Fifteen stations protecting 55.2 square miles and 150,255 residents.
Engine companies automatically dispatched to helicopter landings at Wake
Medical Center are discontinued. (January 1980)E3log05jan80
Emergency Communications Center activates 911 as county-wide emergency telephone number. (January 26, 1980)rt10mar80
West Raleigh Presbyterian Church educational wing at 27
Horne Street burned. Two alarms? Alarm time 11:35 a.m. Fire starts during 11:00 a.m. worship services, destroying one floor of the wing. About 300 congregation members are evacuated in the middle of Rev. A. M. McGeachy's morning sermon. Blaze begins in paper-filled closet in a third- floor classroom. Six units respond to the call from four fire stations, with the first unit arriving within four minutes of the first alarm. Damage
is $150,000 building and $14,000 contents. E5, E6, E13, C5, T5, T1.
[MF] (February 3, 1980)nofeb4, rfd
Metal pipeline being laid along Lake Boone Trail under the Beltline explodes and burned. One worker is burned to death. Smoke pours from mouth of 24-inch wide metal pipeline for more than two hours after 5:30 p.m. explosion, until water extinguishes fire and ejector fans clear the smoke. Explosion occurs when work is cutting pipe with acetylene torch, possibly triggered by a leak in the oxygen- acetylene hose feeding the torch or by methane gas built up in the pipeline from clay in the surrounding earth.
[UF] (February 15, 1980)nofeb16
News & Observer building at 215 S. McDowell street burned.
Alarm time 1:02 p.m.
Fire started when spark from welder's torch ignites highly flammable printing ink and a stream of newspaper paper. Approximately 45 firefighters battle blaze for about three hours before bringing under control.
Fire units include:
- E1, E13, E3, T1, E5 - 1:02 p.m.
- E5 to Station 1 to fill in - 1:10 p.m.
- E5, E4 - 1:21 p.m.
- E12 to Station 1 to fill in - 1:43 p.m.
- E2 - 2:51 p.m.
- E6 to Station 5 fill in - 5:06 p.m.
- E6 - 5:44 p.m.
- E9 - 5:52 p.m.
- E11 - Relieve E9 - 7:50 p.m.
- E14 - Relive E11 - 2:25 a.m. on March 17.
Flames are confined to press room, but smoke damage is extensive throughout
rest of building. One employee is trapped in building for 45 minutes, but
ultimately rescued. He's hospitalized at Rex Hospital. One firefighter is also
hospitalized for smoke inhalation. Damage $120,000 building and $465,000
[MF] (March 16, 1980)yb84
First Responder program expanded city-wide. The program was started as a
trial program at Station 3 earlier in the year. About 270 firefighters complete training sessions to be licensed as Emergency Medical Technicians. (April 1, 1980)rt01apr80, no22dec79
Weyhauser recycling plant at 4130 New Bern Avenue burned.
Eighteen acres of woodland also destroyed. Fire starts at 9:35 a.m. at the
facility located at the city landfill and burns
into night. Nearly every fire department in Wake County responds as mutual aid.
Fire is fueled by 2,000 tons of baled cardboard and paper stored inside and
around the main building. Fire is brought under control by 1:00 p.m., but flames
continue leaping into air at 8:00 p.m. Fire is so intense that it ignites trash
in several dumpsters 30 yards from the flames and melts a Southern Railway
freight car and four truck trailers near the building. Due to lack of fire
hydrants, water shuttling is performed between scene and Tower Shopping Center
about a mile-and-a-half away. Pieces of flaming cardboard are blown distances of
up to a half mile from the site, igniting six separate fires in surrounding
woods. A propane tank near the main building is threatened and kept cool by
firefighters. By 2:45 p.m., city crews have laid out an irrigating system of
hoses and sprinklers around the plant to continually wet down the smoldering
bales. Most/all county fire departments provide mutual aid units. Raleigh units include:
- E13, E7, E3, Tanker 4, Tanker 8 - 9:35 a.m.
- E12 to Beltline under bridge at railroad track - 12:40 p.m. due to
- E5 to Station 7 - 1:13 p.m.
- E11, E6 to relieve E3, E7 - 2:17 p.m.
- E2, E1, E8 for relief - 5:35 p.m.
- E1, E14 for relief - 7:44 a.m.
- E7, T16 for smoldering cardboard - 8:05 a.m.
- E15, E8 to assist - 1:06 p.m.
- E3, T11 - 1:21 p.m.
- T7, E9 - 5:31 p.m.
- E6 to relieve E9 - 2:51 a.m.
- E1 for stand-by - 7:59 a.m.
A total of 47 hours of firefighting is performed with continuous flow of 800
GPM and no accidents. Over 890 gallons of fuel used and between $900 $1000 in
food and drinks. Total water flowed: 1, 238,000 gallons. Most serious fire
damage done in first 30 minutes. Damage $220,500 building, and $465,000
contents. [MF] (April 21, 1980)wcfar, rfd,
1979 Mack MC / 1958 American LaFrance aerial ladder placed in service as
Truck 5. Photos and more information. (by
May 6, 1980)
Education building at 1600 Fayetteville Street burned.
Three? alarms. Dispatched about 12:00 a.m. Controlled about 3:00 a.m. About
36 firefighters on scene. Two firefighters transported for burns and bruises.
Old Eliza Poole School building, built 1924 and closed 1971. E2, E13, E3, T1,
T7, E6, E7, T5, E1, E3 (clears 11:52 a.m. next day) [MF] (July 8, 1980)
Hunt General Tire Company warehouse at 424 S. McDowell Street burned.
Three? alarms. Dispatched 7:10 p.m., with first engine arriving 7:12 p.m. at a one-story
building. Flames shoot five stories high through roof at height of blaze. Roof
of Poole's Luncheonette next door catches fire by 8 p.m. Fire also spreads to
adjoining building of attorney George R. Barrett. More than 50 firefighters
respond with four engines, three truck companies, and two rescue units. Ten
firefighters are treated for heat exhausting, smoke inhalation, and other minor
injuries; six are transported to the hospital and later released. Building is
valued at $80,000. Fire is brought under control at 9:45 p.m. Fire losses are
estimated at $700,000 and more than 10,000 tires are destroyed. E1, E13, C5, T1,
E3, E5, T7, T11, E4, T16, E6. [MF] (August 9, 1980)yb84,
Recruit academy #5 graduated 19 firefighters.
