- Originally named Six Forks Road Volunteer Fire Department, Incorporated.
- Protects 600 homes in Chestnut Hills, Millbrook, Crestview, Farrior
Hills, Northwood, and Belview Terrace, in unincorporated areas along
Six Forks Road north of the city limits.
Road named after
original intersections of Six Forks, Strickland, Baileywick, and
Lead Mine roads. Incorporated on June 5, 1956.sos, rt27nov56
fire truck is 1956 Ford/American pumper with front-mounted
Barton pump, 500/500. Cost $7,500. Delivered by September
sold to Falls Fire Department.rt27nov56, oh
1956, second fire truck is
a military surplus tanker, 1500 gallons, and obtained through
the federal government. It was delivered by September 1956.
fire station is converted barn on south side of Howells Store
at 4129 Six Forks Road, which was located just south of the
second/southern section of Lassiter's Mille Road and Six Forks Road.
Later location of Firestone Tires at North Hills Mall. The barn had
room for one fire engine, and a canvas tarp covering the opening.
There was a 7.5 HP siren on a pole beside the barn. The barn was being
used as a fire station by September 1956.oh
1958, two-way radio installed at fire station. Radio
equipment shipped from Motorola Communications & Electronics Inc.,
as sold to the Wake County Volunteer Fire Association and confirmed
in a customer confirmation letter dated January 27, 1958.
One CD/L43GGB-2 SP17 station transmitter and receiver,
with "S" filter and with quickcall, operating frequency 154.190 - $368.00
One instruction book
- No cost
One P-8629J/G Decoder, Group L-H, DL-HC - $36.00
Four P-7810 Vibrasponders, 1-D, 1-L, 1-H, 1-C - $10.00 each
One TU-475 handset - $28.50
One TU-527 hangup - $15.00
One P-8851 antenna, operating frequency 154.190 - $35.00
One TK-173 Line Kit 100-feet - $30.90
One base station installation - $150.00
Shipped on March 12, 1958.nwfd
1958, home at or near
Lassiter's Mill burns. The four-room frame house catches fire
about 8:00 a.m. Reported the Raleigh Times on February 12, 1956:
Forest E. Reel, 37, local
repairman, his wife Frances and their three sons--Raymond, 9, Morris,
7, and Ellis, 2, sat down to breakfast as usual at about 8 o'clock
The water pipes were frozen,
though, and Reel brought a fire pot to light it from the fire in
fireplace, and [to] take it outside to thaw the pipes. As he did so,
the pot blew up in his hands.
And almost before he could
turn around, the fire had spread completely around the ground at the
table, cutting off all possible exits.
There was only one chance
for escape, and Reel took it. He herded the family up the stairs to
the second floor. There he broke a window, jumped out on the roof, and
from there to the ground. He then got a ladder and helped the rest of
the family to climb out.
Reel suffered burns around
the his ankles, but the rest of the family escaped unhurt. However,
they lost everything they had.
The house, built in 1906,
was destroyed. It was leased to the Reels by the Lassiter's milling
Company. The company had owned it since 1943.
The story included a photograph by Ed Chabot of the
Six Forks pumper and firefighters spraying water on the burning home.
(February 12, 1956)
the main building at Lassiter's Mill is destroyed by fire.
The early morning fire is
discovered about 2 a.m., with flames seen breaking through the roof of
the decades-old grist mill. About 25 volunteer firemen from Six
Forks and New Hope fire departments respond. The fire is well underway
by the time they arrived. The Raleigh Fire Department also responded.
Crews battled the
blaze until 7:00 a.m., and prevented the flames from spreading to the
nearby lumber mill. The small office and the warehouse of the grain
mill were also not damaged, nor was the bridge over the creek.
Two fire engines pumped
water from Crabtree Creek, which was the source of the mill's power.
As the News & Observer reported, "they sprayed the flaming wood
building for three hours." The Raleigh Times added that "flames licked
as high as 80 feet, searing the trees which towered above the mill."
Three explosions were also
heard, likely the sound of tires exploding. One truck was destroyed,
and "five tires on the truck burst in the holocaust," noted the Times.
The damage was estimated at
$100,000. Neither the mill, nor the machinery, nor the stock were
insured. They typically stored from 1,000 to 2,000 bushels of corn in
the building, along with a lot of meal.
The cause was not
determined. Some suspected a heating stove, but the mill's owner and
operator Miss Mary V. Lassiter said the heater hadn't been used since
the last winter.
Production and distribution
of corn meal and feed was expected to continue, with Lassiter
continuing service to customers through their "miller friends." Most
grocery stores in Raleigh were supplied with meal from the mill. She
also noted that they planned to rebuild. [The mill was never rebuilt.]
