1916, two warehouses burn. The
Farmers' Warehouse and the Banner Warehouse are destroyed in a
morning fire about 2:00 a.m., along with about $10,000 worth of
tobacco. One of the owners has about $7,000 insurance. The fire
starts in the Farmers' warehouse and spreads to the second, by a
"wind that sprung up after the fire started" reports
the January 17, 1914 issue of the Raleigh Times. The wooden
buildings were to be replaced with new brick buildings. (January
1916, downtown block of Fuquay
Springs burns. Three store buildings and an iron storage
warehouse are destroyed.
The fire started in the early morning hours and gutted the
businesses of the Fuquay Drug Company, Deitz & Isaacson general
merchants, the Fuquay Hardware Company; Dr. C. E. Cheek and Dr. J.
R. Edwards dentists; and A. J. Fletcher, lawyer. The post office
across the street "barely missed destruction" and the "big plate
glass windows" of the Fuquay Bank burst.
The fire was intentionally set, and did $45,000 to $50,000
worth of damage. Source: Evening Dispatch (Wilmington, NC). Note:
This fire has been incorrectly cited as 1919, in retrospective
stories published after later fires. (June 13, 1916)
1925, first fire department organized (for Fuquay Springs?),
with W. Lee Rowland serving as first fire chief.fdr
1931, Fuquay Springs fire protection equipment described as
"chemical truck, 500 feet of hose, and other apparatus" in News &
Observer, August 9, 1931.mjl
1937, first water system connection made at Bank
of Fuquay. (September 6, 1937)tws
1937, Fuquay Springs Town Manager authorized by board to
purchase 500 feet of "Underwriters hose" from lowest bidder.
(December 6, 1937)fstm
1938, Fuquay-Varina Volunteer Fire Department
From News & Observer, February 2,
Wake Town Forms Fire Department
Fuquay Springs Completes Organization of First Fire Fighting Crew
Fuquay Springs, Feb. 12 - Formal organization of the
Fuquay-Varina volunteer fire department took place in the town hall
this week with Lee Rowland, chief of the department, presiding over
Although the department is just now being organized, it is
prepared to fight fires immediately. Several months ago the town
purchased a fire truck and other modern firefighting equipment
sufficient to take care of the town's needs.
Officers of the department, in addition to Chief Rowland, are S.
A. Satterwhite, assistant chief; W. G. Ragan, secretary; and T. L.
Members of the department are Chief Rowland, John Thomas, W. G.
Ragan, W. A. Hamilton, A. A. Tingen, Horton Poe, C. B. Ellis, S. A.
Satterwhite, J. L. Kestler, S. L. Rowland, R. K. Rhodes, Woodrow
Johson, Jack Riley, and Mr. Clark. Satterwhite, Ragan and Tingen
have had previous experience in other cities where they resided
before coming to Fuquay. (February 1938) no13feb38
1938, first Fire Chief is W. Lee Rolland.
Serves until 1963. fdr
1938, Fuquay Springs town board board informed of "the purchase
of a 1936 Chevrolet truck chassis for $207.73 as the basis of a fire
truck. Prices had been requested on rebuilt siren. The city of
Durham Fire Dept. offered a used fire truck body for $75.00.
However, the town manager reported that he thought that he could
obtain a better price through the City Manager of Durham.". (March 7,
1938, Fuquay Springs Town Manager reports to board that a fire
truck body has been purchased from the City of Durham for $40, and a
reconditioned 5HP siren has been purchased for $180. (April 4, 1938)fstm
1938, Fuquay Springs authorized by board to investigate the cost
of installing switches to [the town of Varina] and the central
office for turning in fire alarms at those points. (May 9, 1938)fstm
1938, Fuquay Springs town board passes ordinance with misdemeanor
penalties for persons interfering with a fire alarm. It's unlawful
for any person to tamper with any fire department equipment belong
to the town, or tamper with the town fire alarm, or turn in a false
alarm. They will be guilty of a misdemeanor and fined not less than
$25.00, nor more than $50.00, nor imprisoned more than thirty days.
(May 9, 1938)fstm
1946, main block of
begins in repair shop of Proctor-Barbour Company, Wake County's
largest farm supply and general merchandise store. Employees
are repairing a tractor when sparks from an acetylene torch ignite
a bucket of gasoline, used for washing their hands.
Fire breaks out about 1:45 p.m. on a
Thursday. Fanned by a strong southwest wind, flames spread
rapidly destroying four businesses and damaging five others.
All other town businesses close immediately and every available
person heads to the scene, including children, to help either
extinguish the fire of carry furnishings and merchandise from
stores. Other contents are moved out of buildings, such as office
equipment and records. Nearby farmers see the flames and come into town to
Volunteer fire departments from Angier, Apex,
Dunn, and Lillington assist. The Raleigh Fire Department,
located 15 miles away, is also called.
Traffic is detoured
around the main part of town.
Both the town and visiting
firefighters are plagued with problems. The town's only fire
truck has to be pushed two blocks, from where it's stored, before
it can be started.
Apex's pumper arrives within twelve
minutes, but its firemen can't connect to the town's fire hydrants
due to different hose threads, and the pumper cannot be used.
Angier's fire engine arrives and also cannot be used, with the same
fire truck arrives, but finds Fuquay's water pressure too low to
supply it. Raleigh's fire truck breaks down while en route, and is
delayed only fifteen minutes on its eighteen-mile run.
