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ATLANTA FIRE RESCUE

2012


DEDICATION This book is being printed as a historical document honoring those men and women who have served not only the residents of the City of Atlanta but themselves and their fellow Firefighters. Every day “Atlanta’s Bravest” report to duty committed to provide the best in class service know to mankind. These well training, highly motivated members of Atlanta Fire Rescue are pictured in this “130 years of History” book for your review. Please take the time to look at each one knowing that they are prepared to lay down their lives to protect the City they serve. Many have come before and some have lost their battle and forfeited their lives doing the job the so loved. The Vision: “Atlanta Fire Rescue strives for excellence in emergency preparedness and response, to enhance our customer-focused, innovative role as industry leaders, while overcoming expanding risks.” The Mission: “Atlanta Fire Rescue shall provide prompt quality services to our stakeholders that promotes safety, security, enhances sustainability, and enriches quality of life through professional development and dedication to service.”

Deputy Chief Stephen B. Campbell

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Dedication


ACKNOWLEDGEMENT What you have in your hands is the work of hundreds of people. These range from those who actually worked the historical events, to those who took time to record those important historical moments therefore allowing all future generations to read about and learn what made the Atlanta Fire Rescue Department we know today. This book is dedicated to all those involved in taking the time to record the history of the Atlanta Fire Rescue Department. Especially to those who gave of themselves to make the history we write about but most of all, to those who gave their lives to protect the City of Atlanta. Specific thanks must be given to Deputy Chief Stephen B. Campbell who would research and record his findings on a manual Underwood typewriter. Chief Campbell, who was known for his two finger typing style, would work for hours every shift to record the history of the City of Atlanta, the Atlanta Fire Department and most of its major incidents. His work would document the Atlanta Fire Department from its volunteer days of 1847 through the first days of becoming a paid department in 1882. His recordings would continue to document Atlanta Fire’s history well into the early 1980’s. Chief Campbell retired from active duty on 31 December 1974 but remained active in recording Atlanta Fire Department’s history until his death on 26 March 1981. The public got to see some of this work in the “Prompt to Action” book he published in 1960. Deputy Chief Campbell, Battalion Chief Ray Gossett and Metropolitan Fire Association member Hugh Brannon would produce a second volume of “Prompt to Action” in 1975 documenting another 15 years of Atlanta Fire Department’s history. Several more books have been produced since that time with each one bringing the historical documentation forward to the present. Many items would have to be severely edited or deleted due to page limitations. Under the direction of Retired Assistant Chief William Rhodes a staff of volunteers has produced this book. We have fine-tuned existing information, thoroughly researched many pages of Chief Campbell’s notes. We have been able to find never before used information and generated a new detailed section covering from 1882 to 1959. We found old additional major incidents which had not been included and these are now added to the historic fires section, some with details previously unknown. Sadly we also have some gaps in the early 2000’s where computer records are no longer available. Therefore you will see where there are some gaps in the details concerning major events. When looking at the yearbooks of many

departments large and small in many cases their history sections are pretty thin on detail. Thanks to former Chiefs Steve Campbell, Ray Gossett, Joe Tolbert, David Chamberlin and others, Atlanta Fire Rescue is fortunate to have hundreds of pages of “our” history. We believe you will be proud to own this 2012 edition of Atlanta Fire 130 years of history. Specific thanks go to Retired AFD Captain Bob Gish and MFA member Dave Williams for hours of reviewing, editing and scanning of documents at several locations. Their efforts gave the facts, dates and additional detail captured in this book. Also to Mrs. Donna Bowman, wife of Chief Danny Bowman who himself has a 40+ year career with Atlanta, Fulton County Fire ,and currently serves as the Department Chief of the Forsyth County Fire Department. Donna spent tireless hours of “proof reading” all of these pages correcting where we used a two-fingered typing method and made numerous mistakes. Thanks goes to Captain Derek Harris for his work on the Line of Duty Death Section, and his Fire (hot shots) photo review. Thanks goes out to Retired Chief William Rhodes for hours spent on editing and developing the individual sections and divisions of the Atlanta Fire Rescue Department. Special acknowledgement goes to Section Chief G. Shinkle and Deputy Chief M. Simmons for providing their support in getting the responsibilities and mission statements for each Division and Section shown in this book. Thanks to everyone who provided their time and photos that were used to enhance this book especially the photos compliments of John Spink & Phil Skinner Atlanta Journal Constitution, Greg Simpson, Phillip Levy, and many of the members of the Atlanta Fire Rescue Department. We could not have produced this book without the professional guidance of the staff at Peachtree Portraits. Special thanks to them for allowing us to bring this book to life. Most of all we extend our thanks to (our International Fire Chief of the Year 2012) Kelvin J. Cochran for supporting this project. Without his support many of the needs and requirements of producing this book could not have taken place. Dave E. Williams, CFPS Historical Editor – Honorary Battalion Chief – Atlanta Fire Rescue Department Metropolitan Fire Association - Atlanta GA

Acknowledgement

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2675 Peachtree Square Atlanta, GA 30360 (770) 934-2277 Book design and layout by Francis Faustino Copyright Š 2013 H.S. Photo Processing, Inc. All rights reserved Publishing Rights: H.S. Photo Processing, Inc. This book or any part thereof may not be reproduced without the express written consent of the publisher. Library of Congress Control Number: 2013901609 ISBN: 978-1-939022-07-3 Printed in the U.S.A.


Table of Contents Dedication ..................................................................................................... 2 Acknowledgement ........................................................................................ 3 Table of Contents ........................................................................................ 5 Mayor Kasim Reed ....................................................................................... 6 Atlanta City Council..................................................................................... 7 Fire Chief Kelvin J. Cochran ...................................................................... 8 Our Fire Chiefs ............................................................................................. 9 Fallen Firefighters......................................................................................... 20 History 1847-1882 The Volunteer Years .................................................. 29 History 1882-1982 The First Hundred Years .......................................... 48 History 1983-2012 Beginning The Second Century ............................... 94 Rescue and EMS History of The Atlanta Fire Department ................. 109 130 Years of Historic Fires 1882-2012 ..................................................... 112 Apparatus of The Past ................................................................................ 252 2012 Organization Chart............................................................................. 256 Fire Chief ’s Office........................................................................................ 258 Fire Chaplin’s Office .................................................................................... 259 Chief of Staff / Business Management Section..................................... 260 Public Information Officer / Assessment & Planning .......................... 261 Office of Professional Standards / Office of Recruitment .................. 262 Homeland Security & Emergency Preparedness..................................... 263 Technical Services Division ........................................................................ 264 Office Human Resources / Community Risk Reduction ...................... 265 Fire Inspections Section .............................................................................. 266 Fire Investigations Section .......................................................................... 267 Community Affairs Section ........................................................................ 268 Communications & Information Technology / Capital Projects......... 269 Technical Services Logistics Group........................................................... 270 Atlanta Fire Training Academy................................................................... 271 Field Operations Division........................................................................... 273 Special Operations Section ......................................................................... 274 Emergency Medical Services ...................................................................... 275 Tactical Medic ............................................................................................... 276 AFR Battalion Map ...................................................................................... 277 Division One Assistant Chief ’s Office...................................................... 278 Battalion 2...................................................................................................... 279 Station 8, Station 9, Station 16, Station 22, Station 28, Station 38 Battalion 3...................................................................................................... 288 Station 1, Squad 4, Company 6, Station 11, Station 12, Station 15, Station 19 Battalion 4...................................................................................................... 302 Station 5, Station 14, Station 17, Station 20, Station 25, Station 31 Battalion 5...................................................................................................... 312 Station 2, Station 10, Station 13, Station 18, Station 30, Station 34 Battalion 6...................................................................................................... 322 Station 3, Station 21-GSAR, Station 23, Station 26, Station 27, Station 29 Hartsfield Jackson International Airport Operations Division............. 334 Battalion 7...................................................................................................... 339 Station 24, Station 32, Station 33, Station 35, Station 40 The Atlanta Fire Foundation ...................................................................... 350 Honor Guard ................................................................................................ 352 Atlanta Fire Rescue Retirees ....................................................................... 354 Metro Fire Association ................................................................................ 356 Book Committee .......................................................................................... 358 Index............................................................................................................... 359


MAYOR KASIM REED

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ATLANTA CITY COUNCIL

Michael Julian Bond Post 1 At-Large

Aaron Watson Post 2 At-Large

H. Lamar Willis Post 3 At-Large

Carla Smith District 1

Kwanza Hall District 2

Ivory Lee Young, Jr. District 3

Cleta Winslow District 4

Natalyn Archibong District 5

Alex Wan District 6

Howard Shook District 7

Yolanda Adrean District 8

Felixia A. Moore District 9

C.T. Martin District 10

Keisha Lance Bottoms District 11

Joyce M. Sheperd District 12

Ceasar C. Mitchell Atlanta City Council, President 7


FIRE CHIEF KELVIN J. COCHRAN

CITY OF ATLANTA KASIM REED MAYOR

FIRE – RESCUE DEPARTMENT 226 Peachtree St., SW Atlanta, GA 30303-3749 (404) 546-7000 * FAX (404) 546-8761 ICHIEFS ID – ATLFDHQ

KELVIN J. COCHRAN FIRE CHIEF

Greetings, As the Fire Chief, writing a chief's message should be easy, but it is not. In a brief page, there is so much to be said. Atlanta Fire Rescue is a vibrant department that values our past, sees present possibilities and embraces the challenges of the future. This is evident in our many accomplishments since the last yearbook was published in 2007. With the conception of the first Atlanta Fire Rescue Strategic Plan 2.0 – All Hazards Edition in 2008, we have reached a new level of professionalism and service delivery. Atlanta Fire Rescue, as an industry leader, is dedicated to setting new standards as portrayed in our mission and vision with providing prompt quality service and striving for excellence as our focal point. In the wake of massive budget cuts resulting in closed stations and personnel reduction, service delivery never suffered once and moral remained constant. A great deal of honest praise is due to the fine men and women for the unselfish service they so cheerfully give to the city and citizens of Atlanta. For over 130 years, the Atlanta Fire Rescue Department has answered the call of duty and will continue to rise to the occasion in the future. This book will serve as a record of our past, present, and future. It will tell a story of the hard work and dedication of the men and women of our great organization and their commitment to our mission and vision. It will serve as a bar for those that follow to achieve and strive to surpass. I am very proud of the men and women of the Atlanta Fire Rescue Department who willingly devote their lives so others may live; not begrudgingly, but with a since of honor and pride. It is for this reason that I affectionately dedicate this book to the past, present, and future men and women of the Atlanta Fire Rescue Department. Committed to Public Safety,

Kelvin J. Cochran Fire Chief

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OUR FIRE CHIEFS

Matthew Ryan 1882-1885

A.P. Black 1977-1979

Walthal R. Joyner 1885-1906

R.B. Sprayberry 1980-1982

William B. Cummings 1906-1915

Bobby J. Thompson 1982-1985

William B. Cody 1915-1929

William H. Hamer 1985-1988

John Terrell 1929-1933

David M. Chamberlin 1990-1994

William Butler 1933-1933

Winston L. Minor 1995-2003

Otho J. Parker 1933-1939

Dennis L. Rubin 2004-2007

Charles C. Styron 1939-1959 L. Waits Guthrie 1959-1960 Collins H. Hildebrand 1960-1969 Paul O. Williams 1969-1976 Chief Officers

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CHIEF WILLIAM H. BARNES (1860-1862) William H. Barnes was born on November 29, 1824 in Charleston, South Carolina. During the early years of his residence in Atlanta, he engaged in tin and copper smithing. He became very much interested in the fire protection of the town and assisted in the organization of Atlanta Fire Company No. 1 in 1851, becoming one of its charter members. When Mechanic Fire Company No. 2 was born in December 10, 1856, Barnes was added to this company’s roster of charter members and was elected its first President, serving from February 6, 1857, until March 8, 1860. He had the distinction of becoming the first Chief Engineer of the Atlanta Volunteer Fire Department, the post to which he was elected on March 8, 1860, and served in that capacity until his resignation to enter the Army of the Confederacy on June 2, 1862. While with General Robert E. Lee in Virginia he was wounded at Saylor’s Creek near Farmville, Virginia, during General Lee’s retreat from Richmond, and succumed to his injuries on May 10, 1865. CHIEF ENGINEER SAMUEL B. SHERWOOD (1862-1864) Mr Samuel B. Sherwood had been a resident of Atlanta since 1855, and was a well-known builder and contractor. He had been indentified with the Atlanta Volunteer Fire Department almost from its beginning, having been affiliated with Atlanta Fire Company No. 1 When the volunteer department was organized in 1860, he was elected First Assistant Chief. Upon the resignation of Chief Barnes on June 1, 1862, Sherwood was elected Chief Engineer of the department, becoming the second Chief of the organization and served until January 5, 1864.

Company No. 1 until its dissolvement in 1882. He was appointed the first Chairman of the Board of Fire Masters in 1882 by Mayor James W. English. Following a meeting of the old fire company in the office of Chief Major Mecaslin was stricken ill and died April 3, 1906, at the age of 81. Mecaslin Street, N.W., was named in his honor. CHIEF ENGINEER THOMAS G. HANEY (1864-1866) Upon the resignation of Chief Mecaslin, Thomas G. Haney of Atlanta Fire Company No. 1, was appointed Provisional Chief Engineer of the Atlanta Volunteer Fire Department by the United States Provost Marshal, who was in command of the civil affairs of the town until the end of the war. Chief Haney was an Irish-born resident of Atlanta since 1852 and had been connected with the mechanical department of the Western & Atlantic Railroad. He had served in City Council as Councilman from the old First Ward in 1859 and as Alderman in 1882. Chief Haney was the father of George W. Haney, who was later Chief Engineer of the Volunteer Fire Department; Thomas W. Haney, long time Foreman of Steam Fire Company No. 1 of the paid department, and Henry P. Haney, Foreman of Engine Company No. 4 and later First Assistant Chief of the paid department. Chief Haney held office from September 2, 1864, until January 19, 1866.

Chief Sherwood died in 1888.

It was during his term of office that Atlanta suffered its greatest fire which was of an “incendiary nature”, that which had been set on the orders of General William T. Sherman. Chief Haney died July 29, 1901.

CHIEF ENGINEER JOHN H. MECASLIN (1864-1864)

CHIEF ENGINEER SAMUEL B. SHERWOOD (1866-1868)

John H. Mecaslin was born in Baltimore County, Maryland, on October 25, 1825. He came to Atlanta in 1856, in the employ of the Georgia Railroad and sometime later became one of the town’s leading merchants. Chief Macaslin was involved throughout city government and soon after his arrival in Atlanta became affiliated with the volunteer fire brigade, being connected with Atlanta Fire Company No. 1.

Samuel B. Sherwood was elected Chief Engineer for a second time on January 19, 1866, and it was during this second term that the Fire Department was fully reorganized and several improvements made in the organization.

Upon the resignation of Chief Samuel B. Sherwood on January 5, 1864, Mescaslin was elected Chief Engineer of the Atlanta Volunteer Fire Department. When Atlanta was placed under martial law during the seige, Chief Mecaslin was commissioned a Major, commanding the Third Battalion, Georgia State Guard, composed of Volunteer Fire Company’s No. 1, 2 and 3 , and the Hook and Ladder Company. This fire-military organization was known as ATLANTA FIRE BATTALION. On September 2, 1864, upon the occupation of Atlanta by the United States forces, Major Mecaslin resigned as Chief of the Fire Department and, with his wife, refugeed to Baltimore. Upon his return to Atlanta following the war, Major Mecaslin helped reorganize the Fire Department, becoming the cadent of Atlanta Fire 10

Atlanta Fire Company No. 1 placed a double-decker hand engine in service to replace little “BLUE DICK”, and placed in service her new fire hall across the street from the old one. Mechanic Fire Company No. 2 placed in service Atlanta’s first steam fire engine, a third-size Amoskeag engine, at a cost of $5000, on October 15, 1866. The fire bell, “AUGUSTA HILL” was purchased and placed in service on August 1, 1867, in the bellfry of No. 1. Atlanta Fire Company No. 1 placed in service her first steam fire engine, the “CASTALIA”, on May 1, 1867. CHIEF ENGINEER THOMAS G. HANEY (1868-1870) Thomas G. Haney was elected Chief Engineer of the Atlanta Volunteer Fire Department for a second term on January 10, 1868. Chief Haney’s second term of administration was marked by the

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repairing of thirteen old fire cisterns and the commissioning of twelve more. He was also instrumental in forming the first Firemen’s Day Parade and Tournament which was held on May 3, 1869, and the first Monday of each May thereafter. He was the first to stress a better system of the fire alarms for the city. The most notable fire to occur during Chief Haney’s second term of office was the tremendous conflagration which swept Marietta Street from Norcross Corner to North Broad Street, and resulted in a loss of over $100,000. CHIEF ENGINEER WILLIS R. BIGGERS (1870-1871) Willis R. Diggers, the extremely popular Foreman of Tallulah Fire Company No. 3, was elected Chief Engineer of the Atlanta Volunteer Fire Department on January 10, 1870. Biggers was born in Atlanta on January 17, 1846. During the Civil War, he had been commissioned a Lieutenant in the Gate City Guard. Lieutenant Diggers had a long and impressive career with the local Volunteer Fire Department, having been connected with Tallulah No. 3 and retained his affiliation with that company until his death. In 1866, on the company’s reorganization, he was elected Foreman of the hose squad and in 1868 and 1869, he was chosen Foreman of the company for a second time. During his term of office, he was first to recognize the superiority of the rubber-lined, cotton-jacketed fire hose over the old rubber hose, and was the first to purchase a supply from the factory of Doctor Benjamin Franklin Goodrich’s plant in Akron, Ohio. He had several companies completely equipped with this new hose. Chief Biggers improved the water system by having City Council install five new fire cisterns in the residential section of the city. He was a staunch advocate of a electric telegraph fire alarm system for the Fire Department. CHIEF ENGINEER JOHN BERKELE (1871-1872) John Berkele was born in Germany and was a resident of Atlanta for a great number of years. He was long time member of the Atlanta Volunteer Fire Department, from its reorganization in 1866 until its dissolvement in 1882. He was Second Director of Atlanta Fire Company No. 1 in 1866, and a Delegate to the Fire Department in 1874. He was elected Chief Engineer of the department on January 9, 1871, and on his return to the company, was elected Foreman in 1876. The principal improvements in the Fire Department during Chief Berkele’s administration was the activating of R.E. Lee Hose Company No. 4 on Castleberry Hill (vicinity of Fair and Peters Streets) on April 3, 1871; and Gate City Hose Reel Company No. 5 on Marietta Street on October 15, 1871, just a few days following the news of the great Chicago fire of that year. He also placed in service five new fire cisterns in various parts of the city. Chief Berkele died in 1912.

CHIEF ENGINEER WILLIS R. BIGGERS (1872-1874) President Willis R. Biggers of Tallullah Fire Company No. 3, was elected Chief Engineer of the Fire Department for a second term on January 8, 1872. The notable improvements in the Fire Department made by Chief Biggers during his second term of office included the removal of the truck house of Hook and Ladder No. 1 from the old South Broad Street (across from Atlanta Fire Company No. 1), and the repair to several fire cisterns and the installation of others. He advocated the purchase by Gate City Fire Company No. 5, of a new type chemical fire engine, a Champion, Self-acting Chemical fire engine. Chief Biggers died on June 25, 1882, at the age of 36, just before the Volunteer Fire Department passed over to the paid system. It was generally conceded by members of the Fire Department, that had he lived, he would have undoubtedly been elected the new department’s first Fire Chief. CHIEF ENGINEER JACOB EMMEL (1874-1877) Jacob Emmel, better known as “Jake”, was born in New York and had come to Atlanta in 1857. He served as a Confederate soldier during the war and upon returning to Atlanta assisted in the reorganization of the Volunteer Fire Department, being affiliated with Tallulah Fire Company No. 3 in 1866. From that time forward, he was never out of the fire service. Some time later, he transferred to Atlanta Fire Company No. 1 and served with that company until its dissolvement in 1882. He was Foreman of the Company in 1872 and 1873. He was elected Chief Engineer of the department on January 12, 1874, serving two full terms before resigning on July 1, 1876, at which time Henry P. Haney was appointed Acting Chief Engineer to fill the unexpired term. The most noteworthy of Chief Emmel’s improvements in the Fire Department was the complete changeover from hand-drawn to horse-drawn apparatus by the addition of teams of fine horses to haul the heavy equipment; and the utilization of water from Atlanta’s first water works on September 11, 1875, from the site of the present Lakewood Park. When the Volunteer Fire Department gave way to the paid system in 1882, Emmel left the service to carry on his baking business, but when Hose Company No. 3 was placed in service on November 26, 1884, he was prevailed upon by Chief Matt Ryan to re-enter the service and he was placed in command of the new company as Foreman. For the remaining years of his life he was a dedicated fire fighter, and devoted his entire time in serving his beloved adopted city. He was an able fireman and officer, and in 1886, he was placed in command of Hook & Ladder Company No. 1 on South Broad Street. He continued to show remarkable ability and rose steady in the ranks. During the Cotton States and International Exposition of 1895, Chief Joyner placed Emmel in command of the Fire Department

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there as Exposition Fire Chief. On October 1, 1897, Emmel was elected Second Assistant Chief and commanded the northside district of the city from his headquarters at the newly erected No. 8 Fire Station on what was then Church Street (now Carnegie Way) at the corner of Spring Street. When First Assistant Chief William B. Cummings resigned on February 10, 1903, Chief Emmel was elevated to that post and until the time of his demise was second in command to Chief Joyner, but retained No. 8 as his headquarters. He died of Bright’s disease at Grady Hospital on March 13, 1905, at the age of 66. He was a bachelor. CHIEF ENGINEER WALTHAL ROBERTSON JOYNER (1877-1879) Walthal Robertson Joyner, affectionately known as “Cap”, was born on June 30, 1854, in Cobb County near Marietta. He moved to Atlanta in December of 1864, and got a job as office boy with the Atlanta New Era newspaper. He was elected City Marshal in 1881, and served in that capacity until he was made Chief of the Atlanta Fire Department in 1885. He joined Atlanta Hook & Ladder Company No. 1 as a torch bearer in 1870, even though he was only sixteen years of age at the time. At the age of nineteen, in 1873, he was elected the company’s First Assistant Foreman and then Forman in 1875. He was filling this position when the volunteer department gave way to the paid system. Joyner was elected Chief Engineer of the Atlanta Volunteer Fire Department on January 10, 1877. He was re-elected on January 11, 1878, and served until January 12, 1879. He had the distinction of being elected a Vice President of the National Association of Fire Engineers (now the International Association of Fire Chiefs) at its fourth annual convention in Nashville, Tennessee-this at the age of 23. CHIEF ENGINEER ANDREW BOOS (1879-1880) Andrew Boos was born on February 3, 1824, in Hesse-Darmstadt, Germany. He came to America in 1850, and took up residence in New Jersey and subsequently in Brooklyn, Long Island. For several years he was with a fire company in Jersey City and it was his delight to “run with the machine”. In 1861 he became connected with Eagle Fire Company No. 4 of Brooklyn and Remained with this group until he moved to New York City in 1863, where he joined the Pearl Hose Company No. 28. In the latter part of 1865, he made his way to Selma, Alabama, and helped to reorganize the Phoenix Fire Company No. 1 of that town. In 1869, he came to Atlanta. That same year he became connected with Tallulah Fire Company No. 3 and six months later he was elected an Assistant Director of the company. In 1872, he served the company as the Assistant Foreman. In 1873 and 1874 he held, respectively, the posts of Second Assistant and First Assistant Chief 12

of the Atlanta Volunteer Fire Department. In 1875 he was elected Foreman of No. 3 and retained this position until becoming Chief of the Department on January 13, 1879. Chief Boos died in 1886, after service for several years as a member of the paid department. CHIEF ENGINEER GEORGE W. HANEY (1880-1882) George W. Haney, eldest son of Thomas G. Haney and brother to Henry P. and Thomas W. Haney, was born in Atlanta in 1852. He joined the Atlanta Volunteer Fire Department as the Second Axeman of Atlanta Fire Company No. 1 in 1871. In 1874, he was elected First Assistant Engineer of the company. Haney was elected Chief Engineer of the Fire Department on January 12, 1880, and was re-elected to the post on January 10, 1881. He was a strong advocate of a paid system of fire protection and was continually trying to sell the city of its establishment. The complete installation of steam fire engines in all of the fire companies took place during his administration. The most notable fire to occur during Chief Haney’s term of office was the Atlanta City Brewing Company fire, at the corner of Harris and Collins Streets (now Courtland Street) in which the plant was destroyed at a loss of over $75,000. This fire occurred on November 3, 1880. CHIEF ENGINEER HENRY KARWISCH (1882-1882) Henry Karwisch was born in Hanover, Germany on October 26, 1840, and had come to America at an early age, landing in New Orleans. In 1864, he moved to Chattanooga and came to Atlanta in 1865. He became interested in the local Volunteer Fire Department soon after his arrival in Atlanta and on June 3, 1870, joined the Mechanic Fire Company No. 2 as First Axeman. He continued his association with that company until October 6, 1871, when he resigned. He was reinstated on March 1, 1872, and from 1873 to 1874, served as Vice President of the company. In 1875 he was the company’s Foreman and President in 1878. He was elected Chief Engineer of the Fire Department on January 9, 1882, and served until the volunteer department was disbanded on June 31, 1882. It was in January of 1882, that two great fires occurred which were the death of the Volunteer Fire Department and brought about the establishment of the paid system. Chief Karwisch died on October 1, 1916, at the age of 76. CHIEF ENGINEER MATHEW RYAN (1882-1885) Mathew Ryan was born in County Tipperary, Ireland, in 1847. He came to Atlanta in early manhood and clerked in his Uncle John Ryan’s drygoods store on Whitehall Street. Ryan had become a member of

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Atlanta Fire Company No. 1 in 1871, and served with that company until it became a part of the new Atlanta Fire Department on July 1, 1882. He was a Delegate to the Fire Department in 1876 and 1877, and the Secretary to the company from 1881 to 1882. He became the Atlanta Fire Department’s first Fire Chief on July 7, 1882, and served two terms. He was defeated for the position by W.R. Joyner on July 1, 1885. It was considered generally that be had made a good Fire Chief, considering the small size of his department and the number of serious fires with which he had to contend, and he won many friends while in office. One of the most unique features of his administration was his response to alarms astride his bay horse in full fire-fighting togs, including his white helmet, coat and boots. Some of the improvements in the fire service during his administration included the replacement of the thirteen call-men with regular runners (firemen), repairs to the equipment and the engine houses, the installation of the first telegraph fire alarm system, and the establishment of Engine Company No. 3 on Marietta Street. The most famous fires with which Chief Ryan had to contend were the Kimball House, of August 12, 1883; and the James Bank Block conflagration of March 18, 1885, in which the James Bank on Whitehall Street (where the Wells Fargo building now stands) and the Central Bank Building next door were destroyed, It was the critical nature of this latter fire that was to play a major role in his defeat by Cap Joyner. Chief Ryan died at his residence on Pulliam Street, July 18, 1887, at the age of 38. He was a widower.

April 21, 1889, in which two firemen were killed; the Van Weinkle & Boyd Building fire of August 14, 1892; the Georgia Tech fire, April 21, 1892; the W.O. Jones livery stables fire February 9,1894; the old State Capitol building fire, December 27. 1894; the Woodward Lumber Company conflagration, May 11, 1895; the Markham House conflagration, May 17, 1896; the Markham Block conflagration, February 21, 1901; the Lyceum Theatre fire, November 6, 1901; the Peachtree-Marietta Streets conflagration, December 9, 1902; and the Western & Atlantic Railroad Roundhouse and Shops fire. October 1, 1906. He was President of the Atlanta Baseball Club of the Southern Baseball League. Upon failure of the league during the SpanishAmerican Was, he , with the help of Mr. John Dickinson of the Southern Belting Company, organized the Atlanta Baseball League. After the war he and Mr. Dickinson purchased the Atlanta baseball franchise on January 27, 1905 and named the team the “Atlanta Fire Crackers” the club won two pennants under their ownership. It was a grateful city that elected Chief Joyner as their Mayor on August 23, 1906. He took office January 7, 1907, and served one term. During his administration as chief executive of the city, a pedestrian underpass was constructed beneath the railroad track just in front of the Union Station (now demolished) and was called for some years, “Joyner’s Underpass”. He also built the South Boulevard underpass beneath the Georgia Railroad. He was Georgia’s first State Fire Marshal and served until December 9, 1920, at which time he resigned. On December 13th of that year, he left Atlanta and went to live with his son Richard in Dallas, Texas. He later returned to the city and for a while had an apartment on the second floor of No. 8 Fire Station where he lived until his death of January 8, 1925.

CHIEF ENGINEER WALTHAL ROBERTSON JOYNER (1885-1906) City Marshal Walthal Robertson Joyner defeated Mathew Ryan for the position of Chief Engineer of the Atlanta Fire Department on July 1, 1885, and for the next twenty-one years (the longest any man has ever held this office), the fire department was to grow in size and was destined to be as highly efficient and up-to-date as could be found anywhere in the country. “Cap” Joyner became nationally known as a capable fire official and was the first southern Chief to be elected President of the National Association of Fire Engineers (now the International Association of Fire Chiefs) on September 20, 1887. He was elected again in 1888 and again on September 10, 1903; being the only man to serve as President for three terms, two of them consecutively.

CHIEF ENGINEER WILLIAM BACON CUMMINGS (1906-1915) William Bacon Cummings, Lieutenant of Hose Company No. 1, was elected Chief Engineer of the Atlanta Fire Department on October 15, 1906, to become effective upon the resignation of W.R. Joyner on December 1st. Chief Cummings was born in Akin, South Carolina, in 1859, and had come to Atlanta in 1872. A few years later he became affiliated with the old Volunteer Fire Department as a Director of Mechanic Fire Company No. 2.

It was during his term as Chief of the fire department that it would grow from 3 companies and a force of 38 members to 10 companies and 139 men. He added the first chemical engine, the first hose wagons, the first aerial ladder truck, the first water tower, the first Assistant Chiefs, the first fire buggy, the first Chief ’s Aide and the first combination chemical and hose wagon. He was the first to establish a Fire Inspector in the department.

He entered the paid department on July 1, 1882, as a “runner” with Steam Fire Engine Company No. 2 and 1883, he was appointed Acting Foreman of that company. In 1887 he was elected Assistant Foreman of Hose Company No. 1 and on September 1, 1892, was elected Foreman of Chemical Engine Company No. 1 He was elected Assistant Chief on February 29, 1896 the first in the history of the Atlanta Fire Department. This position he retained for several years and as such, became the first Drill Instructor some time later.