The mill was founded in 1907
by the late Cornelius J. Lassiter, and father of Mary. He operated it
until 1945. The road that the mill was on was since named Lassiter's
Mill Road. The mill was sold in 1945 to Mary, her brother, and a
brother-in-law. In 1948, Mary purchased the entire estate. The
newspaper noted that she was the only female grain mill operator in
the nation who was a member of the Operations Miller Association.
(November 8, 1958) no09nov58, rt09nov58
1958, David H. Pattishall is Fire
1958-59, duty schedule lists the following members:
- Squad 1
- Paul Long
- Andrew H. Ward
- Robert L. Hawkins
- Charles Peterson
- Squad 2
- Allen Thompson
- H. L. Wicker
- Harry Goodman
- Roger Bostic
- Squad 3
- J. W. Huff
- Bob Denton
- J. B. Upchurch
- John Brady
- Joe Eason
- Jerry Stephens
- Squad 4
- Raymond C. Jones
- Russell Nicholson
- J. Boyd Smith
- Daniel B. Dixon
- Raymond E. Jones
- D. H. Pattishall
- W. T. Hall
- Charles Newton
- Walter Boothnwfd
1959, May - David Pattishall is Fire Chief.
1959, circa, second fire station is a tin structure
with a gravel floor in the 4400 block of Six Forks Road, on the east
side of Six Forks, about mid-block. The building had room for two
trucks, and a pair of pivoting doors. It was erected by March 1959.
The fire department vacated its original location behind Howell's Store.oh
1959, September - Raymond C. Jones is Fire Chief.
Fire department signs agreement with Carolina Power & Light Company,
for electric power for fire siren, from September 18, 1959, to
September 18, 1964, with automatic extension every five years. Did the
fire station have electric service prior to this date? To be
determined. (September 17, 1959)nwfd
1960, home and former
school building at Millbrook burns. The house, valued at
$15,000, originally contained two rooms had been recently remodeled
with five more added. The fire department poured water on the fire
for several hours before bringing it under control, reported the
Raleigh Times. Mrs. Charles Billing, a widow, lived alone in the
home. Defective wiring in the attic was cited as the probable cause.
(May 9, 1960)rt60may10
1961, Norwood Lumber Company at Millbrook
burns. The main plain mill and about 8,000 to 10,000 board-feet
of lumber id destroyed. The fire starts about 10:00 p.m. Firemen from
SFFD, Stony Hill, and New Hope respond. The fire is controlled before
midnight. Residents near the mill heard an explosion just before the
fire was discovered. It apparently started in a tool said, said the
firemen. The firm was one of the oldest lumber companies in this part
of the state, noted the News & Observer on March 7, 1961. The planing
mill and its machinery were located in a 40 by 80 foot open building.
A truck parked next to the building was also burned. The burned lumber
was stored in and around the building. Crews noted that the damage
would have been greater if there had been any wind on the other
largely windless night. The mill is located just east of Old Wake
Forest Road. (March 6, 1961)
apparatus delivery: 1961 International pumper. Later
donated/sold to North Carolina Zoological Park in Asheboro, and becomes first fire engine at zoo.
fire station location is 5305 Six Forks Rd. Three-bay
building constructed. Present location of EMS station #3. The 7.5 HP siren is
moved farther north on Six Forks Road, to a spot
near Northclift, near Sandy Forks Road. The alarm on the
building itself is a 12-volt, battery-powered vehicle siren. oh,
1963, city opens Fire Station 9 at 4465 Six Forks Road, across
the street and slightly north of the prior Six Forks fire station
1964, June. Fire department has the following radio equipment: base
station, three mobile units, and seven monitor receivers. Source: Wake
County Fire Radio Net Equipment and Contract Maintenance Cost Per
Month - June 30, 1964.nwfd
1964-65. Annual county budget appropriation is $1,200. Source:
1964-65 Budget Request Wake County Rural Fire Districts. nwfd
1964-65, members listed in attendance record book, covering July
1964 to September 1965.
- Averette, Hunter
- Barham, David
- Bass, Hugh
- Bass, William - Crossed out, no attendance
- Bell, Ward - Crossed out
- Beal, Billy - Crossed out, no attendance
- Champion, Norman - Crossed out
- Daniely, Danny - Crossed out
- Goodman, Harry - Crossed out
- Huff, J. W. - Crossed out
- Kelly, Thomas - Crossed out
- Jeffreys, Bennett
- Jones, Raymond
- Moore, Jack
- Morgan, Bob
- Nicholson, Russell
- Powell, Herman - Crossed out
- Pritchard, Charlie
- Richardson, Frank - Crossed out
- Rogers, J. B.
