oct44

G. R. Grub Motor Lines moving van on Highway No. 1 burns. The blazing van, which is packed with furniture, spreads to a nearby field and threatens a house and filing station. Raleigh firefighters extinguish the fire and save the buildings. The fire occurs about nine miles from Raleigh, near the Neuse River. The van's body and contents are destroyed. Firemen save a new set of tires, and the trailer's tractor. (December 12, 1944)no13dec44


First "squad" placed in service: 1944 Dodge auxiliary truck. Photos and more information. (May ? 1944)ccm

1945

Annual fire report released in 1946 by Chief Butts cites "total damage by fire to property here-- building and contents" amounts to $45,987.11. During year, fire department answers 148 alarms, 91 of which are false alarms. Unnecessary calls, those "for fire or smoke which could have been handled without firemen," total 46. Firemen "stretched 53 lines of two and one-half inch hose for a total of 27,400 feet" and raised "a total of 1,757 feet of ladders." Pumps are operated for "72 hours and 20 minutes." During same year, the Raleigh Fire Department responds to 46 "calls for assistance from outside the city limits." (January 18, 1946)no

Series of fires strikes Caraleigh area. First is the destruction of a small, two-room frame house on Monday, January 22. Cause of blaze is explosion of an oil stove. Second is discovered on Wednesday morning, January 24, about 10:30 a.m., when neighbors notice smoke pouring from a house. The resident is rescued by firefighters after being overcome by smoke, after the bed he's resting in catches fire. Third is Mangum's store on Highway 15-A, where flames are spotted about 3:00 a.m. on Friday morning, January 26. The fire department is unable to save the store. Fourth occurs Friday afternoon after a two-room dwelling catches fire. Passer-by rescues three children who had been left alone. Fire occurs about 3:30 p.m. [UF] (January 26, 1945)rt26jan45

Mayor Graham H. Andrews tells Kiwanis Club audience that two hundred fire alarm boxes are need to modernize Raleigh's fire protection station in addition to a central fire station and a subsidiary one near Oberlin Road to serve the Budleigh Area. Also noted is that the City owns the lot for the new fire station, which will be erected after the war when materials can be obtained. (February 16, 1945)

Proescher's Restaurant on the Raleigh-Cary Highway burns. The 7:00 p.m. fire is started by grease and spreads through the entire wooden structure before the Cary Fire Department arrives with their engine. Raleigh units respond, but provide limited assistance due to the limited water and progress of the fire. (March 11, 1945)no12mar45

600 gallons of oil burns at Raleigh Municipal Airport. Firefighters save both the hangar and administration building and prevent ignition of high- octane gasoline stored in underground tanks. Fire breaks out in a small building adjoining the hanger, which houses the electric pump for the underground tanks, and immediately spreads to several 60-gallon drums right outside the building. Hindered by the airport's lack of water-- the airport is located three miles from the City-- firefighters make several trips to City hydrants to refill their auxiliary water tanks. About a dozen planes are inside the hanger when the fire starts and are quickly removed and without damage. Records and typing equipment are removed from the administration building as flames lick one end of the structure. Hearing radio reports of the blaze, firefighters from Camp Mackall on the highway near Apex also respond. They arrive about 3:10 p.m., after the fire is under control. Apparatus from Raleigh-Durham Airport is also summoned, but stopped en route. [UF] (August 29, 1945)rt,no30aug45

Fire department responds to three fires, including a residence on Burt Drive in College View neighborhood destroyed by fire. Alarm is received at 10:47 a.m. but arriving units are able to save only the houses on either side of the blazing structure. On same day, fire severely damages residence at 704 E. Hargett Street. Neighbors report fire about 3:00 p.m. Damage is confined to kitchen and dining room of building. Also on same day, fire department responds to vehicle fire on Western Boulevard where a truck carrying furniture catches fire. Damage is confined to wiring in the motor. (October 12, 1945)

Raleigh Burlap Bag Company at 124 W. Johnson Street burns. Alarm is received at 9:55 a.m. Four fire trucks answer call in freezing weather. Damage is estimated at $10,000 to two-story building. (December 18, 1945)no18dec45