The most famous fires of his administration were the Gate City Street Car Barns fire of May 17, 1887; the Jackson Building fire of

On February 10, 1903, he resigned from the department to wind up the business affairs of his brother, Mr. J.E. Cummings, in the livery

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stable business. He remained away from the Fire Department for three years after which time he returned and worked his way to the position of Lieutenant, a rank which had been adopted to replace the rank of Assistant Foreman. When Chief Joyner resigned to become Mayor of Atlanta, Lieutenant Cummings was elected Chief Engineer of the department and assumed office on December 1, 1906. Notable improvements in the Fire Department which occurred during his administration were the installation of Fire Stations No. 11 on East North Ave; No. 12, on Dekalb Ave; No. 14, on Lee Street; No. 15, on West Peachtree Street, and No. 16, on Marietta Street. He was instrumental in having the fire alarm system changed over from the automatic to the central station system. He introduced the first automobile ever to be employed for use by a chief officer; and the first motor apparatus at No. 12, when a Webb combination, hose and pump vehicle was assigned to the new station. The most memorable fires that occurred during his term of office were the Terminal District conflagration on May 8, 1908, which destroyed 31 Buildings in the block bounded by Madison Avenue, Spring Street, Mitchell Street, Forsyth Street, and Nelson Street, and caused a loss of $1,250,000; the Piedmont Stables conflagration four days later on May 11th, which destroyed the big stables along with 200 head of horses and 18 other buildings in the Spring and Marietta Streets area and resulted in a loss of $63,000; the New Lyceum Theatre fire at 34-42 Decatur Street on that extremely cold day of January 26, 1909; the Hunter-South Pryor Streets conflagration of November 1, 1911, which destroyed 5 buildings and caused a loss of $150,000; the Cotton States Belting Company conflagration of January 14, 1914, at the corner of Stewart Avenue and Whitehall Street, which gutted 2 big buildings with a loss of $250,000; and the Black Building fire on Auburn Avenue on April 25, 1914, in which 19 firemen were overcome by fumes. Chief Cummings was defeated for a new term by Captain William B. Cody of Hook & Ladder Company No. 3 on July 4, 1915. He was offered a captaincy but refused it, stating that he needed a rest and resigned to private life. On February 10, 1930, he died at the age of 71. CHIEF OF DEPARTMENT WILLIAM B. CODY (1915-1929) Captain William B. Cody, of Hook & Ladder Co. No. 3, was elected Chief Engineer of the Atlanta Fire Department, on Jury 5, 1915, by defeating the incumbent, William B. Cummings. Cody was born in Warrenton, Georgia, on July 9, 1858. He moved to Atlanta in the Spring of 1876 and was soon convinced that it would be the ideal thing for him to join the fire department without delay. So, September 13, 1877, found him duly enrolled as a member of Mechanic Fire Company No. 2. Henry Karwisch, who was at the time President of No. 2, suggested that the youth take the job as Driver of the hose reel which he did. He accepted this paid position with the company and settled down to 14

a life which, from that day forward, kept him in active service fighting the flames which threatened the lives and property of the residents of Atlanta. When Chief Joyner placed the first Holloway Chemical Engine in service at No. 1, Cody was made Driver of this machine on June 4, 1887. Upon resignation of Foreman Tom Haney of Chemical Engine Company No. 1, on September 6, 1892, W.B. Cummings was elevated to the vacancy and Cody assumed Cummings command as Assistant Foreman of the No. 1 hose company. On Cummings elevation to the post of Assistant Chief on February 29, 1896, Cody assumed his position as Foreman of Chemical Engine Company No. 1. In 1900, Cody was transferred to the command of Hook & Ladder Company No. 3, in the quarters of No. 4 Fire House on North Pryor Street, where he remained until being elected to the position of Chief. Chief Codys administration saw the complete motorization of the department in 1918, and the number of fire stations were increased to twenty by 1926. He installed the first Ahrens-Fox piston pumper with a booster tank at No. 5 in 1929, ladder trucks at No. 16, and 19, and aerial ladders at No. 8 and 11. He placed in service the departments only motorized hose wagon at No. 1. The most memorable fires of Chief Cody’s administration were the Mutual Film Exchange fire of October 16, 1915, in which three women burned to death and resulted in a loss of $500,000; the big Northside conflagration of May 21, 1917, which burned over 300 acres and destroyed 1,938 buildings at a loss of over $5,000,000; the Eiseman conflagration of September 23 and 30, 1922, which also involved the S.H. Kress store, the LFM Department Store and three other buildings with a loss of $1,250,000; the Spiller’s Ponce de Leon Park fire on September 9, 1923, with a loss of $100,000; the Boys High School fire on that very cold morning of January 6, 1924; the Fox Manufacturing Company fire of October 12, 1926; and the Disbro Lumber Company of March 4, 1928. The most disastrous fires, which were to claim the lives of Atlanta’s firemen, occurred on May 6, 1925, when six men were killed in the collapse of a floor at the Jass Manufacturing Company on Decatur Street; and on July 30, 1927, when two firemen were killed in the crash of a wall at the W.L. Fain Grain Company fire on Hulsey Street. Chief Cody lived to celebrate his Golden Anniversary with the Atlanta Fire Department on July 1, 1929, but succumbed to a paralytic stroke on November 20, 1929, at the age of 71. CHIEF OF DEPARTMENT JOHN TERRELL (1929-1933) Upon the death of Chief William B. Cody, Assistant Chief John Terrell of No. 8 was elected to the post of Chief of the Fire Department on November 29, 1929. Terrell was born at Orange, in Cherokee County, on December 24, 1869. In his early twenties he moved to Atlanta, and on March 7, 1891, was appointed as a substitute on the Atlanta Fire Department. He was made a regular Hoseman with Hose Company No. 1 where

Chief Officers


he remained until the new No. 6 fire house on North Boulevard was opened May 31, 1894, at which time he was promoted to the rank of Foreman, commanding the new company. When the Fire Department opened the new No. 11 Fire Station on East North Ave. on May 1, 1908, Captain Terrell was made the commander of this double company. On February 27, 1926, he was transferred to No. 8, then on Carnegie Way. Captain Terrell was promoted to the rank of Assistant Chief on March 5, 1928, succeeding the late Tas Short who had died of injuries received in the line of duty on February 22nd. The new Assistant Chief took up the command of the southside but on November 1, 1929, he was transferred to No. 8 where he was stationed at the time of his promotion to the position of Chief. Note-worthy among the many improvements instituted by Chief Terrell were the division of the city into three battalions, each being commanded by a Battalion Chief; he inaugurated the first Fire Department Training School in November of 1931, in which seventyfive new men completed a 75-hour class for recruits; he brought out of retirement the old water tower and placed it in regular service; he installed the first Salvage and Rescue Company in the history of the department; he organized the Bureau of Fire Prevention under the command of a Fire Marshal and Assistant Fire Marshal and with a staff of Fire Inspectors; he instituted a comprehensive set of records which included a Company Journal and a Company Daily Report; and he assisted in the organization of the Atlanta Fire Department’s Band and Drum Corps, which became famous throughout the country. The most notable fires to occur during Chief Terrell’s term of office were the Doctor’s Building fire on April 6, 1930, at the northwest corner of Peachtree and Pine Streets; the Etowah Monument Company fire on Confederate Avenue, October 2, 1930; the Horne Dest & Fixture Company fire on Pryor Street, August 3, 1931; the Sunlite Bakery Company fire of January 1, 1931, on Broad Street at the viaduct; and the Warren Refrigerator Company fire of November 2, 1932, on East Fair Street (now Memorial Drive). While speeding to an alarm on February 26, 1933, which proved to be false, Chief Terrell’s automobile was struck by another car at the intersection of Central Ave. and Mitchell Street. The Chief was thrown from the machine and rushed to the hospital where he died the next morning, February 27th, without ever regaining consciousness. CHIEF OF DEPARTMENT WILLIAM BUTLER (1933-1933) With the unanimous approval of the entire membership of the Atlanta Fire Department; Local 134, International Association of Fire Fighters, and City Council, on March 6, 1933, approved the election of First Assistant Chief William Butler for the post of Chief of the Atlanta Fire Department. William Butler, was born on July 12, 1866, in Tipperary, Ireland. He had come to Atlanta as young man and on November 7, 1889, had joined the local Fire Department as a substitute. On March 1, 1890, he became a regular member of Hook & Ladder Company No. 1 at the old truck house on South Broad Street.

Upon the retirement of Chief Henry P. Haney in 1910, Captain Butler was elected to the rank of Third Assistant Chief rising to the rank of Chief of Department. Giving his reasons as ill health, Chief Butler resigned as Chief of Department effective March 20, 1933, and asked that he be reinstated to his old position of First Assistant Chief. He stated that he had rather “be downstairs with the boys”. Thus the Fire Department’s grand old man’s leadership of the department lasted only fifteen days. Following an illness of about two weeks, Chief Butler passed away on May 8, 1938, at the age of 72. CHIEF OF DEPARTMENT OTHO J. PARKER (1933-1939) Upon the resignation of Chief William Butler, Second Assistant Chief Otho J. Parker was elected Chief of Department on March 20, 1933. Parker was born in Clayton County on October 13, 1872 and as a young man moved to Atlanta. He became a member of the Atlanta Fire Department as a substitute on June 16, 1897, and then regular with Hose Company No. 2, at the old house on Washington Street and Waverly Place, on September 16, 1897. Parker worked at several firehouses, finally commanding Hose Company No. 1. and Captain of No. 9. When Assistant Chief S.B. Chapman died, Captain Parker was named to that position on November 9, 1921; and became Second Assistant Chief on December 22, 1930 upon the death of Chief R.H. Pressley. Among his many achievements, he was awarded the Grand Award in Fire Prevention in 1936; he installed the first centrifugal pumper at No. 8 and the first hydro-operated aerial ladder truck at No. 4; and succeeded in having No. 2 Fire Station reactivated on Lakewood Avenue, maintained jointly by the city and county. His administration was marked by some of the city’s biggest and most tragic fires. His first “worker” was the big Atlanta Milling Company fire on April 22, 1933. Others included the International Cotton Oil Company fire on the West Point Belt Line on October 24, 1933; the Atlanta Joint Terminals fire of January 19, 1935; the Gould Building at Five Points on March 2, 1935; the Atlanta Cooperage Company fire on Elliott Street, July 27, 1936; the tragic Cable Piano Company fire on November 19, 1936; the West Lumber Company fire a week later on November 26th; the O.B. Andrews Paper Company on Spring Street on November 28, 1937; the Akers-Hudson Motor Lines conflagration on March 27, 1938, which not only destroyed the company’s building and fifteen neighboring dwellings, but also menaced the Grady Hospital and resulted in the first general alarm in many years being sounded; and the horrible Terminal Hotel fire of May 16, 1938, in which thirty-five guests perished. Chief Parker retired as head of the Atlanta Fire Department on March 21, 1939, and the City adopted a resolution naming him “Chief Emeritus”.

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Chief Parker passed away at his home on Dodson Drive, S.W., on August 1, 1951. CHIEF OF DEPARTMENT CHARLES CRAWFORD STYRON (1939-1959) Charles Crawford “Doc” Styron, Sr., was born on September 11, 1887, in Hyde County, North Carolina, and moved to Selma, Alabama, at the age of three. From there he came to Atlanta seven months later. On May 1, 1908, on the opening of the new No. 11 Fire Station on North Avenue, Styron joined the Fire Department as a Hoseman at No. 3 on Marietta Street.

Chief Styron retired from the Atlanta Fire Department on June 1, 1959, after completing fifty-one years of service, the longest any man has ever served in the history of the department. On retiring, the Chief moved out of the old chief ’s residence on the third floor over No. 1 Fire Station to his home on Avon Avenue, and the old chief ’s residence was vacant for the first time in 67 years. Chief Styron died at his home on June 19, 1960, following a second heart attack. CHIEF OF DEPARTMENT LUTHER WAITS GUTHRIE (1959-1960) Luther Waits Guthrie was born in Atlanta on October 12, 1912, and entered the fire service as a Ladderman with Ladder No. 5 on August 1, 1938. On January 1, 1948, he was elected Captain of Ladder No. 4 and in 1949, was transferred to the command of Engine No. 9,

He became Chief of Department on March 21, 1939, succeeding Chief O.J. Parker who had retired. Chief Styron’s career was marked by the largest expansion of the fire service in the history of the department and by that trying period of the Second World War. It was during his twenty years as head of the department that the city expanded to cover a greater part of old Fulton County. The four county fire stations were integrated with the city department and six new stations were opened in the outlying districts. Two new battalion districts were added in 1958. Headquarters and the valuable signal system were moved from No. 1 Fire Station to a new noncombustible building at Courtland Street SE and Gilmer Street. An ambulance was installed as a rescue unit. Responsibility of the Atlanta Airport was assumed by the department, as was the Sandy Springs area to the north of the city limits. Extensive improvements were made to all of the existing fire stations and three of them, No’s. 4, 10 and 12, were moved to new locations. Firefighting devices and appliances were augmented by additional self-contained breathing apparatus, fog nozzles, foam guns, portable deck guns, modern forcible entry tools, portable lighting units, and many others. During his term in office, Chief Styron installed 26 modern pumping engines, ten up-to-date ladder trucks, and a mobile light unit. The effectiveness of his administration can be noted by the fact that the entire incorporated area of Atlanta received the lowest possible fire insurance rates. His period of administration was marked by some of Atlanta’s greatest fires, such as, the Standard Milling, the Kroger Grocery Company and the Municipal Auditorium fires in 1940; the Dixie Rubber Company fire, which gave off such awe-inspiring smoke; the tragic Winecoff Hotel fire, in which 119 lives were lost in 1946; the Peaslee-Gaulbert Company fire of 1947; the Seaboard Air Line Freight Depot fire of 1953, in which Second Assistant Chief Morris H. Dean was killed; the Baskette Piano Company fire, across the street from old No. 4 Fire Station, in 1954; the M. Kutz Building fire of 1955; the Carolina Lumber Company and the Means Street fires in 1957; the Jacobs Sales Company fire, the old Maddox Bank Building fire (corner of Forsyth and Alabama Streets), and the Stamps Tire Company in West End, during 1958. At this last fire, Chief Styron suffered a heart attack which resulted in doctors recommending his retirement. 16

While operating with his company at the Seaboard Air Line Depot fire, at which Second Assistant Chief M.H. Dean was killed, Captain Guthrie was seriously injured in the collapse of the wall of the building. It was while recuperating from his injuries that he took an examination for Battalion Chief and made the highest grade among his competitors. After about ten months, he returned to his new position and served in that capacity until his elevation to the position of First Assistant Chief on November 4, 1958, succeeding the late Chief John W. Carpenter. On the retirement of Chief of Department C.C. Styron, Guthrie was named to head the Atlanta Fire Department on June 1, 1959. It was during his short term in office that he was able to make some very important improvements in the service. He completely revised the record system of the department; he expanded headquarters building to allow more space for the Fire Prevention Bureau and a meeting room for the Board of Fire Masters; and he inaugurated a comprehensive system of residential inspections on August 3, 1959. He opened the new Fire Department Training Center on Claire Drive in 1960, and the new Atlanta Fire Department Airport Station in 1960. The principle major fire to occur while he was in office was the Zep Manufacturing Company fire on Edgewood Avenue in 1959 . Chief Guthrie died on September 18, 1960, after being ill for several months.

Chief Officers

CHIEF COLLINS HENRY HILDEBRAND, JR. (1960-1969) Collins H. “Colley” Hildebrand, Jr. was born in Atlanta on November 20, 1914. He was appointed a regular Hoseman of Engine Company No. 6 on November 1, 1939. In 1944 Chief Hildebrand enlisted in the Navy, and brought many innovative ideas back to the fire department.


CHIEF ANDREW P. BLACK 1977-1979

Upon returning, Hildebrand moved quickly through the ranks, attaining the rank of First Assistant Chief on June 1, 1959. With the death of Chief Guthrie in 1960, Chief Hildebrand was elected as the Atlanta Fire Department’s tenth chief on October 3, 1960. Some of the extensive improvements made consisted of expanding fire investigator positions, upgrading the Arson Section, devising a complete new system of records in the extinguishment division and making vast improvements in the communications division. Improvements were made to the airport division by the transfer of Station 24 to new quarters, utilizing the latest in crash equipment and training. Companies 1, 5 and 16 were moved to new quarters. The fire department solidified protection for Sandy Springs and the Fulton Industrial area. The first Handie-Talkie appeared during Chief Hildebrand’s tenure. Diesel engines began to be used in 1961. The chief had to contend with the firefighter’s strike of 1966. Chief Hildebrand retired on April 1, 1969 and died a short time later, May 29, 1970. CHIEF PAUL O. WILLIAMS (1969-1976)

A.P. Black was born on March 16, 1921 in Atlanta. During the war Chief Black served with the Third Army, receiving the Purple Heart when wounded invading France with the 35th Infantry. Black became a regular member of the fire department on May 1, 1947. He rose through the ranks to the position of Deputy Chief in 1965. In 1977, Mayor Jackson appointed Chief Black as Fire Chief. The Mayor had wanted to name Chief Black at an earlier date, but was delayed by Federal Judge Charles Moye because of the court order the department was operating under. Chief Black had the unenviable position of leading the department with over 250 vacancies, mostly in the officer ranks. The first seven female firefighters were hired during the chiefs tenure. Chief Black retired in March of 1979. CHIEF R.B. SPRAYBERRY (1980-1982)

Paul O. Williams was born in Winchester, Tennessee on January 27, 1916. He moved to Georgia and attended Tech High School in Atlanta. Chief Williams joined the fire department on September 1, 1942, but his early career was interrupted by three years of service in the Navy during World War II. Upon returning, Williams worked his way up the ranks, working as a Lieutenant, Captain, Battalion Chief and Deputy Chief. On April 1, 1969, Chief Williams was appointed as chief of the fire department. In 1974, a city charter change created the Bureau of Fire Services and Chief Williams became Director Williams.

R.B. Sprayberry was born in Newnan, Georgia. On December 1, 1943 he became a regular firefighter at Station 16. Sprayberry rose through the ranks, eventually becoming Battalion Chief of the 3rd Battalion in 1967 and acting Deputy Chief on January 1, 1978. In June of 1980, Chief Sprayberry was appointed Fire Chief. During Chief Sprayberry’s tenure the rescue system was greatly enhanced, incorporating many innovative ideas. Chief Sprayberry retired August 20, 1982. CHIEF BOBBY JACK THOMPSON (1982-1985)

Chief Williams brought in a host of improvements to the department. He supervised the continuing upgrading of the communications system, which replaced a 1913 model. Demand type breathing apparatus replaced obsolete filter masks. A mobile air unit was placed in service to refill air bottles on scene. Two-way solid state radios replaced old tube type radios. A 7th Battalion was created for the airport as well as an ambulance unit. During his command the city’s fire protection classification was upgraded from an ISO Class 3 to an ISO Class 2 fire department. “Chief Williams unexpectedly died on 19 November 1976 at his home in Sandy Springs, GA. He is buried in Greenwood Cemetery in northwest Atlanta.”

Chief Thompson was born on March 26, 1930 in Perry Oklahoma. In 1955 he joined the Redondo Beach, California Fire Department. Soon after, in 1958 he moved to the Santa Fe Springs, California Fire Department, working up to the rank of Fire Chief in 1970. In June of 1976, Thompson became Fire Chief of Santa Ana, California, remaining there until his elevation to City Manager. Chief Thompson became Superintendent of the National Fire Academy in January, 1980. June, 1981, saw the chief appointed as the Administrator of the U.S. Fire Administration. In December of 1982, Mayor Andrew Young appointed Chief

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Thompson as Fire Chief. During Chief Thompson’s tenure, many significant events occurred. A Master Plan for Cost Effective Fire Protection was created. The Hazardous Materials Team was placed in service. A new communications system went on line. A fire station location study was completed. Mutual Aid and Automatic Aid agreements were signed by neighboring jurisdictions. Chief Thompson left the city in June of 1985. CHIEF WILLIAM H.HAMER (1985-1988) On June 17, 1985, history was made as William H. Hamer was appointed by Mayor Andrew Young as the City’s first black Fire Chief. Chief Hamer was born on December 12, 1938, in Florence, Alabama. On April 1, 1963, Hamer joined fifteen others, to become the first blacks hired by the City of Atlanta as firefighters. These firefighters were assigned to Station 16, which had been recently constructed on Simpson Road, (now Joseph P. Boone Boulevard NW). The chief spent four years as a firefighter, nine as a Fire Apparatus Operator, four as acting Assistant Chief, two as a Battalion Chief, two years as Chief of Communications and one year as Assistant Chief of Technical Services. The greatest accomplishment during Chief Hamer’s tenure was the successful planning and execution of fire and EMS services for the Democratic National Convention, held in July of 1988.

CHIEF DAVID CHAMBERLIN (1990-1994) D.M. Chamberlin, Sr. began his career in the fire service in 1959 when he became a volunteer firefighter in New England. He joined the US Navy in 1961 and served as a crash fire rescue firefighter and as an Air crewman on an anti-submarine warfare aircraft. After his time in the U.S. Navy, he became a firefighter for a privately owned company contracting fire department functions in Hall County, surrounding Gainesville GA. Chief Chamberlin became a nationally know recognized figure in the fire service and a regular speaker at many fire and EMS national conventions. He holds a degree in Fire Science and is a member of many fire service organizations. In 1966, Chief Chamberlin began his career with the Atlanta fire Department where he initially served as a firefighter. He was promoted to Assistant Fire Chief in 1981. He was later appointed to the Fire Chief position by Mayor Maynard Jackson. Chief Chamberlin is credited with developing the Atlanta Fire Department “Incident Command System”. IN 1994, Chief David M. Chamberlin chose to retire under the Early Retirement Incentive Program. Upon his retirement from the AFD he became the Fire & Safety Contingency Planning Manager for the 1996 Atlanta Centennial Olympic Games.

Chief Hamer retired at the end of 1988.

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CHIEF WINSTON L. MINOR (1995-2003) Chief Winston Minor was appointed to fire chief by Mayor Bill Campbell in 1995. A native of Atlanta, Fire Chief Winston L. Minor grew up and attended Atlanta Public Schools. Prompted by many high school classmates to apply with the City of Atlanta Fire Department, He joined the Atlanta Fire Department in 1973. He was assigned to fire Station #7 in the West End where he began his career. In 1980 he was promoted to the rank of Captain, and in 1987 to the rank of Assistant Fire Chief, where he commanded a operations division. He then later moved to training. He is credited for implementing many programs, such as the fire cadet program, Atlanta Empowerment Zones for Breakaway Burglar Bars, and A.S.A.P. Atlanta Smoke Alarm Program. Fire Chief Minor has been invited to lecture in Johannesburg, South Africa; Queenstown, New Zealand; Port-of –Spain, Trinidad, Tobago, and various cities in the US. His topics have included the Olympics, Terrorism, first responders, fire prevention and public education. He retired in 2003 with thirty years of service.

CHIEF DENNIS L. RUBIN (2004-2007) Prior to becoming Atlanta’s Fire Chief, Rubin completed 31 years of fire-rescue service. He had been a line firefighter, company grade officer and command level officer in several major fire departments to include Washington, DC and Norfolk, Virginia. In 1994, he served as the President of the State Fire Chiefs Association of Virginia. After becoming the Department Chief in Dothan, Alabama, (and later City Manager), Chief Rubin was the host Fire Chief for the 1999 Southeastern Fire Chiefs Association conference which was held in Dothan. He has serve on several committees with the International Association of Fire Chiefs over the years, including a two-year term as the Health and Safety Committee Chair. Chief Rubin was the host Fire Chief for the “Wingspread V” conference held in 2006. During his stay in Atlanta, Chief Rubin’s most noticeable accomplishment was the implementation of the 12 A.L.S (Advanced Life Support), engines across the city, and staffing them with paramedic firefighters. Chief Rubin was instrumental in getting the annual convention of the International Association of Fire Chiefs to return the huge meeting to Atlanta in August 2007. Dennis L. Rubin left the Atlanta Fire Rescue Department to return as the Fire Chief of Washington D.C Fire Department.

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FALLEN FIREFIGHTERS

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FALLEN FIREFIGHTERS Runner Levin S. Blake Atlanta Fire Company No. 1 Killed in Action April 13, 1859

the scene, a terrible wind storm arose and blew the walls down on the firemen. The two laddermen were killed.

While assisting the Volunteer Fire Department in the removal of stored gunpowder in a hardware store on East Alabama Street, just east of Whitehall, Levin stumbled with a keg of the burning explosive and fell across it. The keg exploded violently, killing Levin Blake instantly. Blake was 27 years of age, having been born in 1832 in Baltimore, Maryland. Foreman Daniel E. Lynch Tallulah Fire Company No. 3 Killed in Action March 23, 1871 The hand engine of Tallulah Fire Company No. 3 was enroute to a fire in the T. B. Archer stables on South Broad, being pulled by members of the company. Preparatory to turning into Hunter Street, Foreman Lynch stumbled and fell and the heavy engine passed over his body. He was pronounced dead by the company surgeon. Runner Charles H. Wootten Tallulah Fire Company No. 3 Killed in Action March 28, 1872 When members of Tallulah Fire Company No. 3 were hauling the hand engine to a fire, the machine struck a hole in Peachtree Street in front of the Leydon House. The machine mounted the curbing, the tongue splintered, and impaled Wootten against a fence; he died instantly. Wootten was 20 years of age, having been born in 1852, in Atlanta. He had just become a member of the Tallulah Fire Company No. 3.

Ladderman William P. Leach Hook & Ladder Company No. 1 Killed in Action April 24, 1889

Ladderman Harry O. Howell Hook & Ladder Company No. 1 Killed in Action April 24, 1889 The Wellhouse & Sons Paper Company, occupying the Jackson Building at No. 38 East Alabama Street, corner of South Pryor Street, was completely gutted on the night of April 21, 1889. The fire had been almost impossible to extinguish and the Fire Department was again called into service on April 24th. While the firemen were working at 22

Hoseman Clifford A. Smith Engine Company No. 7 Died September 7, 1907 Of Injuries Received June 21, 1907 Hoseman George W. Watts Engine Company No. 7 Died September 30, 1907 Of Injuries Received June 21, 1907 While operating at a fire in a dwelling at No. 80 Caber Street, the members of Engine & Hose Co. No. 7 were buried under the collapse of a heavy front porch. Hoseman Smith received injuries to his back and later developed complications of infected kidneys. Waits received severe burns and cuts, and suffered a fracture. Clifford A. Smith had been appointed to the Fire Department on March 28, 1901, as a substitute; and was placed regular with Engine & Hose Co. No. 7 on November 1, 1901, all of his time with that company. George W. Waits was born in Sandy Springs and was 48 years of age. He had entered the Fire Department as a regular member of Engine & Hose Co. No. 4 on North Pryor Street at December 1, 1890. He remained with this company and the new No. 7 Engine House was placed in service on May 31, 1894, at which time he was transferred there as a charter member. Engineer Of Steamer Raymond M. Fisher Engine Company No. 6 Killed in Action July 20, 1908 At the Miller-Karwisch Buggy & Wagon Works fire, southwest corner of Gilmer and Courtland Streets, Engineer Fisher’s engine was not needed to pump so he began assisting the other men in trying to bring the fire under control. He was operating a charged hose line at the top of a ladder at the second floor when back-pressure in the hose line recoiled violently, knocking the fireman from his position. He turned a complete somersault in the air and landed on his head and back on the sidewalk below. He was rushed to the hospital, but died on the operating table of a broken neck, fractured skull, and severe internal injuries.

Fallen Firefighters


Hoseman J. Ira Gillesppi Chemical Company No. 1 Killed in Action February 26, 1913 The accident, which took Gillesppi’s life, was not a fire. All of the downtown companies had been dispatched to the corner of Whitehall Street and Trinity Avenue where a portion of a building had collapsed, sending up large volumes of dust which appeared to be smoke. While rescuing people from the upper floors of the building, the front wall fell outward onto No. 1’s aerial ladder on which Gillesppi was climbing. He was hurled to the street; the full force of the wall crushing the life out of him. Engine Stoker Charles Dougherty Engine Company No. 9 Killed in Action March 7, 1913 The fire in which Dougherty received fatal injuries occurred at a dwelling a No. 363 Washington Street. As his engine was not needed at this fire, Dougherty seized an axe and climbed a ladder into the attic to assist in “opening up.” In some manner he came in contact with an electric wire and received a surge of heavy voltage through his body. Although he was quickly rushed to the hospital in Chief Cummings’ car, he died before the trip was half over.

Hoseman Charles A. Lowe Engine Company No. 9 Died February 9, 1915 Of Injuries Received February 7, 1915

Charles A. Lowe was 31 years of age, having been born in 1884. He had been appointed to the Fire Department as a substitute on November 1, 1909, and on March 15, 1910, had been placed regular at Fire Station No. 11 on North Avenue. On February 11, 1913, he was transferred to No. 9. Hose Wagon Driver Charles C Winter Engine Company No. 4 Died December 2, 1917 Of Injuries Received February 19, 1917 During the course of a multiple alarm fire at the T. H. Brooke Hay and Grain warehouse at the rear of No. 212 Marietta Street, Winter was driving his wagon between two buildings when his head struck a scaffolding on the side of one of the structures and he was thrown to the ground. He was rushed to the hospital in Chief Cody’s automobile where an examination revealed that he had a badly injured back and head, and possible internal injuries. He was confined to the hospital for a week and then released. Later complications developed and he was again confined and on December 22, 1917, he succumbed to his injuries. Captain Robert M. Netherland Engine Company No. 10 Killed in Action January 4, 1920 While responding to an alarm, Engine No. 10 was involved in an accident with a street car at the intersection of Cherokee Avenue and Bryan Street. Captain Netherland was thrown from the apparatus and received a fractured skull, broken ribs, and severe internal injuries. He died at the hospital before emergency operations could be performed. Assistant Chief S. Blake Chapman Headquarters No. 2 Killed in Action September 29, 1921

Lieutenant Timothy J. Driscoll Engine Company No. 9 Died June 3, 1921 Of injuries Received February 7, 1915 In responding to an alarm from a residence on East Georgia Avenue, the hose wagon of Engine & Hose Company No. 9 collided with an automobile at the intersection of Georgia Avenue and Washington Street. The firemen were hurled from their apparatus; Lowe received a fractured skull and was unconscious when removed to the hospital. Lieutenant Driscoll received severe head and back injuries which left him paralyzed and an invalid. He was forced to retire from service on March 16, 1916.