- Sanford, Bernard E., Sr.
- Sanford, Bernard, E. Jr.
- Terry, Frank
- Terry, Joe
- Truelove, Robert - Crossed out, no attendance
- Ward, Andrew - Crossed out
- Wilder, David - Crossed out
- Stoffregen, Billy - Crossed out
- Custer, Richard, L. P.nwfd
1965 (?), apparatus
delivery: 1965 Chevrolet tanker, 1500 gallons. Originally painted yellow.
1971, fire department profiled in the Northside
News, a local newspaper. Personnel for July 1971 to 1972:
Chief - Hunter Averette
Asst. Chief - Dan Danleley
President - Graddy Long
President - Jack Moore
Secretary - Fred Lynn
Treasurer - Russill
See bottom of page for full article text. (June
1972, Norwood Lumber Company
at Millbrook burns. The sawmill area is destroyed.
The fire begins shortly
before 3:00 a.m. The Bay Leaf Fire Department is dispatched, and they
arrive to find the tin-roofed sawmil engulfed in flames. The shed was
about 30 by 80 feet in size. "Firemen from the Wake-New Hope and Six
Forks departments were also summoned almost immediately" said Bay Leaf
Fire Chief George Norwood in the Raleigh Times on March 23, 1972.
The mill was owned by
Norwood's brother John H. Norwood and his nephew Jack E. Norwood.
"Electric motors, saws and other electric mill equipment" were
destroyed. Neither the Bay Leaf nor New Hope fire chief had any idea
how the fire started. It was spotted by a woman who lived beside the
mill. She notified Jack Norwood, who called BLFD.
The fire was confined to the
sawmill area, and no lumber was burned. The nearby lumber was "green",
which helped. About 60 firemen answered the call, and remained on
scene until 4:40 a.m. The mill was one of the oldest in Wake County.
(March 20, 1972)
1974, fourth fire station location is 1431
Lynn Rd. Three-bay building measuring 50 x 50 feet
constructed. Or the following years and decades, the building is
renovated four or five times, with expansions and addition including
added bays on either side of original three, added bays in rear, and
demolition of the added rear bays and construction of a two-story
rear addition. Siren is also moved from Northclift location to outside
station a couple years later, or retired and not moved to the
station. [Conflicting accounts.]oh
1976, fire department members form
Six Forks Rescue Squad. Only rescue squad in Wake County not
affiliated with a municipality. For first ten years of operation,
members must be either member or spouse of member of Six Forks Fire
Department. See EMS and
rescue squad histories. oh
1977, fire engine donated to North Carolina
Zoological Park in Asheboro.
The 1961 International
pumper becomes the Zoo's first fire engine. The apparatus is received
by December 1977, when a High Point Enterprise story from December 13,
1977, recounts: "Itís big, red and has four wheels and a siren, and
itís a Christmas present to the North Carolina State Zoological Park
from firemen across the state. Itís a fire truck equipped and
refurbished at a cost of $6,000. Zoological Park Director Bill Hoff
said that he and park officials were very happy to get the truck as a
The story also notes that
the idea to give the truck to the zoo originated in 1973 when the Wake
County Firemenís Association set up a zoological committee to raise
$30,000 to buy a new fire truck for the zoo. The Wake County firemen
got the ball rolling by donating $500 and then asked the other fire
districts across the state to contribute.mjl-blog:
1978, apparatus roster
|1971 Ford F-900/American LaFrance pumper
|1977 Dodge Custom 300/American LaFrance mini-pumper
|1965 Chevrolet tanker
|1970 Chevrolet 90 Series utility van
|13000 KVW generator and complete lighting system
- 1970 Chevrolet 90 Series van, used as utility unit.
- 1971 Ford F-900 / American LaFrance
- 1977 Dodge Custom 300 / American LaFrance brush
- 1980 Ford C-8000/EEI pumper-tanker, 350/1500. Hale pump,
ladder track across top. Also used as service truck to transport
extension ladders. Wrecked in 1987, with cab, body, and engine replaced
and tank reduced to 1000 gallons.fdr
- 1982 Mack CF/EEI pumper, 1000/500. Waterous pump.
- 1985 Mack CF/EEI pumper-tanker, 1250/1500. Hale pump.
- 1986 Mack CF/EEI pumper-tanker, 1250/1500. Hale pump.
Also delivered early in the decade was a Eagle Air/EEI tandem-axle
mobile air trailer. It was typically pulled by the brush truck, and
responded as requested to Raleigh and other county departments, for
mutual aid requests.