The academy started May 5 and lasted 14 weeks. The graduation ceremony is
conducted at the City Council Chambers. (August 15, 1980)rfd
Rex Hospital on Saint Mary's Street relocates. Fire department rescue squads assist with transporting 168 patients from Saint
Mary's Street building to Lake Boone Trail facility. [UI] (September 28, 1980)nosep28
Apartments at 5603 Wake Forest Road burned. Two?
alarms. Dispatched 12:54 a.m. Fire on first, second, and third floors, and roof. Crews found
roof collapsing on arrival. Personnel on scene for five hours. Damage
$190,000 building and $10,000 contents. E15, E4, C4, T11, T16, E9 for relief.
[MF] (November 12, 1980)rfd, no13nov80
Apartments at 4357 Avent Ferry Road burned. Two?
alarms. Dispatched 12:59 a.m. Fire in top apartments and roof. Damage $200,000 building and
$5,000 contents. E8, E5, C6, T5, T11, and county units? Then E8, C6 for rekindle
at 7:09 p.m. (December 27, 1980)rfd, no28dec80
Lawsuit filed in 1974 by thirteen black firefighters receives tentative endorsement for settlement by city, including pledge to improve hiring of blacks over the next three years, with goal that 16 percent of city firefighters being black by January 1983. rt02jan80
Shopping center at 3026 North Boulevard burned.
Two alarms. Dispatched 10:19 a.m. Fire and heavy smoke coming through windows and
door on arrival. Controlled in about an hour, and extinguished in another
hour. Damage $129,000 building and $50-60,000 contents. E11, E4,
C4, T11, E7. [MF] (March 2, 1981)rfd, no03mar81
Caudle Sand and Rock Company at 508 1/2 W. Johnson Street
destroyed. Two? alarms. Dispatched about 5:00 a.m. Crews battled blaze for
about two hours. [MF] (March 3, 1981)
Apartments at 1123 Crab Orchard Drive burned.
Alarm time 3:46 a.m. Thirteen apartments completely involved. Damage $165,000
building. E8, E5, T5, C6, E13, plus county units? (March 3, 1981)rfd
Residential structure at 6383 New Market Way burned.
Two? alarms. Dispatched 4:04 p.m. Fire found in roof and walls. Four apartments
heavily damaged. Damage $250,000
building and $12,400 contents. E15, E9, C4, T1, E4, T11. [MF] (March 20,
Mangel Building at 120 Fayetteville Street Mall burned.
Raleigh's "worst fire in a decade" apparently erupts on second floor of old Mangel's
department store building just before 9:00 a.m. Fire rages out of control for three hours. The two-story building, "divided into two main businesses and 10 smaller businesses," collapses at about 11 a.m., sending debris into adjacent parking lot and damaging three cars. Eleven firefighters are treated at area hospitals for smoke inhalation, none with serious injuries. Damage is
$245,000 building and $506,000 contents. More than 100 firefighters battle blaze, including 21 recruits.
Fire units include:
- E1, E3, T1 at 8:50 a.m.
- E2, T5, E5, T12, R12 at 9:04 a.m.
- E4, R14 at 9:50 a.m.
- E13, E11, E9, E6, T16, E10, E7, E8, E3? at 10:44 a.m.
- T1, E15 at 2:33 p.m.
- E7, E14 at 5:18 p.m. (for first responder?)
- E14, E9 at 8:38 p.m. (for first responder?)
- E10 at 12:43 a.m. on July 8 (for first responder?)
As flames explode from roof of building, Firefighter R. D. Perry is
momentarily knocked off his position atop an aerial ladder by a high-pressure
hose stream. Dazed, Perry grabs the ladder while the aerial is rotated away from
danger. And, while the ladder slowly turns, his unmanned master stream sends
spectators scrambling for shelter. [MF] (July 7, 1981)no08jul81,
Recruit academy #6 graduated 20 firefighters.
The academy started April 6 and lasted 14 weeks. The graduation ceremony is conducted at the City Council Chambers. (July 17, 1981)rfd
Apparatus delivery: 1981 Mack CF pumper, placed in service as Engine 13 at 1700 hours. Photos and more information.
(July 8, 1981)rfd
- Third aerial truck company placed in service
as Truck 16 receives 1961 American LaFrance aerial ladder.
(September 16, 1981)rfd
- Truck 8 placed in service with 1964 GMC service truck.
(by September 25, 1981)
Photos and more information.
Fire inspections expanded to include places of public assembly including entertainment establishments. The program is designed to assure continued compliance with Fire Prevention Codes in buildings where large numbers of people congregate. yb84
Sign plant at Central Prison burned. Fire forces
evacuation of 100 inmates. Fire starts about 11:40 a.m. in corner of the sign
plant at the Correction Enterprises building. Damaged is estimated at $80,000 to
$10,000. One hundred inmates, four guards, and 18 Correctional Enterprises
supervisors are evacuated into the prison yard before fire crews enter. Blaze is
extinguished about 12:15 p.m. [UF] (January 4, 1982)nojan6
Engine company collideed with school bus at Lenoir and East streets.
Pumper is en route to emergency call. Bus driver is charged with failure to
yield the right of way to an emergency vehicle. One student is treated for
bruises at Wake Medical Center. Damage to the pumper is estimated at $5,000 and
repairs are estimated to take two to three months. [AI] (January 7, 1982)nojan8
911 phone number replaces 829-1911 as County-wide emergency number. (January
- Rescue 14 moved to Station 6.
- Rescue12 moved to Station17.
- Truck 7 moved to Station 12. (February 1, 1982)rfd
Photos and more information.
Tupper Memorial Church at 218 E. Cabarrus Street burned.
Two alarms? Alarm
time 1:44 p.m. Fire found in entrance and steeple area. Controlled in about 30
minutes. Church is one of oldest in Raleigh, built in 1906 and renovated in
1957, with a wing added in 1975. Damage $69,000 building,
$2,000 (contents). E3, E1, C2, T5, E13, T1, C3, R7. [MF] (February 3, 1982)rfd,
Two nightclubs cited on charges on overcrowding.