Headed by Raleigh Fire Chief R. W. Butts,
they have has adapters allowing Dunn's tanker to be used,
thus saving the Bank of Fuquay from sustaining more than roof
damage. They can also connect to the town's fire hydrants, and
their one pressurized hose line does "much to check the blaze."
Damages are estimated at $150,000. Destroyed are:
- Proctor-Barbour Company
- the Wade Theater
- Barefoot Barber Shop
- Mudge & Prince Insurance Company
- Bank of Fuquay
- Plymouth-Dodge Auto Agency
- Dr. W. S. Cozart's new clinic behind the bank
- Holleman's grocery across the street from the
bank . (March 7, 1946) rt, i07mar46
Three days later, the town council plans to consider proposal to "standardize
fire hydrants" at their next meeting, reports the Raleigh Times. Apex
and Angier firefighters helped battle the blaze, but were
"handicapped because fire hydrant hose connections were
un-standardized." Raleigh firemen, however, were able to use their
hose, "by means of an adapter." (March 10, 1946)rt10mar46
1946, apparatus purchase: 1945 Mack Type 45 pumper. The truck is
purchased after an emergency resolution by the Town Board to
upgrade Fuquay's firefighting capacities. A bid by the Mack Truck
Company is presented and accepted for $5,555.80. The Mack company
representative is Kenlon Brockwell, son of state Fire Marshal
Sherwood Brockwell. (July 1, 1946)tm
1948, New Deal Warehouse
No. 1 destroyed by fire, along with other structures.
fire also guts a nearby "Negro home" and almost completely destroys
three others. It causes partial damage to another house, and a
storage warehouse of the North State Tobacco Company.
Reported about 9:00 a.m., the fire rages for almost an hour before being
extinguished by firefighters from Fuquay-Varina, Raleigh, Angier,
Apex, Dunn, and Ft. Bragg. The building was already heavily
involved as the first firefighters arrived, and it collapsed just as
they reached the scene.
Damage is estimated at more
than $128,000 for the 75,000 square-foot warehouse. The wooden
warehouse is valued at $60,000, and the contents at $25,000. Some
burning tobacco sacks were pulled out the building, after the tin
was "knocked off" one end of the building.
pounds of tobacco were damaged by water and fire. (November 22, 1948)rt,
1951, new municipal
building dedicated at 131
Fuquay Avenue. The
one-story brick building houses fire, police, and water
departments, the jail, recorder's court, and municipal offices. It
also includes a "well-ventilated three jail" and single bay for
fire apparatus. Constructed started about a year ago, but work
stopped for about six months due to a shortage of steel. It was
financed by a $45,000 bond.
1954, rural fire department formed.
Incorporated as Fuquay-Varina Rural Fire Department on May 21,
The sponsor of the project is the
Farm Bureau of Fuquay-Varina.
The election of a Board of Directors
was held on Monday, May 10. They were: Sherrill Akins, Carl Bennett,
Leo Betts, T. j. Bridges. E. C. Hare, B. O. Holleman, Claude Jones,
Donnie Marcom, Henry Rawls, Bill Stinson, and John W. Smith. Also
present were Fred Hunt, vocational agricultural teacher, and Win
Donat, secretary of the Chamber of Commerce. Donat reported on the
filing of the corporation's charter and by-laws, and the findings of
a committee investigating the equipment and financing plans of Apex
and Zebulon rural fire departments.fvi20may54
Also on May 10, an election was held
that named Leo Betts as President, Sherrill Akins as Vice-President,
Win Donat as Secretary-Treasurer, and Fred Hunt as Advisor.
The first organization meeting was held
Monday, May 17, in the Vocational Agricultural classroom of the high
school. R. L. Wilkins, presidential of the local Farm Bureau, acted
as temporary Chairman. There was group discussed various approaches
to financing, and other issues.fvi20may54
The Board of Directors adopts a
financing plan at a meeting on May 24, 1954. The initial fee is $5
for all rural dwellings or commercial buildings up to and including
$10,000 of value. Homes and commercial buildings valued over that
amount will be charged an additional $1 per $1,000 over $10,000.
Farm properties will be charged $5 per dwelling, plus $1 per
building on the farm, and with the same dollar amounts and
additional charges as above.fvi27may54
Memberships are solicited of rural
property owners who live within a seven mile radius of the corporate
limits of Fuquay Springs. The membership drive is underway by June
They're placed in service in the
spring of 1955. Two trucks were reported as nearly ready for service
in March 1955.
The town siren, which alerts the
town fire department, is considered for the rural department use,
and rejected as a second siren is purchased, with a different sound.
The rural department plans for at least six qualified apparatus
drivers to be available day and night. The siren will be operated
from a push button station at a sidewalk position, or from the
police department office.
Telephone operators will be
provided the names and phone numbers of the drivers, and each major
rural area will have a group of members assigned the duties of
meeting the truck on the road, and directing it to the fire. Once
both units are in service, drills and training will be held, to
"coordinate all the factors of the unit to give the best possible
1954, first rural Fire Chief is Tom
Bridges. Serves until 1959. wcfa
1954, first rural fire
station is tin shed / shelter in vicinity of 134 Fuquay Avenue.oh
1954, first rural fire
- GMC 4x4 military surplus pumper loaned by
Howe, 300 gallons.
- Tanker built from military surplus, 550 gallons.
- 1954 Ford / Howe pumper.
