Fire Department History

The history of the Fire Department is below. This page includes line of duty deaths.

Page updated on Oct 21, 2015 at 12:27 PM

pump engine1774 - 2000 FRIENDSHIP FIRE COMPANY
100 Block of South Alfred Street.

Established 5 August 1774. Deactivated as active fire company. Merged with the Crescent Fire Company in 1834. The last station is now a museum and was built in 1855. Friendship Fire Company is now a philanthropic organization. Learn more at the Friendship Firehouse Museum.

SUN FIRE COMPANY
Market Alley, North Fairfax and Cameron Streets.

Established 12 January 1775. Merged temporarily with Hydraulion during Civil War Occupation. Company disbanded after the Civil War due to destruction wrought by U.S. Government forces on equipment.

steam engineRELIEF SOCIETY
Originally 319 Prince Street, then to 317 Prince Street.

Established 23 June, 1788. Known as the Relief Engine and Truck Company. Company disbanded by April 1863 due to destruction wrought by U.S. Occupation forces on equipment. Reorganized 1 May 1867 following the war. Currently "Engine 201".

STAR FIRE COMPANY
Located at 109 South Saint Asaph prior to 1961, when company moved to its present location at 900 Second Street.

Established 4 March 1799. Company disbanded by April 1863 due to destruction wrought by U.S. Occupation forces on equipment. Reorganized following the war. Changed name to Columbia Steam Fire Engine Company in 1871. Changed name to Columbia Motor Fire Engine Company in 1920. Currently "Engine 204".

HYDRAULION FIRE COMPANY
209 North Royal Street

Established 1827. Company disbanded by April 1863 due to destruction wrought by U.S. Occupation forces on equipment. Reorganized following the war. Dissolved around 1900. Some members founded Reliance Company. Merged temporarily with Sun during Occupation.

RELIANCE COMPANY
115 North Patrick Street

Formed by members of old Hydraulion Fire Company in 1903. Currently "Engine 205" at 1210 Cameron Street.

U.S. STEAM FIRE HOUSE
South Side of Princess Street, between Lee & Fairfax Street.

Established and operated by U.S. Army Quartermaster Department during U.S. Government occupation. Virtually all equipment owned by the other Fire Companies in the city was destroyed or badly damaged by the occupation forces.

POTOMAC FIRE DEPARTMENT
213 E. Windsor Avenue.

Established 6 November, 1924. Currently "Engine 202".

NOTES

  • First mechanized apparatus: 1915 ALF Triple Combination Pumper
  • Mechanized apparatus changeover complete in 1919-1920.
  • Department made paid department by act of City Council in 1866.
  • First paid man: Joseph Young at $70.00/month. Also hired were a driver and "man to keep the boiler fired."

LINE OF DUTY DEATHS

NAME
LOCATION
CAUSE OF DEATH
COMPANY
Charles Glasscock
Unknown
Struck by Engine, 1852
Friendship
James Keene
100 Block of King St.
Building Collapse, 1855
Star
George Plain
100 Block of King St.
Building Collapse, 1855
Star
Robert J. Taylor
100 Block of King St.
Building Collapse, 1855
Star
John A. Roach, Jr.
100 Block of King St.
Building Collapse, 1855
Star
Carson Green
100 Block of King St.
Building Collapse, 1855
Star
William L. Evans
100 Block of King St.
Building Collapse, 1855
Star
G. David Appich
100 Block of King St.
Building Collapse, 1855
Relief
George W. Whalen
Jones Point Shipyard
Fall, 1925
Motor Co. 1
Capt. Roger Welker
100 Block of N. Fairfax St.
Heart Attack, 1965
Engine Co. 5
FF Harry Moss
St. Stephens School
Heart Attack, 1975
Engine Co. 6
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