Chief Chapman was directing the companies at a small but smoky fire in an old abandoned piano factory at the corner Powell Street and the Georgia Railroad which was being used by the Fulton Bag & Cotton Mill for the storage of baled cotton. White in the process of searching out the building for further fire, Chief Chapman stepped through an unprotected elevator shaft and plunged three stories to the bottom. He received a broken back, fractured skull, a fractured left leg and right shoulder, and severe internal injuries. He died soon after reaching the hospital. Chapman was born in 1856. Before entering the fire department, he had been a member of the Atlanta Police Department. He joined Hook & Ladder Company No. 1 on 7 October 1886. On December 1, 1890, he was promoted to the rank of Foreman of Hose Reel Company No. 2 on Washington Street. He was transferred to the

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position of Foreman of Hook & Ladder No. 2 in 1903, and on May 1, 1908, he was again transferred; this time as Foreman of Engine & Hose Company No. 6 on North Boulevard. When the two platoon system was placed in effect in 1919, he was made an Assistant Chief and moved to quarters in Fire Station No. 2. Captain John M. Jenkins Ladder Company No. 12 Died Of Injuries Received June 22, 1920 While engaged in fighting a fire at the Fulton Bag & Cotton Mills on June 22, 1920, Captain Jenkins received injuries which prevented his return to duty. He was kept on the payroll but passed away on April 18, 1922. Captain Jenkins was 59 years old, having been born in 1863. He had entered the Fire Department on June 1, 1895, and served a year as a substitute while some of the members were in service at the Cotton States & International Exposition at Piedmont Park. On May 1, 1896, he became a charter member of the Hook & Ladder Company No. 3 at No. 4 Engine House on Pryor Street. During 1901 he was appointed driver of the Hose Wagon attached to Engine Company No. 4 and in 1905 became the drive of Engine No. 4. When the new No. 12 Fire Station was installed on February 1, 1911, he was promoted to the rank of Lieutenant of Hook & Ladder No. 6 stationed there.

followed and after a long illness resulted in his death. “Little Bill� Cody, as he was affectionately known, was the son of Fire Chief William B. Cody. He had entered the Fire Department as a substitute on December 20, 1904. January 18, 1905, found him enrolled as a regular Hoseman with Hose & Chemical Company No. 1. He was elected Lieutenant of that company on December 1, 1910, where he remained until the outbreak of World War 1; at which time he enlisted in the army and was placed in command of the Fire Department at Camp Gordon near Chamblee, Georgia, as a Lieutenant. Upon being released from military duty, he returned to the Fire Department and on July 16, 1919, was elected Captain.

Captain Casper O. Bone Ladder Company No. 4 Killed in Action May 6, 1925

Lieutenant Robert Lee Dennard Engine Company No. 6 Killed in Action May 6, 1925

Assistant Chief W. Frank Coley Headquarters No. 8 Fire STATION Died September 12, 1922 Of Injuries Received August 9, 1922 Chief Coley was temporarily blinded by fumes of combustion at a fire which occurred on August 9, 1922. Infection of his eyes followed and he was sent home on September 8th. Complications developed and his death followed.

Ladderman Lee H. Smith Ladder Company No. 4 Killed in Action May 6, 1925

Hoseman Robert H. Spearman Engine Company No. 11 Killed in Action October 9, 1922 While responding to an alarm from a Rankin Street address. Engine No. 11 swerved to avoid a hole in the street on East North Avenue at Bedford Place. Hoseman E.M. Johnson and RJL Spearman were thrown from the apparatus. Johnson suffered a fractured left arm, but Spearman received a fractured skull and died instantly. Assistant Chief William T. Cody Headquarters No. 2 Fire Station Died February 24, 1924 Of Injuries Received February 22, 1923 While making an inspection following a fire in February 1923, which heavily damaged a dwelling at No. 136 East Merritts Avenue, Chief Cody fell through a hole burned in the floor, severely injuring his kidneys. Complications 24

Fallen Firefighters

Hoseman Frank F. Wilson Engine Company No. 4 Killed in Action May 6, 1925

Hoseman Clyde C. King Engine Company No. 6 Killed in Action May 6, 1925


Hoseman Earl S. Konkle Engine Company No. 6 Killed in Action May 6, 1925

Chief Of Department John Terrell Headquarters No. 1 Fire Station Killed in Action February 27, 1933

The most tragic accident to befall the members of the Atlanta Fire Department, occurred May 6, 1925, when the above members were killed. They were endeavoring to extinguish a multiple alarm fire at the Jass Manufacturing Company at No. 321 Decatur Street, when the floor above them, loaded with baled cotton, collapsed; killing them instantly and injuring eight severely. Captain A. Clyde Cawthorn Engine Company No. 5 Killed in Action July 30, 1927

In speeding to an alarm from Capitol Avenue and East Fair Street, which proved to be false, the official automobile of Chief Terrell was struck broadside by an automobile driven by a man at the intersection of Mitchell Street and Central Avenue. The door of the chief ’s car was flung open and the Chief was pitched to the street, striking his head to the pavement. He was rushed to Grady Hospital where it was revealed that he had a severe skull fracture. An emergency operation was performed, but he died the next morning without regaining consciousness. Chief ’s Aide Sidney J. Coogler Headquarters No. 11 Fire Station Killed in Action March 14, 1935

Hoseman J. Barney Richardson Engine Company No. 4 Killed in Action July 30, 1927 In the process of advancing a hose line up a ladder at the multiplealarm W. L. Fain Grain Company fire on Hulsey Street at Mechanic Street, the wall of the building collapsed and buried Captain Cawthron and Hoseman J. B. Richardson in the debris. Six other firemen were severely injured in the same accident. Assistant Chief Tacitus Short Headquarters Fire Station No. 2 Killed in Action February 22, 1928 In directing a small fire in a dwelling at 567 Formwalt Street, S.W., Chief Short became affected by the gases of combustion and collapsed. He was rushed to the hospital but died before reaching it. Lieutenant Harrison Finch Engine Co. No. 4 Killed in Action September 24, 1929 Engaged in directing his company at the Mutual Clothing Company fire at 30 Broad Street, S.W., Lieutenant Finch was overcome by heavy smoke and collapsed from exhaustion. He was rushed to Grady Hospital in Chief Cody’s automobile, but died before treatment could be administered. Hoseman O. A. Blair Engine Company No. 18 Died August 20, 1925 Of Injuries Received August 15, 1925

While responding to an alarm from 896 Parkway Drive, N. E., the automobile of the Chief of the Third Battalion was struck by an automobile driven by a man at the intersection of Ponce De Leon and Piedmont Avenues. Battalion Chief Paul S. Fleming received a fractured rib and other injuries but his Aide, Sidney J. Coogler, received a fractured skull and died within thirty minutes after reaching the hospital. Captain E. T. Allen Engine Company No. 17 Died December 25, 1935 Of Injuries Received December 17, 1935 Engine No. 17, while responding to a still alarm on South Gordon Street, failed to take a curve and plunged over the sidewalk and onto the front porch of a dwelling. The engineer of the apparatus had been blinded by the lights of an on-coming automobile. Captain Alien was thrown from the machine and sustained injuries which caused his death. Private Silas L. Garrett Engine Company No. 6 Killed in Action April 2, 1941 Engine No. 6 was stopped at a small fire on Boulevard and Garrett was standing at the rear of the machine when it backed up. In so doing, Garrett was knocked down and the rear wheel of the heavy apparatus passed over his chest. He was rushed to nearby Georgia Baptist Hospital, but died on the operating table.

Preparing to respond to an alarm of fire on August 15, 1925, Blair was cranking the apparatus when the machine kicked backward, the crank striking him in the chest, inflicting injuries from which he died. Fallen Firefighters

25


Engineer Julian H. Head Engine Company No. 6 Died February 17, 1942 Of Injuries Received February 10, 1942

Fireman Frank Wilson Jr. Engine Company No. 14 Killed in Action May 9, 1958

While assisting his company in extinguishing a fire at the Bellinger’s Inn on Ponce De Leon Avenue, Head was overcome by poisonous gases and succumbed seven days later. Lieutenant Roy Walter Kirk Engine Company No. 10 Died February 23, 1948 Of Injuries Received February 22, 1948 While directing his company at a four-alarm fire at the Georgia State Hatcheries on Forsyth Street, Lieutenant Kirk collapsed from exposure and exhaustion and died at the hospital the next morning. Fireman Arthur Lee Almand Ladder Company No. 8 Killed in Action October 26, 1949 While raising the aerial ladder of Ladder No. 8, at the multiple-alarm Hudson & Vittur Company fire on Walton Street at Marietta Street, the metal ladder came in contact with the overhead trolley wires. Fireman Almand, in getting off the truck, grounded himself and received the full charge of the heavy voltage; he died almost instantly. 2nd Assistant Chief Morris H. Dean Headquarters No. 1 Fire Station Killed in Action February 15, 1953

Dean was killed instantly.

While directing the fire-fighting operations at the multiple alarm Seaboard Air Line Railroad Depot fire beneath the Spring Street viaduct, several firemen were caught under a collapsed wall. All of them received severe injuries, but Chief Fireman John Robert Findley Engine Company No. 17 Killed in Action February 25, 1956

While assisting his company in the extinguishment of a fire in a combination grocery and beauty parlor, a two story brick structure at 737 West End Avenue, Findley collapsed from the effects of the gases of combustion and died in the hospital.

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Responding on a second-alarm to the Southern Mills Company fire on Stewart Avenue, Engine No. 14 collided with one of the pillars of the Glenn Street underpass at West Whitehall Street. Several of the firemen were thrown from the apparatus and injured, but Wilson sustained fatal injuries. Chief Luther Watts Guthrie Killed in Action Died September 18, 1960 Of Injuries Received February 10, 1953 Chief of Department Luther Waits Guthrie, age 48, died September 18, 1960 of injuries received on February 10, 1953, at the Seaboard Airline Railroad warehouse fire, in which Assistant Chief Morris H. Dean was killed. Although appearing to be in good health, Chief Guthrie nevertheless suffered from the injuries he had received, and after succeeding Chief Styron as head of the Fire Department, he continued to suffer re-curring symptoms which resulted in his untimely death. Captain H. A. “ Doc “ Horton Killed in Action June 21, 1966 On June 21, 1966 shortly after assisting in searching out the residence at 2065 Blayton Cir. N.W. which was heavily charged with heat, smoke, and gases. Finding no victims inside, Captain Horton proceeded to assist in the extinguishment of a fire which originated in the utility room and spread through the kitchen and den. During clean-up operations it was noticed by Battalion Chief T. H. Roberts that Captain Horton was having difficultly breathing and standing. Chief Roberts instructed Captain R. M. Gossett of Ladder 16 to take command as he was going to take Captain Horton for Medical Treatment at once. It was on the way to Chiefs car (25 ft. away) that Captain Horton collapsed. Oxygen from Ladder 16’s resuscitator was administered and A.F.D. Rescue One was called immediately. Captain H. A. “ Doc” Horton was pronounced dead on arrival, at Grady Hospital at 1:55 A.M., cause: Carbon Monoxide Poisoning. Captain Paul T. Giles Died May 16, 1968 Of Injuries Received May 1, 1968 On May 1, 1968, Engine 15, was operating at a still alarm at 1630 Peachtree Street N.W., with a booster stream on a taxicab, when the gasoline tank on the vehicle exploded, spraying Captain Paul T. Giles and Fireman G. C. Robbins with burning gasoline. Robbins survived the blast, but the Captain only lived until May 16, 1968.

Fallen Firefighters


Captain Lewis Bartow Grady Killed in Action May 29, 1971 The second most tragic fire to occur that caused the death of fireman occurred on Saturday night, May 29, 1971, at 10:23 P.M. Four of Atlanta’s most gallant firefighters lost their lives and mote than 20 others were injured. The men were part of a four-alarm assignment endeavoring to control a blaze in the basement of Davis’ Brothers Restaurant at 104 Luckie Street, N.W.

Fireman Verlon James Crider Killed in Action May 29, 1971

Engineer Edward H. Cole Engine Company No. 26 Killed in Action December 31, 1973 Company 26 responded to a working fire at 77 East Andrews Drive NW in Buckhead. The crew members of E-26 were occupied working the fire and FAO Cole went to find a plug since his apparatus was not pumping. After hooking to the hydrant, he suffered a massive heart attack and was found unresponsive at the front of his engine by Metro Fire Assn. member Dave Williams arriving on the scene. Command was immediately notified and CPR started but Cole never responded. Captain Clyde T. Ragsdale, III Ladder Company No. 1 Died December 20, 1978 Of Injuries Received May 21, 1970 On May 21, 1970, fire companies responded to a report of a fire at Spring and Brotherton Streets. Arriving companies found a working fire in a number of two and three story brick and wood joisted buildings at 207 to 219 Spring Street. This area of town had just suffered a serious fire nine days earlier.

Fireman Charles Douglas Fernander Killed in Action May 29, 1971

Captain Ragsdale was commanding Ladder 1, trying to stop the fire’s progression in the Georgia Art Supply Building. While at this building, Ragsdale was exposed to toxic chemicals. While not experiencing immediate trauma, this exposure slowly deteriorated his health. Captain Ragsdale finally succumbed to his injuries on December 20, 1978. Fireman Howard Haley Beck Killed in Action May 29, 1971

Captain Leon Acton Westmoreland Killed in Action December 18, 1972 Captain Leon Action Westmoreland of Engine Co. 14 died on 18 December 1972 from injuries sustained in the line of duty. No other details have been recorded.

Firefighter Scott D. Duncan Ladder Company No. 1 Died July 16, 1981 Of Injuries Received July 15, 1981 On the evening of July 15, 1981, companies one and five along with engine seven responded to a report of a structure fire at 206 Trinity Street, S.W. The arriving companies found light smoke issuing from the third floor windows of a three story, heavy timber mercantile building. Firefighters entered the building through a broken window and ascended via an interior stairway. At the third floor they found a small fire burning on the floor. A booster line was called for As Captain Jerry Ingram and Firefighter Scott Duncan of Ladder One, along with Firefighter Ronnie Stewart of Engine Five waited for their hoseline, the fire suddenly burst forth, cutting off the firefighters from the stairway. They were driven to the windows, pausing briefly before falling to the ground.

Fallen Firefighters

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Fire Fighter Steven Solomon Engine & Ladder Company 16 November 23, 2006

All three were seriously injured, with Duncan succumbing to his massive injuries on July 16, 1981. Ingram and Stewart were awarded disability retirements. Captain Jerry A. Prince Ladder Company No. 30 Killed in Action February 27, 1986 On February 26, 1986, Fifth Battalion companies responded to a report of a warehouse fire at 95 Milton Avenue, S.E. Arriving companies found a working fire in the Shook & Fletcher Insulation Company, which required fire companies from three alarms to contain.

On November 23, 2006 Thanksgiving night companies responded to a report of a structure fire located at 257 Elm St NW. Units arrived to find a heavy smoke from 1 story wood frame vacant structure. Company 16 along with other units on scene made an aggressive offensive attack. The fire conditions rapidly changed, trapping fire fighter Steven Solomon inside. He was removed with in minutes, and transported to Grady Hospital with severe burns. Firefighter Steven Solomon succumbed to his injuries early in the morning on November 29.

Shortly before 1:00 A.M. the south wall collapsed, burying Captain Prince. It took firefighters about 15 minutes to dig out their fallen comrade and it was apparent that Prince was in bad shape. Prince was rushed to Grady Hospital were he died shortly before 2:00 A.M. Fire Apparatus Operator Russell Schwantes Sta #24 Atlanta Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport April 16 2006 On Sunday, April 16, 2006 a few minutes before 21:44, Fire Apparatus Operator Russell Schwantes suffered a heart attack while on duty at Atlanta Fire Station #24. Schwantes was engaged in physical fitness training at the fire station, and soon after responded to a medical emergency. Schwantes collapsed at the station and was transported to Atlanta Medical Center where he was placed in intensive care. On April 25, he was transferred to Piedmont Hospital ICU. On the same day at 12:45 Schwantes succumbed to consequence of Acute Myocardial Infarction. Schwantes was recognized by and his family received the Public Safety Officer Benefit from the U.S. Department of Justice.

Fire at which Fireman Almand was killed.

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Fallen Firefighters


HISTORY 1847-1882 THE VOLUNTEER YEARS THE BEGINNING… Data compiled by the late Assistant Chief Stephen B. Campbell Updated by Dave E. Williams, CFPS Metropolitan Fire Association In 1836 the Georgia General Assembly voted to build a railroad to provide a trade route to the Midwestern United States. The City of Decatur did not want the rail traffic and noise, smoke etc. in their city. The Georgia Railroad extended their line to a “terminus” point chosen six miles to the west in 1837. By 1839 homes and a store were built forming what was called “Terminus”. By 1842, the settlement had changed names from Terminus to Marthasville and by 1847 to Atlanta. The young town had six buildings and 30 residents. The city would incorporate in 1847 and had circular corporate limits extending out 1 mile from “Mile Post 1” the meeting point between the Georgia Railroad and the Western & Atlantic Railroad. That historic mile post remains beneath the viaducts across the railroad track from Underground Atlanta. By 1854 rail lines had arrived from four different directions, making the young town the rail hub for the entire southeastern United States. The rapid success of the city would draw many immigrants to work for the railroads and other commercial occupancies which were rapidly popping up. This gave the city a rich pool of skilled artisans who could serve the predominately rural areas outside Atlanta. There were many English, Irish, German and the businessmen included a number Blacks who worked part time as a businessman and part time as a slave. The city records of 1859 showed a total of seven free Black businessmen. Interestingly enough many of the part time slave, part time businessmen would openly compete with White workmen as independent contractors.

1851 – 1860 The Fire Service Forms The time from 1848 until 1859 saw the formation of the nucleus of a well organized, efficient fire fighting force. This exciting period was the time of the “birth” of the Atlanta Fire Department. On 2 February, 1848 the city council formed a committee to investigate the fire problem in the young town and as a result a fire brigade was formed. A week later, the first fire ordinance was enacted which required all buildings to be equipped with a standardized size fire buckets. In the event of an alarm, the occupants would “throw out your buckets” which would then be used by residents/occupants and the fire brigade. While this is a far cry from fire protection equipment in use

in the twenty-first century, it demonstrated that the city leaders and the citizens realized the importance of fire safety. While the remainder of 1848 and most of 1849 passed without much historical significance to Atlanta, several fires were fought in “Snake Nation”. That was an area located around the current Peters Street SW viaduct and in “Slab Town”, a low income area around Decatur and Pratt Streets SE now covered by I-75 – 85; the Grady Hospital complex and portions of Georgia State University. During the winter of 1850, several stores and dwellings were destroyed by fire on Marietta Street NW, near Bridge Street NW. Bridge was later renamed to Market Street and today is Broad Street northwest and southwest. Although the “fire brigade” made a valiant effort, the fire destroyed a larger area than it should have and in February 1850, the Georgia State legislature approved a bill authorizing the establishment of an organized fire company in Atlanta. On 15 April 1850, the first “recorded” fire in the city damaged Augustus W. Wheat’s cotton warehouse at the corner of Alabama and Pryor Streets SW. The following year, 1851, more legislation was passed. This time an ordinance enacted by the city council required each building in the town to be equipped with a short ladder and two standardized sized fire buckets. Shortly thereafter, on 25 March 1851, concerned citizens met and the first fire company was in the early stages of being organized. That year also saw the authorization for the construction of fire cisterns so that a large source of water would be available for firefighting use. One of the original cisterns was at the corner of Whitehall Street SW, (now Peachtree Street SW), and Mitchell Street SW, just north of Atlanta Fire Rescue Headquarters. Others were built at Whitehall and Marietta Streets NW and Whitehall and Hunter (now Martin Luther King Junior Drive SW). To encourage citizens to become active in the fire defenses of the town, on 11 July 1851, the Atlanta City Council passed legislation making members of the fire company exempt from paying street taxes or having to serve on jury duty. This was followed on 19 August by the appointment of a building committee by the city council. They were charged with securing a lot on which to build a fire hall at a cost of no more than fifteen hundred dollars. The committee selected a lot on the east side of the then non-existent Bridge Street (now Broad Street SW), between Alabama Street and the Western and Atlantic (now CSX) Railroad embankment. The fire company was officially chartered by the state legislature on 4 April, 1852 and designated Atlanta Fire Company No. 1. Atlanta’s first fire apparatus was purchased from the company of William C. Hunneman. Mr. Hunneman had learned blacksmithing from none other that Paul Revere of Boston. Soon after learning his craft, William opened a blacksmith shop at 20 Union Street, in Boston to manufacture brass hardware for, the leading industry of the time, ship building. A major contribution toward fire protection was achieved when the

History 1847-1882 The Volunteer Years

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technology of the day replaced the fire bucket brigades with, “Fire Masheens”. It was the development of these inventive ideas, coupled with the political and military deeds of America’s early heroes that gave promise to the rise of a great nation. The fire service was a high social priority in the life of any community including Atlanta. In 1792, Mr. Hunneman decided to make his contribution toward solving the fire problem by mass manufacturing fire engines. He purchased a patent for a hand-pumped fire engine from Mr. Jacob Perkins of Boston. Mr. Hunneman was not the first, nor the only, builder of fire engines. In New York, Mr. James Smith was the leading manufacturer of hand operated engines at the time. Although the engines were similar in design, the only difference was the angle upon which the pistons operated. Many of the builders of the hand engines purchased the pump and accessories from the Hunneman Company. Then a local cabinet maker was engaged to build the “tub”. The name “Hand Tub” or “Engine” derives its origin from the fact that the body is actually a tub, formed from sheets of copper, designed to hold water. The pump was then installed within the tub to pull the water out under pressure. From 1792 to 1883, through three generations of Hunneman family 750 fire engines were made and shipped to all parts of the world. The Atlanta “macheen”, a 3rd size fire engine and a 500’ capacity hose reel carriage, arrived by train on 11 April 1852. The new “fire engine” and was given the name “Blue Dick”. Records do not indicate where this name originated. The city paid Atlanta Fire Company No. 1 a sum of $319.95 on 21 April 1852 to purchase needed equipment so they could protect the city. This became the first governmental appropriation for fire protection. The first fire hose was made from sewn together leather in Holland in 1673 by a fire brigade superintendent. Prior to the use of fire hose the fire brigades used buckets passed in a line of citizens and then tossed onto a burning building. The rapid passing of the buckets would cause water to slosh out and spill, being so close to the fire was very hazardous and the entire process was extremely labor intensive only to get a small amount of water on a fire. With the invention of the hand pumped fire engines, streams or water could be directed onto the exterior or even into a building on fire through an appliance on top of the engine similar to the deck gun master stream nozzles of today. As with the deck gun, effectiveness was limited due to the limited reach and placement of the apparatus. The first fire hose was not without its problems. It was long strips of leather sewn together so it badly leaked at the seam. In addition, the leather that it was made from had to be constantly maintained. Imagine having to use fish oil (stinky) to keep it clean and flexible enough to use. The seam along the length of the hose also made it very limited as to the amount of pressure that it could handle. The advantage was that a fire hose could be used to get water from the pumping hand powered engine and stretched both closer to the fire and through nozzles, the water could be directed into more efficient fire extinguishment. The invention of using wire in the hose to keep it from collapsing for drafting allowed for water to be obtained from a cistern and the pump could pull in its own water rather that the tub having to be refilled by the bucket brigade method. Now, more water could be directed on the fire. By the early 1800’s improvements had been made and leather hose was now riveted. This allowed for much higher pressures and improved 30

the reach of the fire streams. However, this hose could weigh as much as 85 pounds just for 50 feet so still had both problems and limitations. The next three years were marked by acquisition of additional space and equipment for Company 1. Funds were raised and gala social events held keeping the citizens involved with their fire department. On 22 July, 1853 the committee over the fire department recommended the construction of an engine house on the city owned lot on Market Street, what we know today as Broad Street SW. During January 1854 the Atlanta Fire Company No. 1 reincorporated and showed at this time they adopted the slogan still seen on apparatus today of “Prompt to Action”. This was the year the first uniforms were designed and the first fire helmets acquired. On 8 April, 1854 the Atlanta City Council appropriated $800 to build the fire hall on the owned lot on Market Street. January 7, 1855 brought a serious fire to Whitehall Street SW. The fire company responded and did a brilliant and outstanding job in stopping the fire. On 8 January the city council tendered the city’s thanks for saving the town and voted to take over the indebtedness of Company No. 1 that was owed on the fire equipment and the apparatus. On 25 November, 1856 the Winship Freight Car Works caught fire at the corner of Wadley Street (now known as Forsyth St.) and the Western & Atlantic Railroad... The site is now occupied by the building that for years was the home of the Atlanta Journal & Constitution. It appears that this and other large and destructive fires throughout the year brought to the attention of city officials the need for additional firefighters. On 28 November, 1856, a meeting of a special committee of the fire company was held and plans formulated for the establishment of a second fire company. Less than a month later, on 10 December 1856, the new company was formed at a meeting in the Masonic Hall at the corner of Loyd Street (now Central Ave.) and East Alabama Street SW. It was designated Mechanic Fire Company No. 2 and adopted the motto, “The Public Good, Our Only Aim.” Mechanic Fire Company No. 2 drafted application for a charter and constitution on 7 January, 1857. Before the application could be processed, a serious fire occurred on the east side of Whitehall Street SW, between Hunter and Mitchell streets. Though not yet equipped, Company No. 2 furnished manpower to assist Company No. 1 in their efforts to bring the big blaze under control. By 6 February, 1857, Company No. 2 had ordered a hand operated fire engine from the William C. Hunneman Company of Boston, Massachusetts. Also on that date, specifications for new uniforms and helmets were approved and the equipment ordered. Helmets were ordered from the Henry T. Gratacap Company. The founder, H.T. Gratacap, had carved a niche in an innovative ocean transit luggage market, making his luggage from specially treated leather so it would offer superior durability and withstand wetness without rotting. Being a volunteer Firefighter in New York City, he and his compatriots became aware of the need to provide Firefighters with better head protection. Gratacap rose to the need by inventing the first American fire helmet in 1836. That helmet was named the “New Yorker”, and although being re-engineered many times throughout its life, the “New Yorker” is still produced today.

History 1847-1882 The Volunteer Years


Shortly after this, two brothers named Cairns, who were operating a Metal Badge, Button, and Insignia business in New York, came up with the idea to mount an identification badge to the front of Gratacap’s helmets, hence the first front piece and holder. The match was made, and the companies cooperated until Gratacap retired in the mid-1850s. Cairns Brothers would purchase Gratacap’s leather technology and the Cairns & Brother legacy began. Seeing the need for additional manpower, on 8 April, 1857, Mechanic Fire Company No. 2 changed its charter to authorize a compliment of fifty officers and men. Company No. 2’s new Hunneman was also a 3rd. size hand engine. Their new pumping unit also came with a hose reel carriage designed to carry 500’ of riveted leather fire hose. It arrived on 13 July and was placed in service on the 17th. Later that same month the company occupied its new fire hall on Collins Street overlooking the Georgia Railroad tracks. By 2012, Collins Street only can be seen from Decatur Street as we take a viaduct over Collins known as Courtland St NE from the north to the railroad where it becomes Washington Street SW south of the railroad. An open house was held on the 7th of August. During the same year, visiting firefighters from Memphis, Tennessee traveled through Atlanta while heading to Charleston, South Carolina. In a toast to Atlanta’s fire companies the Memphis brotherhood described Atlanta as “the Gate City of the South”, a name that continues to this day. Two main events occurred at the end of 1857. The fire protection limits of Atlanta were defined by city fathers on the 7th of December and Mechanic Fire Company No. 2 celebrated its first anniversary on 10 December. On the 10th of January, 1858 Mechanic Fire Company No. 2 gave a dance, “Hop in the Fire Hall”, for members of Company No. 1. Mechanic No. 2 was presented with a company flag by the ladies of the city. Members of the two companies became members of the newly formed “Gate City Guard”. In celebration of Atlanta Fire Company anniversary, No. 1 held a dinner and included the members of Fire Company No. 2 as well as city government officials. On 5 April 1858, a rather unique event occurred in the history of the fire companies. Members who were in the “Gate City Guard” acted as guards at a public hanging of a convicted murderer. As you can see, the duties of firefighters in those days were also many and varied. Rail traffic began to cause severe congestion with crossings blocked for hours. If you look at historic maps of the original layout of Atlanta, what we today know as Broad Street did not exist. The city constructed a wooden bridge over the rails at what had been an alleyway between buildings facing Peachtree Street to the east and Forsyth Streets to the west, north of the railroad and Forsyth and Whitehall Streets south of the tracks. This former alley was given the name of Bridge Street since it crossed the railroad tracks. With traffic now crossing the new bridge over the railroad, businesses began to open retail doors on the Bridge Street side of their buildings which formerly had been the back side of their stores. Bridge was later renamed Market Street and now we know this as Broad St. Many of the occupancies today still have entrances on two streets. This will help answer why Atlanta’s “Broad” street is for sure not very broad

or wide street. During the summer of 1858 the wood constructed bridge over the Western & Atlantic Railroad, at what by then was called Market Street burned. Companies quickly respond to the alarm of fire but the bridge was significantly damaged. On 22 December, 1858, there occurred an event that makes this a memorable and tragic date in the history of the early days of the Atlanta volunteer fire companies. A fire broke out in a two story frame building on the east side of Whitehall Street SW, just south of Alabama Street. One woman and two children lost their lives because of the lack of proper length ladder equipment. This became the first recorded fire in which lives were lost in Atlanta. A group of concerned citizens in the crowd rapidly made plans to organize a responding fire company devoted primarily to saving lives. Through their determination was born Atlanta’s first Hook and Ladder Company. In the beginning ladders were stored at strategically located points and members of the Atlanta Hook and Ladder Company would respond and “hand jack” the ladders from their stored locations to the scene of the fire. This practice would continue until April 1859. The year 1859 brought a number of important happenings for the fire service. In January, the city council gave Company No. 1 a check for a thousand dollars, payable on 1 August, for the balance due on their fire hall. Also, during the early part of January, a group of citizens on the north side of town developed plans to establish a third company to provide quicker fire protection to their area. This citizens group met in the fire hall of Company No. 2 on 4 February, 1859 and drew up a charter for the third brigade. The group met again on the 22nd of February and made definite plans, with the new company designated Tallulah Fire Company No. 3. It operated first as a bucket brigade, with temporary quarters set up in a livery stable on Walton Street near Walton Springs. The company was nick-named “The Kid Glove Boys”. The company soon adopted the motto, “We Strive to Save”. Like the other companies, Tallulah purchased a 3rd size Hunneman hand operated fire engine but their carriage only had a 300’ capacity hose reel. On the 18th of March, 1859 Company No. 1 sought to acquire the deed to their lot and fire hall but the City council refused the request since the city had provided funding to pay off Atlanta Fire Company No. 1’s debt on their fire hall and equipment. The 13th of April, 1859 proved to be another tragic date for the young fire department. A fire on East Alabama Street, just east of Whitehall claimed the life of Runner Levin S. Blake of Fire Company No. 1. Blake was killed when he fell while carrying a burning keg of gunpowder out of a hardware store and it exploded. His death was the first Line of Duty Death of a firefighter in the performance of his duties with the Atlanta Fire Department. On 14 April, members of the fire companies petitioned city council for an appropriation to buy a metal casket to ship Blake’s body to his former home in Baltimore, Maryland. The council appropriated seventy-five dollars. Runner Blake’s death did not go unnoticed and was important in city history, not only because he was the first Atlanta firefighter to lose