The loaned pumper is a four wheel-drive unit with a 300 gallon
tank. It's located in Columbia, SC, reports the Independent on
November 18, 1954, and will be brought to town as soon as
The tanker was still undergoing construction in early March. It
was equipped with a 550 gallon tank, and had "not yet completed its
The 1954 Ford/Howe pumper is delivered after a 700-mile drive
from Anderson, IN. The driver is a Control Engineer from Howe. It
arrived on Sunday afternoon and the engineer remained in town
through Monday, to help members of the rural fire department
"acquaint themselves with the orientation of the new" truck.
The truck's specifications were a combination of the requirements
of the NFPA, the NC Rating Bureau, and the Wake County Fire
Commission. Three companies presented bids. The contract was awarded
to Howe on November 9, 1954. The cost was $9,713, and it's delivery
was only a few days behind the expected schedule. There was a delay
due to the chassis arriving in late December, and the factory unable
to start work until the first week in January.fvi24mar55
On Monday, a "practical workout" of the truck was made behind the
Town Hall, with fire department members present. Later, the truck
was driven out to Barefoot's Lake, for a "demonstration with the
portable pump and tank in every possible combination." Train for
drivers and crew was expected to start soon. On April 22, a
dedication ceremony for the truck, and a celebration of the rural
fire department's launch, was planned at the annual Fat Cal Show.
The department still owed $2,700 to Howe, for the truck. (March 20,
1955, rural fire department siren connected to four telephones
answering the number 580. The procedure for reporting a fire
requires the caller to both dial 580, and stay on the line until
someone answers. The four telephones include three at the bedside
of three equipment operators, who will answer the phones at night,
along with their wives. The fourth telephone is located in a box
on the pole near the siren. The siren was purchased by the rural
department, because a different sound was needed from the town
siren. (May 13, 1955)fvi19may55
1955, rural fire department begins service. (Spring 1955)
1955, in their first year of operation, the rural fire department
answers 68 alarms, and saves $391,400 worth of property. (December
1956, by July 4, the rural fire department has 400 subscribers.
There are eleven volunteer firemen, and twelve members on their
1958, new (rural?) fire station
completed. (Fall 1958) wcfa1, oh
1963, Clifton Keith becomes City Fire
Chief. Serves until 1972 fdr
1963, community officially changes name from
Fuquay-Springs to Fuquay-Varina with merger of post offices.
1965, rural fire station
completed at 128 Fuquay Avenue. Construction
started in 1964. Cost $1,100. The prior structure was an "old tin
garage" in the rear of the property.fdr, oh,
1966, rural fire station
dedicated in memory of Chief Thomas J. Bridges. He was a
driving force in the organization in 1953, and served as chief until
1964, when declining health forced him to step down. Bridges
practically donated the land for the building, selling the property
to the department at the original price he paid years ago. He spent
many hours working on the building, but died two months before it
was completed. (January 23, 1966)fdr, fvi16mar72
1967, seven firefighter's wives meet at the Fuquay-Varina
courthouse to organize rural fire department's first ladies
- Alice Schmelzer
- Mary Ann Wortham
- Mary Joyce Mangum
- Charlotte Mangum
- Una Hamilton
- Marie Mauldin
- Patricia Sauls
Guest speaker is Sherman Pickard, later
Raleigh Fire Chief. Mary Joyce Magnum is elected President
and Charlotte Mangum is elected Secretary. Another meeting
is scheduled to elect remaining officers. (April 14, 1967)fdr
1967, firefighters vote to approve Ladies
Auxiliary. Mary Joyce Mangum serves as first president. (June
1967, Ladies Auxiliary holds first fundraiser, a
bake sale at Rollins Jewelry on S. Main Street. Total profit
is $110.20. (June 10, 1967) fdr
1967, first Fireman's Day parade held. First parade Chairman is William Oliver.
(October 14, 1967) fdr
1968, Big Top tobacco warehouse on
U.S. 401 burns. The fire department is called at 3:15 a.m.
and the fire was already beyond control, when firefighters
arrived. It was "beyond the capacity of the fire department" said
the fire chief. The Fairview Fire Department was called, and
assisted with battling the blaze and protecting surrounding
buildings. Garner and Swift Creek fire departments were put on
stand-by. The $200,000 building housed fertilizer and insecticides
valued at $35,000. The fire was still burning that afternoon.
(April 17, 1968)no18apr68
1968, Ladies Auxiliary holds "Summer
Fashion Show" at Fuquay-Varina High School Auditorium. Admission to 8 p.m. event is $1.00.
(May 17, 1968) fdr
1968, Stephens Supply Company burns.
The building is gutted by the Saturday night fire, reported
about 11:30 p.m. The hardware business was the largest in this area
of the state. (December 15, 1968)fvi19dec68
1968 (?) apparatus delivery, 1968
Ford/Bean pumper, 750/500.
1969, Town Board and rural fire department Board of Directors meet
for some three-and-a-half hours, in effort to settle some
differences between the town and rural fire departments.
they are run as separate organizations, with different fire chiefs,
most of the firemen are members of both groups.
The town fire department is run by Town Engineer Clifton Keith as
Fire Chief, and is financed by the town budget. This year, the
budget was $6,000. To purchase "needed equipment", it has to ask the
Town Board at the monthly meeting.
rural fire department is run by Fire Chief Ed Schemeltzer. Their
funds are provided by dues from rural people who use their services,
and fundraisers such as barbecue suppers and turkey shoots.
Most of the differences expressed at the meeting "seemed to stem
from the fact that the firemen feel there is a lack of leadership,
communication, and discipline between the two fire departments"
noted the Independent on November 11, 1969.