Three buildings in downtown Sanford burn. The blaze begins about 4:00 p.m., and is controlled about 8:30 p.m. The Sanford Fire Department is assisted by firefighters from Raleigh, Fort Bragg, and Southern Pines. The destroyed businesses are a grocery store, a plumbing and heating company, two barber shops, an ice cream bar, a cafe, the National Bank, several apartments, the Lee County draft board offices, and several law offices. Early Sunday morning, one of the walls of the National Bank building collapses. A few firemen are on scene all night. Crews return to the scene at 6:00 a.m., when the ruins rekindled. Damage is expected to reach $200,000. [MA] (December 23, 1945)no24dec45

1946

Fifteen automobiles damaged after gasoline-filled gutters along W. Davie Street and Fayetteville Street explode. The 10:25 p.m. alarm is reported by telephone. Blaze is probably started by lighted match tossed into gutters filled with gasoline spilled from a "tank being loaded at the Sir Walter Garage." Fire starts on W. Davie Street and sweeps back to Fayetteville Street, damaging automobiles "parked alongside the street." The flaming gasoline destroys two cars parked in front of the Sir Walter "beyond repair" and burns tires and sears door and fender paint on a dozen others. The explosion shakes buildings in the city and is heard throughout Raleigh, "particularly in the western section of town." One automobile is caught while stopped for a traffic light at the intersection of Davie and Salisbury streets. The driver manages to jump out and escape injury, though the vehicle is "almost completely destroyed." [UF] (January 29, 1946)no30jan46

Firefighters answer 24 alarms between 9 a.m. and 9:15 p.m. for grass, woods, and trash fires. Three alarms are answered around noon for a woods fire on Avent Ferry Road. Two alarms were answered for a hedge / trash / lumber for at R & S Packing Company on S. Blount Street extension. Others included 3005 Canterbury Road, intersection of Hillsboro and Horne, 1508 Gavin, and 1415 Dixie Trail. [UF] (February 26, 1946)

Southern States Roofing Company plant at 303 N. West Street burns. The 4:59 a.m. alarm is transmitted from box 41. Firefighters arrive and find the fire has made good headway into the building. Strong winds blow sparks into fields and vacant lots a block away. Firefighters are kept busy combating both the main blaze and a fire on the Correll Coal Company fence, which is slightly damaged. Four boxcars of metal roofing material re moved without damage. Half of the building is saved after the four-hour firefighting effort. Five lines and 4,100 feet of hose are used. [MF] (April 2, 1946)rfd, rt02apr46

State Fairgrounds suffers fire. The 5:06 a.m. alarm is reported by telephone. Two lines and 1,110 feet of hose are used. (October 15, 1946)rfd

Passenger and freight train collides in Auburn. Sixteen people are slightly injured, with seven hospitalized, after a westbound Southern Railway freight train collides head-on with an eastbound passenger train at 10:35 a.m.. The accident occurs as both trains are slowing to a stop at the Auburn station. Raleigh Fire Chief W. R. Butts immediately orders fire equipment to the scene, and then calls City Hall to request permission for the fire equipment to be sent outside of the city. Commissioner Robert C. Powell immediately gives his approval, though Butts later admits that his men were en route before he placed the call. Butts subsequently responds to the scene and uses his car's two-way radio to talk with law enforcement officials as well as hospitals, advising them that ambulances and doctors should be rushed to the scene. After arriving, firefighters form a cordon around the freight train to prevent any ignition of the gasoline that has filled the gullies on both sides of the tracks. Spectators subsequently dip their own containers into said gullies, using tubs and buckets to take the spilled gasoline home. [RA] [MA] (December 28, 1946)rt28dec46, rt30dec46

Fireworks stand in Carolina Pines explodes. Located two miles south of the City, the wood and corrugated steel stand is destroyed by dynamite just before 10 p.m. The culprit or culprits are not known. The 10:08 p.m. alarm is received by telephone. (December 30, 1946.)rt31dec46


Fire department schedule changes to 24-hour shifts. Personnel vote on the change. (1946)rt07oct74

Hill's city directory dated 1945-46 summarizes department as:

  • Headquarters - 412 S. Salisbury - dial 7733
  • Chief - W. Ralph Butts
  • First Assistant Chief - Alvin B. Lloyd
  • Second Assistant Chief - R. Lee Matthews
  • Engine Company No. 1, 412 S. Salisbury - J. Robert Marshall, Captain
  • Engine Company No. 2, 412 S. Salisbury - James M. Burnette, Captain
  • Engine Company No. 2, 735 Fayetteville - James P. Blake, Lieutenant
  • Aerial Truck Company No. 1 & Truck Company No. 1, Auditorium - Chas L Hayes, Captain
  • Engine Company No. 3, 135 E. Hargett - W. Leonard Choplin, Captain
  • Engine Company No. 4, 505 Jefferson - Edward G. McGhee, Captain
  • Engine Company No. 5, 1914 Park Dr. - John G. Harrison, Captain.