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his life in fighting a fire, but because, on the 14th of April council passed an ordinance prohibiting storage of explosives in more than one pound cans anywhere within the city limits. On the same date the Atlanta Hook and Ladder Company No. 1 was granted an appropriation from city fathers to purchase a wagon designed as a ladder truck. It is unknown what company built the Ladder Wagon. By midyear the fire service was again in the news and on 6 May, 1859, an appropriation was granted to Tallulah Fire Company No. 3 to erect its first fire hall. A lot was purchased on the east side of Market Street (now Broad), just north of the railroad cut. Construction started immediately and on 10 June, Tallulah Fire Company No. 3 was officially incorporated. Meanwhile, on the 10th of August, and after much discussion, city council finally presented Company No. 1 with the deed to their fire hall building and lot. On 28 November saw the arrival of the new hook and ladder truck. The company was chartered and designated Atlanta Hook & Ladder Company No. 1. It adopted as its motto, ‘The Old Reliable”. Uniforms were ordered and a building was purchased on the west side of South Pryor Street, between Alabama and Hunter Street, (now known as Martin Luther King Junior Drive), to house the new “truck company”. On the 21 November, 1859, council approved one thousand dollars for the Tallulah Fire Company No. 3 to add a second floor to its fire hall and for purchase of a company alarm bell. Atlanta’s first four fire companies formed a valiant foursome, compared with today’s size and organization. These volunteer firefighters from average citizens worked under tremendous pressure overcoming great odds and often lacked proper equipment and manpower for the tasks at hand. Records show they worked bravely and valiantly to defend the city against “Man’s Worst Enemy”. As the forerunners of the “organized volunteer fire department”, the men of this era will live forever in the annals of the Atlanta Fire Department as dedicated firefighters, willing to give freely of their time, often at the risk of losing their own lives, for the safety of their fellow city citizens and for the preservation of a city that was just beginning to have serious growing pains. 1860 - FORMATION OF THE ATLANTA VOLUNTEER FIRE DEPARTMENT On 3 January, 1860, the Atlanta City Council asked that the four fire companies combine and be organized into a single volunteer fire department with several companies. These actions marked the first time the cities four individually run fire companies were to operate as a single unit under a unified command. A little over two weeks later, on the 20th of January, members of the four companies met in the quarters of Company No. 1 and voted to combine into the Atlanta Volunteer Fire Department. A Constitution and set of operational By-Laws provided for a Chief Engineer, 1st and 2nd Assistant Chiefs, a recording secretary and a treasurer. Under this plan, each of the existing four companies would retain ownership of their fire hall, apparatus and equipment. Each company would pay a per capita tax to the fire department to cover the unified departments’ costs. An ordinance regulating the volunteer fire department and outlining its duties was passed by city council on 10 February. On 8 March, 1860, the Atlanta Volunteer Fire Department was officially created. The initial fire department 32

consisted of Engine Companies No 1, 2, 3 and Hook and Ladder Company No. 1. The first officers of the department were: Chief Engineer William H. Barnes; 1st Assistant Chief Samuel B Sherwood; 2nd Assistant Chief Robert F. Maddox; Secretary Charles C. Rhodes; Treasurer Henry Muhlenbrink. The end of the year 1860 saw several miscellaneous events of interest in the development of the new department. On 10 March, Fire Company No. 1 and Tallulah Fire Company No. 3 purchased burial lots in the City owned Oakland Cemetery. On the 1st of May, the citizens were treated to a parade of the new AVFD including a close up look at the combined departments’ equipment and given a full review of the new organization. Company 1 had outgrown their quarters and in midyear, Fire Company No. 1 purchased a lot for a new fire hall on the west side of Market Street at the W & A Railroad embankment,. An appropriation of one thousand dollars was granted by city council to construct the new building and construction was started. Only the walls and roof had been completed when War Between the States seemed imminent. The partly completed fire station was boarded up and remained that way until after the war. The year 1860 was memorable in the history of the Atlanta Fire Department, not only because it saw the merger of the group into a single volunteer unit, but also because tensions were mounting throughout the country and especially in the southland. Southern states had begun to secede from the union and the fuse was lit for what was to become one of the most bitter and needless struggles for life and property in the history of our nation. 1861: YEAR OF DECISION AND CHANGE The year started off quietly enough, with a big welcoming ceremony on the 16th of January, for a visit to the city by the new President of the Confederacy, Jefferson Davis. Units of the department took part in the celebration. On 22 February, 1861 Tallulah Fire Company No. 3 celebrated her birthday with the other fire companies in a parade honoring George Washington. Although the entire country was under tremendous stress, things remained relatively quiet for Atlanta firefighters until April. Then on 12 April, 1861, the day many feared came and Confederate General P.G.T. Beauregard was order to have his men fire on Fort Sumter in the harbor at Charleston, South Carolina. Hostilities had begun in the War Between the States. As it did on practically every man, woman, child and business in the south, the “Great War” had its effect on the duties and lives of the firefighters of Atlanta’s Volunteer Fire Department. On 26 April, shortly after the war began, the four companies offered the city their services for active military duty. In turn, on 1 May 1861, the city ordered the Tallulah Fire Company No. 3 to arm and equip itself for active military service as members expressed their willingness to serve as a cavalry unit for the protection of the City of Atlanta. On

History 1847-1882 The Volunteer Years


15 May No. 3 asked for assistance in acquiring the necessary horses for such service. Mechanic Fire Company No. 2 followed suit on 12 June 1861, organizing itself as a military unit, but retained the name of the fire company. During the summer of 1861, city council appropriated money to equip the four fire companies with guns and ammunition; indeed a unique era in the history of the department. Suddenly, the volunteers who were striving to protect the city from fire were being called upon to serve a dual purpose. Not only be firefighters but thrown into a new role of soldiers. As previously noted, construction had stopped on the new fire hall for Company No. 1, but since the building was “weathered in” it began to be used the as a warehouse for Company E; 8th Regiment of the Georgia Volunteers. This segment of Company “E” was an Infantry unit that became known as the ‘’ATLANTA GRAYS”. The “Grays” used the partially completed building for secure storage of several light cannons. THE WAR TAKES ITS TOLL On 21 July, 1861, Chief William H. Barnes announced the first war casualty of an Atlanta Firefighter. Lieutenant Bartley M. Smith died of wounds received at the First Battle of Manassas (also called Bull Run) in Virginia. He had been a member of Atlanta Fire Company No. 1. Fire protection in Atlanta would grow on 13 October, 1861 when a group of citizens around Marietta & Walton Streets (the Brooklyn neighborhood) obtained a charter for a new fire company. On 22 October, Independent Fire Company No. 4 was organized as a “bucket brigade”, but for unknown reasons did not affiliate with the Atlanta Volunteer Fire Department. Records do not show that they had any apparatus at this time or that they were dispatched by the Atlanta Volunteer Fire Department. More war casualties would also follow. On the 23rd of December, Chief Barnes announced the deaths of Colonel Thomas L. Cooper, former member of Atlanta Fire Company No. 1; and Mayer Rote of the Gate City Guards, who had been a member of Mechanic Fire Company No. 2. Colonel Cooper was accidentally killed at Manassas, Virginia, in a fall from a horse. Rote died of exposure in July near Culpepper, Virginia. Later during the same year, Chief Barnes reported the deaths of J.T. Sherwood and Thomas Ennis, both killed at the battle of Fredericksburg. They had been members of Atlanta Fire Company No. 1. On 30 May, 1862, Chief Barnes notified Mayor Calhoun that he would retire and resign the post of Chief Engineer of the department to enter the Confederate Army. First Assistant Chief Samuel B. Sherwood was elected to succeed him as Chief Engineer. Retiring Chief Barnes was honored by the department at a special meeting at city hall on the 2nd of July. His men presented him with a handsome sword. A General Order from the Secretary of War, Confederate States of America, issued on 8 August, exempted firefighters of the state from the conscription act of that year. However, many members of the Atlanta department volunteered anyway. Atlanta was placed under martial law on 11 August, 1862, by General

Braxton Bragg. On 30 August, J.M.C. Hulsey of the Atlanta Grays was killed at the Second Battle of Bull Run. He had served as a member of Atlanta Hook & Ladder No. 1 During the years 1863 and 1864, various social and several organizational changes took place within the three engine and one hook and ladder company AVFD. On the 5th of January, 1863, at a meeting of the Atlanta Fire Department, the annual election of officers was held, with all incumbents retaining office. In the summer of 1863, a fire company was organized on Castleberry Hill (Peters & Fair), but, as with Independent No. 4, it declined to join the established Atlanta Volunteer Fire Department. There are no details regarding their apparatus, response area or how these two new fire companies located “inside” the city limits were able to obtain a charter and not be forced to be under the command of the AVFD. Although not confirmed, there is no information on them responding outside of their own neighborhood. On 29 September, 1863, General Howell Cobb was appointed Commander of the Georgia State Troops with Atlanta as his headquarters. The fire department gave a ball for the benefit of soldiers’ families on the 6th of November. The following year, 1864, at the annual meeting of the department, Mr. John H. Mecaslin, president of Atlanta Hook & Ladder Company No. 1, was elected Chief Engineer of the fire department. During the spring of 1864, the state legislature passed a bill providing for the creation of the Atlanta Fire Battalion as a military unit. This organization was to come under the command of Lieutenant Colonel G.W. Lee of the Post of Atlanta. At the same time, Chief Mecaslin was commissioned a Major commanding the Battalion, 35th District, Georgia Volunteers. ATLANTA UNDER SIEGE During the summer of 1864, General William T. Sherman of the United States Forces laid siege to Atlanta. The city was bombarded and bursting shells started three destructive fires on Marietta Street, Loyd Street (Central Ave.) and Alabama Street. Holland’s Cotton Warehouse on Alabama Street was set ablaze and the fire hall of Tallulah Fire Company No. 3 was struck by a direct hit. Confederate General John B. Hood, commander of the Atlanta Campaign evacuated the city on 2 September, 1864 and ordered all materials of war destroyed by fire. The firefighters of the town were then given a most unusual command for men whose job it had always been to protect buildings from fire loss. They were instructed to let the fires burn, but to prevent them from spreading. Several fires, however, “got away” and caused much destruction in the city On the same date, 2 September, 1864, Atlanta was surrendered by Mayor James Calhoun to General W.T. Ward, 3rd Division, 20th Corps, United States Army and northern troops occupied the city. A federal officer was appointed provisional fire chief. Chief Mecaslin was removed and was considered a refugee and was then sent by Federal forces to Baltimore. Thomas G. Haney was appointed Chief Engineer by the United States Provost Marshal. No. 2’s fire hall was fitted out as a prison for captured confederate soldiers. No. 3’s hall and the hook & ladder

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house were employed as stables for the U.S. Cavalry and No. 1’s house was used as a barracks with that company’s new house across the street used as a feed and hay depot. All of the fire apparatus of the department was put out on the street since the army had commandeered all of the buildings to be used for other purposes. Five days later, on 7 September, General Sherman ordered the evacuation of all citizens from the city. This was protested by Mayor Calhoun to which General Sherman said “no” . Two months later, on 15 November, 1864, Sherman began his now historic “March to the Sea”. The next day, 16 November, the U.S. Army, Corps of Engineers, commanded by General Slocum, left Colonel Poe to carry out Sherman’s orders to destroy what was left of Atlanta. Additional details on Mayor Calhoun and the evacuation order can be seen at: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/James_Calhoun Poe ordered all the fire equipment destroyed or removed. The hook & ladder truck was sent to Chattanooga. The hand engine of No. 2 was rolled down an embankment at the rear of the fire hall and wrecked. No. 1’s Blue Dick was put out of commission when troops smashed its pistons and wheels. Tallulah’s hand engine was loaded on a train and sent to some northern point. All of the fire hose, hooks and axes and other equipment were assembled in a large pile, saturated with coal oil and set on fire. With the department’s firefighting equipment destroyed, the torch was put to military installations. The blazes gradually merged into several large conflagrations. All of Atlanta was soon ablaze. Confederate troops once again occupied the city 26 November, 1864, when General Howell Cobb moved north from Macon. Lieutenant Luther J. Glenn was assigned to command the Post of Atlanta. On 5 December, 1864, Captain Thomas L. Dodd assumed duties as Provost Marshal of the city and reported damage to Governor Joseph E. Brown as follows: The combination city hall and county courthouse was slightly damaged. Fire halls No. 1 and 2 escaped destruction but were left in filthy condition, as was No. 1’s new hall. Tallulah’s fire hall was completely burned out, with only the walls left standing. The hook & ladder truck’s fire house was badly damaged but not burned.

lengths of old leather hose from Athens, Georgia, and the company went back in service. During February of 1865, at a meeting of fire department officers, Thomas G. Haney was elected Chief Engineer. Then ... when things seemed to be getting back somewhat to normal came the return of federal troops. The city was re-occupied on 4 May, 1865; however, no general destruction resulted for the “War between the States” had ended with the surrender of General Robert E. Lee to General Ulysses S. Grant at Appomattox Court House Virginia on 9 April, 1865. As the massive clean-up of the war destroyed city continued. Mechanic Fire Company No. 2 held its first postwar meeting on 2 September, 1865. They met in the office of Mayor Calhoun in the Phoenix Building. Members of the company ask the occupying Federal military forces to return the fire hall to the department. Also during September of 1865, Hook & Ladder Company No. 1 partially reorganized and a committee was formed to travel to Chattanooga and bring back the ladder truck. Their apparatus was returned to Atlanta on the 28th of November. The year 1865 ended without any further important developments in the fire departments reorganization. During January of 1866, Hook & Ladder Company No. 1 assisted the city’s new police force in pulling down old walls and chimneys of destroyed buildings. These had become known as “Sherman’s Monuments” as relics and grim reminders of the burning of Atlanta. On 19 January 1866, at the first post-war meeting of the fire department, a new slate of officers was elected. They included: Samuel B. Sherwood, Chief Engineer Henry C. Gullatt, 1st Assistant Chief William B. Knox, 2nd Assistant Chief William C. Luckie, Jr., Secretary Henry Muhlenbrink, Treasurer. The department asked for and received an appropriation of $13,000 to repair fire halls and fix damaged apparatus. This was the beginning of a full scale and gigantic task of rebuilding both the fire department and a city.

All the town’s well water pumps were out of commission except one on Marietta Street. The fire cisterns had been used as garbage disposals and were filled with dead animals and other refuse.

During the winter of 1866, Atlanta Fire Company No. 1 completed their new fire hall on Market Street (Broad Street), across the street from their old firehouse, and moved in.

The county jail and the hotels throughout the town had burned except the Gate City Hotel on Alabama Street.

Remembering that Market Street was a former alley, the city later widened the street to conform to the width of the new bridge and the new fire hall was forced to trim off part off the front of the building. So ... after all the work in keeping the fire hall standing during the war, then fixing it up after the war ... the valiant men of Company No. 1 were forced to stand back and watch part of their work go down the drain. It was all in the interest of progress and no one, as far as can be determined, complained about it.

Four churches had been destroyed and out of 3,800 houses in Atlanta, only 400 were left standing. Some homes in the unincorporated areas were also destroyed. In all, over 4,500 houses and other structures had been set afire. THE BIG SALVAGE JOB Perhaps one of the biggest salvage jobs in the history of the fire department was that which followed the burning of Atlanta. On 7 December, 1864, some members of Tallulah Fire Company No. 3 started things going and began rebuilding their burned out fire hall. During January 1865, members of Atlanta Fire Company No. 1 returned to the city and began preparing the company for service. The hand engine, “Blue Dick” was repaired. No. 1 borrowed ten 34

Company 1 again moved back across the street into their old hall until additional land could be obtained and the new fire hall enlarged. Work was completed in February 1866 and the fire company reoccupied the new hall. An elegant hand fire engine was purchased from Henry Waterman Company of Hudson, New York, for $680. The deal came with 328 feet of hose (the hose added $228). The new hand engine had a

History 1847-1882 The Volunteer Years


7¼ -inch hydraulic chamber, complete with suction hose, drag ropes and all necessary tools. The unit was delivered by rail. This engines specific name is not known but was a new double-decker type hand engine commonly in the day known as the “Hay-Wagon”. The small Hunneman engine “BLUE DICK”, which had served so faithfully since 1852 was relegated to “reserve service” at the rear of the hall. Repairs to fire department buildings and equipment were made during February 1866. One of the biggest projects was cleaning out and returning the old fire cistern to service at the corner of Loyd Street and Alabama Street. On 1 May 1866, the first major post-war fire took place as the Masonic Hall, located on the north side of Decatur Street, between Pryor and Ivy (Peachtree Center Avenue) Streets, burned. In spite of great attempts by the underequipped volunteers, the building was gutted. The fire department was virtually powerless to control this large fire because of the lack of water. Firefighting in Atlanta was about to change. On 21 April, well before the Masonic Hall fire, Mechanic Fire Company No. 2 voted to purchase an Amoskeag steam fire engine, a hose carriage (reel) and 1,000 feet of rubber hose. The Amoskeag Locomotive Works was a division of the Amoskeag Manufacturing Company of Manchester New Hampshire. They eventually operated the largest textile mill ever built in the USA. When much of the plant became steam operated they also learned to diversify and then engineered and built steam locomotives becoming a big player almost since the dawn of railroading. In addition, their skill with steam power and pumping lead the company to also build steam driven fire engines. Amoskeag built the first steam powered apparatus for the FDNY and also was a huge supplier to the Los Angeles Fire Department as well. The city council was asked to appropriate $1,500 to help finance the new engine. By 1 June, 1866 the order had been submitted for the first non-human powered fire apparatus. The 5,660 lb. Amoskeag steamer arrived by train from New Hampshire on the 2nd of October. The firefighters of Company 2 were trained and tested on the new fangled machine. The steamer was placed on display for the citizens to see on 15 October. The steamer officially went in service on 24 October 1866. Mechanic Fire Company No. 2 first used the Amoskeag in action on 2 November, 1866, at the Roark’s Corner fire, on the southwest corner of Mitchell Street SW and Whitehall Street. A few days later, on 6 November the steamer performed with great success at the New Markham Block fire on Whitehall Street between Alabama and Hunter. Seeing the success of the steam driven fire engine, Atlanta Fire Company No. 1 petitioned city council on 9 November for $5,000 in bonds to assist them in purchasing a steam fire engine. On the 10th of December the Atlanta Volunteer Fire Department made another effort to regain items confiscated during the war. Mechanic Fire Company No. 2 met at their firehouse and wrote to parties in Indianapolis, Indiana requesting the return of their old fire company flag. After its return, it was displayed on the wall of the fire hall. Along with the likely conversion to “Steamers” the beginning of an important turning point occurred on 21 December as residents and

business began do show agitation asking city fathers for a municipal water works system for Atlanta. Various construction projects and equipment purchases increased the efficiency of the department during the opening month of 1867. On the 11th of January, members of the department voted to purchase an alarm bell to toll fire alarms in the city. This was followed on 9 February with the first appearance of horses in the Atlanta Fire Department. Mechanics No. 2 purchased two Norman horses to draw their Amoskeag steamer. Company No. 2 also bought a two-horse dray on 1 March so that the new horses might “earn their keep”. The freight wagon was “for hire” and worked the general area of the fire hall. When an alarm came in the dray was unhooked and the horses pulled the steam fire engine. Two drivers were employed to work the dray and a stable erected at the rear of the fire hall. On 8 March, construction began on a belfry on top of No. 1’s fire hall to house the proposed new alarm bell. Space was provided in the tower for a fire watchman or lookout. The ladies of the city were asked for help in securing the funding needed to purchase the new bell. In this interest, they decided to stage a “Fire Bell Fair” in April. The Ladies Fair Committee met on 11 April in the new Bell-Johnson Hall to arrange for the fair planned for 29 April. Permission was obtained from General John Pope, Commander of the U.S. Army Occupying Forces for the proposed fair. The annual meeting of Atlanta Fire Company No. 1 took place on 14 April and resulted in the decision to purchase an Amoskeag steamer, the same make as that owned by Company No. 2. They placed an immediate order for the new equipment. THE FIRE BELL FAIR Preparations now began in earnest for the “big fair”. On 21 April, 1867, prizes that were to be awarded at the fair were displayed in a show window at the National Hotel. A massive gold headed cane was to be awarded to the city council member receiving the most votes. In addition, a baseball bat, made of ebony, was the prize slated for the most popular baseball team in the city. To encourage female participation and as a special award to all the Ladies of the Fair Committee, an election was planned. The person receiving the most votes was to have Company No. l’s steamer named for her. The lady with the second most votes was to have her name inscribed on the side of the new fire bell. Finally, the days of planning came to an end and on 30 April, 1867, the “Grand Ladies Fire Bell Fair”, as it was known, opened in the new Broad Street Theater. It was a gala event right up to its climax with a “grand hop” on 1 May. Ironically, Company No. 1’s steamer had arrived that day so this event presented a perfect time to display the new machine in front of the theatre. The fair netted a fund of $959.35 for the bell’s purchase, 65 cents short of the required $960. Fortunately, Captain Robert J. Lowry of Hook & Ladder No. 1 came to the rescue and quickly dug into his pocket for the required coins. An order was placed immediately for the new bell. Councilman William B. Cox of the Fourth Ward won the gold headed cane. He was also a member of Company No. 1. The ebony baseball bat went to the popular Atlanta Baseball Club. Miss Emma Latimer received 200 votes, entitling her to have the new Amoskeag steamer named for her. Second place went to Miss Augusta Hill with 75 votes. This won her the honor of having her name inscribed on the city’s new fire bell.

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A week after, on 7 May, the Atlanta Volunteer Fire Department held its first parade, with the line of march ending in front of city hall (the site of the present state capital) on Washington Street SW. Miss Latimer declined the privilege of having the new steamer named in her honor and instead christened it the “CASTALIA”, the name of the mythical spring in the fabled Atlantis. With the conclusion of the christening ceremonies and the various activities surrounding the fair, the new bell and the parade, the Fire Bell Fair came to an end. The period between the date the bell was ordered and the day it arrived was marked mainly by the election of officers at the annual meeting of the fire department. The election was held on the 10th of May. Elected to office were: Samuel B. Sherwood, Chief Engineer; Henry C. Gullatt, 1st Assistant Chief; William G. Knox, 2nd Assistant Chief; William D. Luckie, Jr., Secretary; Henry Muhlenbrink, Treasurer. The new fire alarm bell arrived on 31 July, 1867 and was installed in the belfry over No. 1. It had been shipped from New York to Savannah on the steamer “General Barnes”. The new bell weighed a hefty 1,995 pounds and was made of a metal alloy somewhat like “nickel-penny”. On the side of her were inscribed the words: “Dedicated to the Public Service, in Honor of Miss Augusta Hill July, 1867”. That bell remains on display adjacent to Atlanta Fire Station No. 1 on Elliott Street SW to this day. The next two years in the history of the department were devoted mostly to routine activities, including the annual election of officers. Mechanic Fire Company No. 2 celebrated their eleventh anniversary with an election and parade on 10 December, 1867. The following year, on 10 January, 1868, the annual fire department election of officers was held. Those taking office for 1868 included Thomas G. Haney, Chief Engineer; Elisha Buice, 1st Assistant Chief; Jesse Smith, 2nd Assistant Chief; Benjamin F. Moore, Secretary, and James E. Gullatt, Treasurer. The first Annual Report of the Fire Department was issued by Chief Engineer Thomas G. Haney on 18 July, 1868. The department worked at seventeen fires, resulting in the loss of $61,540. The next event of any significance was the annual meeting of the department on 11 January, 1869. At this meeting it was decided to change the annual Fireman’s Day Parade from the first of May each year to the first Monday in May. New officers elected were: Thomas G. Haney, Chief Engineer; Elisha Buice, 1st Assistant Chief; Benjamin F. Moore, Secretary; Henry Muhlenbrink, Treasurer. A major fire occurred on 27 February, 1869 at 04:00 in the morning. The fire originated in F. Corra & Company, a confectionery outfit. Flames spread to the adjacent store of Messrs. Fleischet & Brothers; both establishments were gutted, with a loss of $23,500. The remainder of the year 1869 was marked by considerable activity on the part of Atlanta fire companies, including a number of major fires. The fire department held its annual parade and tournament 36

(muster) the first week of May 1869. Visiting competing teams of firefighters were from Augusta, Macon, and Rome, Georgia as well as Charleston, SC. On Tuesday, 4 May, at 02:30, fire broke out in the Tennessee House at North Broad and Walton Streets. The hotel and several other buildings and stables were destroyed with a loss of $3,500. Members of visiting fire companies, in town for the muster assisted the Atlanta Volunteer Fire Department in fighting the fire. Helping out were men from Rainbow Fire Company No. 1 of Rome and Palmetto Steam Fire Company No. 1 of Charleston, South Carolina. The cause was not determined. Later in the month another major fire broke out at 10:00 hours on 28 May at Davis Hall, in the block bounded by South Broad, West Mitchell, West Hunter and South Forsyth Streets. Five buildings were destroyed with a loss of $72,253.88. No cause was listed for the fire. On 24 June 1869, an alarm was sounded at Walton and Spring Streets. An unusual event took place then ... though it was hardly funny at the time. The horses of Mechanic Fire Company No. 2 dashed to the fire before the driver could stop them, leaving behind the steamer and the hose reel. The volunteers had to haul their firefighting equipment to the fire by hand! Another fire of undetermined origin was discovered on 24 June, in the buildings of the Hogue Mills Company on Marietta Street. Several people escaped from the second floor of the building, which was the property of General John B. Gordon. Loss was placed at $7,500. On 10 June, Atlanta Hook & Ladder Company No. 1 asked city council for, and received, the deed to the truck house on South Pryor Street. The 15th of July, 1869, saw Chief Engineer Thomas G. Haney issuing his Annual Report on activities of the department. Figures showed the companies had worked at twelve fires, with a loss of $100,253.88. The chief then made a request that is significant in the history of this, or any other, fire department. Haney asked for a more up-to-date fire alarm system. Apparently, the fire loss (large for those days) and methods for reporting fires had come under scrutiny by the department head. During August of 1869, Mechanic Fire Company No. 2 sold their old hose reel to Tallulah Fire Company No. 3 for $150 and purchased a new and larger capacity hose carriage. On 12 September, the first post-war “conflagration” occurred and became known as the” Marietta Street Conflagration”. This large fire started on the south side of Marietta Street, between Peachtree and Broad. The cause of the $150,000 blaze was never determined. Various stores and buildings were destroyed, most of them one story structures. The burned buildings included the John Gavan Saloon; Compton & Peddicord Grocery Store; H. Seltzer’s Glass and Crockery Store; W. J. Warlick’s Stove and Hollow-Ware Store; Mc Millian & Snow Grocery Store; Orme & Farrar Company; W. Powers. & Sons Grocery Store; the Marietta Street Fruit Store; Marietta Street Barber Shop; Exchange Saloon; The Exchange Fruit Store; Horn & Silver’s Barber Shop; Quinn’s News Depot; W. C. Lawshe’s Drug Store; Daniel E. Lunch’s “Le Bon Ton” Saloon; the L. Mihalovitch Drugstore. The adjacent Norcross Building was damaged but not destroyed.