Other issues included that the town Fire Chief has his hands tied,
when the department needs equipment or such. He has to go before the
Town Board. Also, because he's also the town engineer, he doesn't
"have enough time to fully develop the town fire department."
The two departments are across the street from each other, and there
is a great deal of fellowship among the rural staff. They have had
"enough room and equipment to meet and to discuss what they should
do after they drill." But they don't have enough room or equipment
in the town department "to do anything." And they don't have a
say-so in how it's run, said one member.
The firemen say that the town is more dependent on the rural fire
department, than vice-versa.
is a suggestion by Mayor W. E. Medlin that the town board the town
fire department meet twice a year, for an appreciation night for the
town fire department. He also suggested that that each department
send its chief and another spokesman to the monthly Town Board
meeting, to report on their activities and needs. (November 11,
apparatus delivery, 1969 Chevy/American LaFrance pumper,
1970, special committee of town investigating prospects for a
full-time Fire Chief position, reports the Independent on
September 17, 1970.
1972, apparatus delivery for rural
department: 1970 Chevy/Bean pumper-tanker, 350/1200. Cost
$16,000, and includes "electric reels" and a 14-foot and 24-foot
ladder. It will be paid for with fundraisers, such as donations,
memberships, turkey shoots, and barbecues. Delivery reported in
March 16, 1972, edition of the Independent. (March 1972)
1972, new fire alarm siren installed. The ten-horsepower siren
replaced a three-horsepower model.
The new siren serves the newly merged
town and rural fire departments. It was replaced as the older model
wasn't adequate for alerting the firemen. With help from the
Fuquay-Varina Civil Defense Office, matching funds from the federal
government were obtained for the cost of purchase and installation,
which totaled $3,000. The siren also doubles as a Civil Defense
The fire alarm signal is a series of
rapidly alternating high and low pitch sounds. The other two signals
are the nationally known alert warning and attack warning sounds.
The alert warning is a steady three to
five minute sustained, double tone blast, used to alert the general
public of a possible threat to the community.
The attack warning is a high and low
note combination, that moves distinctly from low to high volume,
with a wavering effect. This signal is used only for warning of an
"actual enemy attack." (September 1972)fvi?21sep72
1972, St. Augusta Free Will Baptist
Fire is reported about 9:00 p.m., but the fire
is well underway when firemen arrive. The roof collapses only
minutes after they arrive. Many grass fires are started, from sparks
flying from the church. Water is also sprayed on an oil storage tank
outside the church, to prevent it from catching fire.
ire and smoke can be seen all over
town, as flames reach over a hundred feet in the air. Hundreds of
people head to the scene, and onlookers park their cars in the
middle of the narrow road to the church. This hampers firefighters
transporting water back and forth to the fire.
One fire engine (Unit #2) falls
of the road, into a four-foot ditch, and has to be pulled out. The
water had to be emptied, to lighten its weight, which rendered the
truck useless for fighting the fire. It was inoperable for nearly an
hour, but sustained very little physical damage. (December 21, 1972.)fvi28dec72
1972, municipal department merges into rural department.
The merger is effective in June 1972,
notes the Independent
in a retrospective article on June
Combining the two departments is a
move toward greater cooperation and unity. It merges the
organizations under the administration of one fire chief, and allows
the sharing of the "unified alarm system, Central Dispatch, which originates in
The merger allows the town firemen to
also use personal radio monitors, which help them be continually
aware of events throughout the area, and respond to emergencies more
quickly and effectively.
of rural fire department is amended on December 27, 1972, to
include service into town. ncsos
In June 1973, there are about 40
firemen in the combined department. They are all volunteer. Wayne
Worthham is the Fire Chief. Ed Schmelzer is the Assistant Chief for
the town division, and James Mauldin is the Assistant Chief for the
County taxes pay the basic support for
the department, but they also rely heavily on donations and
1972, Fire Chief is Wayne Wortham. Serves until 1973.fdr
1973, Fire Chief is James Mauldin. Serves until
1973, first fire department sponsored turkey
shoot held. (Fall 1973) fdr
1974, apparatus delivery: 1974
Ford/FMC/Bean pumper-tanker, 450/1200. Delivered the week of June
20, 1974. The addition gives the department the ability to carry
over 12,000 gallons of water to a rural fire. It will be paid for
by "donations, barbecues, turkey shoots, and other fundraising
activities" reports the Independent on June 20, 1974.
1975, Fire Chief is Douglas Knott. Serves
1975, Hilltop Free Will Baptist
Church on Highway 401 north burns. The fire is discovered
about 10:30 p.m., shortly after a wedding and reception. It
started in a secretary's office and destroyed a major part of the
building, which was located about four miles north of town. The
fire was bought by crews from Fuquay-Varina, Holly Springs,
Fairview, Swift Creek, and Garner. The church was eight years old.
(February 14, 1975)no15feb75
1975, second annual Fireman's Banquet held at
the Hickory House in Garner. Walter Howard honored for 50
years of service to fire department. (February 27, 1975) fdr
1975 (?), apparatus delivery:
1975 Ford/Bean pumper, 1000/500.
1977, Fire Chief is Edward Schmelzer. Serves until 1978fdr
1977, fourth annual Fireman's Banquet held at
the Hickory House in Garner. Jasper Weathers presented award
of Fireman of the Year. (February 19, 1977) fvi
1977, seven businesses on South
Main Street destroyed by fire.