Fire Chief - 100 - Don Adams
Asst. Chief - 101 - Dave Campbell
Asst. Chief - 102 - Fred Stephenson - Equipment, maintenance,
Asst. Chief - 103 - Phil Woodlief - Safety, haz-mat, training
Ann Lynn - Support Staff - Education, inspections, PIO, station
- Capt. F. Lynn
- Lt. B. Edmunson
- E. Moxin
- G. Bonner
- T. Warner
- T. Lesslie
- Capt. B. Stephenson
- Lt. L. Cockrell
- J. Vanderbee
- A. Bass
- R. Edmundson
- D. Lynn
- Capt. M. Schell
- R. Johnson
- B. Jeffreys
- Capt. R. Warner
- Lt. M. Howard
- E. Tate
- M. Davidson
- J. Emory
- Capt. R. Chappell
- Lt. J. Fialka
- E. Dew
- T. Damon
- Capt. H. Bass
- J. Gray
- W. Wilson
1994, apparatus roster
||1986 Mack/EEI pumper/tanker
||1982 Mack/EEI pumper
||1991 Chevy step van/mobile air unit
||1985 Mack/EEI pumper/tanker
||1980 Ford C-8000/EEI tanker
||1976 Dodge/American LaFrance brush truck
2002, department merges with Bay Leaf
Due to continued
annexations of their district by the city, their territory has been
reduced to 3.8 square miles. To ensure their future, they join forces
with nearby BLFD. They protect roughly 1,500 households, and in
February, letters and ballots are sent to each household. Every adult
in the coverage area is eligible to vote. The merger does not affect
Six Forks Rescue Squad, which shares quarters with the fire
The Board of Directors
President is Patrick S. O'Boyle. He worries about bad publicity from a
recent public audit that revealed mismanaged funds at the Knightdale
Volunteer Fire Department. He tells the News & Observer in a February
1, 2002, story, that without the merger, the department's funding will
shrink until it cannot operate. Already each year, he notes, the
department dips into its reserve funds.
SFFD operates on
$225,000 per year, and hasn't purchased new equipment since 1984.
Notes O'Boyle, "3.8 [square] miles doesn't generate a lot of revenue."
BLFD, meanwhile, has two stations and adds taxpayers to its coverage
area almost daily. They're also busier than SFFD, which averages less
than one call per day. BLFD responded to 660 calls last year.
The Six Forks district
includes several neighborhoods surrounded by city land. Because they
don't pay taxes, the city doesn't want to become their fire service
provider. Plus, notes O'Boyle, the fire hydrants in those
neighborhoods don't match city specifications. Thus fire trucks with
more water than the city typically carries must be used.
Thus their fire station is
still needed, notes Raleigh Fire Chief Earl Fowler. "It's not outdated
and they're not going anywhere," he tells the paper, "It's just that
their response area has become so small."
Approval of the merger by
the households in the district is expected. The county is also
planning to prepare next year's budget with the combined departments.
Upon the merger, Bay Leaf
will receive all Six Forks assets, including the mortgage-free fire
station on Lead Mine Road, five fire trucks, an air support unit, and
thirty firefighters, eight of whom are paid. They also receive rent
from the facility, paid by the tenant (Six Forks Rescue Squad?).
By the February 7 deadline,
reports the News & Observer on February 15, 2002, voters overwhelming
support the merger. Of the roughly 1,500 ballots mailed in late
January, twenty percent are returned. Only four of those are against
the plan. The merger will be executed on July 1. The fire station will
phase in the Bay Leaf name.
Before merger, Six Forks Fire Department is
oldest fire department in Wake County not affiliated with a
municipality. (July 1, 2002)no01feb02, no15feb02
Northside News - June 16, 1971
Volunteer Fire Department Renders Great Service
It all began for the Six Forks Fire Department back in 1956. The first fire
station was located where the present Wachovia Bank sits in North Hills. The
single fire truck was kept in an addition to Bill Howell's store.
Next, the station moved across Six Forks Road to the area where the NCNB
North Hills Branch stands. And in 1962, the station found its present location.
Now, the Six Forks Fire Station is sentinel for over $14,000,000 in personal
property. The 26 men of the fire department and their three trucks have an
awesome responsibility. The area covered by the department runs from the west of
N.C. number 50 all the way to the Old Wake Forest Road. They serve as far north
as the Six Forks community.
Although the Six Forks Fire Department is an all-volunteer group, it is
extremely professional. The firemen are dedicated men who know their business.