History 1847-1882 The Volunteer Years


New equipment arrived for Atlanta Fire Company No. 1 on 15 November, 1869, but was of little value. Twenty sections of new rubber hose the company had ordered were rejected when 17 sections burst during the 150 psi acceptance pressure testing. 1870 At the first city council meeting in 1870, an appropriation of $7,500 was asked for Tallulah Fire Company No. 3 to purchase a steam engine and hose reel. The request was deferred. New officers were elected within the department on 10 January, 1870. They included: Willis R. Biggers, Chief Engineer Oliver H. Jones, 1st Assistant Chief M.M. Wilson, 2nd Assistant Chief Benjamin F. Moore; Secretary Henry Muhlenbrink, Treasurer. During the early part of 1870, Chief Biggers purchased several sections of the new rubber-lined, cotton-jacket fire hose which had been introduced in Akron, Ohio by Dr. Benjamin F. Goodrich. It was known as “White Anchor Brand”. The Cincinnati Fire Department had completely gone to fire hose invented by Benjamin F. Goodrich, a physician and industrialist who founded what became the B.F. Goodrich Company. Following the invention of the vulcanization process as a means of curing raw soft rubber into a harder, more useful product, the fire service slowly made the transition from bulky and unreliable leather hose to the unlined linen hose, then to a multi-layer, rubber lined and coated hose with an interior fabric reinforcement. This new type of fire hose, manufactured by B.F. Goodrich, was made with a rubber lining and a cotton jacket. Although much better than the leather hose, the cotton hose had to be thoroughly dried and maintained to prevent mold. B.F. Goodrich is a name we still know today for vehicle tires and rubber products. The flexibility, durability and ease of maintenance of this new hose over the stiff leather hose was a marked improvement in firefighting equipment in Atlanta. On 6 May, 1870, another request for a better fire alarm system was made; this time by Chief Biggers. This was followed by various requests for equipment, social gatherings and reports. The annual Fireman’s Day Parade was held on the 9th of May. Atlanta Fire Company No. 1 won the steamer contest and Tallulah Fire Company No. 3 the reel race. On 3 June, Tallulah Fire Company No. 3 asked city council for an appropriation of $3,000 to rebuild their fire hall. Materials from the old building were sold for $149 and construction was begun on the new hall on North Broad Street near Walton Street. Chief Biggers issued his Annual Report on 9 July, 1870, noting that the cost of maintaining the volunteer fire department for the year amounted to $6,300. The department had operated at twelve fires resulting in a loss of $75,915 and responded to twelve false alarms. Apparently, the number of false alarms had its affect on the city council, for on 15 July 1870, that group passed an ordinance making punishable by law, anyone found guilty of sending false alarms. Over the years Atlanta firefighters had taken part in various extracurricular activities including everything from dances and tournaments to the “Fire Bell Fair” were now engaged in a different undertaking. On 6 September, 1870, Tallulah Fire Company No. 3 presented a play entitled “Jacob’s Dream” at the DeGive’s new opera

house at the corner of Forsyth and Marietta Streets. Proceeds were to go into the building fund for the new fire hall. The show climaxed with the presentation of a skit called “Tallulah to the Rescue”. Various single activities ended the year 1870. On 12 September, at 02:00, the Karwisch Bakery caught fire at the corner of Decatur and Collins Streets. The cause of the blaze was never determined. Damage amounted to $3,000. The Atlanta Volunteer Fire Department took part in the memorial services at Oakland Cemetery on 15 October Honoring General Robert E. Lee who died on 12 October 1870. On the 7th of November, Tallulah Fire Company No. 3 placed her new fire hall in service on North Broad Street, between Marietta and Walton Streets. It was a two-story structure and had a then unique but now commonplace feature: two 2-inch seasoned hickory poles were installed to speed the trip from the second floor sleeping quarters to the equipment floor. Thus developed the first use by the Atlanta Fire Department of the practice of “sliding the poles”. On 7 December, half-a-dozen houses were destroyed on Peters Street in the Castleberry Hill neighborhood (now the corners of Peters and Fair Streets). The fire prompted citizens in the area to make plans to form a fire company for that section. 1871

The annual election of officers for the department took place on 9 January, 1871. Elected to office were; John Berkele, Chief Engineer; George A. Wallace, 1st Assistant Chief; Joel Kelsey, Jr., 2nd Assistant Chief; Benjamin B. Crew, Secretary; Henry Muhlenbrink, Treasurer. The first major fire of the year occurred on 10 January, at 04:20 hours in the Powell Building located at 1 Peachtree Street. Fire broke out in the office of A.B. Crawford’s Washington Exchange. The loss was estimated at $3,500 and the origin was never determined. Tallulah No. 3 celebrated their 12th anniversary on February 22 with a parade, election of company officers and a demo of their hand

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fire engine. On 17 March, the city council appropriated $7,500 to Tallulah Fire Company for the purchase of a steam fire engine. They would purchase a Silsby. During the week of 17 March, 1871, Atlanta Hook & Ladder Company No. 1 purchased a lot from Governor Joseph E. Brown on the west side of South Broad Street, between Alabama Street and the bridge over the railroad. It was across from the existing fire house for No. 1 and next door to the Atlanta Constitution building. Two fires and a business meeting dominated the remainder of the month of March. On 21 March, the Marietta and Bartow Street conflagration broke out in the Robert A. Wylie warehouse on the west side of Marietta Street at Bartow Street, opposite the Tremont House. The Dean’s residence next door was gutted and the store of Mays & Brothers was damaged along with the Mechanic’s Saloon. The fire started in the basement of the warehouse from an undetermined cause, with loss set at $11,500. Besides the monetary loss from the fire itself, there occurred an unusual incident that brought a demand from a citizen that the city pay him damages. In responding to the alarm, the hand engine from Tallulah Fire Company No. 3 passed through the crowd of spectators and ran over Mr. Thomas W Mabry’s foot. Mr. Mabry was severely injured and appeared in city council with his demand for damages from the city government. Shortly after midnight on 24 March, 1871, the fire department suffered its second fatality in the line of duty since its beginning. Tallulah Fire Company No. 3 was recalled to a fire which had earlier been extinguished in the T.B. Archer Stables on South Broad at Hunter Street. The hand engine turned onto Hunter Street, in route to the Whitehall Street cistern. Foreman Daniel E. Lynch stumbled and fell beneath the heavy hand engine and was instantly killed. Lynch was buried in the company’s lot at Oakland Cemetery. Tuesday, 28 March, brought forth a meeting of businessmen on Castleberry Hill. They met at Evans Chapel on Walker Street at Haines St SW, and partially set up a new fire company for the southwest section of Atlanta. This same site later housed the Walker Street School which burned in 1983 and the lot is now the site of a self-storage facility. The new Atlanta Volunteer Fire Company was named R.E. Lee Fire Company No. 4, in honor of the late hero of the Confederacy. The new company was granted a charter by Judge Orville A. Bull of the Fulton County Superior Court on Monday, 5 April, 1871. Various activities highlighted the rest of April, May and June of 1871, including the Peachtree-Baker fire, the arrival of additional equipment for the department and a number of social and business functions. First was the Peachtree-Baker conflagration which broke out around 04:00 hours on 11 April. The fire originated in J.A. Carr’s Grocery Store and cause was blamed on carelessness with matches. It communicated to a shoemaker’s shop, blacksmith shop and a hand laundry. An old bomb-shell exploded inside the blacksmith shop during the fire, but no one was injured. The bomb was being used as a door stop! When the fire was extinguished, the loss was placed at about $3,500. A week later, on 18 April, members of the department and city council witnessed a demonstration of an automatic electric fire alarm telegraph system put on by the Gamewell Fire Alarm Company of 38

New York. The first practical fire alarm system utilizing the telegraph system was developed by Dr. William Channing and Moses G. Farmer in 1852. They applied for a patent for their “Electromagnetic Fire Alarm Telegraph for Cities”. In 1855, John Gamewell of South Carolina purchased regional rights to market the fire alarm telegraph, later obtaining the patents and full rights to the system in 1859. John F. Kennard bought the patents from the United States Government after they were seized following the War Between the States. Mr. Kennard returned them to John Gamewell, and formed a partnership, Kennard and Co., in 1867 to manufacture the alarm systems. The Gamewell Fire Alarm Telegraph Co. was later formed in 1879. Gamewell systems were installed in 250 cities by 1886 and 500 cities in 1890. By 1910, Gamewell had gained a 95% market share. Although city officials were thoroughly impressed, they took no action in 1871 to purchase such a system for Atlanta On 20 April, R.E. Lee Fire Company No. 4 held a meeting at Mr. M.T. Castleberry’s store to discuss plans for erecting a new fire hall. The site was to be the north side of Stevens Street (now Fair Street), just west of Bradberry Street. More new equipment arrived for the department on 29 April, as Tallulah Fire Company No. 3 received a new steam fire engine, new hose reel and a pair of horses ... one of which was named “Dan” in honor of the late foreman. The new steamer was a rotary engine manufactured by the Silsby Manufacturing Company of Seneca Falls, New York. At a banquet that evening at the fire hall, the new steamer was christened the “FIRE QUEEN”. The old Hunneman hand engine was sold to Conyers, Georgia. May 5th was a big day for R.E. Lee Fire Company No. 4. On Friday city council granted the company $1,000 in bonds to purchase a lot on Stevens Street for a fire hall. The lot measured 23 feet x 50 feet and the hall was to be a two-story brick building. Later, the address of the new fire hall was listed as 91 West Fair Street During the latter part of May, Atlanta Fire Company No. 1, seeing the fund raising success of Mechanics No. 2, purchased a freight dray to help defray company expenses. It secured a government contract to deliver the mail and a driver was hired to carry the U.S. Mail in the wagon from trains to the post office. So, with firefighters in past years having served as everything from soldiers to guards, 1871 found a fire company doubling as a postal delivery service. Chief Engineer John Berkele issued a report on 8 June, showing it had cost $6,500 to maintain the volunteer fire department for the fiscal year. That same day, a Thursday, Mechanic Fire Company No. 2 gave a reception at the fire hall to name their new hose carriage (reel). It was christened the “TIN LIZZIE’ in honor of the daughter of Captain Oliver H. Jones of that company. The R.E. Lee Fire Company No. 4 held a picnic a week later on Thursday, 15 June 1871, in Marietta, Georgia. Those attending paid 50 cents for a round-trip ticket over the Western & Atlantic Railroad to Marietta. That same day, the hook & ladder company received five new ladders. Atlanta Hook & Ladder Company No. 1 gave a moonlight party and barbecue at Stone Mountain on 18 June, to help finance the purchase of the new ladders. On 6 July, Tallulah Fire Company No. 3 added new officers to their rolls because of the addition of the new steamer. The company purchased two horses to draw the new steamer on 17 July 1871. On 22 July, Atlanta Fire Company No. 1’s mail wagon was involved

History 1847-1882 The Volunteer Years


in a wreck. It was hit by a backing freight train at the depot’s Pryor Street Crossing. The driver and one horse were slightly injured. Tallulah Fire Company No. 3 bought a spring wagon on 25 July to help finance the upkeep of the horses and applied to city council for a free drayage license. On 15 August, R. E. Lee Fire Company No. 4 purchased the old Hunneman hand engine and reel, formerly used byTallulah No. 3 for $500. Chief Engineer John Berkele issued his annual report on 10 July, 1871. It was significant in the history of the department, for it brought about several important points. Berkele commented on the scarcity of water at various points throughout the city. He asked for two supply cisterns and a better type of fire alarm system, preferably the automatic type, with seven boxes and a striker for the big bell. The department had, he reported, responded to 22 fires and 6 false alarms, with fire loss for the year amounting to $19,440.50. Then came the clincher, Berkele asked for additional appropriations. He wanted $2,000 for No. 1, No. 2 and No. 3; $1,200 for No. 4; $650 for Hook & Ladder No. 1 and $2,300 salary for the chief. Thus we see the first real effort on the part of a chief engineer indicating his realization of the need for better equipment and better facilities. On 8 September, city council appropriated $2,450 to build three 46,000 gallon cisterns. During the same month, Tallulah Fire Company No. 3 bought No. 2’s old hose carriage for $50. On 2 October, 1871, prominent citizens in the Marietta Street area formulated plans to form a fire company for the Brooklyn section of town (the vicinity of Marietta and Walton Streets). A few days later, the world famed Chicago Fire took place and apparently had its affect on the citizen’s committee. On 15 October, just a few days after the Chicago disaster, a new fire company was organized for the Marietta Street area and a charter applied for on Monday, 6 November 1871. At the annual meeting of Atlanta Hook & Ladder Company No. 1, plans were discussed for the building of a new truck house on the recently purchased lot on South Broad Street. New officers were also elected at the meeting. R.E. Lee Fire Company No. 4 was presented a large new bell for the company’s fire hall on 8 November, by the firm of Echols and Wilson. On the same day, the new Marietta Street fire company, Gate City Fire Company No. 5, met and displayed its hand engine, “BLUE DICK”. The old 1852 vintage engine was on loan to the company by No. 1. Gate City No. 5 made plans for a fire hall and the purchase of its own engine. 1872 New fire department officers were elected on 8 January, 1872, at the annual meeting. They were; Willis R. Biggers, Chief Engineer; William D. Luckie, Jr., 1st Assistant Chief; D.B. Loveman, 2nd Assistant Chief; J.H. Sterchi, Secretary; Benjamin B. Crew, Treasurer. On 16 February, city council’s committee on the fire department recommended the erection of an iron fire watchtower and the purchase of a 5,000 pound bell. The third Line of Duty fatality of a firefighter occurred on 28 May,

1872. Runner Charles H. Woolen of Tallulah Fire Company No. 3 was killed when the hose reel struck a lamp post in front of the Leydon House on Peachtree Street near Ellis St. In the annual report issued by Chief Biggers on 21 July, he asked for a better water supply for the city. A similar request had been made in previous annual reports by other chiefs. Biggers warned of the looming disaster if there were “simultaneous fires” and also asked for an improved fire alarm system. He noted that the department then consisted of six companies and 300 men. Equipment included three steam fire engines, two hand engines, five hose reels and one hook & ladder truck. The past year had seen thirty-five alarms answered and a fire loss of $7,600. Expense for maintaining the department had been $7,807.55. Atlanta Hook & Ladder Company No. 1 held its first meeting in the new truck house on South Broad Street on 4 November. On 13 November, the Machinery Hall at Oglethorpe Park was destroyed by fire. Because of the distance involved, (Marietta Rd Nr Joseph E. Lowery) Atlanta fire companies did not respond. The 25th of November saw a fire in the Simonton, Jones and Hatcher Tobacco Factory at 244 Peachtree Street. The building and stock were destroyed and loss was placed at $25,000. The fire was caused by a man trying to light a fire in a stove with coal oil. That fire had a sad sidelight, as “LIZZIE”, Tallulah’s fire dog, was run over and killed by the steamer “FIRE QUEEN”. Fire department delegates asked city council for an additional appropriation for the year 1873 on 6 December, 1872. Gate City Fire Company No. 5 wanted a better engine; R.E. Lee Fire Company No. 4 desired $164.65 for supplies and Chief Biggers asked for repairs to the fire cistern in front of the Georgia Railroad Depot. 1873 The year’s activities started off with the Peters Street conflagration on 6 January. One two-story and seven one-story residences were destroyed at a loss of $8,000; cause was not known. Gate City Fire Company No. 5 asked city council for a new hand engine on 10 January. It was to replace old “BLUE DICK”; which had been on loan from No. l. The department held its annual election of officers the same month, on 13 January. The following month, council donated the old market house bell to Gate City Fire Company No. 5 On the 22nd of February, Tallulah Fire Company No. 3 celebrated her fourteenth anniversary with a parade. The procession displayed the company’s new hose reel, manufactured by Daniel McBride of the McBride & Smith Carriage Company of Atlanta. It was the first such type of fire equipment to be manufactured in the South. The Peachtree-Baker conflagration occurred on 6 May, destroying ten buildings at a loss of $3,500. The Atlanta Volunteer Fire Department organized a Fireman’s Benevolent Association on 10 September, to perform charitable work in the city. On the 23rd of October, Gate City Fire Company No. 5 sponsored a demonstration of a new Champion Self-Acting Chemical Fire Engine. Less than a week later, No. 5 purchased the new engine for $2,000. A month

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later, on 7 November, city council appropriated $500 for No. 5 to buy two horses to draw the equipment. Fire department equipment had been named in unusual fashion and No. 5’s chemical engine was no exception. It was named “McDufee’s Soda Fount”. The council made another appropriation to No. 5 on 14 November; this time to purchase new harnesses and a light covered express wagon. The profit from the express wagon was to be used to defray expenses in the upkeep of the horses. 1874 On 12 January, the department held its annual election of officers: Jacob Emmel was named Chief Engineer; Eugene M. Berry, 1st Assistant Chief; Jerry Lynch, 2nd Assistant Chief; J.H. Sterchi, Secretary; Benjamin B. Crew, Treasurer. The first spilled kerosene fire occurred in Atlanta on 7 May, 1874, on Mitchell Street, between Whitehall and South Pryor Streets. It resulted from a fire in John T. Hogan’s coal oil house boiling over and running into the street. It ignited fences along the street. No. 5’s chemical engine extinguished the so-called “running fire” and the Cadets, Zouaves and Governor’s Guard rendered valuable salvage service in connection with the endangered dwellings. Loss to all properties was placed at $4,200. The fire resulted in a new ordinance enacted in city council on 8 May, prohibiting the storage of flammable oils in quantities in excess of 160 gallons within the city limits. At the same time, another ordinance was passed requiring members of the department to wear appropriate badges designating membership in the fire department while working at fires. The Emmanuel Steinheimer Dry Goods Store caught fire on 24 December. Of undetermined origin, the fire caused $3,000 damage. The store was located on Whitehall Street near Mitchell Street. 1875 Fire department officers elected at the annual meeting on 11 January, 1875 were: Jacob Emmel, Chief Engineer; James E. Gullatt, 1st Assistant Chief; James E. Mann, Secretary; Benjamin B. Crew, Treasurer. Little of interest happened for several weeks in 1875 until 16 March. That is the date of the George W. Jack Bakery Building fire at the northwest corner of Whitehall and Alabama Streets. It was a twostory brick building. Here, an amusing incident: R.E. Lee No. 4 got into a fight with Gate City No. 5 over which hose crew was to “take” the stairway. A few citizens joined in and the police department had to restore order. A Mr. M.C. Blanchard got into the act and engaged in an argument with Chief Emmel over how the fire was being handled. He struck the chief on the side of the head with his fist. Chief Emmel retaliated by bending his heavy service trumpet almost double over Mr. Blanchard’s head! It was, to say the least, not an “ordinary” sequence of events in the firefighting business. Overheated ovens in the bakery were blamed for the fire, which also damaged Charp’s Clothing Store, O.K. Clothing Store, Smith & Master Photographers and Peace’s Restaurant. Fire loss was placed at some $130,000. This became one of the most costly fires thus far in the department’s history. 40

The actions of the citizens at the fire did not go without notice elsewhere in the city. The following day, 17 March, local newspapers blasted the public for interfering with the work of the fire department. As if that wasn’t enough, demon fire returned again to the same section on 1 April. Fire broke out in Peace’s Restaurant, which had been damaged originally in the bakery fire. Buildings destroyed included the restaurant itself, Knox’s Millinery Store, O.K. Clothing Store at 48 Whitehall Street, Cohen & Selig and the roof of Eugene M. Berry’s Drug Store. The fire resulted in a loss of $53,000 and started from an overheated stove in the restaurant. In less than a month, one block of the city had suffered in fire losses of $183,000. The Firemen’s Day Parade and Tournament of 1875, took place on 3 May. By that time, all of the department’s apparatus was horse-drawn and the days of the hand-pulled fire apparatus in Atlanta were gone. On 21 June, a resolution was offered in city council to connect fire headquarters with the new water works on Poole Creek by telegraph ... the first recorded official effort toward improving the city’s alarm system. The 9th of August, 1875, is an important date in the department’s history. On that day, Atlanta’s new system of water works was completed at a cost of $226,000, on Poole Creek at the old Terry Mill property. Grounds consisted of 318 acres, with a 52 acre reservoir having a shoreline of 4.5 miles. It was 25 feet deep and had a capacity of 250,000,000 gallons of water. Although the lake is now dramatically reduced in size, the original reservoir can still be seen from Lakewood Avenue SE inside the fence of the former Lakewood Fairgrounds. The water plant operated two steam driven Quadriplex pumps and had capacity to supply 2,000,000 gallons of filtered water per day into the city system. Raw water passed through a Hyatt Filter before entering the piping. The arterial main from “Lakewood” to town was 16 inches in diameter and ran eight miles into the city. Other mains were run through principle streets and were from 6 to 16 inches in diameter. Three hundred eighty four double-head fire hydrants were included in the new water system. The original water system was not for drinking water. It strictly was non-potable for industrial use and fire suppression. The fire department conducted their first tests of the public water system on 11 September 1875. Apparatus connected to a new “fire plug” at the corner of Pryor and Decatur Streets. The plug provided a sufficient source of water and the steamer successfully pumped water completely over “The Kimball House” (a large hotel, replaced years ago by a multi level parking deck). Even though the new water system did not provide potable drinking water, it was designed for industrial use and to provide a steady supply of water for firefighting purposes. The city had now come a long way from the limited number of gallons held in the old fire-cistern system and the days of hand-pulled apparatus. The evolution from antiquated methods and equipment to more efficient techniques and apparatus was rapidly taking place. It was a great time in the history of the department. 1876 At the annual election of officers on 10 January resulted in: Jacob Emmel, Chief Engineer; James E. Gullatt, 1st Assistant Chief; Francis Doonan, 2nd Assistant Chief; James E. Mann, Secretary; Benjamin B. Crew, Treasurer.

History 1847-1882 The Volunteer Years


The 26th of February saw the McNaught & Scrutchin’s Hardware Warehouse fire at 86-88 Whitehall Street. Loss in the fire, a twostory brick building, was placed at $4,000. The fire, which completely gutted the building, was listed as of incendiary origin. The Gamewell Fire Alarm Telegraph Company finished a telegraph system between fire headquarters and the water works pumping station at Lakewood on 6 March, 1876. On 13 June, fire broke out in the Eichberg and McNaught & Scrutchin stores at Nos. 82, 84, 86 & 88 Whitehall Street. This fire, also, was listed as “incendiary”. One two-story and three one-story buildings were destroyed with a loss of $70,000. On the 1st of July, Chief Engineer Jacob Emmel resigned and Henry P. Haney was elected to fill his position. The new steam engine of Tallulah Fire Company No. 3 arrived in the city on 26 August. It was a Silsby rotary engine valued at $6,000. On the same day, en route to a minor fire, the hook and ladder truck struck a hole in the street, broke the tiller-bar and painfully injured Runner Thomas A. Johnson of the truck company. The next large fire was on 10 December and was known as the Butler and Wheat Street conflagration. A store building and five dwellings were destroyed at a loss of $6,500. Mechanics Fire Company No. 2 received a new steamer on 11 December 1876. The apparatus was manufactured by R. J. Gould Company of Newark, New Jersey. This company was the predecessor of the ITT-Gould Pumps of today. Two’s Amoskeag steamer was then placed in reserve at Company 2’s quarters. Chief Haney issued the annual report for the period 1 July through 31 December on the 31st of December, 1876. The department consisted of three steam engine companies, two hand companies and one hook & ladder truck company. There were 27 fire cisterns and 28 pumps. Fire loss for the period was placed at $12,965. 1877 The year 1877 started off with a serious fire in the J.W. Cotton Grocery Store on 2 January, at the corner of West Peters Street (now Trinity Avenue SW) and South Forsyth Street. The fire was in a twostory brick structure. Weather seriously hampered the work of the firefighters. Department apparatus had difficulty in responding to the alarm because of seven inches of snow on the streets. No. 2 tried to get up East Peters Street from Loyd Street (Central Avenue), but had to go around by way of Mitchell Street. After the fire was extinguished, the fire companies took time out for a snowball battle. Some of the more ingenious members of the department began slipping pieces of coal into the snowballs and then a real fight started. The foreman of the companies managed to stop it before anyone got seriously hurt. The Annual election of officers took place on 10 January with the following results: Walthal R. Joyner, Chief Engineer; John R. Rauschenburg, 1st Assistant Chief; Henry C. Gullatt, 2nd Assistant Chief; W.J. Stevens, 3rd Assistant Chief; James E. Mann, Secretary; Benjamin B. Crews, Treasurer.

On the 21st of January, fire broke out on McDonough Street (later Capitol Avenue). Two two-story grocery stores and a one story shoe shop were destroyed at No. 78, 84 and 86 McDonough, at a loss of $6,000. This is roughly where the parking deck for the state capitol sits today. An addition to the alarm system was made during February, with the installation of a fire alarm box in the office of the police barracks on South Pryor Street. The fire department adopted a new set of rules and regulations on 20 March. They also created the position of 3rd Assistant Chief. Newspaper criticism burst forth on 2 September, with the city’s papers editorializing on alleged delays on the part of the five companies in answering alarms. No. 1 was accused of waiting until it was ready to leave before ringing the big bell, but the accusation was denied by Chief Joyner. On 2 September, the McPherson Barracks caught fire in “Jamestown”. This is now the site of Spellman College. Stables, laundry and firewood shed out buildings were destroyed at a loss of $15,000. Also on this date Chief Engineer Walthal R. Joyner was elected Vice President of the National Association of Fire Engineers at their annual convention in Nashville TN. Today we know this organization as the International Association of Fire Chiefs. 1878 Chief Joyner was returned to office as Chief Engineer at the annual elections on 11 January 1878. His assistants were: Edward W Baldwin, 1st Assistant Chief; L.S. Morris, 2nd Assistant Chief; N.C. Cannon, 3rd Assistant Chief; James E. Mann, Secretary; Benjamin B. Crew, Treasurer. Firefighters responded to a small fire at the Kimball House on 25 August, 1878, caused by a charcoal burner in a tailor shop on the ground floor. Foreman Andy Boos of No. 3 was injured when thrown from the seat of the hose reel wagon as it turned from Decatur Street into Pryor Street. In 1878 the American Fire Hose Manufacturing Company was producing hose that could be used for steam engines and could withstand pressures of up to 350 psi. Because of the different manufactures there was decision to try and make a standard for the coupling size by the International Association of Fire Engineers in 1873. In 1932 the 2.5” hose became a standard and in 1957 the 1.5” hose became a standard. By 1963 NFPA had created a standard for fire hose diameters and thread size for couplings that were adopted by fire departments all across the country. Thru the years materials have improved to make stronger and lighter hose in small and large diameters and will continue to improve. On the 16th of October, the new Babcock size B hook & ladder truck arrived and the company turned out in a parade to show off its new equipment. The machine was built to be drawn by horses and had running boards so the “hooksies” could ride to fires instead

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of running along beside it. It might well be called the first stages of mechanization in the fire department. City council met in special session on 14 October to examine charges against Chief Joyner and his assistants. Joyner and his men were charged with inefficiency in the handling of a fire at William Rich’s whiskey store on South Broad Street. After hearing the evidence, council voted to exonerate the fire department and its officials. More equipment arrived on 5 December, as R.E. Lee Fire Company No. 4 announced it had received its new steam fire engine. It invited the public in to see the new machine Clapp and Jones manufactured machine. Agitation for a better fire alarm system continued during the year, prodded by editorials in the Atlanta Constitution urging that a more up-to-date system be installed. The newspaper suggested a system of telephone boxes connected with fire headquarters. That year ended with the arrival of a new Clapp & Jones Steam fire engine for Gate City Fire Company No. 5 on 19 December. The annual report showed the department had five steamers and hose reel companies and a hook & ladder company. It possessed some 4,900 feet of “fairly good” fire hose and sixteen horses. Value of the department was placed at $52,725. It had responded to 46 alarms in the past year and the city had suffered a fire loss of $205,794.

On 10 April, Chief Boos was injured painfully, though not seriously, while fighting a fire in a cottage at Powers and Williams Streets. He stepped into an uncovered well that was beneath the back porch of the house. He was pulled to safety by members of the hook & ladder company. On the 27th of May a fire occurred at the Traynham, Geise & Ray Planing Mill located at 68 Decatur Street. The building suffered $6,500 damage from a fire caused by an unattended coal oil lamp. Several of the State’s more colorful and well known Negro military organizations met in Atlanta for a convention starting on 10 August 1878. As part of the event, African-American fire companies from Athens, Georgia and Columbia South Carolina were also to attend. This was a real treat for both the citizens and the members of Atlanta Volunteer Fire Department since it was the first time these visiting fire companies had ever appeared in the city. The African American citizens of Atlanta gathered at the railroad passenger depot on Monday 11 August 1879 to welcome an excursion train from Columbus GA. This special train, the largest to ever come to Atlanta at that time, consisted of eight coaches. The excursion was arranged by the Washington Fire Company No. 2 of Columbus. Company 2 was an all Black fire company consisting of thirty members under the command of Foreman Lewis Thompson. Soon afterward, twenty-seven members of the Champion Fire Company No 2 from Columbia South Carolina under the command of Foreman John Bell also arrived by train and had arranged to be in town for the several days of visiting and fire competition events. Part of the festivities and planned activities included a parade and fire muster honoring the establishment of Atlanta’s first and only all Black volunteer fire company. Blue Eagle Fire Company No 6 had been chartered and organized on 23 March 1879 and operated from a building in Summerhill. Company quarters were at Connally Street SE and Jones Street, (now Woodward Ave., S.E). Residential buildings occupy the site today. The Summerhill neighborhood is an area south of today’s I-20 and east of Turner Field. It was one of two settlements established after the Civil War by William Jennings in 1865. Summerhill’s early inhabitants were predominately freed slaves and Jewish immigrants.

1879 The department held its annual meeting on 13 January 1879 at city hall. Elected were: Andrew Boos, Chief Engineer; John Toy, 1st Assistant Chief; Francis Doonan, 2nd Assistant Chief; W.E. Stephens, 3rd Assistant Chief; James E. Mann, Secretary; Benjamin B. Crew, Treasurer. A fire in a small office of Hoyle’s Wood Yard at Whitehall and Garnett Streets on 23 February resulted in a civilian fatality. Henry Dyer, a 45-year old man, who slept in the yard office, was killed in the blaze caused when he kicked over a stove while drunk. This is approximately the location of Atlanta Fire Rescue headquarters in 2012. Garnett Street originally ran between the Public Safety Building and the Parking Deck to the north. 42

The City Council provided for the organization of the new company which was to be called Blue Eagle Fire Company Number 6. It was clearly the Council’s intention that the company was to become the sixth company of the Atlanta Volunteer Fire Department for, on 7 July 1879, only five months after the company was authorized, council appropriation of $75 to assist with their start up. This appropriation “to Blue Eagle Hose Reel Company” stipulated that it was: “Subject to the direction and arrangements with the Atlanta Fire Department”. Augustus Thompson was elected as the first president of the Blue Eagle fire company. Records show that although Blue Eagle was not affiliated with the Atlanta Volunteer Fire Department and they did provide excellent fire protection for the Summerhill neighborhood. On several occasions Blue Eagle No. 6 provided help at fires being battled by the Atlanta Volunteer Fire Department. Blue Eagle’s apparatus was the original hand operated Hunneman “Blue Dick” which they borrowed from Mechanics Fire Company No. 2.