Fire burns buildings between
Raleigh and Vance streets Businesses destroyed or
extensively damaged in the block of one- or two-story buildings:
- Kesler's, woman's clothing store, destroyed
- United Credit Corporation, destroyed except
- Country Garden Flowers and Gifts, destroyed
- Ransdall's clothing and shoe store for men
and boys and largest store on block, destroyed
- Home Office Machines Company, total loss
- Earl Lee's Portrait Studio, water damaged but
camera equipment saved
- Friendly Floriest on south end of block, all
merchandise and equipment lost in second-story rooms,
extensive water and smoke damage on first floor
Only building on block not damaged is Fidelity
Bank of Fuquay on north end of block, saved by a solid brick fire
Same block burned in March of 1946 and all buildings
were destroyed. New buildings were subsequently erected with fire
walls, but, over the years, the fire walls were altered and false
ceilings erected to join stores.
Fire is discovered about 1:30 a.m. by passing
police officer on his routine patrol, who spots smoke in Country Garden Flower and Gifts
while checking stores. Fire department is dispatched at 1:32
Shortly after firefighters arrive, pressure from the
heat inside the flower shop blows out the plate glass windows in
the front of the building. Flames were burning through the roof of
the flower and gift shop, on arrival. The wind also shifted as they
arrived, sending smoke into the street, and blinking and choking
Crews thought the fire had been
contained to just three stores, but the flames suddenly spread
through false ceilings along the entire block.
Holly Springs and Fairview fire
departments also responded, requested as mutual aid. Fuquay Rescue
Squad was also on scene. Some 25 to 30 firefighters battle
the blaze, with a total of 60 to 70 emergency personnel including
rescue squad members and police officers.
They also tapped a sixteen-inch
water main from Raleigh, to supplement their water supply. Also
because of the town's new water tank, some 800,000 gallons of water
was available for firefighting. The Firemen's Auxiliary also
assists, serving breakfast that morning to the weary firefighters.
Damage estimated at $500,000 or more.
One firefighter suffers minor injury, fireman Tim Matthews whose
foot slips through a false roof, and is slightly burned on head and
face. He does not require hospital treatment.
Authorities later blamed altered fire
walls and joint ceilings between buildings for the spread of the
fire. (March 1,
1977) no02mar77, rt01mar77
1977, Adams Concrete Pipe
Company on Highway 401 north of Fuquay suffers two fires in two
days. On Sunday, a parked tractor-trailer
catches fire. Damage to the tractor is estimated at
$10,000. On Monday, just minutes after employees depart for
day, fire is reported on roof of building. Damage is
estimated at around $28,000 to both the roof and the contents of
the building. Business owner James Adams asks the Sheriff's
Department to investigate the cause of the fire. Fire
Chief Doug Knott also plans a routine investigation and will
contact the State Bureau of Investigation arson team if anything
unusual is found. (April 7, 1977) na
1977, groundbreaking ceremony held at fire station
site at 301 South Fuquay Avenue. Just as ceremony
ends, fire alarm sounds and firefighters respond to woods and
grass fire. (August 1, 1977) rt01aug77
1977, Fire Chief is Edward L. Sclmelzer. (August 1, 1977)rt01aug77
1977, fire apparatus stored in several
- four rural trucks in fire station at 128
Fuquay Avenue, across street from Town Hall
- one town truck in garage at Town Hall at 134
- another town truck in building next door to
- old pumper, used as backup truck, at Paragon
label plant, located several blocks away. (August 1, 1977)rt01aug77,
1977, Ladies Auxiliary holds bazaar to raise
funds. Copies also sold of cookbook compiled by members of
the Firemen's Auxiliary. Some of the special items to be
sold at auction include:
- fire dogs, approximately 75 years old, solid
brass top, cast iron base
- clock made by Seth Thomas about 1860 to 1880
- one Staffordshire gravy boat and two
miniature candle holders
- unusually shaped, footed lamp table
- set of shuttle candle holders
- one 45-piece set of Noritak china
- 1969 Ford station wagon fdr
1978, fifth annual Fireman's Banquet held at the
Hickory House in Garner. Assistant Chief Johnny Jones
presented award of Fireman of the Year. (February 18, 1977)
1978, new fire station dedicated at 301 South
The one-story, 9,300 square-foot building
has five bays with two entrances each, to hold ten trucks. It also includes a kitchen, radio room, meeting room,
all-purpose room, Chief's office, and both maintenance and storage
space. Building also has showers and sleeping areas in the
event the town later forms a full-time, paid fire department.
is $202,000, (partially?) financed with a Farmers Home
Administration loan and is constructed on two-acre site formerly
owned by Hudson-Belk. The architect is Enviroteck of Raleigh
and the builder is Metal Building System of North Carolina, Inc.
from Sanford. (December 3, 1978).oh, rt01aug77
1979, Rogers Gulf Service
and the Friendly Flower Shop on S. Main Street destroyed by fire.
(April 17, 1979) na
1979, anniversary parade held to commemorate
25th anniversary of rural fire department. Event begins at 2
p.m. and consists of about twenty fire trucks and marching
bands. Fifteen different fire departments plan to
participate. Trophies are handed out for best-appearing fire
trucks in various categories. (October 6, 1979) na
1979, Fire Chief is Johnny Jones.fdr
1980, The Food Center burns.