1947

Light plane crashes into woods west of Wake Forest. Three people are killed in the crash of the twin-engine, five-passenger private plane. One passenger is rescue before the plane begins to burn, but later dies at the scene while the badly burned bodies of the others are being recovered. The crash site is located five miles west of town. The Raleigh Fire Department also responds. [MA] [AA] (January 15, 1947)rt15jan47

Residence at 125 Halifax Street burns. The 3:10 a.m. alarm is received by telephone. Three lines and 1,650 feet of hose are used. (February 9, 1947)rfd

The Dixie Inn at 3625 Hillsboro Street burns. The 1:43 a.m. alarm is received by telephone. Three lines and 3,050 feet of hose are used. Believed started by a stove, the restaurant is fully involved upon arrival. Firefighters see flames rapidly engulfing the wooden and cinderblock structure. Also endangered is the adjoining Harmon Motor Company building. Five fire trucks and their crews remain on the scene for nearly five hours. (February 28, 1947)rfd, rt28feb47

Light plane crashes during air show at O'Neal Flying Service field, two miles north of Raleigh. Both the pilot and passenger are killed when their plane, one of three engaged in demonstrated precision spins at an altitude of 2,000 feet, plummets wildly to the ground. The accident occurs at 3:20 p.m. and the wreckage is discovered a half-mile from the northern end of the runway. Fire department is not summoned. [AA] (June 1, 1947)

Railroad boxcar and pulp wood truck in Auburn burn. The 1:30 p.m. blaze is started by a truck backed up to the box car. Also damaged are Western Union wires directly over the fire. Raleigh firefighters assist in extinguishing. [UF] [MA] (June 12, 1947)rt12jun47

Light plane makes emergency landing at Raleigh airport. The twin-engine Cessna loses a wheel upon take off and circles until the fire department auxiliary truck and an ambulance arrives. Three people are aboard the craft that lands with only slight damage about 10:30 a.m. [AA] (June 27, 1947)rt27jun47

Gasoline truck on Durham Highway about 10 miles from Raleigh burns. Driver for Star Oil Company of Wilmington leaps from the cab after noticing the fire. Truck leaves highway, crashes into an embankment, and continues to burn from 3 a.m. until after 8 a.m., when the flames are extinguished by the arriving Raleigh Fire Department. The covers to the full tanks are removed to prevent an explosion. [TF] (June 10, 1947)

Alvin B. Lloyd appointed acting Fire Chief after Chief Butts resigns on June 20, later appointed Chief of Department on April 1, 1950, serves 1947-1955. Lloyd joined the fire department in 1919. (After June 20, 1947)cm

City Council and City Manager replace Board of Commissioners as form of municipal government. All city departments including Fire Department report to City Manager. (July 1, 1947)

Squad truck collides with bus at Intersection of Blount and Edenton streets at 9:30 a.m., injuring both firefighters aboard the Dodge auxiliary truck and the Greyhound bus driver. Firefighter H. S. Stephenson suffers contusion, lacerations, and possible fractures. Firefighter R. R. High fractures his left arm, left shoulder blade, and several ribs. He also suffers head lacerations. Both are thrown from vehicle while responding to reported automobile fire. The damaged fire department vehicle is later sold. [AI] (September 11, 1947)rt11sep47

Florist and American Legion hall at 121 S. Salisbury Street burn. The 2:13 a.m. alarm is transmitted from box 29. Four lines and 2,200 feet of hose are used. (December 27, 1947)rfd


Hill's city directory dated 1947 summarizes department as:

  • Headquarters - 412 S. Salisbury - dial 7733
  • Chief - W. Ralph Butts
  • First Assistant Chief - Alvin B. Lloyd
  • Second Assistant Chief - R. Lee Matthews
  • Engine Company No. 1, 412 S. Salisbury - Jas M. Burnette and Royce C Lassiter, Captains
  • Engine Company No. 2, 412 S. Salisbury - Chas L Hayes, Captain
  • Engine Company No. 3, 135 E. Hargett - Edward G. McGhee, Captain
  • Engine Company No. 4, 505 Jefferson - Jas P Blake, Captain
  • Engine Company No. 5, 1914 Park Dr. - John G. Harrison, Captain
  • Engine Company No. 6, Fairview Road corner Oberlin Road - John B. Keeter, Captain
  • Aerial Truck Company No. 1 & Truck Company No. 1, 735 Fayetteville - Chas L. Hayers, Captain.