History 1847-1882 The Volunteer Years


On Tuesday, 12 August, the visiting firefighters were taken on a tour of the city by members of Blue Eagle No. 6. At 3:00 PM a parade was formed in front of the Georgia State Capitol. Led by Blue Eagle No. 6, they paraded through all of the primary business streets where they were cheered by great throngs of spectators both Black and White before returning to the Capitol, where the Muster (competition) was to take place. The rules of the competitions were that the Engines were to be situated and take draft from the cistern at Broad and Marietta Streets. Members were moved to Peachtree Street with their hose reels. The timed event required them to run their hose carts laying out hose for the 100 yards. They then had to make all connections and “man the rails” of the hand engines and pump the hand tubs throwing water at least 50 feet. The results were: Washington Fire Company No. 2 – First – Water in 40 seconds. Champion Fire Company No 2 – Second – Water in 41 seconds Blue Eagle Fire Company No 6 – Third – Water in 43 seconds To make the contest more competitive, Washington No 2 let Blue Eagle No 6 use their pumping apparatus which was much newer than the borrowed and well worn Hunneman that Blue Eagle normally operated. Records show that the muster events lasted three hours and were strictly a friendly event with no prizes being offered. The visiting companies were very complimentary of Blue Eagle No. 6, the newest of the competing teams. The 2nd Annual meeting of Blue Eagle Fire Company No. 6 was held at 50 South Broad Street on Wednesday evening, 23 March 1881. The company voted and elected: President Vice President Foreman Secretary Treasurer

R. M. King Henry Thompson J. T. Thompson W. A. Jones Jr. R. Nolan

A small fire broke out on 3 September, 1879, at H.E. Eminger Candy Factory on Whitehall Street. The “OLD RELIABLE” hook & ladder truck hit the door of the truck house on the way out and broke out several spokes of the rear wheel. Driver Ole T. Hart was thrown off the seat and severely bruised. A.L. Waldo, who was handling the tiller bar, was also thrown down and sustained two broken fingers. The vamps had to carry their equipment to the fire on foot! The year ended with two events of interest. On 25 November 1879 Chief Boos and officers of the department set up plans for systematic fire drills in all the city’s schools. Department officials realized that preparedness could save lives in the event of an emergency. Mechanic Fire Company No. 2 celebrated its twenty-third anniversary with a grand ball on 10 December in the Concordia Hall in the Grant Building at Forsyth and Marietta. An interesting point about this ball was that the company remained “in service” throughout the entire

affair, with the engine and hose reel left in readiness in front of the building. Besides advances in training and the addition of equipment by the department during the year 1879, the local populace was also showing signs of preparedness. Judge Hillyer announced that he had installed a “Sypho-Chemical Sprinkler System” in his new building at the southeast corner of Alabama and Broad Streets. It was the first of its kind to appear in Atlanta. 1880 The department elected its officers on 12 January with George W. Haney becoming the Chief Engineer; A.L. Waldo, 1st Assistant Chief; Julius Stroup, 2nd Assistant Chief; William E. Reynolds, 3rd Assistant Chief; James E. Mann, Secretary and Benjamin B. Crew, Treasurer. On 12 January 1880 the department responded to a major fire at the Hunter Street Presbyterian Church. Buildings destroyed included the church and the residences of J. Sid Holland and Hinton P. Wright. The alarm was sounded at three o’clock Monday morning. There were no fire hydrants in the vicinity and the only fire cistern was dry. The fire started on the back porch of the Wright residence of undetermined origin and resulted in a loss of $6,400. R.E. Lee Fire Company No. 4 held a grand ball at the fire hall on 29 January to raise funds for two new fire horses. On 25 February Gate City Fire Company No. 5 celebrated the opening of its new fire hall on the site of the old building. It was built at a cost of $1, 500. Next we come to an important date and an historic occasion in the history of the department. Little is said in the records of city activities other than it is mentioned. To those interested in fire history the event was of great significance. On 5 April, 1880, a resolution was offered in city council asking a study begin as to the advisability of changing the fire department from an all volunteer basis to a paid organization. Reading between the lines, based on events of past months, it would appear that leading citizens and officers of the department had decided the city was growing rapidly and had now reached the point where a volunteer department was impractical. It would take two years for a paid department to come into fruition. Fire broke out on Saturday, 26 June, in the Jack & Holland Building, a four-story structure at the corner of Whitehall and Alabama Streets SW. The building housed apartments and the cracker and candy factory of Mr. Francis M. Jack. Ten hose streams were played on the fire, but despite valiant efforts by the department, the building was completely gutted at a loss of $15,000. Interested citizens and firefighters watched a demonstration on 12 October, of a new automatic “fire sprinkling system” in the new Maddox & Rucker cotton warehouse located at 44 West Alabama Street SW west of Forsyth Street. This later was the site of former Fire Station No. 1 and now is the Federal Building downtown. A few days before the end of October, there occurred what was to be a serious event but it is, nonetheless, a bit amusing to look back upon in modern times. Creditors foreclosed on R. E. Lee Fire Company No. 4, seizing all their assets including equipment and their steamer. This left the company with no firefighting equipment. This was to become important a few days later, for on Wednesday, 3 November,

History 1847-1882 The Volunteer Years

43


the Atlanta Brewery caught fire. Because of the foreclosure, No. 4’s steamer could not be used to help fight the blaze. The building was located on the northeast corner of Harris and Collins Streets (now known as Courtland Street). This company was later known as the Atlantic Brewery. The alarm was sounded at 12 o’clock midnight. When fire companies arrived and tried to pump water, they found they were hampered by insufficient water pressure and all the buildings of the plant were destroyed at a loss of $75,000. November was not without its problems with respect to firefighting. The dreaded “simultaneous” fire that had already been mentioned by an out-going chief several years previously finally hit the city on Tuesday, 23 November, 1880. The department was forced to operate at five fires, almost all of them occurring at the same time. First, an outhouse caught fire near the junction of Peachtree and North Broad Streets. This was followed by a dwelling at the corner of Pulliam and Richardson Streets, followed by another dwelling on Decatur Street near the cemetery. Next, fire was discovered in a combination dwelling-grocery, a blacksmith shop, a paint shop and two other dwellings at Nos. 209-211 and 213 West Peters and 205 and 215 Peters Street. Last, but by no means least, flames broke out in the Atlanta Health Institute on Peters Street. Loss was placed at $7,500. This same problem of multiple fires in a short timeframe would lead to the catastrophic “Northside Conflagration” 37 years later in 1917. 1881 At the annual election on 10 January, George W. Haney was elected Chief Engineer; A.L. Waldo, 1st Assistant Chief; Julius Stroup, 2nd Assistant Chief; William C. Reynolds, 3rd Assistant Chief; James E. Mann, Secretary Benjamin B. Crew, Treasurer The meeting then adjourned to the hook and ladder house where the “hooksies” entertained the new officers. The 2nd Annual meeting of Blue Eagle Fire Company No. 6 was held at 50 South Broad Street on Wednesday evening, 23 March 1881. The company voted and elected:

President Vice President Foreman Secretary Treasurer

R. M. King Henry Thompson J. T. Thompson W. A. Jones Jr. R. Nolan

This was a larger facility than Company 6’s quarters which were at Connally Street SE and Jones Street, (now Woodward Ave. SE). Residential buildings occupy the site today of their former station by 2012. On 2 May, legislation was enacted in general council redefining the fire limits of the city. It was also recorded that during the previous months, beginning shortly after the first of the year, the Lakewood water works failed completely. Chief Haney had water hauled in to fill the fire cisterns and it was back to the “old days” of firefighting with no municipal water supply. The lack of pressurized water became a great problem on Thursday, 44

21 July, at 15:00 hours when an alarm was sounded for fire in a house at the rear of 82 Calhoun Street. The resulting fire became known as the Calhoun Street (now Piedmont Avenue) conflagration. Because the water works was still out of operation, companies had to resort to improvised bucket brigades. This delayed the initial attack on the flames and quickly fire spread to and destroyed Nos. 76, 78 and 80 Calhoun Street in addition to five cottages across the street. Two houses on Foster Street also caught fire from the sparks, but were saved. Loss was estimated at $12,000. The firefighting problem was becoming more and more acute and on Friday, 22 July, an editorial column in The Atlanta Constitution strongly condemned the failed water works. Before the water system could be repaired and put back in service, “man’s worst enemy struck again. At 16:00 hours on 21 September fire broke out in the Georgia Iron Works located on Marietta near South Bartow Street (Later Techwood and now Centennial Olympic Park Drive NW). The plant was totally destroyed despite the efforts of the entire department to control the blaze with water drafted from the Bartow Street cistern. The fire started when an overheated smokestack came in contact with wooden rafters. It destroyed $50,000 worth of property. The Exposition Fire Department of the International Cotton Exposition was organized at Oglethorpe Park north of the city off West Marietta Street and north of Jefferson Street NW on 15 October, 1881. Equipment was brought into Atlanta by the International Cotton Exposition organizers. This temporary fire company was under the command of Lieutenant Edward A. Baldwin. The unit consisted of several Bishop Automatic Fire Extinguishers; one Silsby third-size steamer; a LaFrance second-size steamer; two hose reels and a Gamewell automatic fire alarm system made up of five alarm boxes placed strategically throughout the expositions buildings and displays. Later this open area would be the site of the huge J. P. Stevens & Company’s “Exposition Cotton Mill” complex and mill village houses. On 6 July 1971, the old and by then long abandoned massive brick walled with plank on timber flooring mill building burned in a spectacular 4 alarm fire caused by careless hot work during demolition with cutting torches. The year 1881 ended, insofar as events of importance are concerned, ironically enough with a fire. At 23:00 hours on Saturday, 10 December, the Atlanta Street Railway shops burned. The fire originated in the packing building of the S.S.S. Company on the west side of Ivy Street, (now Peachtree Center Avenue) between Line Street (Edgewood Avenue) and Decatur Street and spread to stables nearby. From there it communicated to the street car company’s offices across Line Street (site of the Hurt Building) and on southward towards Decatur Street and Pryor Street. It destroyed fifteen shacks and shanties. Two houses on Line Street were badly damaged and the Southern Hotel at Line and Pryor Streets was damaged by smoke and water. The loss was placed at $20,000. The Atlanta Volunteer Fire Department had come through 21 years from the fighting soldiers of the 1860’s to the firefighters of 1881. With over 20 years as an organized unit and another dozen as independent fire companies, the fire department was now ready to become a paid organization. The Department struggled to operate with a lack of funds, the growth of the city and fire volume it faced. The foundation laid by the loyal and dedicated volunteer helped propel the Atlanta Fire Department to even greater achievements. The time had come to get down to the business of finding a way to

History 1847-1882 The Volunteer Years


properly protect the growing city from the ravages of fire and smoke. We will always remember those hardy men of the Atlanta Volunteer Fire Department. The rapid growth of Atlanta during the Cotton States Exposition of 1881, demonstrated conclusively that the town had completely outgrown the services of its volunteer system of fire protection. All during that year friction had existed between City Council and the Fire Department which had expressed itself, in no uncertain terms, as being dissatisfied with the amount of the appropriation awarded by the city for operating expenses. The city governing body had decided not to augment funds to the department for special occasions, with the result that during the latter months of the year the volunteers had threatened to disband. There had been a number of conferences between the Committee on the Fire Department and the Board of Control of the Atlanta Volunteer Fire Department, the volunteers contending that the annual appropriation then allowed was not sufficient to maintain the department in the state of high efficiency which the community required. In a letter to Council on January 6, 1882, the Board of Control asked that definite steps be taken to establish a paid fire department. The letter, which was read before Council, was as follows: To Hon. Mayor and General Council, City of Atlanta. Gentlemen: At the regular meeting of the Fire Department of Atlanta, a committee, consisting of one member of each company, was appointed for the purpose of bringing before your Honorable Body the question of a paid fire department. Realizing the fact that the property holders have not sufficient protection in the case of fire, owing to the lack of interest on the part of the different companies, we believe it the duty of your Honorable Body to take such steps as will result in the organization of a paid fire department. Hoping that your Honorable Body will give the matter the consideration it deserves, we are respectfully; John M. Mecaslin, President, Atlanta Fire Co. No. 1 Walthal R. Joyner, Foreman, Atlanta H & L No. 1 William B. Cummings, Delegate, Mechanic Fire Co. No. 2

was discussed and it was finally referred to the Committee on the Fire Department for further study. Disaster would soon strike. It was just as the hands of the city clock reached half-past twelve o’clock on the cold windy morning of 20 January 1882, that Steve Grady, who was at the Union Depot, chanced to glance toward the vicinity of South Pryor and Alabama streets and noticed an intense glare in the sky. He immediately alerted the night patrol who mounted his horse and rode directly to the fire hall of No. 1. Producing his key to the fire house, he entered and began tolling the big bell, “Augusta Hill.” In the matter of seconds this clanging was followed by the sharp ringing of the smaller bells of the other fire halls. Mr. Grady contacted several engineers on the switch engines near the depot and they soon added the sharp tooting of the engine whistles to the alarm. The vamps.’ reported promptly to their respective quarters and with all of their apparatus, were soon rolling toward the intersection of South Pryor and Alabama, where the bright glare in the sky and the dense column of acrid black smoke indicated a fire of great magnitude. A very stiff wind sprang up and began to fan the fire throughout the structure and a tremendous fire storm built up in the center of the intersection before the engines could be placed in operation. The flames began spreading to the structures on the opposite side of the streets. This also prevented the hose reels from using streams directly from the hydrants at the corner. Never before in the history of Atlanta was the inefficiency of the Volunteer Fire Department system more manifest. Nevertheless, the volunteers fought the flames with the same energy and devotion to duty they had always shown. At a meeting of the officers of the Fire Department a few nights later, it was unanimously agreed that the Alabama Street conflagration had been enough to satisfy them that the city could not have adequate fire protection with the system then in force. It was also agreed by most of the old-timers of the department that the blaze had been the most destructive one to visit the community since General Sherman’s torchlight procession through the city in the fall of 1864. It was approved by the officers that, rather than bear the burden of responsibility longer, the volunteers should notify City Council by letter that unless a more liberal appropriation were made, the department would be forced to dissolve. This action brought a further conference between the Fire Department and the city officials to discuss steps to be taken for the immediate formation of a paid fire department. Mayor English, himself, had been thoroughly convinced that this was the only solution to the situation.

]. Frank Lester, Delegate, Tallulah Fire Co. No. 3 Edward A. Harbuck, Delegate, R. E. Lee Fire Co. No. 4 Major James W. English endorsed the views of both the firefighters and the city fathers in his address to Council, in which he stated, in part: ... We should have a fire department composed of men who are regularly employed and paid for their services. It is asking too much ... that men should leave their occupations ... at the tap of the bell, to labor in the interest of others, and at a loss to themselves. At the first meeting of City Council, the petition of the firefighters

The ordinance creating a paid fire department was passed in General Council and approved by Mayor James W. English on Thursday, 23 March 1882. The ordinance also contemplated the installation of an electric fire alarm system, two steam engine companies, four hose reel companies and a hook and ladder company. The bill also specified a list of officers and men for each company and the salary of each. Chief Karwisch reported that the volunteer fire companies were ready to have the city take over the operations. No. 1, he said, was fairly well off financially and worth about $25,000.

History 1847-1882 The Volunteer Years

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No. 2 did not own its lot, but did own the fire hall, engine, reels and other equipment. The chief stated that No. 2 would sell her assets for $7,300. No. 3 was worth about $18,000, including the fire hall and all equipment. Hook and Ladder No. 1 had a truck which was about three years old, a truck house, supply wagon, ladders and other equipment, which was very valuable. Nos. 4 and 5 did not own their equipment and were only renting what they had on hand. Chief Karwisch stated that at the time the Atlanta Volunteer Fire Department consisted of three engine companies, two hose reel companies and one hook and ladder company. There was a fourth steamer in the department, the former property of Gate City No. 5, but the city’s finances would not allow the use of it.

It is fitting that we pay tribute to these volunteer firefighters who struggled year by year to give efficient service through that period when the companies operated as individual units, on through the era when they were organized into a single department. This was a splendid group of dedicated men, devoted to the cause. It must be remembered that they never shirked their duty, that they never received pay for their services, and during the War Between the States, they performed the duties of firefighters as well as those of the regular militia for the protection of life and property of their beloved Atlanta. And so in June 1882, Atlanta’s City Council, at its meeting on the 13th, disbanded the volunteer department and effected the new paid department by an ordinance enacted into law. The new paid Atlanta Fire Department would take over from the Atlanta Volunteer Fire Department on 1 July 1882.

Only the drivers of the apparatus were paid, one man being hired by each company except No. 2, which had two drivers. At the time there were about thirty-five men in each company serving as volunteer firefighters. The Chief expressed the belief that two engine and hose companies, along with the hook and ladder company would be sufficient for the new paid department, barring accidents. Two engines could deliver four good streams of water to a fire. He further added that some of the volunteers were planning to enter the new paid system, although the proposed low salaries would prevent many of the best men from continuing in the fire service.

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History 1847-1882 The Volunteer Years


THE MASONIC TEMPLE FIRE occured on Thursday, 7 September 1950 at 13:50 PM The huge lodge building was located at the northwest corner of Peachtree Street NW and Cain Street NW (now Andrew Young International Boulevard).


HISTORY 1882-1982 The First Hundred Years ATLANTA FIRE DEPARTMENT 1882 – 1982 Data compiled by Captain Bob Gish, AFD Retired. Edited by Dave E. Williams, CFPS – Metropolitan Fire Association There were several factors that led to the formation of a paid department and it expressed itself all during 1881 and flowed into 1882, some of it was the lack of funds to operate the volunteer companies. Many had to fund raise to stay afloat and maintain the rigs. The city was growing and the Vollies had trouble keeping up, they did good work but were rapidly being out paced by the volume of fire calls. The Vollies and the city officials realized it and met several times to form the new department. Two major fires in the downtown area sealed the deal to go paid. The Alabama-Pryor Street Conflagration occurred on Monday, 20 January 1882 at 00:30 AM. The fire originated in the four-story brick Brown Building, at the southeast corner of East Alabama and South Pryor Streets and would destroy or damage fourteen buildings on all four corners of the intersection. One man lost his life in the Wilson House and Foreman Jerry Lynch received injuries to his head from a falling brick. Loss was set at $265,800. The entire Volunteer Fire Department was in operation at this fire under the command of Chief Engineer Henry Karwisch and his Assistant Chiefs William C. Reynolds and George H. Diehl. Eight hose streams were used. This fire would be the driving force to move to a paid department. The Atlanta Constitution was critical over the lack of water pressure from the water works. The Whitehall Street Conflagration occurred on Tuesday, 30 January 1882 at 19:00 PM. This fire originated in the one-story brick store of Thomas Richtie & Company, No. 86 Whitehall Street. The fire spread to seven buildings. The entire Volunteer Fire Department was in operation under Chief Karwisch; all three of the steamers with hose streams and hydrant lines lined up Whitehall Street to stop the fire from crossing the street, in all thirteen lines were used. Again the waterworks system failed to provide adequate water pressure even after being asked to increase pressure. Fire loss totaled over $100,000 and was never determined how it started. No injuries were reported. THAT WAS IT! The Vollies had had enough and serious efforts to move to the paid department were on with discussions and legislation creating the paid department passed on March 23rd and would take effect on June 1st. The new paid Department set the machinery in motion to get started by securing the apparatus, housing and equipment. The Mayor meeting with the Committee on the Fire Department authorized the hiring of the men, setting the pay scale and establishing the rules for the Department on June 26th. A “Board of Fire Masters” was created by the Atlanta City Council on 30 June 1882. They were assigned to govern the activities of the new paid fire department. Their first meeting was held at Hook & Ladder No. 1’s Truck house located at 28 South Broad Street. The members were; Chairman Member John H. Mecaslin, Zachery Adamson, J.A. Grey, William H. Brotherton, Mathew Ryan and Member, ex-officio Mayor James W. English. You might recognize many of these names which are on streets in various parts of the city in 2012. 48

The first paid firefighter was Thomas W. Haney, who was elected Foreman of Steam Fire Engine Company No 1. He signed the book on 30 June 1882. Foremen Haney would eventually leave the Atlanta Fire Department as a Captain. Records show that on “9 September 1892– Thomas Haney, a Captain with the Atlanta Fire Department, is hired as the third Chief of the paid Jacksonville Florida Fire Department”. The Atlanta Fire Department began operations as a fully paid entity on 1 July 1882 with only two companies, Engine and Hose company 2 would be activated on a couple of weeks later on 15 July. The department started with thirty-eight officers and men and eleven horses. Going “paid” had dropped the department from seven companies down to only two engines and one hook and ladder company. Elections for department officers were held on 2 July 1882. The results showed the leadership of the new AFD would be: Chief Engineer Mathew Ryan, Foreman T.W. Haney, Foreman M.P. Camp and Foreman O.T. Hart. The Apparatus of the Department consisted of; 2 Two horse Secondsize steamers, 1 Two horse Hook & Ladder Truck, 2 Two horse hose reels, 1 supply wagon, 11 horses, and in reserve-2 Two horse Third size steamers and 3 Two horse hose reels. Fire alarms answered by the Department from 1 July to 31 December of 1882 would total thirty-five and the fire loss was $13, 185.94. The inventory showed that there were 30 fire cisterns scattered throughout the city. 1882 The expenses attendant upon the establishment of the paid fire department included: Purchase of fire apparatus $11,900.00 Purchase of Engine House No. 1 10,200.00 Establishment of Fire Alarm System 3,588.37 Steamer No. 1, reel, horses, hose & tools 1,500.00 Steamer No. 2, reel, horses, hose & tools 4,000.00 Steamer No. 3, reel, horses, hose & tools 2,550.00 Steamer No. 5, reel, horses, hose & tools 400.00 Hook & Ladder No. 1, truck, horses, ropes, extinguishers, all equipment, etc. 2,000.00 (Amount paid for settlement of old mortgage against truck company.) 210.00 Rent paid on No. 1 Engine House (at time of purchase.) 7,000.00 Paid toward purchase of Hook & Ladder 1,052.00 house (Balance of $3,000.00 to be paid by successors in Council Salaries for personnel (per month) Chief Ryan recommended the disposal of the old 1876 Gould steamer. He reported it was in reserve service and due the machines age, it was impossible to obtain parts for it any longer.

History 1882-1982 The First Hundred Years


The Chief asked for a horse for his own use and an appropriation for its upkeep.

tools, etc. Foreman Ladder Driver Runner Runner Runner Runner Call Man Call Man Call Man Call Man

Since going paid had reduced the size of the department so drastically, the Chief asked for the establishment of a paid company for the steamer and reel company with men for the old Robert E. Lee Fire Company No. 4’s Engine House at 92 Stevens St. (now Fair St SW.) on Castleberry Hill. The Chief also asked the council to establish a paid station at what had been Gate City Fire Company No. 5’s old house at 28 E. Foundry Street SW in Brooklyn His plea was the need to replace companies lost in the conversion from volunteer to the new all paid department. The Gamewell Fire Alarm Telegraph Company would establish a fire alarm system for the City of Atlanta in 1882 at a cost of $3,588.37. This system included 26 public street boxes (including 5 boxes in factories and public buildings), all necessary apparatus and 13 miles of aerial wire. 1882 FIRE COMPANIES

*The term “call men” were additional personnel required to respond to the fire bell from their jobs and homes were compensated at $12.50 a month. In reality, the Atlanta Fire Department had gone from fully volunteer to paid department with only part of the staffing actually in the fire halls full time. The rest were working normal jobs but had to respond to all calls for their fire company. 1883

STEAM FIRE ENGINE Co. No. 1: No. 25 South Broad Street-One, two-horse, second-size Amoskeag steamer; One, two-horse hose reel; four horses, tools, etc. One, third-size (1876) Gould steamer (In reserve). Foreman Engineer of Steamer Engine Stoker Engine Driver Hose Reel Driver Runner Runner Runner Call Man Call Man Call Man Call Man

O.T. Hart W.M. Watkins A.H. Smith W.C. Johnson L.C. Tripp Charles Vittur R.W. Dorsey J.B. Maddox George Fletcher W.S. Larendon

T.W. Haney E.A. Baldwin A.F. Grubbs William Tolbert Clinton C. Tolbert William Cullen J. I. Coggins O.H. Bentley R.L. Bean G.E. Harbuck C.C. Hawley T.H. White

STEAM FIRE ENGINE Co. No. 2: No. 2-4 Washington Street-one, two-horse, second-size Silsby steamer; (operating former No. 3’s “Fire Queen”), one, two-horse hose reel; four horses, hose, tools, etc.; One, Department supply wagon. Three, two-horse hose reel (In reserve.) Foreman M.P. Camp Engineer of Steamer W.B. Allen Engine Stoker R.L. Turner Engine Driver H.B. Cody Hose Reel Driver T.W. Cannon Runner M.R. Murray Runner W.B. Simmons Runner William Tripp Call Man William Fulton Call Man C.J. Ray Call Man W.A. Teat Call Man W.B, Cummings HOOK & LADDER Co. No. 1: No. 28 South Broad Street--One, two-horse Babcock Size-B hook & ladder truck, three horses, ladders,

As the new year rolled along Chief Ryan would again asked the Atlanta City Council for the purchase of several new pieces of equipment and the establishment of two engine companies, one on Marietta Street and one on Peters Street. Funding was approved by the council and during the year major repairs were made to several pieces of firefighting equipment. It also included the final payment of $3,050.00 for the Hook & Ladder truck. The use of “Call Men” was dispensed with but only one new paid member was added to the department. 1884 Chief Ryan requested a new hook and ladder truck, two engines and new hose during 1884. He again stressed to the city fathers the need to establish an engine house somewhere on the south side. The former volunteer Tallulah Fire Company No. 3, which had been abolished in 1882, was replaced with paid Engine Co. No. 3. The new company was established 26 November 1884, at 255 (later became 317) Marietta Street NW at the corner of Latimer Streets NW in the Brooklyn neighborhood. Although Engine 3 would be disbanded on 8 April 1976, the house would stand until 1989 when it was sold and demolished. A small grassy area and a huge parking deck occupy the site in the fall of 2012. Company No. 2’s engine house was completely repaired during 1884 and several new fire horses and a quantity of new fire hose was also purchased. STEAM FIRE ENGINE Co. No. 3: 255 Marietta on the corner of Latimer streets-One, third-size 1876 Gould steamer; one, two-horse hose reel and four horses. Foreman Engineer of Steamer

History 1882-1982 The First Hundred Years

Jacob Emmel Louis Bender 49


Engine Stoker Engine Driver Hose Reel Driver Runner Runner Runner Runner Runner

D.H. Husketh Joseph Martin H.C. Proctor George Wiley G.M. Pettway J.S. Hackett Joseph Curran A.S. Lindsey

1885 City Marshal Walthal R. Joyner defeated Mathew Ryan for the position of Chief Engineer of the Atlanta Fire Department on 5 July 1885. Mayor George Hillyer accepted the change of command and noted Walthal R. Joyner would become the Chief Engineer with company officers of Foreman H.P. Haney, No. 1; Foreman M.R. Murray, No. 2 and Foreman Jacob Emmel at No. 3 The city purchased a lot for an engine house on the east side of North Pryor Street, north of Wheat Street, (now Auburn Avenue NE) at Banks Place. Chief Joyner immediately asked that No. 4 engine house be erected on the city owned North Pryor Street NE lot as soon as possible. He also asked for the purchase of a new improved hook and ladder truck at once. During the year Fire Alarm indicators were installed in No. 1 engine house and in the truck house. The department also would have brass slide poles installed in all of the fire houses. All of the department houses were generally overhauled as part of a preventative maintenance program. 1886

Chief Joyner pushed the council again asking that No. 4 engine house be erected at once. He would also ask for the purchase of a two-tank chemical engine. Money was approved and five new Gamewell fire alarm boxes were added to the system. 1887 During the New Year Chief Joyner again noted the need for and recommended the establishment of an engine house somewhere on the south side. He also could see the potential for disaster and asked that fire escapes be installed on all public buildings. The Atlanta Firemen’s Benevolent Association was organized on 24 August 1887. The new No. 4 Engine House was placed in service on 1 June 1887, at No. 85-87 North Pryor Street. The fire department repair shop was relocated to the new station from No. 3 and would remain at the rear of the No. 4 engine house for several years. The fire department purchased 2,800 feet of new fire hose and added five more fire alarm boxes to the growing Gamewell street box fire alarm system. A new two-horse, double-tank Holloway chemical engine, manufactured by the Fire Extinguisher Company of Chicago, was purchased and placed in service in No. 1 engine house. The steam fire engine of the company was delegated to reserve service. The rank of Assistant Foreman was created to supervise the operations of the new chemical company. The steam fire engine of No. 3 was transferred to the new No. 4 engine house and No. 3 became a single hose company. ENGINE & HOSE Co. No. 4: No. 85-87 North Pryor Street--One, two- horse, second-size Amoskeag steamer; one, two-horse hose reel; four horses; 2,450 feet of hose and a double hose rack. One, twohorse, second-size Silsby steamer, and one, two-horse hose reel (In reserve) Foreman H.P. Haney Engineer of Steamer N.C. Cannon Engine Stoker W.B. Allen Engine Driver Reuben Gaines Hose Reel Driver H.C. Proctor Hoseman Joseph Curran Hoseman O.P. Payne

A fire department repair shop was installed at the rear of No. 3 engine house. This would be only a temporary location for the new repair area. This would be the year the term “Runner” was discontinued and a new designation “Ladderman” and “Hoseman” were substituted for the former name. The department took delivery of a new second-size Amoskeag steamer and a McBride & Smith hose reel. These went in service at No. 3 engine house. A new two-horse, 65-foot Hayes extension ladder truck was purchased at placed in service at No. 1. The first position known as “Tillerman” was added to the fire department on 24 February 1886, to handle the rear wheels of the extension ladder truck. The old Babcock hook and ladder truck was placed in reserve. 50

Hoseman Hoseman

M.A. Hayes S.B. Chapman

Mathew Ryan, former chief engineer of the paid fire department, died at his home at No. 7 Pulliam Street SW on Monday, 18 July 1887 of a stroke. He was 40 years of age and a widower. Chief Ryan had been born in County Tipperary, Ireland in 1847, and had come direct to Atlanta from that country. He began his career in Atlanta as a dry goods clerk in the store of his uncle, Mr. John Ryan. Later he went in business for himself, opening his own store at No. 91 Whitehall Street SW. After conducting a fairly successful dry goods business he later suffered reverses and sold out just as the Atlanta Volunteer Fire Department gave way to the paid system and he was elected the first chief engineer of the new department on 7 July 1882. At

History 1882-1982 The First Hundred Years


the expiration of his 3 year term of office on 1 July 1885, he was defeated for reelection by Walthal Joyner. Chief Ryan would leave the department and retired to private life.

1890 The city began a process of renumbering all addresses due to the previous system being inadequate. This renumbering would take place again in 1927 and at that time all of Fulton, DeKalb and Clayton Counties would do a combined numbering system. Chief Joyner approached the city council and asked that all of the old hose reels be replaced with the modern hose wagons. He went on to request that all of the old rubber hose in the department be replaced and that Atlanta construct a combined fire headquarters building with quarters for Company 1 and the Chief officers residence. Twelve more fire alarm boxes would be added to the box system.

Chief Ryan had also been affiliated with the old volunteer fire department, having become a member of Atlanta Fire Co. No. 1 in 1871 and remaining with that unit until its absorption by the paid department in 1882. He had served as the company’s secretary in 1874 and delegate to the fire department in 1876 and 1877. In 1861 and 1882 he again served as the company’s secretary. His remains rest in an unmarked grave in the City of Atlanta’s historic Oakland Cemetery. 1888 Chief Joyner asked for the installation of a fully equipped Salvage Corps, complete with water-proofed tarpaulins and other appliances for cleaning up after fires. Ten salvage covers were added to the departments’ equipment roster. They also added a woven rope life net which was placed in service on the chemical engine. During the year a total of 2,500 feet of new 2 ½ inch hose was purchased along with several new shut-off nozzles. 1889 The paid fire department would experience its first Line of Duty Deaths in 1889. Ladderman William P. Leach was killed in the collapse of the wall of the Jackson Building at No. 38 East Alabama Street at the corner of South Pryor Street SW on Wednesday, 24 April 1889. The building housed the Wellhouse & Sons paper warehouse. The fire had originally destroyed the structure on Easter Sunday, 21 April and the companies had been recalled to the scene on Wednesday to extinguish smoldering fires in the baled paper. Leach was a native of Anderson, South Carolina and had served with the fire department since 19 February 1885. He is buried in West View Cemetery. Ladderman Harry O. Howell was killed in the same collapse of the wall of the Jackson Building. He had been appointed to the department on 1 October 1888. He was the son of Singleton G. Howell and a nephew of Judge Clark Howell. He is buried in the Methodist Church yard in Duluth, Georgia. Chief Joyner asked for general improvements in the fire department; with new engine houses, additional fire equipment and personnel. One new fire alarm box was added in 1889.