1980, woods fire burns about 60
acres across road from Bazzel Creek Baptist Church. Firefighters spend about six hours battling blaze
reported about 2:30 p.m. State Forestry Service
assists. Fire thought to have started by spark from a
cutting torch at a salvage yard on Wilbon Road. Flames are
controlled in areas threatening homes; portion burning in woods
requires assistance of Forestry Service plough.na
1982, tanker transporting "dangerous
chemicals" overturns on Highway 401 at Crumpier Hill. Resulting leak results
in evacuation of about 70 area residents. (January 1982) na
1982, Southside Warehouse at
corner of Highway 401 and Slaughter Pen Road burns. Blaze is discovered by patrolling auxiliary firefighter
at 2:12 p.m. The 34-year old, 70,000 square-foot wooden structure
is nearly destroyed by the time firefighters from Fuquay-Varina and Holly
Springs arrive. Strong winds spread burning pieces of roofing
materials. Crews were positioned along Slaughter Pen Road, and
sprayed water on nearby houses to prevent their roofs from
catching fire. (April 28, 1982) fvi02mar82
1983, Creative Products sporting
goods store at corner of Main and Vance streets burns.
Fire is reported around 9:00 p.m. and by 9:30 p.m. smoke
is gushing front and back of building. Firefighters attempt
interior attack but are driven back by smoke. Around 10:30
p.m. the roof collapses. About 60 firefighters battle blaze
throughout Sunday night and into Monday morning, with
Fuquay-Varina Fire Department personnel assisted by approximately
10 firefighters from Holly Springs. Damage is estimated at
$90,000. Water used is estimated at 850,000 gallons. (1983) na
1983, turkey shoot fundraisers profiled in November 16,
1983, issue of the Independent. The autumn events started some ten
years ago. On a typical night, the department gives away
approximately thirty turkeys. They charge $2 per shot. This year's
event is held at a shooting range about two miles north of town on
Highway 401. (November 1983)
1984, Noles Cabinet
company off Highway 401 three miles north of town destroyed by
fire. Fire is discovered shortly after midnight and is
believed started from electrical causes. Seventeen
firefighters battle blaze along with 10 members of Fairview Fire
Department. Exploding cans of paint and varnish inside
hamper extinguishing effort. One Fuquay-Varina firefighter, Ricky
Stuart, suffers hand injury and requires six stitches after
attempting to cut a hole in the building. (September 7, 1984)
1984, fire insurance rating for the town improved
from Class 8 to Class 5. Resulting insurance rate changes
take effect November 1, 1984. The town underwent an examination by
ISO last spring, at the same time the county was being re-rated. (October 1984)
1984, Fireman's Day parade begins at 11:00
a.m. Other events include water games, fire truck judging,
and the raffling of a 23 1/2 inch color television. Tickets
cost $1. (October 22, 1984) na
1984, turkey shoot fundraiser conducted as part
of special promotion teaming Field and Stream magazine and
the National Volunteer Fire Council. (November 1984) na
1984 (?), apparatus delivery:
1984 E-One pumper/tanker, 1500/1000. Alternate year 1985,
alternate capacity 1500/750.
1985, annual Fireman's Banquet held at the
Hickory House in Garner. David Markle is honored as Fireman
of the Year. (March 23, 1985) na
1985, Bay Tree Apartments
off Highway 42 west burn. Sunlight reflected from a makeup
mirror on the balcony of apartment 109-H starts fire which causes
extensive damage to roof above balcony. (April 25,
1985, first female firefighter joins, Ginger
Bass. She's the mother of two children, manages an upholstery
business in the business of her home, and is married to fireman
Fred Bass. (November-December 1985)fvi30jan85
1985, apparatus delivery: 1985 E-One pumper/tanker,
1500/1000. Cost $110,496.
Funded by "special tax levied to support the rural department"
plus income from fundraisers and donations. The rural department
(division) now has two pumpers and two tankers, once they sell an
older truck. Delivered by July
10, 1985. (June-July, 1985)fvi10jul85
1985, Bazzel Creek Baptist
Church destroyed by fire. Alarm is received at 4:30 a.m.
and is answered by both Fuquay-Varina and Holly Springs
firefighters. Firefighters remain at scene until about 6
a.m. Church and its contents are insured for $400,00. Arson
is suspected in burning of 119 year-old building and
law-enforcement authorities note that two bomb threats have been
made in recent weeks. (December 27, 1985)fvi?08jan86,
1986, thirteenth annual Firefighter's Banquet
held. David Markle honored as Fireman of the Year. (January 22,
1986, J & L Pet
Grooming Service and Tuggles Tavern burn, both located on
Highway 401 about five miles north of Fuquay, gutted by
flames. Alarm is received at 4:35 a.m.. Both buildings are
fully involved when firefighters arrive, who concentrate on
stopping the spread of flames and saving the remaining businesses
on the block. A fire wall between the tavern and a bingo
parlor helps stop the spread. About 15 firefighters respond,
assisted by 10 members of Fairview Fire Department. At 6:05
p.m., second fire call received for a small building near the
American Legion pond. Four firefighters are dispatched from
fire scene and joined by several others who report to
station. The building, which houses equipment and materials
belonging to the Fuquay-Varina Heating and Air Condition Company,
is destroyed. (February 27, 1986) na
1986, air compressor system purchased by County
and installed at fire station. (Summer 1986) wcfar
1986, residence near Hidden Valley
Golf Course on Highway 55 destroyed by fire.
is reported about 3:20 a.m. and is already engulfed by flames when
firefighters from Fuquay and Angier arrive. Fire takes about
an hour and a half to bring under control and another hour to
extinguish. Water is shuttled by Fuquay-Varina firefighters from a
hydrant at Southbound. Later, Angier firefighters pump water
from a swimming pool about 50 feet from the burning house.