1948

Carolina Country Club burns. Early morning fire strikes during the height of a raging snowstorm on February 1, 1948. By the time firefighters arrived, about 10 minutes after receiving the 3:35 a.m. alarm, the roof has already collapsed. Two lines and 1,200 feet of hose are used on the two story structure. Five family members sleeping in a club apartment are killed. The clubhouse burns to the ground. Damage is estimated at $54,204. [MF] (February 1, 1948)

Service garage of Gresham Petroleum Transport Company on Highway 15-A in Caraleigh burns. The 2:55 p.m. alarm is reported by telephone. (February 12, 1948)

Coca-Cola Bottling Company at 511 W. Morgan Street burns. The 7:41 a.m. alarm is received by telephone. Low water pressure and a broken hydrant delay firefighting; hose has to be stretched from as far as four blocks away. Seven lines and 5,550 feet of hose are used. [MF] (March 26, 1948)rfd

Trial period begins for 24-hour shifts at Station 5, and likely the other stations. Later adopted as permanent schedule. (April 1, 1948)rfd

Station 6 closes at 2513 Fairview Road after fire department is forced to vacate the rented structure. Engine 6 relocates to Station 5. (May 1948 or by August 31, 1948)rt02sep48

Raleigh Bag Company at 122-124 W. Johnson Street burns. The 5:20 a.m. alarm is transmitted from box 47. Four fire companies, five pieces of apparatus, and about 15 men are dispatched. The dawn fire starts at the back of the second floor and spreads halfway up the front of the building, before being brought under control in about a half-hour. Four lines and 1,450 feet of hose are used. (June 3, 1948)rt03jun48

Budget for 1948-49 includes:

  • Acting Fire Chief, salary $4,000
  • Second Assistant Fire Chief, salary $3,300
  • Eight Captains, salary $2,760
  • Four Junior Captains, salary $2,700
  • 14 Drivers, salary $2,520
  • 35 Privates, salary $2,460 to $2,520, including four vacancies and eight new positions
  • Mechanic, salary $2,760
  • Three telephone operators, salary $1,560 to $1,740. (July 1, 1948)bd

Lightning strikes set fire to five homes and destroys Glenwood Knitting Mill at 501 N. West Street. The accompanying storm strikes around 2:00 p.m., with lightning doing the most damage between 2:00 and 2:30 p.m. The Mill fire is reported at 3:26 p.m. At the State Fairgrounds, one large barn is demolished by wind and another is damaged. [WE] (July 23, 1948)no24jul48, rfd

Warehouse at corner of S. Blount and Hoke streets burns. The 10:44 a.m. alarm is transmitted by box 221. Members of the Buckeye Cotton Oil Company, located across Hoke Street, assist with a hose from their private firefighting system until the Raleigh Fire Department arrives. Rapidly spreading flames force workers attempting to save records, to exit through the flaming front door. Firefighters are hampered on several fronts, including a inoperable fire hydrant that necessitates laying lines from several blocks away. Miraculously, am amount of "nitrate of soda" stored nearby does not explode. Three lines and 3,300 feet of hose are used. Two firefighters are injured: A.W. Watkins, suffering an ankle injury and H. S. Stephenson, suffering a knee injury. Approximately 500 people gather at the scene to watch the conflagration and, at times, interfere with firefighting efforts. Because the building is located only a few feet from the railroad tracks, both a Southern Railway freight train and a passenger train are delayed. Within fifteen minutes, only the heaviest supports of the frame building are still standing. Damage is estimated at over $70,000. The Parker Brothers and Company warehouse was leased by Security Roofing and Supply Company at the time of the fire. [MF] (September 1, 1948)rfd, rt01sep48

City Manager and Public Utilities Director order public utilities department workers to inspect all private and City-owned fire hydrants in wake of Security Roof and Supply Company fire. (September 2, 1948)rt02sep48

Wake County Courthouse on Fayetteville Street is damaged by minor fire. Smoke from smoldering elevator cables is noticed by the car operator. One fire truck is dispatched at 10:39 a.m. to the telephoned alarm and firefighters extinguish the blaze using two and a half gallons of Foamite. (November 17, 1948)rt18nov48