Edwards Grocery at 1912 Hillsborough Street and Tut's Inc at 3911-B Western
Boulevard are both charged with violating the city fire code and state building
code in an undercover program started in December. Overcrowding is a misdemeanor
punishable by $50 fine and court costs. Trials are set for March. This is the
first time a business or gathering place has been cited for violation of either
code. [UI] (February 16, 1982)nofeb17
Apartments at 6000 Falls of Neuse burned. Two
time 12:49 a.m. Fire in two units, and smoke and water damage in two others.
$120,450 damage to building and $5,550 to contents. E15, E9, T11, T1, and county
units? [MF?] (February 22, 1982)rfd
Apparatus note: Brush Truck 1 placed in service
with a 1965 International brush truck. Photos and more information.
(By March 23, 1982)rfd
Pine State Creamery at
500 Glenwood Avenue heavily damaged by fire.
Two alarms. Dispatched 07:04 a.m. Heavy smoke from roof on arrival. Crews fought fire for
about three hours. Nearly 40 firefighters on scene. Units cleared about
11:02 a.m. E5, E13, T5, C5, E1, T1, C3, R6; second alarm E3, C3, E6, C5.
[MF] (April 24, 1982)rt01may82
Fatal apartment fire at 537 E. Jones Street. Four
people killed. Firefighters arrived about 4:15 a.m. and found the front of the
building fully involved, and heavy smoke coming from all openings. Crews
contained the fire within 45 minutes. [UF] (April 29, 1982)rt01may82
Feather Processing Inc. plant at 1436 Rock Quarry Road burned.
Two alarms. Dispatched 5:26 p.m., the blaze sends thick black smoke into the skies seen as far as 30 miles away. The one-story brick building
is fully involved on arrival burns for about an hour. The adjacent Watson's Poultry plant is not damaged.
Building damage is $100,000, with $40,000 contents. E10, E3, C5, R7, E1, T12,
C2, C7, E1, and E11 as relief.
[MF] (April 30, 1982)rt01may82
Keeter Training Center completed at 105 W. Hoke Street. The 7,000 square-foot facility is constructed adjacent to the drill tower and smokehouse. The $446,068.69 building is dedicated for former Fire Chief and former Mayor Pro Tem Jack B. Keeter. Photos and more information.
(May 1982)yb84, city of raleigh news
Recruit academy #7 graduated 17 firefighters.
The academy started on March 15 and lasted 18 weeks. The graduation ceremony is
conducted at the City Council Chambers. (July 15, 1982)rfd
Fire destroyed vacant house just outside city limits.
Fire department criticized and policies subsequently reviewed after inaction of
Report subsequently issued by City Manager supports department
and cites reasons for inaction including lack of nearby fire hydrants and
knowledge that volunteer firefighters were en route.
The fire is reported
early Sunday morning, July 18, at 3112 Edgeton Drive. The dwelling is vacant and
located just thirty yards outside of the city limits. City firemen arrived, but
took no action, and waited for firefighters from Wake-New Hope Volunteer Fire
Department to arrive. The home sustained $50,000 of damage. Noted the July 19,
1982, issue of the Raleigh Times, the fire was reported at 2:46 a.m., and a city
fire truck arrived at 2:50 p.m. They were dispatched to the 3000 block of North
Boulevard to investigate smoke. The engine company searched for several minutes
before finding the blaze. The house was 1,000 feet outside the city by road, but
its back yard was separated from the city by a small creek. At 3:03 am., the
requested that the county fire department be dispatched. Wake-New Hope FD
arrived at 3:12 a.m., and the city fire unit(s) left the scene. Said a WNHFD
captain, the fire burned for eight minutes before his men could lay lines and
begin fighting the fire. Wake County Sheriff's Department subsequently
investigated the fire for arson, as there was evidence of a break-in.
Fire Chief Rufus Keith later said that city crews usually limit their
firefighting to structures within the city. Unlike the city police, the fire
department does not have a one-mile extension of responsibility outside the city
limits. He also noted that most firefighters exercise discretion about those
rules in the case of an emergency. The Chief told the News & Observer that the
city does "not have a policy not to respond outside the city." Rather, they
"have a mutual understanding with the Wake County volunteers that if we go
outside the city, we'll respond and then when they respond, we'll assist." He
was planning to meet with his three assistant chiefs and ten district chiefs to
review the city's policies on fighting fires outside the corporate limits.
District Chief W. H. Clifton, who was at the fire, told the newspaper that he
did not start suppression activities because the building was vacant. If there
had been people inside, they would've have started a rescue. He also would not
have let the building burn down, but he "couldn't tell you how many rafters
would have [had] to burn before I would have [started]." He also noted that his
understanding of the policy was that permission from an assistant chief was
required for fighting fire outside the city limits. Chief Keith later told the
Raleigh Times that no new policy was needed, as a misunderstanding of the
present procedure kept firemen from fighting the fire on Edgeton Drive. He said
the policy would be clarified and "no one [was] going to get chewed out for
doing something for another human being." He told the City Manager that "All my
staff now understand our agreement with the county and the communications center
that when we are dispatched on or near the city limits line, [we will] do
whatever is possible to help control the fire."
City Manager Dempsey Benton issued a report to City Council on July 21 that
said: "Fire supervisors on the scene made a responsible effort to locate the
fire even though it was outside the city and prompt called for the correct
volunteer unit to be sent. In a responsible manner, the fire personnel checked
the premise for occupancy and were satisfied that it was vacant. Fire
supervisors made the best decisions that they could after taking into
consideration all the variables that existed. It appears one factor considered
was that it was outside the city. That was not an unreasonable factor to
consider in the context of the situation, which includes limited water supply,
knowledge of fire dynamics, and knowledge that the correct service unit was en
route." He also noted "It goes without question that the Raleigh Fire
Department's paramount responsibility is to areas within the corporate limits of
the city. There are situations when the communications center does not get a
specific location for a fire. In that case, a judgment is made and units are
assigned. If a city unit is so assigned and it finds the site to be outside the
site, it should promptly notify the communications center of the exact location
so that the proper unit can be dispatched." Benton's report cited the decisions
by Chief Clinton, and why he did not break down the door and fight the fire.