Their equipment is also of high quality. The most recent acquisition, a 1970
American LaFrance pumper with a 500-gallon capacity. It is, appropriately
enough, Engine number 1. Engine number 2 is a 1961 International pumper and
number 3 is a 1500-gallon 1965 Chevrolet tanker.
The department has fought its share of the big fires. They were called to aid
in the battles against blazes at the Angus Barn, the Raleigh Stockyards, the Six
Forks Community Grocery, the Millbrook High School Field House, and the Capital
City Auction Building. The men of the department have also seen their share of
tragedy. They answered the call to a home in the Bayleaf Community where three
people died in a blaze.
The bizarre has teased the firemen on several occasions. They vividly
remember the night when an all-day rain had turned into snow and sleet. It was
the kind of weather that made any kind of fire seem to be an insult to nature's
efforts to wet the world. But it happened. At 3:00 a.m., the call came in. The
dispatcher said that there was a tree fire, and the firemen at first couldn't
believe it. Had ice and snow started burning? Hurrying to the scene, the men
found a mammoth oak tree at least four feet in diameter, burning away in the
snow and sleet. They proceeded to douse the flames, but that fire has entered
the annals of the department.
Distance means nothing to the Six Forks volunteers. They have rushed to the
scene as far away as Franklinton and Henderson. The volunteer departments in the
north Wake County area have an agreement whereby each will help the other. The
other departments in the understanding for mutual help are the Durham Highway
department, Bayleaf, Wake New Hope, Falls of Neuse, and the Fairgrounds.
The above departments are all volunteer, and their support is the best buy
around for the property owners in the districts served by the departments. The
property taxes of the district pay the way for maintenance and equipment
acquisition. Ten cents of each property tax dollar goes to the local fire
department, and although the county offers adequate support for the fire
department, buying a new pumper can be a task of major proportions. At Six
Forks, the new American LaFrance pumper cost about $24,000.
Costs for the citizen and the county are minimal when placed beside those of
the individual fireman. The fireman receives no compensation. He is on call any
time, day or night. He carries a portable monitor with him in his car and to his
home. His wife may be assigned a base station monitor for the week. If an alarm
sounds, she must call all of the firemen on her list whether they be at home or
at work. She then calls other base monitors to make certain that the other women
have alerted the firemen on their lists.
The alarm system is quite intricate. No call actually goes to the Six Forks
Station. Instead, all calls go directly to the central dispatcher at Fire
Station Number One downtown. As the call is taken, the dispatcher presses a
button which sets off the alarm on Six Forks Road, and at the same time, the
portable monitors and the base monitors manned at the firemen's homes.
Chief Hunter Averette stressed the point that it is best if the person
calling in a fire will take his time and give complete information. The alarm is
set off once the dispatcher knows the area of the fire. Additional details will
in no way slow down the firemen's getting to the scene. They will receive the
additional facts about the fire while on their way to the station or to the
actual scene. Chief Averette says that talking a little more will get the
firemen there all the quicker.
The firemen realize that the siren near Northclift is quite loud, but they
said that whenever it pierced the air, someone is in serious trouble and needs
The siren goes off for one short blast every Tuesday night for an equipment
test. And if you hear if at 7:00 p.m. the first Monday night of each month, it
is a Civil Defense test. If you find the noise irritating, just let it pass, for
the sound of security should outweigh any momentary discomfort.
Chief Averette said that any call is as important as another, and that the
department didn't know a rich man from a poor man when it comes to fighting a
fire. He also said that people should not be embarrassed to report a fire,
whether actual or suspected. He said that one should not feel that his problem
is not important enough to call the fire department. If you even think you might
have a bad situation, the chief says that you should call in.
The thoughts of Chief Averette reflect the philosophy of the volunteer
firefighters of the Six Forks Volunteer Fire Department. They are men dedicated
to service. Their reward is the knowledge that they can help their fellow
citizens in times of trouble. They face dangers on every call, yet they know
more of life at its crisis moments. The spirit of fellowship and companionship
among the firemen themselves is another rarity in the life of a growing
Working as a team for the betterment of their community, the men of the Six
Forks Volunteer Fire Department reflect the true spirit of American democracy.
This transcript originally appeared as a
Legeros Fire Blog posting on August 27, 2010.
See Wake County Fire Chiefs
County apparatus register (pdf).
Raleigh Fire Museum photo albums.
- cfd Cary Fire Department records
- dah NC Department of Archives and
- fdr Fire department records
- oh Oral history
- sos NC Department of the Secretary
- wcfa Wake County Firemen's
- wcrer Wake County Real Estate
Last updated: July 24, 2007
Copyright 2017 by Michael J. Legeros