Yrac Fire Department (1961-1998)


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1922, Cary Fire Department formed. See timeline

1958, Wake County Board of Commissioners approves redefining and renaming of Cary Rural Fire District" to "Yrac Rural Fire District." (November 3, 1958)fdr


1961, members of Cary Rural Fire Department meet at Cary Town Hall and appoint committee to investigate continued fire protection for rural residents. (September 13, 1961)fdr

1961, committee's report and recommendations made at community meeting at Cary Senior High School auditorium. (November 9, 1961)fdr

1961, pledge requests sent to members of community. Initial contribution of $25.00 is suggested. (November 20, 1961)fdr

1961, organized by former Cary Fire Department volunteers. Chartered as Cary Rural Fire Department, Inc. (December 1, 1961)

1961, first Fire Chief is Jackie Hunter. Willie Crumpler is Assistant Chief.fdr

1961, first fire station is rented garage behind Cricket's Service Station at corner Cedar and Ward streets, present site of an auto parts store. Rent is $50.00 per month.fdr

1961, first Board of Directors comprised of steering committee appointed "to bring about the setting up" of the fire department.fdr

1962, fire department changes name to Yrac Rural Fire Department, Inc. (January 1962)fdr

1962, apparatus delivery: 1962 Chevrolet / American LaFrance pumper, 750 GPM two-stage pump and 500 gallon tank, registration #1-1-8849. Cost $13,555.55. (January 20, 1962) fdr

1962, brush fire on railroad right-of-way property. Superintendent of Seaboard Air Line Railroad Company billed for $50.00 (April 25, 1962) fdr

1962, first annual community meeting held at 8:00 p.m. at Cary Senior High School auditorium. Nine-member Board of Directors elected. New fire truck displayed. (May 12, 1962) fdr

1962, fire department sponsors 10th Annual Cary Fireman's Day. Department is "wholly responsible for putting on Fireman's Day this year" reports The Raleigh Times, though "municipal fire department members" participate individually and the town enters "its units in the parade." Proceeds, however, "go to the new department." Parade starts at 3:00 p.m. Street dance is held from 8 to 12 p.m. "at the Winn-Dixie parking lot." Prizes given away include "a Hereford steer, boys and girls bicycles and other items donated by local merchants." A grandstand "for special guests" is set up "in front of the Baptist Church" and Buck Sloan serves as announcer (May 1962) rt

1962, description of boundaries: beginning at the junction of NC Highway 54 and Trinity Road; thence in a southerly direction with the center of Trinity Road to the Seaboard & Southern Railroad; thence in an easterly direction with the Seaboard & Southern Railroad to Bashford Road; thence in a southeasterly direction with Bashford Road to the Raleigh City limits and including an area 200 feet northeast of Bashford Road; thence in a southwesterly direction with the Raleigh City limits and Buck Jones Road to the intersection with Macedonia Road excluding property on Buck Jones Road; thence in a southwesterly direction to a point on Kildaire Road, .2 miles north of the intersection of Kildaire Road and New US 1 bypass; thence in a northwesterly direction to a point of US Highway #1, midway between the Weight Stations owned and maintained by the NC Highway and Public Works Commission and being at the intersection of the HIPEX FIRE DISTRICT; thence in a northerly direction to a point on Green Level Road at the bridge over a branch of Crabtree Creek about 1.7 miles west of the intersection of Green Level Road and Old Apex Road; thence in a northeasterly direction to a point on Highway 54 and Evans Road; thence continuing in the same northeasterly direction to a point on Black Creek (tributary of Crabtree Creek); thence in a northerly direction to a point on Reedy Creek Road; 0.8 miles northwest of its intersection with Road 1654; thence in an easterly direction to a point on Harris Road about 0.4 miles north of its intersection with Road #16541; thence in a southeasterly direction to a point on Road #1654 at the boundary of Umstead State Park; thence in a southerly direction to the point of beginning, excluding the area within the corporate limits of Cary, North Carolina. (June 26, 1962) fdr

House fire at 40 Bashford Road. Resident billed on November 1, 1962 for "2 trucks for 2 hours... $100.00." (October 15, 1962)fdr

1962, apparatus placed in service: 1,000 gallon tanker.fdr

1963, second annual community held at 8:00 p.m. at Cary Senior High School auditorium. (May 7, 1963)fdr

1963, Green Hope Elementary School on Highway 55 near Carpenter gutted.  Fire reported about 1 a.m. Responding departments are Apex, Morrisville, and Yrac. Damage is estimated at $400,00 for the 172-pupil school. Arson is suspected due to suspicious car seen minutes before fire is reported (August 15, 1963) no

1964, reporting on a fire tax issue, the November 25 edition of The Raleigh Times reports that the fire department has 24 volunteers, three trucks, and is headquartered "in a rented building on Cedar Street."