"Opening the door would have accelerated spread of the fire," "the city fire
engine carried only 500 gallons of water, which would have depleted in three
minutes," "there was not a fire hydrant nearby," and "it was known that
volunteer firemen were en route." He said he expects no action from council or
the Mayor, and said there was no need to change or amend city codes. "We live in
an adversarial society. Questions of liability constantly confront our
personnel. In emergency situations, our supervisory personnel have to make the
best judgments and consider the facts, their capabilities for rendering aid, and
their legal constraints." [UF] (July 1982)rt19jul82, rt20jul82, no20jul82,
Fire Marshal started compiling list of hazardous chemical storage areas in city after
a Sept. 13 chemical fire in Charlotte forces 1,000 people from home. The News
& Observer reports that Raleigh, unlike Charlotte, does not require permits
before chemicals can be stored. The city's system is less formal, with no master
list of stored hazardous materials. The fire department relies on pre-plan
information maintained by each station, and stored on each fire engine. rt28sep82
Gunman held woman and two children hostage on Amtrak train at railroad station on Seaboard Road.
Fire department personnel stands by along with emergency medical crews. Standoff
starts about 7:30 a.m. on a Friday, after gunshots are heard in passenger car.
Male subject surrenders at 5:45 a.m. on following Monday. Body of woman and
nine-month old infant discovered in cabin. Four year-old infant survives. [UI]
(October 8-11, 1982)rt
Hazardous-materials response training started. yb84
Extra police patrolled Cameron Village after month-long string of suspicious vehicle fires.
Fires have occurred inside five unlocked cars between 9 p.m. and 2 a.m. A total
of $4,000 damage has been reported to cars parked on Oberlin Road, Cameron
Court, and Smallwood Drive. [UF] (January 6, 1983)no07jan83
Commercial building at 1415 S. Bloodworth Street
burned. Two alarms? Alarm time 10:53 a.m. with approximately 50 percent of
building on fire. Damage to building $86,000, to contents $125,000. E3, E1,
C5, R7, T1, E13, E2. [MF] (January 25, 1983)rfd
Thomas T. Kuster appointed twelfth Fire Chief,
serves 1983-1985. Kuster is hired from outside the department, after the
position is opened for the first time to outside applicants. (February 1,
Recruit academy #8 graduated 14 firefighters.
The academy started on November 22, 1982 and lasted 14 weeks. The graduation
ceremony is conducted at the City Council Chambers. (March 4, 1983)rfd
District Chiefs renumbered. Car 4 becomes Car
51, Car 5 becomes Car 52, and Car 6 becomes Car 53. They are located at
Station 9, Station 1, and Station 6. Change is effect at 8:00 a.m. that day,
correct? (April 15, 1983)rfd
Apartments at 5011 Sedgewick Drive burned. Two
alarms? Damages estimated at $75,000. [MF] (April 22, 1983)no23apr83
Apartments at 5315 Dana Drive destroyed by fire.
Two alarms? Alarm time 2:00 p.m. with arriving units finding fire spreading from a
kitchen to five other apartments. One apartment destroyed, and two others
damaged. Damage to building $150,000, and contents
$13,924. E8, E5, R6, T8, T1, E13. [MF] (April 27, 1983)rfd
Home Inspection program initiated with a goal of
inspecting or offering to inspect every city residence. Each home will be
visited by firefighters, with inspections conducted only after permission is
granted by the occupant. After the inspection, suggestions will be made for
making the home safer from fire. Compliance with the suggestions, as with
the inspections, is strictly voluntary. If the home is unoccupied at the
time of the firefighters visit, they'll leave a card explaining the
inspection program and other services offered by the Fire Department. The
card also asks the resident to return the postcard or call the Fire
Prevention Division to set up a time when an inspection can be conducted.
(June 1, 1983)yb84, city of raleigh news
Apparatus note: Light Truck 1 placed in service
with a 1966 Chevrolet panel van. Photos and more information.
(by June 23, 1983)rfd
Manufacturing plant at
425 Glenwood Avenue burned. Two alarms? Alarm time 8:27 with arriving units finding
fire in refrigeration room, and ammonia leak. E6, E13, T5, C3, C53, FU1, FU5,
T1, E5, C52, E6. [MF] (November 10, 1983)rfd
Lincoln Park Pentecostal Holiness Church at 13 Heath Street burned.
Blaze begins at 2:34 a.m. in balcony over church organ. Firefighters arrive at
2:37 a.m., with flames coming through roof. Fire takes about an hour to control,
but church is destroyed. Church had been built piecemeal over past decade with
$160,000 collected by 300-member congregation. Building is third church on site
since the True Vine Pentecostal Holiness Church was founded in 1940 from Eli
Ratcliff. Units clear at 6:24 a.m. E3, E12, T12, C52, E7, R6, T1. [MF] (December
12, 1983)no13dec83, rfd
Woman suffered burns to head and face after hair catches fire while lighting cigarette.
Carol Poole, 32, is treated and released from Raleigh Community Hospital after
suffering burns at US Fidelity and Guaranty on Old Wake Forest Road. After
setting fire to self, Ms. Poole begins running around and is tackled by fellow
employees, one of whom extinguishes the fire by throwing a coat over it. Some of
the employees also suffer minor burns on their hands. [UF] (December 27, 1983)no27dec83
Former Watson Seafood and Poultry building at 1436 Rock
Quarry road burned. Two alarms. (March 3, 1984)rt03mar84
Fiberglass fire helmets replaced traditional plastic headgear. New helmets
color-coded by rank, Chiefs with white, Captains with yellow, truck company
firefighters with black, and engine company firefighters with red. Old
helmets would be stored in fire department storage room until distribution to
firefighters could be resolved. Both city character provision and state law
prevented municipal employees from buying surplus city property. (March 1984)rt08sep84
Station 17 opened at 4601 Pleasant Valley Road. Engine 17 placed in service with 1981 Mack pumper. Photos and more information.
(April 9, 1984)yb84
Recruit academy #9 graduated 27 firefighters.
The academy started on December 14, 1983 and lasted 16 weeks. The graduation
ceremony is conducted at Station 17. (May 10, 1984)rfd
Heilig-Levine Furniture Company storage building at 117 E. Hargett Street burned.
Two alarms. The first floor of the three-story building is gutted by the 11:45 p.m. blaze. The two-alarm blaze takes a half-hour to control. More than $20,000 of furniture is destroyed. The building, valued at over $50,000, was built about 1912.
[MF] (June 22, 1984)rt23jun84
Honor guard organized to honor the passing of Lt. Harold Faison.