A new two-horse John Smith Carriage Co. built hose wagon was placed in service at No.1. This would be the first piece of apparatus to have the monogram “AFD” on its sides. The John Smith Carriage Company would eventually evolve into the John Smith Chevrolet Company known as The Old Reliable. After leaving the City of Atlanta, the company remained open under this name for many years on US 41 in Smyrna, Georgia lasting well over 100 years after delivering these Hose Wagons to the Atlanta Fire Department. A new Rumsey city service hook and ladder truck was placed in service at No. 1 and the 65-foot extension ladder truck was transferred to No. 2. The Board of Fire Masters voted during 1890 to provide insurance for all members of the Fire Department. Twelve new men were added to the department to staff the new No. 5 engine house that was placed in service on 1 December 1890. They were located at No. 44 West Peters Street SW on the corner of Trinity Avenue SW. The fire house cost of $6,500.00. This station would be rebuilt on the same lot in 1927 and finally replaced in August 1965 when Company 5 relocated to 414 Central Ave SW. ENGINE & HOSE Co. No. 5: No. 44 West Peters Street--One, twohorse second-size Amoskeag steamer; one, two-horse hose reel and four horses. Foreman W.H. Clowe Engineer of Steamer H.W. Joyner Engine Stoker G.T. Latimer Engine Driver W.A. Bogajski Hose Reel Driver L.W. Simmons Hoseman J.F. Thomas Hoseman W.H. Ray Hoseman J.S. White Hoseman E.L. Maxwell Hoseman J.P. Anderson 1891 With the renumbering of all addresses the new addresses for the fire department were; Engine Co. No. 1 Hose Reel Co. 2 Hose Reel Co. 3 Engine Co. No. 4 Engine Co. No. 5 H & L Co. No. 1

History 1882-1982 The First Hundred Years

1 South Broad Street 4 Washington Street 255 Marietta Street 85 North Pryor. St 44 West Peters Street 6 South Broad Street 51


Chief Joyner, always with a pocket full of needs asked for a special appropriation of $5,000 to provide uniforms for the firefighters; $5,000 for a water tower and $3,000 for new fire hose. His request provided fourteen new fire alarm boxes which were added to the system that included two private boxes. Four new John Smith Carriage Co. built hose wagons were placed in service at No. 2, 3, 4 and 5, replacing all of the old hose reels. These new wagons would hold two thousand feet of new rubberlined, cotton-jacketed 2½ inch fire hose which was purchased and placed in service. The city sold No. 1 engine house, on South Broad Street for $29,000 and purchased a lot on West Alabama Street SW west of Forsyth Street to erect a combined engine house and fire headquarters. No. 3 engine house was rebuilt at No. 255 Marietta Street between Baker Street NW and Latimer Street NW. The new facility would cost $25,000, barely the cost of a very average car today.

new pumping station, using filters from the old Poole Creek station. The year would see the beginnings of a new water system taking shape as land was purchased on the banks of the Chattahoochee near Peachtree Creek for a raw water intake station and right of way purchased for bulk mains to carry the river water to the new settling reservoirs, purification and pumping station on Howell Mill Road at Bishop St. The system began service in 1893 and much of it remains in service today with many upgrades over the years. More modern, square filters were introduced in 1932. But the old filters were kept in reserve and used again during W.W. II. Chlorination of Atlanta’s water supply began in 1917 and Fluoridation would be added in the 1960’s. HOOK & LADDER Co. No. 1: No. 44 West Alabama Street--One, two horse Rumsey City service ladder truck; One, Chief ’s buggy and six horses. Foreman Ladder Driver Ladderman Ladderman Ladderman Ladderman Ladderman Ladderman Ladderman

The State Legislature passed a bill requiring the City of Atlanta to furnish uniforms for the firefighters. 1892 The appropriation for the year included $5,000 for uniforms for the firefighters. Chief Joyner called upon the city council asking that some provision be made to purchase another city service ladder truck for the use on the north side of the City. He asked for additional hose companies and the immediate purchase of a water tower and twenty new horses. In April, the Hook & Ladder house at 50 South Broad Street was sold for $22,650.00. This also was the year a new fire headquarters building was erected at No. 44 West Alabama Street, at a cost of $54,040.00, including the lot (60 x 140 feet). The building cost $27,640.00 and the furnishings, $1,400.00. The building was placed in service on 20 December 1892.

Jacob Emmel G.C. Courtney W.M. Watkins R.H. Pressley J.C. Fincher E.R. Anderson William Butler G.M. Thurman Michael Guinane

HOSE Co. No. 1:No. 44 West Alabama Street--One, two-horse hose wagon and four horses. Assistant Foreman Hose Wagon Driver Hoseman Hoseman Hoseman Hoseman Hoseman

W.B. Cody I.C. Lawson T.J. Driscoll John Terrell W.L. Burel J.R. Rea W.F. Coley

CHEMICAL ENGINE Co. No. 1: No. 44 West Alabama Street-One, two-horse, double-tank Holloway chemical engine and twohorses. Foreman Chemical Engine Driver Hoseman Hoseman

W.B. Cummings T.F. Eubanks R.A. Hardy W.M. Alsabrook

A new eight-circuit repeater was added to the Gamewell fire alarm system. The insurance companies of the city employed a fire inspector (Mr. Davis Smith), at their own expense. His job was to visit mercantile and industrial locations relating to potential fire hazards. He went to work on 31 December 1892. When Atlanta’s original 1875 vintage waterworks system became inadequate for the growing city, $500,000 of waterworks bonds were authorized for new facilities. The old plant pulled water from the Poole Creek and the reservoir was where the former Lakewood Fair Ground is today. Lakewood Avenue still remains the dam for the lake which is now dramatically smaller. Construction contracts for the water system, which included the plant on Hemphill Avenue NW at Northside Drive NW, were awarded in 1891. Water from the Chattahoochee River was to be treated at the 52

1893 Due to problems with outages from falling trees and ice storms, Chief Joyner asked for the removal of the overhead fire alarm system wires and that all circuits be shifted to underground cables. During the year several more new fire alarm boxes were added to the fire alarm system. The purchase of uniforms for the firefighters by the city was

History 1882-1982 The First Hundred Years


abandoned and the amount of the appropriation was added to the salaries of the men at their own request. Each department member was required to keep a specific number of uniforms at all times. Company inspections were conducted to be sure all members were keeping the require number of uniforms and that they were maintained in a good state of repair. The department would take delivery of a new steamer which was purchased for $ 3900. It was a second size Clapp & Jones offered by the American Fire Engine Co. On July 1st, Atlanta’s second oldest fire engine the “Castalia” along with 600 feet of old hose was sold to the Gress Lumber Company for $150. The company would use it in their processing of lumber.

asked for two more engine companies; one, in the neighborhood of Peachtree Street NE and Forrest Avenue NE (which is now Ralph McGill), and one, in the southeast section of the City. Joyner was not keen on where Station 3 was and he asked for the relocation of No. 3 engine house to a more suitable spot. The new No. 6 and 7 engine houses were placed in service on 31 May 1894. They began service as hose wagon companies. NEW COMPANIES HOSE Co. No. 6: No. 111 North Boulevard NE at Auburn Ave went in service with One, two-horse hose wagon and two horses. Foreman Hose Wagon Driver Hoseman Hoseman Hoseman Hoseman Hoseman Hoseman

On the same day, the Steele Lumber Company bought the old 1876 Gould, steamer which had been the city’s fourth steam driven engine. It originally was the property of old Gate City Fire Co. No. 5, and had been acquired by the city on the change-over to the paid department in 1882. At that time it was reassigned and placed in service at No. 2. The old engine, together with 500 feet of old hose was sold for $125. On 11 August 1893 the Atlanta Fire Department tested the reliability and flow from the new water works on the Chattahoochee River. These tests were conducted on Decatur Street SE in front of the Kimball House.

John Terrell J.P. Anderson A.S. Jenkins L.R. Hooper L.E. Bennett A.W. Dimmock H.P. Harris W.C. Butt

HOSE Co. No. 7: No. 7 James Street--One, two-horse hose wagon and two horses. Foreman Hose Wagon Driver Hoseman Hoseman Hoseman Hoseman Hoseman Hoseman

1894

E.R. Anderson W.L. Burel W.M. Watkins R.T. Payne G.W. Waits E.W. Kendricks H.J. Annandale T.H. Goodwin

Chief Joyner was concerned over his ability to protect the city from fire with the meager forces at hand and then the state legislature enacted a bill annexing the town of “West End” to into the City of Atlanta. This added more stress to an already thin fire defense force as the township had no fire department. Residents had petitioned the city and pushed the legislation which asked for annexation following a fire that had destroyed several homes. The bill of annexation was signed by Governor Northern and became effective 1 January 1894. Among civic improvements stipulated in the annexation bill, was a requirement that in 1894 Atlanta build, a brick fire engine house in the West End area, equip and staff it.

1895

The annexation bill also required the Atlanta Water Works to lay water mains for fire service and domestic use into West End. The West End area was to be known as the Seventh Ward. The last official act of the West End governing body was to change the name of Porter Street to the present Lucile Avenue SW. It is unknown who Lucile was that the street is named for.

Atlanta’s first fire in what today we call a movie theatre occurred on 15 October 1895 when the “Living Pictures” building at the Cotton States Exposition was destroyed by fire in Piedmont Park.

The John Smith Carriage Co. received the bid to construct two hose wagons for No. 6 and 7. A new first-size LaFrance Metropolitan steamer was purchased and placed in reserve service at No. 4, to be used for large fires.

The first time (and likely the only time) an Atlanta Fire Chief responded to an alarm on a sleigh occurred on 13 February 1895 following a 6++ inch snowfall. Runners were attached to the wheels of Chief Joyner’s famous “Little Red Buggy”. Even in 2012 the Battalion Chief ’s vehicles are sometimes referred to as the Chief ’s Buggy, a hold over from the horse drawn apparatus days.

The Southeastern Tariff Association would appoint Mr. Macon C. Sharp as city fire inspector in 1895.

Chief Joyner asked that all of the wires of the fire alarm system be placed in the underground conduit, at once. Since the city granted the telephone company rights to string their wires along and beneath city streets Atlanta would require that they set aside one of the conduits in their underground system in the downtown section for the use by various circuit wiring of the fire alarm box system.

The City fire department assumed responsibility of the fire protection of the Cotton States and International Exposition held at Piedmont Park, by adding one hook & ladder and three hose companies on the grounds. The hose wagons were manufactured by the John Smith Carriage Company, of Atlanta. The hook & ladder trucks was a city service ladder, manufactured by the S.F. Hayward & Company, of New York and the chemical engine was a double-tank engine, manufactured by the C.T. Holloway Chemical Engine Company, of Baltimore.

There of course was what seemed to be the annual request by the Chief for an additional city service ladder for the north side. He also

Other equipment and apparatus in the department were: 100, twowheeled, sixty-gallon chemical engines; five sets of double-swinging

History 1882-1982 The First Hundred Years

53


harness, manufactured by the Hale Harness & Fire Supply Company, Kansas City; eight ball nozzles, manufactured by the American Ball Nozzle Company. The exposition installed sixteen fire alarm boxes and ten police signal boxes, manufactured by the Gamewell Fire Alarm Company of New York.

NEW COMPANY HOSE Co. No. 8 & Chemical Engine Co. No. 2 (TEMPORARY STATUS) No. 50 Church Street--One, two-horse hose wagon; one, two-horse, double-tank Holloway chemical engine and five horses.

Following the Cotton States event, Chief Joyner asked that the city provide funds necessary to purchase all, or part, of the apparatus employed at the Piedmont and International Exposition. All of the apparatus and equipment of the exposition fire department was housed in the city engine houses pending disposition as to their return to the manufacturers.

Assistant Chief (Acting) Foreman (Acting) Chemical Engine Driver Hose Wagon Driver Hoseman Hoseman Hoseman Hoseman Hoseman Hoseman Hoseman

THE COTTON STATES AND INTERNATIONAL EXPOSITION FIRE DEPARTMENT 1895 HOOK & LADDER Co. No. 1: One Hayward city service ladder truck and two horses. Two horses in reserve. HOOK & LADDER Co. No. 2: One, two-horse Hayward city service ladder truck and two horses. CHEMICAL ENGINE Co. No. 1: One, two-horse, double-tank Holloway chemical engine and two horses. HOSE Co. No. 1: One, two-horse hose wagon and two horses. HOSE Co. No. 2: One, two-horse hose wagon and two horses. HOSE Co. No. 3: One, two-horse hose wagon and two horses. 1896 Chief Joyner asked that the new No. 8 engine house be placed in service at once, as a hose and chemical company. The new No. 8 engine house, at No. 50 Church Street, Now Carnegie Way NW), was completed during the year, but it was not placed in regular service. Equipment from the Exposition Fire Department was placed in the house on a temporary basis, together with the hose wagon and chemical engine. The Chief also asked that the hook & ladder truck in temporary service at No. 4, be activated as a regular company. He also asked: -That the two temporary assistant chiefs be made permanent. -That No. 3 engine house be rebuilt on the site of the present building. -For a new engine house in the Third Ward and the Fifth Ward. -That two more engines be purchased and placed in service, and that a modern water tower be purchased. -He asked for the installation of larger water mains in the business section and that they are eight or more inches in diameter. Some of the pipes laid in this project are still in use in 2012, 116 years later. Foreman William B. Cummings was the first to be elected to the new position of assistant chief of the department on 29 February 1896. At the same time Jacob Emmel and Henry P. Haney were elected “temporary” assistant chiefs. The hook and ladder truck from the Exposition Fire Department was placed in temporary service at No. 4 engine house on 1 May 1896. 54

Jacob Emmel William Butler R.A. Hardy J.F. Brady W.M. Alsabrook P.M. Moody W.E. Manget, Jr. Chas. Austin E.T. Allen J.P. Jordan H.M. Winningham

1897 The new No. 8 engine house was placed in active service on 15 March 1897, at No. 50 Church Street on the corner of Spring St NW. During this same timeframe Hook & Ladder Co. No. 3 (Rumsey) was placed in service in the quarters of No. 4 engine house, at No. 85-87 North Pryor Street. The city was divided into three fire districts, with an assistant chief in command of each district. Assistant Chief W.B. Cummings was elected First Assistant Chief; Foreman Jacob Emmel, was elected Second Assistant Chief, and Foreman H.P. Haney, was elected Third Assistant Chief. Mr. G.T. Latimer was employed jointly by the fire department and the water department as hydrant inspector. The firefighters of the city erected a fire training tower at the rear of fire headquarters on West Alabama Street SW and intensive training was begun. Nine new fire alarm boxes of the keyless type were purchased and placed in service. The Chief asked that an improved storage battery system be placed in the Fire Alarm Department and that all overhead fire alarm wires be placed underground for reliability in the event of severe weather including ice storms which downed the overhead cables. . Chief Joyner would request an additional engine house for the Third Ward. He also asked for the purchase of a water tower, two-more engines and 2,000 feet of new hose. He continued to ask that No. 3 engine house be relocated in the Fifth Ward. He recommended that larger water mains be laid by the water works and for the extension of the 30-inch main down Marietta Street and out Decatur Street. Several of the older boxes were relocated. Other new equipment purchased included; life belts, pompier ladders and a Wilson “Automatic Life-Saver.” HOOK & LADDER Co. No. 3: No. 85 North Pryor Street--One, two horse Rumsey city service ladder truck and three horses. Foreman Ladder Driver Ladderman

History 1882-1982 The First Hundred Years

G.C. Courtney J.M. Shields R.E. Brown


Ladderman Ladderman Ladderman

L.T. Evans M.E. McGee F.M. Allen

1898 Eighteen Ninety-Four saw the rank of Assistant Foreman created for Engine & Hose Co. No. 4. The fire alarm system was improved with a new storage battery system and an up-to-date switchboard. A special signal of 15-taps was created to indicate a riot call. Twenty-four shotguns were purchased and kept in special racks on the wagons of the department, to be used in case of riots. The Atlanta Baseball League was organized with the Atlanta Fire Department participating. Chief Joyner still could not get funding for the purchase of a water tower; a large capacity steamer; new hose and more and larger fire mains (not less than 12-inches) in the business area. He asked that the 30-inch main be extended down Marietta Street, into Decatur Street and that the six-inch main on Whitehall Street be replaced with a 12-inch main. He asked for more half-way hydrants (mid-block) in the business area. He asked for the erection and placing in service of a new engine house on the south side, at the earliest possible time. Tillerman Milton R. Murray, of Hook & Ladder Co. No. 2, suffered a stroke of apoplexy while on duty, 15 September 1898, and died before he reached the hospital. Murray had been the second oldest member of the department, having served with the old volunteer department. On the activation of the new paid system, Murray became a runner with Steam Fire Engine Co. No. 2. In 1883 he was appointed hose reel driver for that company and in 1885 he became foreman of the company. In 1888 he was again a hoseman where he remained until 1891 when he was appointed tillerman of the old Hayes 65-foot extension ladder truck of No. 2. In all he served twelve years with the volunteer system and sixteen years in the paid department. 1899 Chief Joyner asked for the replacement of No. 3 engine house, on Marietta Street, with a new structure at an early date, as the existing building, although not that old, was in very bad condition. Major repairs were also needed for No. 2 engine house on Washington Street, to bring it up to standard. This building was 42 years old. There was the expected request for the addition of two new steamers and asked that they be placed at No. 6 and 7, to make them two-piece companies. 1900 Even thought the department normally used the water system for fire needs they still maintained the old cisterns. As of 1900 twenty –two of the twenty-fire cisterns available when the department went paid in 1882 were still in service

FIRE CISTERN LOCATIONS GALLON CAPACITY Broad St. Broad St. Broad St. Marietta St. Marietta St. Marietta St. Marietta St. Decatur St. Decatur St. Alabama St. Whitehall St. Whitehall St. Mitchell St. Mitchell St. Walker St. Walker St. Trinity St. Pryor St. Peachtree St. Peachtree St. Capitol Ave. Waverly Pl.

Between Alabama & Hunter Between Marietta & Walton Corner of Peachtree Corner of Peachtree Corner of Peachtree Corner of Bartow Corner of Walton Corner of Ivy Corner of Pratt Corner of Central Corner of Hunter Corner of Mitchell Corner of Madison Ave. Corner of Mangum St. Corner of Nelson St. Corner of Peters St. Corner of E. Fair St. Corner of Edgewood Ave. Corner of Cain St. Corner of Ivy St. Corner of Fulton St. Corner of Washington St.

25,000 80,000 15,000 80,000 40,000 75,000 15,000 15,000 10,000 10,000 12,000 12,000 10,000 15,000 75,000 15,000 10,000 100,000 10,000 20,000 10,000 10,000

Chief Joyner asked that No. 3 engine house be replaced at a cost of $6,500.00 on the same lot but also asked that an engine house be located somewhere in the Third Ward. He asked for the purchase of a new hook and ladder truck at a cost of $1,800.00, and that the two new steamers on hand be placed in service at No. 6 and 7. While begging for funds, he asked that pay raises be granted to all firefighters at a cost of five dollars per month for each man. The Atlanta Fire Department would form a competition Drum Corps. They made their first debut and were presented to the public on Memorial Day, 26 April 1900. At that time the state celebrated Confederate Memorial, which till this day closes State of Georgia offices. Seven May 1900 would mark the first time that an apparatus of the paid fire department would be destroyed during an alarm of fire. The Hose Wagon of Company No. 1 was consumed by fire on 7 May 1900. This occurred at the Ware Furniture Company Conflagration on Marietta Street NW, While the Chief was in New York, he bought a wagon turret for Hose 1 and it was salvaged and placed on the new Hose 1. The wagon turret consisted of a three inch diameter brass pipe with 2 inch smooth bore tip. The other end had an attached four-2 ½ inch inlet Siamese connection. The discharge end and could be elevated and rotated by a series of gears and hand wheels. The device was mounted on Hose 1. It would be nicknamed the Turret Flooder. 1901 Stations No. 6 and 7 were made two-piece companies during 1901 with the addition of 1899 Clapp & Jones 2nd Size steamers engines at each house. Chief Joyner’s request for a pay raise was not granted in 1900 and he again asked that salaries for firefighters, which at some previous time (not recorded) had been cut, be restored. Chief Joyner’s “Turret Flooder”, a patented deluge gun would see its

History 1882-1982 The First Hundred Years

55


first fire at the Dickey Building Fire at 57 South Broad Street SW on 29 January 1901. The Atlanta Fire Department Baseball Team played in the Atlanta City League beginning on 20 June 1901. Atlanta’s Bravest would dominate the teams of the other city departments and in their first year took the pennant. 1902 First Assistant Chief William B. Cummings resigned the department on 10 February 1902, and Second Assistant Chief Jacob Emmel was elected to fill the vacancy. Henry P. Haney, the third assistant chief, was elected to fill the Emmel vacancy, and Foreman Robert H. Pressly, succeeded Haney as Third Assistant Chief. With tragic fires occurring in other areas of the country that had huge loss of life, the Chief asked for better regulations for theaters and places of public assembly. Research was done to see what codes other municipalities had enacted and he would bring these to the council for consideration. With more growth, he again had to ask for funding to add additional fire alarm boxes. 1903 Chief Joyner asked for $16,000 to equip and man No. 9 engine house, in the Third Ward covering the Grant Park, Ormewood Park and Cabbagetown sections of the city. He asked for additional apparatus including a water tower and a steamer for No. 3. With tragic fires occurring in other areas of the country that had huge loss of life, the Chief asked for better regulations for theaters and places of public assembly. Research was done to see what codes other municipalities has enacted and he would bring these to the council for consideration. With more growth, he again had to ask for funding to add additional fire alarm boxes. The new No. 9 Engine House was constructed at the southwest corner of Central Avenue SW and Glenn Street, but was not placed in service. No. 3 Engine House was demolished and a new house was erected at the N.E. corner of (317-19) Marietta and Latimer Streets as a Hose Co. Chief Joyner filed for a patent on his new turret device on 26 February 1903. The patent called for a hose nozzle to be secured in a clamp on a column and could be elevated and rotated as needed. It was a new way to move large master stream devices instead of the stationary deluge set which was in use. The wagon pipe was maneuverable, as Hose 1’s pipe was, but the new turret mounted on two wheels was easier to relocate as conditions changed. The patent was granted on 29 December 1903. In Atlanta these soon became commonly known as “Joyner Pipes”. The annual reports show there were two on the departments’ equipment roster. The current pipe has a two inch solid bore tip and two- two and one half inch Siamese connection attached and mounted on a two wheel wagon caisson. It was probably towed to big fires, however they do not detail if it had its own horse or was attached to the rear of other responding apparatus. One of these turrets is still owned by the department and currently on display in the Large Conference Room in the Atlanta Public Safety Headquarters Building on south Peachtree Street SW. The department succeeded in using the conduit offered by Southern 56

Bell Telephone and telegraph Company so that the wires of the fire alarm system were placed in underground conduits of the in the downtown area. 1904 The new No. 9 engine house located at 441 Central Ave SW. at Glenn St. was placed in service on 3 August 1904, as a two-piece company (engine and hose wagon) with a 1904 Nott 3rd. size steamer. No. 3 engine house was made a two-piece company with the addition of a new 1904 Nott 3rd. size engine. The 1882 Amoskeag 2nd size steamer was overhauled in the fire department shop at a cost of $1,200. Work of placing the fire alarm wires of the department signal division underground in the downtown area was completed. This improved the reliability of the fire alarm box system. The Grand Opera House and the Bijou Theatre were both equipped with asbestos curtains separating the stage from the seating area. Masonry walls also divided the seating area from dressing rooms and other back stage areas. This followed code changes which had followed several large “loss of life” theatre fires in other areas of the country. Atlanta Firefighters would fight their first fire involving nitro-cellulose motion picture film on 31 October 1904. This fire was small in the projector room of the Grand Theatre during a special showing of “The Black Diamond Express”. All patrons and employees safely evacuated the building with no recorded injuries and no loss of life. Chief Joyner recommended new engine houses in the southeastern section of the city; in the western section and in the new Eighth Ward. He asked for two new hook and ladder trucks. The chief warned of the increasing number of wood-shingle roofs being applied in the inner fire limits. His warning would go unheeded in spite of numerous major conflagrations in other cities throughout the country and the world where fire rapidly spread on these shingles. A mere thirteen years later, Atlanta would experience the Great Northside Conflagration and finally laws would be changed. Even in 2012 fires in very old sections of the city one can see where the original wood shingles were later covered with metal or asphalt shingles required by the new law. ENGINE & HOSE CO. No. 9: 441 Central Ave SW.—One, two horse third size Nott steamer; two horse hose wagon and five horses. Captain Engineer of Steamer Engine Stoker Engine Driver Hose Wagon Driver Hoseman Hoseman Hoseman Hoseman Hoseman

J.C. Fincher M.E. McGee C.S. Calder W.H. Cook E.R. Fluker Chas. Dougherty L.A. Davis R.A. Perrott W.A. Davis Marcus J. Smith

1905 First Assistant Chief Jacob Emmel died of Bright’s disease at Grady Hospital, on Monday, 13 March 1905, at the age of 66. He was a

History 1882-1982 The First Hundred Years


bachelor. Chief Emmel was a native of New York and had come to Atlanta in 1857. He was a baker by trade and went to work with George Washington Jack, a pioneer baker and candy manufacturer in Atlanta. He served during the War Between the States on the side of the Confederacy. After the war he returned to Atlanta and helped to reorganize the volunteer fire department, becoming affiliated with old Tallulah Fire Co. No. 3 in 1866. From that time forward he was never quite out of the fire service. He later transferred to Atlanta Fire Co. No. 1 and served with that unit until it was disbanded in 1882. For several years he was this company’s foreman. In 1875 he was elected chief engineer of the volunteer fire department, serving two terms. , When the paid department came into being in 1882, Chief Emmel left the service to carry on his baking business, but when Hose Co. No. 3 was placed in service on 26 November 1884, Chief Ryan prevailed upon Emmel to re-enter the department and he was placed in command of the new company as its foreman. In 1886 he was transferred to the foremanship of Hook & Ladder No. 1 on South Broad Street. During the Piedmont and International Exposition of 1895, Chief Joyner appointed Emmel, Chief of the Exposition Fire Department. On 1 October 1897 he was elected second assistant chief, with headquarters at No. 8 and on the resignation of First Assistant Chief W.B. Cummings; Emmel was named to that post on 10 February 1903, but still retained No. 8 as his headquarters. Chief Emmel served a number of years as secretary and treasurer of the Firemen’s Benevolent Association. Second Assistant Chief Henry P. Haney was elected First Assistant Chief, succeeding the late Jacob Emmel. Third Assistant Chief Robert H. Pressly was elevated to the post of Second Assistant Chief, and Captain G.C. Courtney became Third Assistant Chief. The rank of “Chief ’s Aide” was added to the rolls, with Ladderman Charles M. “Pete” Thurman being placed in that position on 13 March 1905. During the latter part of 1905 the old terminology for the ranks of “Foremen” and “Assistant Foremen” were discontinued. These were replaced with “Captain” and “Lieutenant” as of 1 December 1905. With the city experiencing rapid growth to the southeast, Chief Joyner asked for the immediate installation of the new No. 10 engine house, in the Grant Park section. The City purchased a lot, 50 x 150, at the northwest corner of Oakland Avenue SE and Bryan Street for a fire engine house. Construction of the new house was begun by Mr. William H. George at a cost of $9,369.00. This station would fall victim to the construction of Interstate 20 and was replaced in 1959 with the existing fire station 10 on Boulevard SE at Glenwood Avenue. The fire department received a new 65-foot Hale water tower however it was placed in temporary service. It would eventually be purchased, but at a later date.

from the current northern city limits (at 6th St and West Peachtree), north to 15th St, then east to Piedmont Ave, then northeast along Piedmont to the Southern Railroad. (This annexed only a portion of Ansley Park) The new limits then turned southward along the railroad back to the existing city limits. The act also took part of the Sixth Ward north of North Ave. into the new Eighth Ward and included what we today call Midtown and Piedmont Park and the southern portion of Ansley Park. With the city limit expansion the Chief recommended the installation of several new fire alarm boxes in the Eighth Ward and he asked for the establishment of engine houses in the Eighth Ward as well as the western part of the city. The additional stations would require the purchase of two additional hook and ladder trucks. 1906 The two-horse Hayes Water Tower that had been in the city since mid 1905 would officially go in service on 13 January 1906. Former Atlanta Fire Chief Walthal R. Joyner was elected mayor of the City of Atlanta on 22 August 1906. With him moving up in city government, Lieutenant William Bacon Cummings was elected Chief Engineer of the Atlanta Fire Department to succeed Walthal R. Joyner on 15 October 1906 and he took office on 1 December 1906. Chief Cummings following in the now Mayor’s foot steps asked for additional engine houses in the Eighth Ward and the western part of the city as well as for two additional hook and ladder trucks, and the purchase of an up-date aerial ladder truck. He did extensive research and asked that the automatic fire alarm system be replaced with a “Central Station Fire Alarm System.” City Council appropriated $1,500 for the purpose of buying a lot for an engine house in the Eighth Ward; $4,750 for a steamer for No. 10, and $500 for equipment for No. 10. The Chiefs request for a sum of $4,000 was appropriated for the final purchase and the Atlanta Fire Department now owned the water tower. Hook & Ladder Co. No. 2 and Hose Co. No. 2 were relocated in a new engine house at the southwest corner of Washington and Hunter Streets, (now M. L. King). The new house had been built by the Louisville & Nashville Railroad, in exchange for the old building at 2 Washington St SW. and Waverly Place (now only an alley on the south side of the tracks). The new station was on a piece of property the L&N needed for the railroad to construct a locomotive roundhouse and maintenance facility. The new No. 10 engine house was placed in service on 10 March 1906, at the northwest corner of Oakland Avenue SE and Bryan Street. The rank of lieutenant was made for Hook & Ladder Co. No. 3; Engine & Hose Co. No. 3; Engine & Hose Co. No. 5; Engine & Hose Co. No. 6; Engine & Hose Co. No. 7; Hose Co. No. 8; Engine & Hose Co. No. 9 and Engine & Hose Co. No. 10.

In 1905, the eighth ward was added. An act of the Georgia General Assembly was enacted on 3 August 1904 which designated the area History 1882-1982 The First Hundred Years

57


ENGINE & HOSE Co. No. 10: No. 155 Oakland Avenue SE--One, two-horse, second-size Nott steamer; one, two-horse (AFD) hose & chemical wagon and five horses. Captain Lieutenant Engineer of Steamer Engine Stoker Engine Driver Hose Wagon Driver Hoseman Hoseman Hoseman Hoseman Hoseman

W.B. Harrison W.H. Ivy T.H. shearer J.R. Morrow J.H. Tolbert R.L. Dennard J.M. Tumlin E.R. Wilson H.G. Martin F.R. Jones J.F. Hopson

1907 Chief Cummings recommended that the proposed No. 11 Fire Station on North Avenue NE, be built and activated as soon as possible. The Board of Fire Masters proposed the purchase of a lot on the north side of East North Avenue NE, between the Peachtree’s for a new fire station at a cost of $4,675. A contract was concluded for its erection on 21 June 1907. He also asked for two additional city service ladder trucks and an up-to-date aerial ladder truck and was still working hard for the establishment of an engine company in the western part of the city. As a Christmas gift, on 24 December 1907, the Georgia Railway & Power Company announced to the Atlanta firefighters that they were now prohibited from riding the street cars in the city free of charge. The department placed in operation a new set of special signals for dispatching fire equipment over the “joker” part of the Gamewell Alarm System. This would include 15 straight “taps” followed by the box number for a riot and the signal 5-5-5-5 followed by the alarm box number for a firefighter fatality.