Fuquay-Varina firefighters are injured, Jan Kinton receiving first- and
second-degree facial burns and David Keith receiving first- and
second-degree burns to hands and wrist. Both are hurt at the
front of the two-story house when Keith opens the front door and a
backdraft explosion results.
At the time of explosion, Keith
is just inside the house and wearing an SCBA mask but his gloves
are too short. About six to eight pairs of the shorter gloves are
subsequently removed from service. Kinton is on
the front porch, feeding hose to the firefighters inside the
house, and is not wearing a breathing-air mask. (August 29, 1986) na
1986, Army National Guard
gasoline tanker at intersection of Highway 42 and Main Street
catches fire. Blaze begins about 11:55 a.m. under left rear
of trailer. Four Guardsmen fight fire with extinguishers until
fire department arrives. Police block off highway for about
300 feet until firefighters arrive and suppress the flames. Tanker contains an estimated 5,000 gallons of gasoline and is part
of the 230th Support Battalion based in Durham. Damage is
estimated at $50. (September 6, 1986)fvi10sep86
1986, fire department asks Harnett County Board
of Commissioners to consider establishing fire tax district in
northern area served by Fuquay-Varina fire department, or to
consider financial contributions to fire department.
Chief David Markle reports that firefighters have answered 316
calls to Harnett County in the past five years for an average of
63 calls per year, a figure representing 20 percent of the
department's total calls.
The area of Harnett County covered
by the fire department extends south along Highway 401 to a point
below Kipling and west to the Cokesbury, Baptist Grove, and Duncan
communities. (September 15, 1986)fvi?17sep86
1986, fire department enters contract with Carolina Power and
Light Company to provide supporting fire protection at Shearon
Harris nuclear plant.
The two-year contract will pay the
department $12,000 a year, and the money may be used for any
purpose. The first pay will be made by the end of December of this
year, the second by the end of December 1987. The contract will then
be offered for possible renewal in August 1988.
Under the terms of the contract, the
department agrees to make equipment and manpower available to fight
fires, including fires with radioactivity, if needed. There is no
liability, however, if the fire department is unavailable due to
being at other calls.
The contract is retroactive to August
21. And the Holly Springs Rural Fire Department is expected to sign
a similar contract that week. Both departments will jointly provide
first responder fire support, with whatever agency arrives first as
the "lead fire company."
Federal regulations require the company
to contract for additional fire protection above the five-person
fire brigade that is stationed on site. The outside firefighters
would be summoned only if the brigade cannot handle the fire.
In 1982, Apex and Holly Springs entered
contracts to supplement fire protection at the plant. The Apex Fire
Department recently pulled out of the contract, because of concerns
that it might not be able to provide adequate coverage to both its
district and the power plant.
The company has no expectation of
needed the firemen to fight fires involving radioactivity, but
rather for outlying buildings than the nuclear reaction itself.
Training exercises for local firemen
were planned to start within the next few weeks. Holly Springs
firemen underwent similar training in March. (September 1, 1986)fvi24sep86
1986, apparatus disposal: 1954 Ford/Howe pumper,
the first new fire truck purchased by the rural fire department, is sold to
Onslow Beach Volunteer Fire Department for $1. Some equipment was
also included in the purchase. Since acquiring a new truck last
year, the fire department had been using the 1954 pumper as a
back-up vehicle for fighting woods and brush fires. (October 1986)??22oct86
1986, fire department begins
planning for satellite station in Hilltop.
In a meeting on December 17, 1986,
three committees are established, the first of which is for
finding land. They establish that as the first priority. One
to 1.5 acres are sought, preferably as close to Highway 401 as
possible. Creation of the station would establish a new fire
tax distract which would extend into Willow Springs as well as
north of Hilltop.
The department's plans come as
neighboring departments are making plans to extend their tax
districts. A law passed a year and a half ago allows fire
departments to extend their tax districts from a four-mile area to a
five-mile area. Both Fairview and Garner Station 2 are also
seeking to extend their boundaries.
For a little more than a year, the
department members have been discussing a second fire station.
Firmer planning had started in the last two months.
The new station will require new
members recruited from the area, and the probable purchase of
two tankers and maybe a brush truck. The department already has a
pumper than could be moved to the station.
Funding for the fire station would be
the responsibility of the fire department. Once the station was
built and operational, the taxes raised through the new district
would pay for maintenance and additional equipment. (December 17, 1986)fvi07jan87,
1987, annual Firefighter's Banquet held at
Marriott Hotel in Raleigh. (January 24, 1987) fdr
1987, Piggly Wiggly
grocery store on Wake Chapel Road burns.
Fire is reported
about 10:45 p.m. with about 60 firefighters battling the braze and
successfully preventing spreading to an adjacent pharmacy,
insurance company, restaurant, and laundry. Holly Springs,
Garner, and Fairview fire departments also respond. The Fuquay
Rescue Squad stands by to handle injuries and provide additional
lighting for firefighters.
Investigators later arrive from
the City / County Bureau of Investigation, the Wake County Fire
Marshall's office, the State Bureau of Investigation, and the
Raleigh Fire Department. The fire is suspect to have started
in the rear of the 24-year old building and is brought under
control by 11:30 p.m.