The fourteen-year veteran of the fire department and brother of Capt. James
Faison died of illness at age 46 on July 20, 1984. His memorial was held two
days later at L. Harold Poole Funeral Services in Knightdale, with burial at
Central Baptist Church in Wendell. Charter members of the Honor Guard were
Tommy Gattis as the first Honor Guard Commander, Keith Frederick, K. D.
Harris, Shelton Price, Robert Rogers, Carmelo Sanchez, and Buddy Scarboro.
Later members included Famious Allen, Clarence Briley, Bill Dillard, Reggie
Hocutt, Gershon Lee, Zeb Overton, and Ricky Tharrington. (July 1984)yb02+,
Apparatus note: Haz-Mat 1 placed in service at
Station 2 with a 1977 Chevy panel van.
Photos and more information. (Around
June 29, 1984)rfd
First haz-mat call. Firefighters respond to Schwab Food Science Center at North Carolina State University
for a fire in a second-floor laboratory. The fire is reported about 7:29
p.m., when mineral oil overheats in a vat. The fire is contained to the vat,
and is extinguished by 8:45 p.m. Fearing that chemicals close to the vat
could explode, the area surrounding the building is closed. Twelve people
are treated for heat exhaustion and smoke inhalation at the incident, five
college public safety officers, two professors, and five firefighters. The
twelve are transported to Rex Hospital with headaches and chest pains, but
none are admitted. Two engines, one ladder, and the haz-mat unit respond.
Crews wearing breathing masks enter the building and extinguish the fire
within about five minutes.
[HM] (July 11, 1984)
Hurricane Diana struck southern North Carolina, eye of Category 2 storm making landfall near Wilmington, NC, with 110 mph winds about 6:00 a.m., Thursday, September 13. Eye passes through Raleigh with 45 mph winds at 6:00 a.m. next day.
[WE] (September 14, 1984)wral
Old Stone's Southern School Supply building at 329 W.
Martin Street burned. (August 27, 1984)
Howard Building at 112 W. Lane Street burned.
Fire is reported at 4:22 p.m. by Asst. Chief of Operations. Nearly 100 firefighters, working in shifts of 40,
battle the stubborn six-hour fire in the turn-of-the-century building.
Volunteers from the Six Forks Fire Department assist with refilling air tanks as
more than 100 are depleted by the end of the evening. Fire is later blamed on a
burning match in a cardboard box. assist with refilling air tanks as more than
100 are depleted by the end of the evening. Three EMS units on scene. Red Cross
brought drinks and hamburgers. Three firefighters with injuries to foot, knee,
and eyes. Fire is later blamed on a burning match in a cardboard box.
E1, E3, T1, R7, C52 - 16:22
E7 manpower - 16:25
E4, T5 - manpower - 16:27
E4? - 16:39
Haz-mat - 16:45
E6 to relieve E3 - 23:43
E8 manpower - 23:54
E14, E16, T8, C52 for relief - 02:48.
[MF] (October 3, 1984)no, rt
Vehicle note: Sand truck placed in service at
Station 8. (November 21, 1984)rfd
Railroad tank car donated to Keeter Training Center by local industry. yb02+
Engine 13 collided with building at intersection of S. McDowell and
Lenoir Streets. While responding to a call, the pumper skids on an icy
road and jumps curb at intersection of S. McDowell and Lenoir streets and
crashes into Sir Walter Chevrolet. Driver sustains minor injuries. Two others
riding in cab of 1960 American LaFrance pumper are not injured. Accident occurs
about 4:20 p.m. while en route to vehicle overturned in creek off 1100 block of
Western Boulevard. Pumper strikes front end of 1985 Chevette parked on the
sidewalk, smashes through two tinted plate glass panels, and rams a 1985
Celebrity Eurosport parked in the showroom. The collision shatters a third panel
in the window, sending glass shards down onto the pumper and forcing the
Eurosport into a 1985 Camero parked alongside it. Total damage to the three cars
and the building is estimated at $10,000. Damage to the fire truck is estimated
at $10,000. [AI] (January 20, 1985)no21jan85
Sparkles Nightclub at 900 W. Hodges Street burned.
Two alarms. [MF] (February 20, 1985)no21feb85
Rescue units took over assist invalid calls.
Planned to implement on March 6.
(March 6, 1985)rfd
Two houses in the 1100 block of Harp Street burned.
The afternoon blaze burns for about three and half hours. The structures, at
1102 and 1104 Harp Street, are a total loss. They are also the last two houses
in the community called Mill Hill. One was being demolished, and the other was
due. Until the prior summer, Mill Hill comprised 84 buildings on 13 acres behind
Peace College. Most of the structures dated to the 1890s, and were homes for
workers at Pilot Mills on Haynes Street. The mill closed in 1982, and the
buildings were demolished within a couple years. (March 16, 1985)rt18mar85
Saul's Barbecue at 2401 S. Saunders Street burned.
Two alarms? The early morning blaze is reported before 1:50 a.m., when the fire
department arrives. Crews save half of the building, though the rest of the
structure suffers heavy damage, including fire breaking through the roof. (March
Hunting Ridge Apartments at 1001 Fox Hunt Lane burned.
Two alarms. [MF] (April 20, 1985)rfd
Deli King at North Hills Plaza burned. Two alarms. (July 28, 1985)no29jul85
Starting salary for firefighters was $15,388,
based on 56 hours per week. (July 1985)yb02+
Raleigh Fire Explorer Post 108 organized to help
local youth learn about the fire service through lectures, hands-on training,
field trips, and emergency scene participation. It was created as a vocational
program with the Occoneechee Council of the Boy Scouts of America. The program
was started by Lt. Paul Johnson at Station 15, who served as its advisor until
his retirement as a Battalion Chief in 2005. The four charter members included
future fire department members Jerry Ward and Lonnie Glover. Explorers are
permitted to respond to working fires. They wear jumpsuits and hardhats, and
assist with such safe duties as changing air bottles and rolling hose. In the
early 1990s, they are issued older turnout gear and helmets so they can assist
with overhaul and other tasks. Post members are also allowed to visit fire
stations and can assist with such regular duties as cleaning, maintenance, and
checking off the apparatus. They can also assist with fire department
activities, such as public education events. (October
Apartments at 2302 Bernard Street. Two alarms.
(December 10, 1985)rfd
Fire Chief Thomas Kuster announced resignation.