1965, preliminary drawing for fire station presented. Drawing by Holston Steel Structures, Inc., Bristol, Tenn.-VA ("The Biggest Building For The Littlest Money The Quickest.") (July 9, 1965)fdr

1965, at meeting of Board of Directors, committee elected to contact Cary Branch of Bank of Fuquay, for loan of $12,000 to construct new fire station on lot recently purchased on East Durham Road, Cary. (July 27, 1965)fdr

1966, fire department sponsors 14th Annual Cary Fireman's Day (May 7, 1966)

1966, new fire station constructed at 325 E. Durham Road, on land donated by M. E. Sutton. (Spring 1966)

1966, fire department moves into new station. (May 1966)

1966, Fire Chief is Ronnie Stevens.fdr

1969, annual meeting held at fire station at 7:30 p.m. Three members to be elected to Board of Directors. Nominated are Charles Gardner (second term), Bill Hyatt (second term), R.L. Wolfe, and Raymond Sparrow. (May 20, 1969) fdr

1969, memo written noting decision at November meeting of Fire Chief's council to comply with FCC rules when using radios. Main rule requiring compliance is giving call letters of each base station when ending transmission of fire call or test. Also noted is that some radios on cars or possibly base stations are left so children can turn them on to play with. Mobile radios should be wired through the ignition switch so they can only be used when the key is turned. (May 20, 1969) fdr


1970, apparatus delivery: Pumper-tanker, 1200 gallons, placed in service prior to May 19, 1970 annual meeting. fdr

1970, annual meeting of Cary Rural Fire Department held at Cary Rural Fire Station at 7:30 p.m. Three people in district to be elected to serve Board of Directors for three-year terms. Nominated are Charles Fox, Sr. (second term), A. P. Valotta (second term), and R. S. Durham. To call fire department, the number is 828-3443. This is Central Station in Raleigh and they can set off the sirens at the Cary Rural Fire Station by radio. (May 19, 1970) fdr

1970, tax rate reduced by two cents. Occurs prior to May 18, 1971 annual meeting.fdr

1971, annual meeting of Cary Rural Fire Department held at Cary Rural Fire Station at 7:30 p.m. Three people in district to be elected to serve Board of Directors for three-year terms. Nominated are James Atkins, W. A. Jones, and W. A. Brown. Firefighters have contributed $1,200 toward a brush truck, hoped to be in operation within next two months. More than half of fire department alarms are grass and brush fires. (May 18, 1971) fdr

1971, J. P. (Jack) Hunter is Fire Chief and W. E. Edwards is Assistant Chief. (May 1971)

1972, apparatus delivery: brush truck placed in service. Paid for by time of May 16, 1972 annual meeting. fdr

1972, annual meeting of Cary Rural Fire Department held at Cary Rural Fire Station at 7:30 p.m. Three people in district to be elected to serve Board of Directors for three-year terms. Nominated are Daniel O. Rhew, Macon Harris, and James R. Gates. (May 16, 1972) fdr

1973, fire calls for fiscal year 1972-73

  • Average responding time in minutes... 3.83 minutes
  • Average number of daytime men responding... 10.00 men
  • Average number of nighttime men responding... 17.77 men
  • Average cost of each alarm... $220.81 (June 30, 1973) fdr
1974, annual meeting of Cary Rural Fire Department held at Cary Rural Fire Station. Three people in district to be elected to serve Board of Directors for three-year terms. Nominated are Bill Jones (second term), Clyde Keisler, and Haywood Atkins. (May 21, 1974) fdr

1974, meeting note: "Do not drive over ten miles per hour speed limit at any time." (October 24, 1974) fdr

1974, Christmas banquet held at McGregor Downs. Cost $6.25 per person. (December 19, 1974) fdr

1975, meeting note. Vote on By-Law revision "active members of the fire company shall be limited to thirty-five (35), no including lifetime memberships (whether active or inactive)." (January 9, 1975) fdr

1975, meeting note. Six district signs ordered at $9.30 each. Locations:

  • Highway 54
  • Bashford Road
  • Kildaire Farm Road
  • Harrison Avenue at Town limits
  • Helmold Ford / Cary Mac.
  • Spare.

