11/02/09 342 W, 1 I - + 12 - 15 Carbon City Fire Department

Reporting from Burke County, where we learned about the Carbon City Fire Department. Their story begins in 1969, when the city of Morganton announced late that year that MFD would no longer protect property outside the city limits. A number of community groups began discussing forming fire departments. One group of property owners and corporate representatives from around Carbon City Road, west of the city, held a meeting in late December 1969.

They elected a chairman, proposed a fire district, and planned to ask county commissioners for a special election for support, reported the News-Herald on December 31. The proposed district had a tax base of $24 million, and would be one of the highest in any unincorporated area in Burke County. This was due to the large amount of industry. Manufacturing plants in the proposed district included Southern Devices, Great Lakes Carbon Corporation, Inmont (formerly Interchem and Wolverine Finishes), and Henredon.

By July 8, 1970, as the News-Herald reported, the Carbon City Fire Department had 18 members trained in "basic firemanship" and four members with "pump training." They had two trucks, and a four-acre property on Carbon City Road planned for a station. Work on the $35,900 building would start within weeks. The completed station was addressed 801 Carbon City Road.

Their success was short-lived, as the city annexed much of their territory on June 15, 1972. Reported the News-Herald on July 3, a merger was subsequently proposed between Carbon City and Morganton fire departments. Some of the particulars included retaining all CCFD members as MFD volunteers; naming the station Carbon City Company; accepting all assets and debts; assigning at least two paid personnel to the station; keeping the existing apparatus at the station, with exception of a 1,000 GPM pumper moved to Central Station; continuing to protect the remaining CCFD district, with continued tax levy.

The departments did merge, and the station was known for years as the Carbon City Company, or the Carbon City Substation. Below is the building today, now known as Morganton Public Safety Station 2.

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