He'll become director of Public Health and Safety in Louisville, where he worked
for more than 20 years before coming to Raleigh in 1983. The resignation is
effective January 2, 1986. (December 2, 1985)Harlan Daily Enterprise,
Physical fitness program made mandatory for on-duty firefighters. rt
Apparatus delivery: 1985 Pirsch pumper, placed in service as Engine 13. Photos and more information.rfdar
Raleigh North Apartments at 1021 Raleigh Boulevard
burned. Three alarms. First: E7, E11, T11, C51; Second: E3, E12,
T1; Third: E6, T10, T12 (all relief). (January 28, 1986)no29jan86, rfd
Recruit academy #10 graduated 16 firefighters. The academy started on July 29, 1985 and lasted
16 weeks. It concluded in mid-November 1985. The graduation ceremony was conducted
months later at the City Council Chambers. (February 7, 1986)rfd
Sherman Pickard appointed thirteenth Fire Chief.
Serves 1986-1995. Pickard is the second fire chief hired from outside the department. (March 3,
Sandy Creek Condominiums at 115-125 Newton Road burned.
Two alarms. Alarm time about 6:30 p.m. Arriving units found fire showing
roof. Three engines, two ladders, and about 20 firefighters were on scene.
Six condos damaged or destroyed. [MF] (March 7, 1986)no08mar86
International Association of Fire Firefighters local chapter 548 re-chartered, named Raleigh Professional Firefighter's Association.
The local had ceased operation in 1983. At the time of the March 23 application, the Temporary President is James Driver and the Temporary Secretary and Treasurer is Donnie Perry.
The charter fee was $50.00. The initiation fee was $5.00 per member. Per
capita taxes were $3.48 for active and $1.74 for retired members. There were
219 charter members. During the late eighties and the nineties, their
activities included operating a children’s fire safety trailer, lobbying for
pay raises for public safety employees including the commission of a pay
study, and helping finance the start-up of the Wake County Chapter of the
Firefighters' Burned Children Fund. (after April 23, 1986)rpffa records,
Kensington Park Apartments at 2201 Gorman Street burned.
Two alarms? Alarm time about 4:15 a.m. One apartment destroyed, and five
others damaged. [MF] (May 8, 1986)no09may86
Apparatus note: Mini 17 placed in service with a
1986 Chevrolet Silverado mini-pumper. Photos and more information.
(May 13, 1986)rfd
Howard Johnson's at 2723 North Boulevard burned.
Two alarms. [MF] (July 7, 1986)rfd
Murray Barbecue at 4600 North Boulevard burned.
Two alarms. [MF] (August 8, 1986)rfd
Apparatus note: Mini 3 placed in service with a
1986 Chevrolet Silverado mini-pumper. Photos and more information.
(August 18, 1986)rfd
Oakwood Villa Apartments at 704 Navaho Drive burned.
Two alarms. Dispatched about 2:00 p.m. Fire controlled after an hour. Two
units destroyed, two others damaged. [MF] (August 30, 1986)rt30aug86
Program started to perform blood pressure checks for
citizens at all fire stations. (September 1, 1986)rfd
Apparatus note: Tanker 14 and Tanker 4 removed from service. Both tankers
subsequently transferred to Public Works.
Photos and more information. (September 4, 1986)rfd
Cable channel 59 activated, for use as bulletin board and training channel.
(December 1, 1986)rfd
- 1986 EEI / PemFab pumper, placed in service as Engine 5. (November 26, 1986)rfd
- Fourth aerial truck company placed in service as Truck 11, with 1986
Seagrave aerial ladder. (By December 30, 1986)rfd
- 1971 Chevrolet service truck moved from Station 11 to Station 15.
December 30, 1986)rfd
Photos and more information.
Patches adopted for uniforms, the first patches in the fire department history. The design is based on the Burlington Fire Department patch.yb02+, oh
Apparatus replacement policy created by City
Manager Dempsey E. Benton. Engines and aerials are maintained as front-line rigs
for 20 years, then as reserve rigs for 5 years. (January 1, 1987)rfd
The Furniture Square at 1014 E. Chatham destroyed by
fire. Raleigh responds as mutual aid with Yrac, Fairgrounds, Morrisville,
Durham Highway, Swift Creek, Six Forks, and Cary. [MF] (January 13, 1987)rt13jan87
Apparatus note: 1986 EEI / PemFab pumper, placed in service as Engine 3. Photos and more information.
(January 13, 1987)rfd
Recruit academy #11 graduated 25 firefighters. The academy started on October 1, 1986 and lasted 17 (?)weeks. The graduation ceremony is conducted at the City Council Chambers. (February 6, 1987)rfd
- Truck 5 removed from service. Truck company beds moved from Station 5 to
- Reserve engine moved to Station 5.
- 1979 Mack / 1958 American LaFrance aerial ladder moved from Station 5 to Station 1
- 1977 Mack aerial platform moved from Station 1 to Station 8 at 0200 hours
- 1964 GMC service truck moved from Station 8 to Station 15 at 0700 hours.
(March 16, 1987)rfd
Pre-alerts go into effect, with dispatchers announcing calls on radio before
activating station alarms and reading dispatch assignments (March 16, 1987)rfd
Station 18 opens at 8200 Morgans Way. Engine 18 placed in service with 1973 Mack pumper. Photos and more information.
(by March 16, 1987)yb02+, rfd
Watson's Market Place at 1436 Rock Quarry Road burned.
Two alarms or greater. (March 28, 1987)29mar87
Apparatus note: Mini 9 placed in service with a
1986 Chevrolet Cheyenne mini-pumper. Photos and more information. (April
Raleigh Racquet Club at 5516 Falls of the Neuse Road burned.
Fire is reported at 12:30 a.m. Arriving firefighters find flames shooting into
sky. No injuries are reported and fire is under control by 1 a.m. The
second-story is gutted and smoke damages the rest of the clubhouse. The cause of
the fire, which started in the kitchen, is not immediately known. [MF] (June 23,
Chlorine gas leaks at unused sewage treatment plant on Sunnybrook Road.