(January 15, 1975) fdr

1975, annual meeting of Cary Rural Fire Department held at Cary Fire Department Headquarters. In addition to regular annual elections, special business includes:
  • Charter Amendment which (a.) changes name to YRAC Rural Fire Department, Inc. and (b.) defines voting membership as including taxpayers within district, and permitting active firemen, honorary and other, voting memberships
  • Chief and Assistant Chief shall be automatic members of Board of Directors and three (3) firemen members shall be elected to Board of Directors
  • By-Law Adoptions to accommodate charter amendment provisions, copy of which is on file with Chief and President, and available on request
  • approval of $37,500 loan to acquire fire truck. Ford 906 pumper-tanker is in South Boston , VA, and should be ready for delivery shortly. (May 20, 1975) fdr
1975, fire calls for fiscal year 1974-75:
  • Grass and woods - 25
  • Mutual aid - 18
  • Motor vehicles - 18
  • Structures - 14
  • Controlled burning - 8
  • Rescue / search - 2
  • Smoke investigations - 2
  • False alarms - 2
  • Trash - 1
  • Stand-by 2
  • Aircraft - 1
  • Total - 93

(June 30, 1975) fdr

1975, apparatus delivery, 1975 Ford C / Bean, 750 GPM, 1,000 gallons and painted lime-yellow. Fire truck is ordered in November and costs $42,500. Fire truck is first in county painted lime-yellow, outside of airport rigs. (Summer 1975) ct, oh

1975, Fire Chief is David Weaver. Howard Finch is Assistant Chief. (August 1975)

1975, meeting note. Chief Weaver reports old Army tanker sold for $2,000. (September 16, 1975) fdr

1976, meeting note. Chief Weaver reports that grading, yard, and gravel drive in rear of building is result of fireman Alex Cooper. Alex obtained over 180 tons of gravel without charge and got members to provide tractors and labor free. (February 17, 1976) fdr

1976, brush fire burns 40 to 50 acres of land "between NC 54 and Hillsborough Road from the WPTF towers to Wayside Furniture" reports the March 3 edition of The Cary News. Nine fire departments assist Cary Rural Fire Department while Cary City and Apex respond to another woods fire "in the 900 block of West Chatham Street." Cary Rural Fire Department Fire Chief David Weaver believes first fire was actually "five different fires which were ignited by sparks from the brakes of a passing train." (March 3, 1976)

1976, meeting note. Motion made in meeting to take $1,200 out of savings account and combine with proceeds of 1976 Fireman's Day not to exceed a total of $3,000 to purchase a new Chief's car. Old Unit 100 to be sold and money placed back in Social Fund. Passed 19 to 1. (May 6, 1976) fdr

1976, total of 45 meetings from July 1, 1975 to May 13, 1976: fdr

Drill meetings with instruction 32
Business meetings 3
Clean-up drills 6
Social events 4
Drill hours 483.5
Hours outside schools 280.0
Hours clean up 222.5
Total Hours 1986.0
Average men per drill 22
Average hours per man 90.3

1976, annual meeting of YRAC Rural Fire Department held at YRAC Fire Department Headquarters at 8:00 p.m. New tanker recently placed in service. Cost of truck and equipment $43,500. There are 32 active firemen and 5 lifetime members. During the year, 9 members resigned and 5 new members were added. (May 18, 1976) fdr

1976, meeting note: "Do not overload portable generator. Cost $45 to repair." (October 21, 1976) fdr

1976, Board of Directors meeting. Chief reports that all trucks are equipped to run on regular gas. Cary Oil Company is to fill tank each month on the 20th. (November 16, 1976) fdr

1976, Christmas party at Jordan Hall. Starts at 6:30 p.m. Food is catered by Charlie Brown. Special guests are R.S. Dunham and wife, Haywood Lane and wife, and Lib Leggett and husband. (December 9, 1976) fdr