Two firefighters receive minor
injuries, one treated and released after receiving soot in his
eyes and another suffering a bruise on his hand after a hose snaps
out of a hose clamp. Firefighters also receive aid from the
owners of N.C. Chicken and Fish, who open their nearby restaurant
to provide drinks and food. Another onlooker provides donuts. (April
1987, Harnett County Commissioners decline to
include funding in 1987-88 budget for reimbursing fire department.
1987 (?), apparatus delivery:
1987 Ford/____ brush truck, 300/300.
1988 (?), apparatus delivery:
1988 Spartan/FMC pumper, 1250/750.
1989, Carolina Gold Leaf flea
market on Highway 55 destroyed by fire. The fire started in
the right rear corner of the building, after an explosion. One
person was injured, a security guard who lost a portion of his
finger, "in his rush to flee the building." The fire started just
about noon and gutted the wood and metal structure that "was
filled with about $1 million in merchandise." (December 11, 1989) no12dec89
1990 (?), apparatus deliveries:
- 1990 E-One Protector pumper/tanker, 1250/1000
- 1990 Ford/____ elliptical tanker #1 of 2, 450/1500
- 1990 Ford/____ elliptical tanker #1 of 2, 450/1500
1991, news helicopter
crashes off Highway 401.
Three of four occupants aboard Aerospatiale
AS350D Astar killed, when the helicopter crashes around midnight
in a rural field just off Highway 401. It skipped for about 30 yards
and landed upright. The fuselage snapped in two and the front of the
cockpit was destroyed. The sole survivor, a sportcaster, walked away
from the crash and through a mile of dense woods before finding a
residence. The crash was reported at 12:56 a.m., but was believed to
have occurred at least 45 minutes earlier.
From NTSB report: news helicopter was
returning from a reporting assignment at night in VMC conditions.
The sole survivor, a sportscaster, reported that about 20 to 25
minutes before the crash, the engine chip light came on. The light
came on and was reset by the pilot 5 to 10 times. There was also a
loss of torque on the torque gauge. Subsequently, the engine lost
power and the helicopter crash landed in an open field. The
survivor's seat belt failed in the crash due to an improper
installation, and he was thrown clear of the wreckage. [ Probably
cause of accident is ] pilot's improper decision in continuing the
flight with a known engine problem, and the subsequent seizure of
the number two engine bearing, resulting in engine stoppage.
Darkness [is] a related factor. (December 7, 1991) ntsb,
1991, fire station #2 completed
at 5617 Hilltop Road. oh
1993, first paid
personnel hired: one Captain and four firefighters for daytime
coverage. (August 1993) fdr
1995 (?), apparatus deliveries:
- 1995 Freightliner/S&S elliptical tanker #1 of 2, 500/1500
- 1995 Freightliner/S&S elliptical tanker #2 of 2, 500/1500
- 1995 Freightliner/S&S service truck.
(?), apparatus delivery:
1997 Chevy 1500 pick-up.
1998, apparatus delivery: 1997
Spartan/4 Guys pumper 1500/750. (February
1999, rural fire department merges with town.
The fire department becomes a town department.
files Articles of Dissolution on February 17, 1999.oh, ncsos
1999, full-time personnel staffing schedule
changed to 24-hour shifts. (July 1999) fdr
2000, apparatus deliveries:
two 2000 Ford F150
covered-pick-up trucks. (July 2000) fdr
2001 (?), apparatus delivery: 2001 Pierce Dash 100' platform ladder, 2000/300.
2003, fire station #3 opens at 2474 Bud Lipscomb Road.
(February 3, 2003) fdws
2007 - Apparatus delivery: 2007 Pierce Contender pumper-tanker,
1500/1000. Delivered around May 1, 2007.lw
2009 - Apparatus delivery: 2009 Pierce Contender pumper-tanker,
1500/1000. Delivered May 12. New Engine 5. Placed in service
on May 23, 2009.lw
2010 - Station 1 expansion completed.
The 1978 building is renovated and expanded. Work starts by
September 2009. Completed by March 2010. Improvements an addition on
the east side of building, renovations on the west side of the
building, including new lobby area, administrative offices,
classroom, and kitchen. (Spring 2010)lw
2011 - Apparatus delivery: 2011 International TerraStar/KME
medium-duty walk-around rescue. New Rescue 3. Delivered October 28,
2012 - Apparatus delivery: 2012 Pierce Saber pumper-tanker,
1500/2000. New Engine 2. Delivered June 2. Placed in service
July 20, 2012.lw
2015 - Station 2 renovated and expanded.
Calvin Davenport Inc. is awarded the
construction contract in the fall of 2014, for the amount of
$871,734. The 6,000 square-foot facility is renovated, with 2,000
square-feet of living space added along with an additional apparatus
bay. The project is funded through a cost share agreement between
the town and Wake County EMS. The expansion is needed to accommodate
increased service demand.mjl-blog
See Wake County Fire Chiefs
County apparatus register (pdf).
Raleigh Fire Museum photo albums.
- cfd Cary Fire Department records
- fdr Fire department records
- fdws Fire department web site
- fvi The Independent
- lw Lee Wilson
- mjl-blog Legeros Fire Blog
- na Newspaper article
- oh Oral history
- no News and Observer
- sos NC Department of the Secretary
- tws Town Web Site
- wcfa Wake County Firemen's
- wcfa1 Wake County Firemen's
Association minutes dated May 13, 1958
Last updated: February 6, 2017
Copyright 2017 by Michael J. Legeros