Plant is located just north of Beltline overpass. Three city workers are injured
and subsequently treated for chlorine inhalation. Between 50 and 100 people are
evacuated in area. Passing citizen reports the smell to Station 12 between 4:30
p.m. and 5:00 p.m. Responders include Raleigh police and fire departments, NC
Division of Environmental Management, Wake County EMS, Wake County Sheriff's
Department, and State Troopers. The three injured workers are driving home from
Neuse River Waste Treatment Plant east of Raleigh, when they smell chlorine on
Sunnybrook Road. Turning around and driving to the facility, they discover the
fire department's haz-mat team. One worker unlocks the unmanned plant. Two
others, along with two firefighters, done air masks and enter plant, but are
driven back out by concentration of gas. About 5:35 p.m., firefighters enter
again wearing full-body, protective suits and discover a pipe broken in half.
The leak is contained shortly after 6 p.m. Fire, police, EMS, and Emergency
Management personnel remain on scene until nearly 11:00 p.m. [HM] (June 18,
Raleigh Raquet Club at 5516 Falls of Neuse Road burned.
Two alarms. (June 23, 1987)rfd
Services Divisions relocated to basement of Station 8.
Unfinished apartments on Edwards Mill Road burned.
Alarm time about 9:00 p.m. Raleigh responds as mutual aid with Fairgrounds, Durham Highway, and Six Forks
fire departments. Three multi-unit apartment buildings involved. Arriving units
found on already burned to the ground, and another fully involved. Two trucks
from Raleigh responded. [MF] (August 8, 1987)no09aug87
Unfinished apartments on Edwards Mill Road again burned.
Alarm time about 8:34 p.m. Multi-unit apartment building destroyed. Unknown if Raleigh responds as mutual aid. (August 23, 1987)no24aug87
McCallum Wholesale Floral Service at 600 N. West Street
burned. Two alarms. [MF] (August 29, 1987)no30aug87
Law office at 115 S. St. Mary's Street burned.
Two alarms? Alarm time about 11:00 a.m. Arriving crews found the floor
collapsing in the two-story structure. Fire contained about 2:30 p.m. [MF] (September 13, 1987)no14sep87
Car collision injures Asst. Chief E. B. King and
District Chief A. G. Stell. The chief's car collided with a van on
Highway 70 in Garner. They were headed to Agri-Supply, to pick up materials for
the department. The van, which was towing a small trailer, struck the chief's
car as it was crossing the roadway. It struck the car broadside at the back
door, and spun the car around. The chief's car stopped in the median. All
occupants in both vehicles were wearing seat belts. Both chiefs were treated and
released from Wake Medical Center. The chief's car was totaled, and the van had
$1,500 to $2,000 of damage. (October 8, 1987)rt08oct87
Westgrove Towers on Westgrove Street burned. Two
alarms. [MF] (November 26, 1987)rfd
Gateway Shopping Center at corner of Crabtree and North Boulevards burned.
Fire alarm is received about 12:10 a.m., with flames coming through the roof as
firefighters arrive. Six stores and businesses are gutted: Personnel Pool
Temporary Services; J. R. Lee Electric Co., a shoe shop, a dentist office, an
Avon cosmetics office, and an accountant's office. Other businesses suffer smoke
damage. Structural damage to shopping center is estimated at $250,000. About 35
firefighters work through the night at the scene. Captain Wade M. Boyette
suffers minor injuries when hot tar, from melted roofing material, falls onto
his hands. Shopping center was built in mid-1960s and donated several years ago
to Meredith College. [MF] (December 3, 1987)rt03dec87
Courtney Square Apartments at 4604 Dansey Drive burned.
Fire starts about 5:30 p.m. and guts four apartments in eight-unit building. One
fatality, child later found in closet. Neighbors attempt rescue by are driven
back by flames. About 30 firefighters from Raleigh and New Hope battle the
blaze. Fire believe started by artificial logs left on a couch. Firefighters
arrived six minutes after dispatch and find building engulfed in flames. [MF]
(December 5, 1987)no06dec87
New fireground procedures take effect, including standardized fireground
command personnel practices, and new arrival dispositions of
Code 1, Code 2, and Code 3. The first draft of the procedures is published April
1986, and the first version of the practices are issued October 1987. (January 1, 1988)rfd
Apartments at 3101 Summertime Cove burned. Two
alarms. (February 7, 1988)
Townhome at 110 Renwick Court burned. Two alarms.
(March 6, 1988)
Commercial structure at 327 W. Hargett Street burned.
Two alarms. News stand. (April 10, 1988)rfd
Apartments at 6017 Shanda Drive burned. Two
alarms. Dispatched about 11:00 p.m. Controlled in about 30 minutes. (April 17, 1988)no19apr88
Apparatus note: Truck 12 removed from service
until further notice. (May 11, 1988)rfd
Station 19 opened at 4209 Spring Forest Road. Engine 19 placed in service with 1968 American LaFrance pumper.
Photos and more information. (May 11, 1988)rfd
Recruit academy #12 graduated 19 firefighters.
The academy started on February 3. The graduation ceremony is conducted at the
City Council Chambers. (June __,1988)rfd
The Lakes Apartments at 6409 The Lakes Drive burned. Two alarms.
Alarm time 2:17 a.m. About 35 firefighters on scene, plus volunteers from Six
Forks Fire Department. Fire destroys 24 units and leaves about two dozen people
(June 9, 1988)rt09jun88
Piggly Wiggly grocery story at 2014 Fairview Road burned.
Three alarms. Alarm time about 7:00 a.m. [MF] (June 14, 1988)noi, rfd
Chemical fire strikes Post Office on New Bern Avenue.
Cleaning vat catches fire about 8 p.m. in the carpentry room of the first floor.
Between 200 and 250 people are evacuated from the building for almost two hours.
No one is injured and damage to the room is minimal. [HM] (August 1, 1988)rt02aug88
Chlorine leaks into Pullen Park swimming pool, injuring thirty-seven people.
Accident occurs about noon. Victims are transported by ambulances and police
vans. No injuries appear serious. The 50 year-old pool is closed for several
day, while equipment is investigated. [HM] (August 17, 1988)rt17aug88, rt18aug88
Apparatus note: 1988 GMC extended panel van placed in service as Special Risk and Incident Command Unit 1 or SR 1. The 23 foot long vehicle is equipped with cascade air system that can refill as many as six bottles at once in four- to five-minutes. For past five years, fire department has called Six Forks Volunteer Fire Department for air bottle assistance at major fires. Vehicle also has command center area. Responds to all Code 2 and Code 3 fires, without lights and siren. Photos and more information.