1977, Board of Directors meeting. Chief Dennis White reports 15 alarms since January 18, 1977: fdr

  • Alarm #35 - January 19 - Farrow Cabinet Shop, Evans Road, 4 units, 23 firemen, $25,000 loss
  • Alarm #36 - January 20 - Gas leak at Mendenhall's Trailer Park
  • Alarm #37 - January 20 - Recall to Evans Road, Farrow Cabinet Shop
  • Alarm #38 - January 20 - Recall to Evans Road, Farrow Cabinet Shop
  • Alarm #39 - January 20 - Woods and grass fire, Pierce Pond, Kildaire Road
  • Alarm #40 - January 24 - Highway 54, east of Cary, auto wreck
  • Alarm #41 - January 29 - Reedy Creek Road and East Chatham Street, gas leak
  • Alarm #42 - January 30 - J.L. Higgins, railroad grass fire
  • Alarm #43 - January 31 - Missing person
  • Alarm #44 - February 5 - Beltline and Hillsdale, assistance to Cary and Swift Creek, grass and woods fire
  • Alarm #45 - February 5 - Captain Ron's Landing, grass and trash fire
  • Alarm #46 - February 5 - Captain Ron's Landing, recall
  • Alarm #47 - February 7 - Off Highway 40, mobile home, total loss
  • Alarm #48 - February 12 - 912 Trinity Road, Fairground district, smoke
  • Alarm #49 - February 13 - 1422 Walnut Street, Mrs. Dickerson, chimney fire
  • Alarm #50 - February 14 - Imperial Road, trash can fire

1977, meeting note: "Trucks do not go out of firehouse unless alarm is activated or request[ed] by officer]. (March 31, 1977) fdr

1977, Board of Directors meeting. "Siren located at Town Fire Station has been removed. Chief is checking with CP&L on getting 3 phase power to run siren at YRAC station. Southern Bell loop has been canceled." M. Denning, giving Chief's report, also notes "one fourth of total time fighting fires is used on railroad grass fires." (August 16, 1977) fdr

1977, Board of Directors meeting note: "Location has been found on Cary Street for the big siren. Chief to contact Railroad about placing wire on Railroad poles." (November 19, 1977) fdr

1978, meeting note: "Effective on this date, no active fireman shall be active member of any other volunteer emergency service organization." (February 8, 1978) fdr

1978, Board of Directors meeting. Chief reports

  • fire calls #45-63
  • eleven grass and woods
  • two structure
  • one smoke investigation
  • two 10-50 PI
  • two mutual aid-- one Cary and one Apex
  • one search (plane crash)

(February 21, 1978) fdr

1979, Atlas Steel Products Company, 1818 New Hope Church Road, Raleigh, submits bid for 1500 gallon tanker mounted on 1979 Chevrolet C-70 chassis. Cost $34,657.00. (May 17, 1979) fdr

1979, meeting note. New apparatus numbering system adopted. (September 1, 1979) fdr

1979, Board of Directors meeting note. 1969 Chevrolet fire truck sold for $11,000.00. (September 18, 1979) fdr


1980, Fire Chief's car raffled off. (March 15, 1980) fdr

1980, training conducted at Raleigh-Durham airport burn pit, 9:00 a.m. (April 4, 1980) fdr

1980, annual meeting. Fire Chief reports following information, covering July 1, 1979 through April 30, 1980:

  • old Unit 2 sold to West Hoke VFD
  • new tanker, 1500 gallons, purchased for $34,227.00
  • replaced tank on brush truck
  • changed all threaded connections to National Standard Thread to conform to Town of Cary and neighboring departments. (May 20, 1980) fdr

1980, Christmas banquet. Invitation reads:

To: All Firemen and Directors
Date: Thursday, December 11, 1980
Time: 7:30 p.m.
Place: The Beef Barn
815 W. Chatham Street
Bring your wives and girlfriends to our 1980 Christmas Banquet.
The meal will consist of your choice of a 9 oz. Ribeye steak or
Prime Rib with potato, salad bar, bread, tea or coffee. Follow-
ing dinner we will have a short meeting and awards presentation.
Fire meeting for that night will
be canceled.