Graphic Press Incorporated at 324 S. Blount Street burns. The 3:13 a.m. is received by telephone. Upon arrival with 26 firefighters, Chief Lloyd notes the danger of the fire spreading to other buildings and calls in entire personnel of fire department. Eight lines and 3000 feet of hose are used. The blaze is brought under control in about 30 minutes. Loss in equipment, supplies, and works in progress is estimated at $100,000. [MF] (November 18, 1948)rfd, rt18nov48

Apartment building at 218 Halifax Street burns. The 11:50 a.m. alarm is transmitted from box 114. Three lines and 1,400 feet of hose are used. (November 21, 1948)rfd

New Deal Warehouse No.1 in Varina burns. Building s destroyed, along with four " Negro dwellings." Firemen and equipment respond from Angier, Apex, Dunn, Fuquay Springs, Fort Bragg, and Raleigh. Damage is estimated at more than $128,000 for the 75,000 square-foot warehouse. The first alarm is sent around 9 a.m. and the fire is brought under control in about an hour. [MA] (November 22, 1948)rt, no23nov48


Apparatus delivery: 1948 Ford F3 squad or auxiliary truck. Photos and more information.

Hill's city directory dated 1948 summarizes department as:

  • Headquarters - 412 S. Salisbury - dial 7733
  • Chief - Alvin B. Lloyd
  • Assistant Chief - R. Lee Matthews
  • Engine Company No. 1, 412 S. Salisbury - Jas M. Burnette and Royce C Lassiter, Captains
  • Engine Company No. 2, 412 S. Salisbury - Chas L Hayes, Captain
  • Engine Company No. 3, 135 E. Hargett - Edward G. McGhee, Captain
  • Engine Company No. 4, 505 Jefferson - Jas P Blake, Captain
  • Engine Company No. 5, 1914 Park Dr. - John G. Harrison, Captain
  • Engine Company No. 6, Fairview Road corner Oberlin Road - John B. Keeter, Captain
  • Aerial Truck Company No. 1 & Truck Company No. 1, 735 Fayetteville - Chas L. Hayers, Captain.

1949

Fayetteville Street Baptist Church at 751 Fayetteville Street burns. The 8:31 alarm is transmitted from box 321. Three lines and 1,650 feet of hose are used. (January 14, 1949)rfd

Interior of Station 5 overhauled, including new kitchen floor and bath built by firefighters. (March 1949)rt12mar49

Morgan Street bridge burns. The 9:14 a.m. alarm is received by telephone. Three lines and 2,250 feet of hose are used. [UF] (April 9, 1949)rfd

Station 6 opens at 2601 Fairview Road at 3:30 p.m. Engine 6 relocates from Station 5. Photos and more information. (June 25, 1949)yb02+, rt02sep48, rfd

Apparatus note: Truck 6 placed in service with 1922 American LaFrance service truck at 2:00 p.m. The truck company is staffed with three firefighters. (June 27, 1949)rfd

Powell and Griffis Market at 1700 Glenwood Avenue burns. Though the store proper escapes harm, the early afternoon fire causes considerable damage to the storage room. Two pumpers and a ladder truck are dispatched to the 3:14 p.m. alarm (August 10, 1949)no11aug49

Fire Prevention Bureau formed, led by Captain J. M. Burnette. (August, 1949)no27mar54

State College dairy barn on farm west of Raleigh burns. The 2:35 p.m. alarm is received by telephone. Afternoon blaze is fought for five hours and firefighters save a second barn and brick building, both adjacent to the burning structure. Sparks ignite a pasture behind the barn, burning about an acre. Firemen use 600 feet of hose and operate the pump(s)for 9 hours. [MF] (November 24, 1949)no, rt25nov49, rfd

Efird's Department Store at 208 Fayetteville Street burns. The 10:40 p.m. alarm is received by telephone. Three lines and 1,750 feet of hose are used. (October 27, 1949)rfd 

Lynn's Service Garage at 336-338 S. Salisbury Street burns. The 11:14 a.m. alarm is verbal. Three lines and 1,900 feet of hose are used. (December 12, 1949)rfd


Hill's city directory dated 1949 summarizes department as:

  • Headquarters - 412 S. Salisbury - dial 7733
  • Chief - Alvin B. Lloyd
  • Assistant Chief - R. Lee Matthews
  • Engine Company No. 1, 412 S. Salisbury - Jas M. Burnette and Royce C Lassiter, Captains
  • Aerial and Service Truck Company No. 2, 735 Fayetteville - Chas L Hayes and Horace N. Sadler, Captain
  • Engine Company No. 2, 735 Fayetteville - Chas L. Hayes, Captain
  • Engine Company No. 3, 135 E. Hargett - Edward G. McGhee, Captain
  • Engine Company No. 4, 505 Jefferson - Jas P Blake, Captain
  • Engine Company No. 5, 1914 Park Dr. - John G. Harrison, Captain
  • Engine Company No. 6, Fairview Road corner Oberlin Road - John B. Keeter, Captain
  • Aerial Truck Company No. 1 & Truck Company No. 1, 735 Fayetteville - Chas L. Hayes, Captain.
Sanborn fire insurance map dated October 1949 summarizes fire department and water supply as:
  • fully paid, one acting chief, one assistant chief, 61 men
  • six stations
  • one American LaFrance aerial ladder with 252 feet of ladders
  • one American LaFrance city service truck with 212 feet of ladders
  • one American LaFrance pumper, 1000 GPM, 1200 feet of 2 1/2" hose, 100 gallon tank, 150 feet of booster line
  • four American LaFrance pumpers, 750 GPM, 1250 feet of 2 1/2" hose, 100 gallon tank on one, 40 gallon tank on other three, 150 feet of booster line
  • one Ford squad
  • two Chief cars
  • 172 miles of 4-inch to 2-inch mains
  • 799 double and triple hydrants
  • 130 private and triple hydrants
  • City population 65,000.

National Board of Fire Underwriters issues report on Raleigh Fire Department. Recommendations include:

  • adoption and enforcement of a complete code of modern regulations
  • appointment of a qualified, full-time building inspector
  • appointment of a qualified fire prevention inspector.
  • acquiring suitable facilities for training and drill, where all apparatus can operate under simulated fireground conditions
  • relocating a ladder truck to the new station at Oberlin and Fairview roads
  • returning a pumper to Station 2 when again available for service
  • adding sufficient personnel such that minimum staffing levels, including vacations and sick leaves, are five men on Engine 3, Engine 4, and Engine 5; six men on ladder company; and seven men on Engine 1 and Engine 6
  • adding another station in the 600-700 block of Brooks Avenue
  • requiring approved automatic sprinkler equipment in all basements used for storage or mercantile purposes, and in all buildings which, because of size, construction, or occupancy, involve serious life hazard or might act as "conflagration breeders."
  • that an additional ladder company, equipped with a "modern aerial truck," be housed with Engine 5 at Oberlin Road and Park Drive.



Abbreviations

[AA]   Aircraft accident
[AI]   Apparatus incident
[EF]   Early fire
[HM]   Haz-mat incident
[MA]   Mutual Aid
[MF]   Major fire
[RA   Railway accident
[TF]   Tanker fire
[TR]   Technical rescue
[UD]   USAR deployment
[UF]   Unusual fire
[UI]   Unusual incident
[WE]   Weather event

Sources

ar   City of Raleigh Annual Report
bd   City of Raleigh budget documents
cvh   Cameron Village: A History 1949-1999, Nan Hutchins, Sprit Press, 2001
cad City of Raleigh Auditor's Office
ccm / cm   City Council Minutes / City Minutes
ccor   1792-1892, The Centennial Celebration of Raleigh, NC, Kemp D. Battle, Edwards and Broughton, 1893
cer   Chief Engineer's Report
dah   North Carolina Department of Archives and History
dahni   North Carolina Department of Archives and History News and Observer index
fp   City of Raleigh Fire Protection Study
hr   Historical Raleigh with Sketches of Wake County and its Important Towns, Moss N. Amis, 1912
oh   Oral History
mp   Morning Post
nc   North Carolinian
no   News and Observer
noi   News and Observer Index
pb   Peter Brock
pph   Pullen Park History
rla   Raleigh Fire Department Ladies Auxiliary scrapbooks
rpu   Raleigh Fire Department Photo Unit records
rr   Raleigh Register
rt   Raleigh Times
ruh   Raleigh: An Unorthodox History
yb84   Raleigh Fire Department 1984, Raleigh Fire Department, Taylor Publishing, 1984
yb02+   Raleigh Fire and Rescue: 1984-2002, Raleigh Fire Department, Taylor Publishing, 2002, plus additional historical information also compiled by the Raleigh Fire Department around 2002.
wch   Wake: Capital County of North Carolina - Volume 1, Prehistory Through Centennial, Elizabeth Reid Murray, Capital County Publishing, 1983


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