(August 9, 1988)rt31aug88, rfd
Apparatus note: Foam Unit 1 moved to Station 12,
to make more room at Station 1. (September 1, 1988)rfd
Lawyers Building at 320 S. Salisbury Street burned.
Two alarms. (September 29, 1988)rfd
- Truck 12 permanently removed from service. 1980 Ford C service truck
moved to Station 15.
- 1988 Pierce Arrow articulating platform placed in service as Truck 1. First Pierce for fire department.
- 1979 Mack / 1958 American LaFrance aerial ladder moved from Station 1 to Station 16.
Temporarily housed at Station 18, while rear of Station 16 renovated to
accommodate apparatus. Rear door and wall removed, and metal extension
- 1961 American LaFrance aerial ladder removed from service at Station 16
and placed in reserve. (September 21, 1988)rfd
Photos and more information.
Apartments at 5058 Avenida Del Sol burned. Two
alarms. (October 30, 1988)rfd
Hardees restaurant at 222 Fayetteville Street Mall burned.
Two alarms. (November 19, 1988)rfd
Wakefield Apartments on Calumet Drive burned. Two
alarms. (November 19, 1988)rfd
Tornado strikes northwest Raleigh. Storm strikes at 1:00 a.m. with virtually no warning, destroying K-Mart on Glenwood Avenue among many other buildings. Site subsequently utilized as command post and staging apparatus for incoming emergency units from surrounding counties. Four people killed, 154 injured. Dozens of businesses and hundreds of homes also damaged or destroyed. Tornado eventually tracks 83 miles through NC nearly to VA border. Trees felled in front of front and rear bay doors at Station 17, delaying response to building collapse.
[WE] (November 28, 1988)
Hayes Barton Cleaners on Fairview Road burned.
Three alarms. Fire department is called to the scene at 7:06 p.m. Engine 6 arrives
and finds fire already coming through the roof. They mark "code three" and request two lines be
laid in the front of the building by Engine 5. When Car 53 arrives, flames are
coming from the plate-glass windows of the front of the structure. Command is
established in the front of the building. Staging is established in the nearby
Winn-Dixie parking lot. Crews were initially worried about adjoining gas
station, and flames spreading to that building, but a fire wall prevented any
spread. Flames quickly gut the structure, as one witness says "it gutted the
whole place in less than ten minutes." The cleaners was closed at the time of
the fire. Third alarm requested upon arrival of Car 3, who
subsequently takes command. Aerial operations are directed by Car 1. Hand lines
are supplied by
Engine 6, Engine 5, Engine 4. Two aerial streams are also used: Truck 8, supplied by Engine 6,
and Truck 11, supplied by Engine 3. Crews battle the blaze for more than hour,
before extinguishing the flames about 8:15 p.m. The building is a total loss.
Several nearby businesses and homes also lose power because of the fire, with
electrical service expected to be restored by the morning. Personnel are relieved on scene twice. Mini pumpers
were among units standing by, for at least two days. [MF] (December 2, 1988)noi,
Engine company stand-by for helicopter landings discontinued at Wake Medical
Center. (January 1989)rfd
Station 20 opened at 1721 Trailwoods Drive. Engine 20 placed in service with a 1961 American LaFrance pumper. Photos and more information.
(January 20, 1989)rfd
The Loft Apartments on Loft Lane burned. Two
alarms. (February 10, 1989)rfd
Apartments at 837 Navahoe Drive burned. Two
alarms. (March 1, 1989)rfd
Triangle Freightliner at 4125 North Boulevard burned.
Two alarms. (March 10, 1989)rfd
Apartments at 3153 Kings Court burned. Three
alarms. Thirty-three firefighters. Apparently started by lightning. Four
units gutted. Fifth apartment also damaged. Eight people displaced.
Started about 4:45 a.m. First: E8, E20, T8, R6, C53. Second: E13, E14, T1, C52.
Third: E6, E2, T11. (May 6, 1989)rfd
Recruit academy #13 graduated 19 firefighters including one Michael J. Legeros.
The academy started on February 15 and lasted 14 weeks. The graduation ceremony
is conducted at the City Council Chambers. (May 26, 1989)rfd
The Loft Apartments at 212 Loft Lane burned. Two
alarms. (May 28, 1989)rfd
Sylvan Park Apartments at 3946 Marcom Street burned.
Two alarms. (June 17, 1989)rfd
Two alarms struck at 1003 Gardner Street.
(June 24, 1989)rfd
- 1989 Pierce Arrow pumper placed in service as Engines 1 on November 22
- 1989 Pierce Arrow pumper placed in service as Engine 9 around November 22
- 1989 Pierce Arrow pumper placed in service as Engine 13 around November 22rfd
Photos and more information.
Rescue removed from structure fire dispatches, unless Code 2 or Code 3.
Apparatus note: Fifth aerial truck company placed in service as Truck 15 with 1977 Mack Aerialscope. Photos and more information.
||City of Raleigh Annual Report
||City of Raleigh budget documents
||Cameron Village: A History 1949-1999,
Nan Hutchins, Sprit Press, 2001
||City of Raleigh Auditor's Office
|ccm / cm
||City Council Minutes / City Minutes
||1792-1892, The Centennial Celebration of
Raleigh, NC, Kemp D. Battle, Edwards and Broughton, 1893
||Chief Engineer's Report
||North Carolina Department of Archives and
||North Carolina Department of Archives and
History News and Observer index
||City of Raleigh Fire Protection Study
||Historical Raleigh with Sketches of Wake
County and its Important Towns, Moss N. Amis, 1912
||Mike Legeros records.
||News and Observer
||News and Observer
||Pullen Park History
||Raleigh Fire Department Ladies Auxiliary
||Raleigh Fire Department Photo Unit records
||Raleigh: An Unorthodox History
||Raleigh Fire Department 1984,
Raleigh Fire Department, Taylor Publishing, 1984
||Raleigh Fire and Rescue: 1984-2002,
Raleigh Fire Department, Taylor Publishing, 2002, plus additional
historical information also compiled by the Raleigh Fire Department
||Wake: Capital County of North Carolina -
Volume 1, Prehistory Through Centennial, Elizabeth Reid Murray,
Capital County Publishing, 1983
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Copyright 2022 by Michael J. Legeros