(December 11, 1980) fdr

1980, 2WD Chevrolet Suburban purchased for Fire Chief. oh

1980, Mickey Denning is Fire Chief oh 1981, Walter Bowles becomes Fire Chief oh 1983, Wayne Kennedy becomes Fire Chief. oh

1981, fire calls from July 1980 to April 1981:

  • Woods / Grass / Trash - 35
  • 10-50 PI - 15
  • Mutual Aid - 12
  • 10-22'd (out of district) - 2
  • Structure - 11
  • Auto Fires - 4
  • False Alarms - 8
  • Investigations - 6
  • Chimney - 6
  • Equipment Fires (Railcar, mowing, AC) - 5

(May 1, 1981)fdr

1982, Board of Directors meeting. Old business excerpt: Chief Zglinski reports that department has used $174.69 of air for SCBA bottles during time of July through December. He proposes that department leases four bottles on five-year lease and fill them in Raleigh at a considerable savings. Motion is made to purchase the bottles, which is carried. (January 19, 1982) fdr

1982, Board of Directors meeting. Chief Kennedy presents some improvements the firemen have suggested for the building. These include paneling the walls, dropping the ceiling to 8 feet with a suspended ceiling, installing an electric heat pump, adding duct work, carpeting the meeting room, building a desk along the bay station wall, and putting curtains in the windows. The firemen want to do the work. Member suggests a committee of firemen be formed to get prices on the improvements and present them to the Board for consideration. (November 16, 1982) fdr

1983, Board of Directors meeting. The trucks are having various problems. The clutch on truck 297 is wearing out again and the department has been advised to contact Chevy about it. Haywood Atkins volunteers to look into it. Truck 291 had the left rear brake lock up and it is being repaired at Williams Automotive in Garner. Truck 292 has been taken to Jack Slagle's in South Boston, Virginia, for repair on the pump section and leaking values. No costs have been provided for these repairs. The quick dump needs welding to prevent leakage and Slagle would not warranty it, so the work will be done locally. Truck 297 has tank damage from the dry cleaning fluid that was cleaned up with a mutual aid call with Cary on the chemical spill. Susan Winstead will bill the company responsible for the spill for $819 plus UPS charges to replace the tank. (March 15, 1983) fdr

1985, annual meeting held at Yrac fire station at 7:30 p.m. Chief Matthews reports that there have been 106 fire calls from July 1, 1984 to May 20, 1985:

  • 18 structure fires
  • 35 woods fires
  • 13 car fires
  • 17 vehicle accidents
  • 23 mutual aid calls

Chief Matthews also reports

  • fire department has hired a mechanic to maintain the trucks, to cut down on truck repairs and expenses
  • fire department has been assigned a role by the County in conjunction with the nuclear power plant to respond mutual aid with Apex for notifying and evacuating residents in case of disaster.

(May 21, 1985) fdr

1985 (?), apparatus delivery: 1985 Simon-Duplex / Grumman Firecat F-10 pumper/tanker. Placed in service as Engine 292.

1986, Board of Directors meeting. Chief Matthews reports that the Shallot Fire Department has paid a deposit of $500 for purchase of the fire truck with a sale price of $32,500. They will pay the balance on January 30th when they pick up the truck. The new truck could be delivered at the end of February. It is his feeling that mutual aid is working well so the department being without the truck for at least a month will not effect the department's performance. (January 21, 1986) fdr

1989 (?), apparatus delivery: 1989 Simon-Duplex / Grumman Firecat F-10 pumper/tanker. Placed in service as Engine 293.


1991 (?), apparatus delivery: 1991 Simon-Duplex / Grumman Firecat F-10 pumper/tanker. Placed in service as Engine 297.

1998, merges with Fairgrounds Fire Department to create Western Wake Fire Department. (July 1, 1998)

Application For Membership


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BOX 274
Fire Chiefs

See Wake County Fire Chiefs (pdf).


See Wake County apparatus register (pdf).


  • cfd Cary Fire Department records
  • cn Cary News
  • fdr Fire department records
  • oh Oral history
  • rt Raleigh Times
  • sos NC Department of the Secretary of State
  • wcfa Wake County Firemen's Association records

Last updated: July 10, 2004


Copyright 2016 by Michael J. Legeros