Atlanta municipal water system. During the year the Carnegie Library installed branch libraries in all of the fire stations. By 29 August 1908, all eleven fire stations were a fully equipped library. Chief Cummings asked for the immediate purchase of two-firstsize steamers; ten engine heaters; one, 75-foot aerial ladder truck; 12 nozzles, and 4,000 feet of 2½ inch fire hose. He would also ask that the fire alarm branch of the department be generally expanded, and changed over from the automatic to the Central Station System. He asked for the construction of a new fire station in the Ninth Ward. The new No. 11 Fire Station was placed in service on 1 May 1908, at No. 22 East North Avenue NE between Peachtree and West Peachtree, as a double company (ladder and engine.) Captain John Terrell was placed in command of the new station, with Lieutenant John T. Peel, as second in command. Company 11 would remain in this house until 11 March 1996. HOOK & LADDER Co. No. 4: No. 22 East North Avenue--One, two horse 1908 LaFrance city service ladder truck and three horses. Captain Ladder Driver Ladderman Ladderman Ladderman Ladderman Ladderman

ENGINE & HOSE Co. No. 11: No. 22 East North Avenue--one, two horse, 1908 second-size Nott steamer; one, two-horse (AFD) hose & chemical wagon and five horses. Lieutenant Engineer of Steamer Engine Stoker Engine Driver Hose Wagon Driver Hoseman Hoseman Hoseman Hoseman Hoseman

Superintendent of Stables T. Frank Eubanks, died 26 March 1907 after about a year’s illness. He had been a member of the old volunteer fire department, having been employed as a driver for Atlanta Fire Co. No. 1, from 1877 until the old brigade was disbanded. He became a member of the paid department on 2 May 1883 as a runner with Steam Fire Co. No. 1. In 1884 he was foreman of Steam Fire Co. No. 2 and in 1885 he was again a runner with No. 1 In 1887 he was appointed hose reel driver for No. 1 and continued in this capacity until 1892 when he became driver for Chemical Engine Co. No. 1. Failing in health, he was placed in charge of the fire department’s stables and here he remained with the animals he loved until becoming too ill in April of 1906, at which time Chief Joyner was authorized by the Board of Fire Masters to carry him on the payroll until able to return to work. His condition grew worse, however, and he died prior to returning to work. 1908 The depot cistern on Wall Street at Union Station was equipped with an automatic refill valve on 15 August 1908. This was the only one at the time whereby the reservoir would automatically refill from the 58

John Terrell J.R. Carson J.W. Baker W.G. Smith P.F. Peyton H.G. Martin A.C. Gillespie

J.T. Peel G.H. Dyer R.E. Little R.N. Haslett R.G. Anderson W.B. Stephens J.S. Ray R.K. Fincher A.C. Webb R.R. Pattillo

1909 Chief Cummings asked for laws to be enacted to govern the use and storage of gasoline and he continued to push that the department be provided with a Central Station Fire Alarm System. He asked that a fire station be established on the lot at the corner of DeKalb Avenue NE and Moreland Avenue just south of Little Five Points. He also requested funding for the installation of an engine company near what at that time was the end of Marietta Street NW (near Bankhead). The Chief also had a wish list that asked for general improvements throughout the fire department. The Finance Committee of Council appropriated funds to purchase a lot for a fire station at the northwest corner of DeKalb and Moreland Avenues NE. This would protect the newly annexed neighborhoods of Copenhill, Druid Hills, in the 9th Ward which also included the City of Edgewood and portions of Reynoldstown, Faith and East

History 1882-1982 The First Hundred Years


Atlanta. On 1 February 1909 they also funded a new 75-foot aerial ladder track, 11 engine heaters for the steamers, and 2,000 feet of hose. A new two-horse, 75-foot American LaFrance aerial ladder truck would go in service at No.1 on Sunday, 4 July 1909. Cost of the new truck was $5,500. On the same day each engine house was equipped with a new engine heater designed to pre-heat the water to near boiling for the apparatus boilers. With the water almost boiling, once underway on an alarm the “engineer” could quickly fire the boiler and get up an adequate head of steam to run the pump and the engines were warm and ready for the next call. Chief Cummings would become the first member of the fire department to give up horse powered for horsepower when the Department Chiefs vehicle became the first motorized piece in the fire department on 25 August 1909. It was a four-cylinder Buick, Model 16, touring automobile with 33 to 45 horsepower. It had cost the city $1,750. The vehicle was purchased from the D. C. Black Buick Company. The Chiefs driver was William L. Gilbert. He was elected to move from horse power to mechanical horsepower by department vote on 25 August 1909. 1910 Persistence and researched documentation paid off when a special committee of the Board of Fire Masters recommended the establishment of a Central Station Fire Alarm System for the department, and the adoption of motorized equipment for the entire department. Chief Cummings asked for the addition of two new fire stations; one in the Tenth Ward and one in the First Ward. Seven hose wagons and one hook & ladder truck were built by the Atlanta Fire Department shop. Edgar R. Anderson would be the first firefighter to earn a retirement pension when he retired from Engine No. 5 on 2 March 1910. Another first occurred on 6 May 1910 when an automobile and Chemical Engine No. 2 were involved in a motor vehicle crash at North Pryor Street NE, (now Park Place) and Auburn Avenue NE. The car belonged to Colonel W. A. Wimbish. On 15 December 1910, No. 7 Fire Station was relocated west of the railroad to a new building at 613 Whitehall and Oak Streets SW on the southwest corner. Company 7 would remain in this house until disbanded due to budget cuts 14 July 2008. The building remained standing and now has been given a new breath of life in early 2013. Station 7 is to be reactivated on a limited basis while being restored and brought up to current code including asbestos abatement etc.

Two new first-size steamers were purchased; an Ahrens “Continental” costing $6325 and assigned to No. 4; and an American La France “Metropolitan” costing $4000 assigned to No. 6. The headquarters of the Second Assistant Chief was moved from No. 4 to No. 2 Fire station. The old 65-foot Hayes extension ladder truck of No. 2 was taken out of service and substituted with a LaFrance city service ladder truck. The company was increased to full ladder company strength. Two new horse drawn buggies were purchased for the use by the assistant chiefs. First Assistant Chief Henry P. Haney retired from the department on 2 December 1910. Second Assistant Chief Robert H. Pressly was elected to the post of first assistant chief; Third Assistant Chief G.C. Courtney, was elected to the post of second assistant chief and Captain William Butler was made third assistant chief. 1911 Chief Cummings asked for the installation of more fire alarm boxes in the newly annexed area of Oakland City as well as in the Tenth Ward. The old Hayes extension ladder truck of No. 2 would be sold for junk for $25. It had been purchased on 26 February 1886. A lot was purchased for a new fire station at the southwest corner of Lee and Oakland streets (now Avon Avenue SW), in Oakland City. Although in a rebuilt modern station, Company 14 continues to occupy this corner in 2012. The Chief asked for additional motor equipment and automobiles for the assistant chiefs. He asked for the erection and equipping of a fire station in the Tenth Ward, and the purchase of a lot and a station to protect Ansley Park.

The new No. 12 Fire Station was erected at the northwest corner of 1021 DeKalb and Moreland Avenues NE, but was not placed in service. This building would remain in use until 19 March 1959 when the current Station 12 went into use. Old 12 was demolished for the underpass where Moreland Avenue passes beneath DeKalb Avenue NE; the CSX (former Georgia) Railroad and MARTA’s Blue and Green line.

The new No. 12 Fire Station was placed in service on 1 February 1911, at 1021 DeKalb Avenue NE on the corner of Moreland Avenue. It was fitted out as a double company (ladder and engine). The department received its first piece of motor equipment, a combination, hose, pump and chemical engine which cost the city $9,000. It had been manufactured by the Webb Motor Fire Apparatus Company, of St. Louis. It was placed in service at No. 12.

The use of the old fire bell “AUGUSTA HILL,” to ring out fire alarms was discontinued in 1910. Stations were now notified over the “joker” system.

HOOK & LADDER Co. No. 6: No. 1021 DeKalb Avenue--One, two-horse LaFrance city service ladder truck and three horses. Lieutenant

History 1882-1982 The First Hundred Years

J.M. Jenkins 59


Ladder Driver Ladderman Ladderman Ladderman Ladderman Ladderman Ladderman

W.L. Hardy G.W. Tumlin P.D. Connally J.E. Hollingsworth B.M. Perdue J.A. Hooks J.E. Maddox

MOTOR ENGINE Co. No. 12: No. 1021 DeKalb Avenue--one, 750 GPM combination Webb motor engine. Captain Auto Engineer Assistant Auto Engineer Assistant Auto Engineer Hoseman Hoseman Hoseman Hoseman

well below the initial estimate. There were six fire alarm operators assigned to the “signal office”. A new 900 GPM (rated at 750 GPM) American LaFrance triple combination chemical, hose and pumping engine was purchased for $9,000 and placed at No. 14. This positive displacement rotary geared pump could produce 900 GPM but Atlanta used three 2 ½ inch gated outlets to hold the flow to only 750 GPM.

W.B. Harrison J.D. Cottingham H.R. Daniel E.W. Hodges J.L. Cain T.F. Clarke J.T. Gaddy A.E. Davis

1912 Chief Cummings recommended that a fire station be erected on the Oakland City lot as soon as possible, at a cost of $12,000. No. 14 Fire Station would be completed in 1912 but not placed in service. The Chief continued to emphasize to the Board of Fire Master the importance of completing motorization of the department be made at an early date. He asked that two automobiles be purchased for the use by the assistant chiefs, at a cost of $2000. Chief Cummings also asked that fire stations be erected in the Fifth, Seventh and Eighth wards, at $8,000 each. Lots were purchased for fire stations in the Fifth and Seventh Wards (On Gordon Street and at Bellwood Avenue NW and Chestnut Street). A 900 GPM, triple combination American LaFrance Type 12 motor engine was the second motorized apparatus Atlanta purchased. The Okonite Cable Company of New York was awarded the contract for installing a Central Station Fire Alarm System and a Police Telegraph System, at a cost of $106,317.73. 1913 Chief Cummings seeing what was and had happened in all sizes of towns and cities asked that wood shingle roofs be outlawed within the City limits of Atlanta. Four more years would pass before the City Council would agree with his assessment of the hazards and complete his request.

Personnel changes noted that Chief Cummings was removed from membership of the Board of Fire Masters and six signal operators were added to the fire alarm department located at fire headquarters on West Alabama Street SW. A lot was purchased for a fire station on West Peachtree Street NW, just north of Fourteenth Street. The city also obtained lot at the corner of West Hunter and Jeptha Streets NW. A Cole automobile was purchased for the use by the First Assistant Chief. The Cole Motor Car Company was an early automobile maker based in Indianapolis Indiana. Cole automobiles were built from 1908 until 1925. They were quality-built luxury cars. The make was pioneer of the V-8 engine. There are lots if interesting details on the Cole Cars at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cole_Motor_Car_Company The new No. 14 Fire Station was placed in service on 17 May 1913 at No. 451 Lee Street, with Captain C.E. Pritchett in command. They would use this single bay cottage type house until 23 May 2000 when it was demolished to construct the current two bay fire station. MOTOR ENGINE Co. No. 14: No. 451 Lee Street--one, 900 gallon 1913 American LaFrance triple combination engine. Captain Lieutenant Auto Engineer Assistant Auto Engineer Hoseman Hoseman Hoseman Hoseman

A new aerial ladder truck to replace No. 1, which had been damaged, was requested along with the annual request for additional fire stations; more motorized fire apparatus and more hose. The Chief requested the removal of the fire department shop at that time in the rear of Fire Station No 4 in cramped quarters. He asked that they be moved to a more desirable location with adequate space to work on the department’s apparatus. He again asked for automobiles for the assistant chiefs at No. 2 and 8. During 1913 the new Central Station Fire Alarm System would be placed in service on 23 September 1913, at a cost of $87,500.00 60

C.E. Pritchett W.Z. Sheppard I.O. Hagan W.P. Barker A.C. Cawthorn P.B. Marks Wm. Haskins J.D. Hammond

1914 Chief Cummings recommended to the Board of Fire Masters the abandonment of No. 4 and 8 fire stations, and combining them in a single station at the corner of Piedmont Avenue NE and Houston Street, (Now John Wesley Dobbs).

History 1882-1982 The First Hundred Years


He also emphasized the importance that the City Council adopts an ordinance prohibiting the use of wood shingles within the City limits as well as asked an additional appropriation of $28,000 each year to completely motorize the department. His priority was the motorization of Ladder 1 at once and that the new No. 15 Fire Station be placed in service at once. City council did approve purchase of a Buckley hydraulic hose expander for the shop, together with 2,000 feet of new hose. The Board of Fire Masters pushed through City Council on 7 April 1914 a resolution which would require the city to furnish the firefighters fire helmets, rubber coats and boots. Mr. G.B. Carlton, who had been acting for several years as Secretary to the Chief, was made secretary officially with a salary of $1,800 per year. To meet a demand by the department members, the Board of Fire Masters voted to pay the department firefighters twice a month instead of once a month. The first Atlanta Firefighter to be injured from the over pressurization of a 2½ gallon chemical activated fire extinguisher occurred on 4 July 1914. Firefighter W. P Evans from Engine Company 11 was injured when the canister ruptured. During the year, the new No. 16 Fire Station, located at 824 Marietta Street NW was completed, but not placed in service. Two, Model-16 Buick round-a-bout automobiles were purchased for the assistant chiefs at No. 2 and 8. The first collision between two fire department apparatus would take place on 23 November 1914 when Engine Company No 10 and Hose Wagon No. 10 collided at East Fair Street SE, (now Memorial Drive SE) and Hill Street SE. It took a while but finally the completed and vacant No. 15 Fire Station was placed in service on Saturday, 19 December 1914, with a new American LaFrance Type 12 triple combination engine gated to be rated 750 GPM. MOTOR ENGINE Co. No. 15: 720 West Peachtree Street--One, motor-driven 750-gpm American LaFrance triple combination engine.

1915

Captain Lieutenant Auto Engineer Assistant Auto Engineer Hoseman Hoseman Hoseman Hoseman

S.G. Jordan G.H. Dyer E.W. Estes D.S. Harris R.J. Donaldson F.N. Bibb H.O. Travis Harrison Finch

Chief Cummings was again in front of the City Council requesting a direct telephone line from Fire Headquarters to the Atlanta Police signal room. In his request were the purchase of several “smoke protectors” and a “pulmotor” for the use by the department and general repairs and equipment replacements in the department. Still falling on deaf ears, he again asked that the entire department be motorized at the earliest date. The chief asked for the purchase of a

new motorized 85-foot aerial ladder truck and the establishment of a fire station in the West End Park area. The chief recommended the removal of the old bell tower from the top of fire headquarters due to its age and bad state of repair and do to the fact that the fire alarms were no longer being toned out on the bell. The Chief would go to bat for the members as he asked that the fire captains be paid the same salary as those of police captains. In early 1915 the Hirsch Brothers Clothing Store was awarded the contract for spring uniforms for the firefighters at $24.00 per suit, including coat, trousers, cap and vest. The Board of Fire Masters approved a resolution providing for police precincts in Stations No. 7, 9, 11, 12 and 16. The use of regular playing cards in fire stations was prohibited by the Board of Fire Masters on 3 June 1915. A Buick signal cable truck was purchased for the Fire Alarm Department at a cost of $650.00 on 3 June 1915. Captain William B. Cody, of Hook & Ladder Co. No. 3 defeated Chief Engineer William B. Cummings for that position on 5 July 1915. The new chief assumed office on 6 July 1915. The members of the fire department were granted every fourth day off during the week on 14 October 1915. The fire department staged a huge benefit entitled “FIGHTING THE FLAMES,” at the Ponce de Leon baseball park, 20 November 1915 for the benefit of the Firemen’s Benevolent Association. The new No. 16 Fire Station was placed in service 1 April 1915, at No. 824 Marietta Street NW, as a double company. They went on line with an American-LaFrance Type 14 motor hook & ladder truck and an American-LaFrance Type 12 triple combination engine gated to 750 GPM. Other apparatus improvements included the two-horse city service ladder truck at No. 2 was replaced by a new motor-driven American La France Type 14 city service ladder truck on 15 June 1915. MOTOR ENGINE Co. No. 16: 824 Marietta Street--one, 1915 motor-driven 750-gpm American La France triple combination engine. Lieutenant Auto Engineer Assistant Auto Engineer Hoseman Hoseman Hoseman Hoseman Hoseman

H.C. Estes H.O. Rosser W.A. Pope W.A. Davis W.B. Tuggle H.S. Cochran T.M. Freeman L.O. Laney

HOOK & LADDER Co. No. 7: 824 Marietta Street--One, 1915 Motor American LaFrance city service ladder truck. Captain Auto Ladder Driver Assistant Auto Ladder

History 1882-1982 The First Hundred Years

E.J. Setze, Jr. G.C. Maddox Driver B.D. Christian 61


Ladderman Ladderman Ladderman Ladderman Ladderman

C.T. Kent Albert Butler John Faith, Jr. O.J. Boozer H.R. Strickland

1916 In 1916 the Board of Fire Masters recommended the removal of No. 4 Fire Station and that the money derived from the sale of the existing lot and fire station be used to erect a station at the corner of West Hunter and Jeptha Streets NW, one in the Piedmont Park district and one in the vicinity of Auburn Avenue NE and Courtland Street. The fire board recommended the installation of two large gongs-one at Whitehall Street SW and Alabama Street and the other at Five Points to warn traffic of approaching fire apparatus. The Board of Fire Masters also recommended to the full City Council that a special appropriation of $109,150 be made to completely motorize the department. Chief Cody asked for the installation of a motor-driven 85-foot aerial ladder at once. On 8 July 1916, the old two-horse LaFrance ladder truck of Hook & Ladder No. 4 at No. 11 Fire Station was taken out of service and the ALF Type 14 motor city service ladder truck at No. 16 was transferred to No. 11. The Chief would ask for the installation of 15 additional fire alarm boxes in the system. Chief Cody saw the advantages of preventing fires and asked for an additional fire inspector to be delegated to fire prevention work. Following some tragic fires throughout the world, Chief Cody recommended that a fire wall be erected at the stage end of the City auditorium and that all exit door lights be changed from gas to electricity. He also recommended that sprinkler systems be required for all public buildings where there were stores located on the ground floor, (something that is still not required 96 years later). It was recommended that all of the above requests be made with the hope of placing the City of Atlanta on a second rating with the Board of Underwriters (predecessor to today’s Insurance Services Office). Due to structural deterioration and lack of use, the great fire alarm bell--Miss Augusta Hill-- was removed from the tower over fire headquarters at 44 West Alabama Street SW. General pay increases were recommended for all fire department officials but not approved by City Council. They did appropriate some funding for an acetylene cutting torch for the use by the fire department in rescue operations. Motor Engine No. 12, with a special crew, was dispatched by special train on the Georgia Railroad to the great Augusta conflagration of 5 May 1916. Almost a year later to the day in 1917, the Augusta Fire Department would return the favor and respond by train to The Great Northside Conflagration in Atlanta. Although not in the City limits of either Decatur or Atlanta, fire protection was granted to the Scottish Rite Hospital in the Oakhurst community of unincorporated DeKalb County. Fire protection was granted to the Second Annual Southeastern Fair at Lakewood Park.

62

Engine Co. No. 6 was equipped with a new 750 GPM triple combination American LaFrance Type 12 gasoline driven engine. This was a 900 GPM gated down to flow 750 GPM. A new 750-gpm triple combination American La France Type 12 motor engine was placed in service at No. 2. The two-horse American LaFrance 75-foot aerial ladder truck at No. 1 was equipped with a motor tractor on 2 November 1916. The twohorse, double-tank Holloway chemical engine of No. 1 was equipped with a White engine and chassis and the two-horse chemical engine No. 2 that ran out of Station No. 8 was discontinued. At one time the Georgia Power Company was chartered and ran a large boiler plant to generate both power and provide steam which was pumped through the downtown area. The steam was sold to buildings which did not have their own heating plants for use as heat and hot water. In June of 1916 through the ingenuity of Charles “CL” Hommon, the City of Atlanta began capturing and using sewer gas (methane) for fueling a boiler operation used for heat, power and light purposes., Mr. Hommon, who was a chemist and bacteriologist employee of the city installed machinery by which gas is drawn from the sewers and “is made to serve the city In a profitable way”. 1917 Chief Cody, always mindful of fire prevention and automatic control asked that the basement of fire headquarters be equipped with a sprinkler system on 7 January 1917. The Board of Fire Masters recommended the removal of fire headquarters from Station No. 1 suggesting it move to a lot adjoining City hall on Fairlie Street on 17 January 1917. Chief Cody asked for the appropriation of $1,500 to purchase a Cadillac automobile for his use on 1 February 1917. The first ordinance prohibiting wood shingle roofs within the city limits was passed into law on 31 May 1917, ten days following the “Big Fire” known as the Great Northside conflagration. On 1 June 1917, following the Great Northside Conflagration of May 1917, the Board of Fire Masters recommended the City Council accept the proposal presented by the American-La France Fire Engine Company to immediately motorize the entire Atlanta Fire Department with the AFD paying on a yearly rental basis until the apparatus were purchased. This was the first Lease-Purchase agreement for the Department. American La France then delivered; two 900GPM Type 12 engines, seven 750GPM Type 75 engines, three Type 14 city service trucks with 40 gallon chemical tanks, one 85 foot Type 17 tillered aerial truck and a Type 31 two wheeled tractor to pull the departments existing water tower. The Seventh Ward Improvement Club of West End, asked for the establishment of a fire station in West End Park on Gordon Street SW and Cascade Avenue SW, on 19 October 1917. The Board of Fire Masters recommended the purchase of a lot on North Boulevard, between East Avenue NE and Angier Avenue NE, and that a new modern fire station be built to house No. 6 Fire Company, on 5 December 1917. This proposed relocation of Company 6 would never take place.

History 1882-1982 The First Hundred Years


Chief Cody asked that some provision be made to buy a lot and build a fire station in the western part of the City.

Cody would condemned the city owned Auditorium-Armory as a fire trap.

1918

1920

Chief Cody reported that the consolidation of No. 4 and 8 fire stations was entirely feasible and would improve the fire departments efficiency. No. 4 was located in a badly congested section; on a narrow street, where ingress and egress was difficult. A number of sites could be secured for the location for a single station and combined with Company No. 8 would operate as a double company.

On Tuesday, 13 January 1920 the Finance Committee of the City Council approved funds for the erection of two new fire stations.

The chief recommended to the Board of Fire Masters that the fire department shop, located at that time as the rear of No. 4 fire station should be moved to the old stable building at the rear of No. 7 fire station, where there was room for a General Repair Shop. He reported that since the Chief Signal Operator was working under the direction of the Superintendent of Fire Alarms, and that the latter’s duties required him to be in constant touch with the signal office, that he saw no good reason for maintaining the position of Chief Operator and recommended that the Superintendent be placed in charge of all operators, which would be a saving of $210.00 per year by eliminating the position of Chief Operator. The complete motorization of the Atlanta Fire Department was accomplished by 15 June 1918. All of the remaining fire horses owned by the department were soon sold except for four animals. Local 134, of the International Association of Fire Fighters were organized in the Atlanta Fire Department on 28 February 1918 and were chartered on 4 October 1918. 1919 On Sunday 2 March 1919 at 11:03 AM while responding to an alarm of fire at 36 McDonald Street SE the automobile of First Assistant Chief R. H. Pressly, driven by John K. Castleberry collided with a vehicle driven by Doctor E.L. Griffin at the corner of Hunter Street SE (now M.L. King) and Hill Street SE just west of the main gate to Oakland Cemetery. The good doctor was thrown from his vehicle and badly injured. Although ambulance response from Grady Hospital was prompt, the doctor died of his injuries before reaching that medical facility. Chief Pressly and Castleberry were only slightly injured. Two interesting thing would happen in 1919 affecting the AFD. On 1 July 1919, a two-platoon system was placed in service in the Atlanta Fire Department. Atlanta would become the 169th city to abolish the 24-hour continuous work day schedule and begin the 10 / 14 work schedule. On 10 July the Georgia State Legislature approved a city charter amendment providing that the chief of the Atlanta Fire Department shall hold office for life, on good behavior, instead of a specified term of office. On 1 September 1919, City Council elected William B. Cody as Chief of the Atlanta Fire Department for life, or during a term of good behavior. The old term “CHIEF ENGINEER” was dropped and the office became, “CHIEF OF DEPARTMENT.” Other activity for the year included Chief Cody asking for 25 additional fire alarm boxes and on 28 November 28, 1919, Chief

Chief Cody AGAIN asked that all Gamewell fire alarm box system wires be placed underground. He asked for the purchase of additional apparatus and the establishment of a fire station in East Atlanta; the relocation of No. 6 fire station farther north on Boulevard and an extra engine. The City purchased a lot for a fire station at the southwest corner of Flat Shoals Road and Metropolitan Avenue SE, in East Atlanta from Mr. J.N. Clay, for $2,000. The building would be built for $9,000. The new No. 17 Fire Station was completed at the intersection of Gordon Street SW and Cascade Avenue SW but the company was not installed. Cost of the new structure was $12,000. A new American La France Type 12 1000 GPM rotary gear pumping engine was placed in service at No. 2. Atlanta would lease a fire station for the first time on 16 April 1920 when Central Presbyterian Church rented Station No. 2 located on Washington Street SW back to the city. On 25 February 1920, the Board of Fire Masters recommended the relocation of No. 4 Fire Station to a more desirable location while the Chief asked for an additional fire inspector. A guest at the meeting was Mr. Leon L. Wolf, Physical Director of the Cincinnati Ohio Fire Department. He addressed the Board on the advantages of a Fire Department Training School that they had established for the CFD. Chief Cody immediately made plans for a similar school for the Atlanta Fire Department. 1921 In early 1921 Chief Cody asked for fire alarm box extensions with additional boxes in the section of the city north of Ponce de Leon Avenue NE. He asked that additional equipment and men be provided for the department, with at least two more men per company. Apparatus request included a ladder truck for No. 10 Fire Station and for additional fire inspectors. The Fifty-Second Annual Convention of the International Association of Fire Chiefs would convene in Atlanta starting 10 October 1921. No. 17 Fire Station was placed in service on 15 February 1921 at the corner of Gordon Street SW, now Martin L. King Jr. Drive SW) and Cascade Avenue SW. A new American La France Type 12 1000 GPM rotary gear pumping engine was placed in service at No. 8. Engine 17 went in service with the apparatus formerly assigned to Engine 8, an older ALF Type 75 750 GPM Triple Combination machine. No. 13 Fire Station was placed in service on 1 October 1921 at the corner of Flat Shoals Road SE and Metropolitan Avenue SE in East Atlanta. It operated an ALF Type 12 rotary gear pumping engine

History 1882-1982 The First Hundred Years

63


gated to 750 GPM. NEW COMPANY ENGINE Co. No. 13: 447 Flat Shoals Road--One, 750 GPM American La France engine. Captain Lieutenant Engineer Engineer Hoseman Hoseman Hoseman Hoseman Hoseman Hoseman

W.H. Ivy C.M. Thurman T.M. Freeman C.B. Mc Williams J.S. Jenkins W.B. Simmons O.I. Jacobs John Faith, Jr. R.A. Joyner J.W. Kelly

ENGINE Co. 17: Gordon Street—One, 750 GPM American La France engine. Captain Lieutenant Engineer Engineer Hoseman Hoseman Hoseman –Plumber Hoseman Hoseman Hoseman

A.B. Rogers J.V. Dooly J.D. Hammond A.A. Flury G.E. Jonas V.E. Walker A.J. Bender J.W. Hull W.L. Stradley J.B. Gossett

1922 Nineteen Twenty two would have Chief Cody ask for a new fire station to be built on the lot owned by the city at the corner of North Highland Avenue NE and Los Angeles Avenue NE. He also asked for manpower for a station for the newly absorbed City of Kirkwood. Initially this would be located in the old Kirkwood Volunteer Fire Department’s Fire Hall. The Chief asked for the establishment of two additional assistant chiefs due to the growth of the City. He would also ask that some consideration be given to the establishment of a fire station at some point on the south side. He would request additional men, four for No. 12, two for No. 14 and eight for a water tower company and due to the apparatus’ age, he asked that a new water tower be purchased. He also recommended the consolidation of Fire Headquarters and No. 8 Fire Station in a new building on Cone Street, between Luckie and Fairlie streets. At the monthly meeting of the Board of Fire Masters on 22 June 1922 they publically announced their disapproval of the Board of Educations plan to erect six wood frame, non sprinkled, portable classroom buildings at Tech High (Now Grady HS); Commercial High (Demolished) and Girls High, (demolished – note this was not the same building that is now the Roosevelt apartments the old Girls High School stood where the Atlanta City Hall is on Mitchell Street SW). Improvements during the years would see a new American La France Type 14 city service ladder truck be purchased and placed in service on 1 October 1922 at No. 10 making this company a two-piece company. 64

A new Hudson, Super-Six touring car was purchased on 26 March 1922 and placed in service for the use by the assistant chiefs at No. 1. 1923 Always the visionary, Chief Cody recommended the appointment of fifty new men so that he might be able to carry five men per apparatus for each platoon. He pointed out that many other cities used an average of seven to twelve men per apparatus so Atlanta at four was well below the national average. He accepted and recommended the plans to relocate fire headquarters from 44 West Alabama Street SW to the rear of city hall on a lot 75 x 25 feet on Fairlie Street, across from the Georgia Railway & Power Company. This move was recommended due to the planned bridge extension needed to get Alabama Street up to and tied into the new Spring Street viaduct, (something that never did happen to this day). He recommended the purchase of a 75-foot aerial ladder for No. 11 and the removal of the city service truck to No. 16. He asked for the purchase of an extra engine; a new supply truck and a chief ’s automobile to replace the one recently wrecked by the Assistant Chief. Plans were discussed relating to the city building a new structure at the corner of Auburn Avenue NE and Ivy Street NE which would house a new No. 4 fire station and also serves as the Atlanta Police Headquarters. The cost of this new facility would be $500,000. Chief Cody asked for a fire station on the lot owned by the city at the corner of North Highland and Los Angeles Avenues NE, and one at the corner of Stewart and University Avenues SW. The City of Kirkwood (1899) was annexed into Atlanta in 1922. They had their own water system and fire department. The engine was a 1918 ALF Type 20 chemical and hose car and was replaced by a 750gpm ALF Type 75 engine from the Atlanta Fire Department. What became new No. 18 Fire Station went in service on 2 May 1923 on Kirkwood Road in the old Kirkwood water works pumping station. As Atlanta was gobbling up the small cities against its borders, In June 1923 there was a failed movement to annex College Park, East Point, and Hapeville, which all remain independent cities to this day. NEW COMPANY ENGINE Co. No. 18: Kirkwood Road--One, 750-GPM American La France engine. Captain Lieutenant Engineer Engineer Hoseman Hoseman Hoseman Hoseman Hoseman Hoseman

R.E. Ozmer J.A. Hooks H.A. McCormick S.H. Couch O.J. Boozer O.I. Jacobs J.W. Pittman E.B. Haralson G.H. Keen E.R. Vaughn

1924 Mayor Sims would abolish the long established Board of Fire Masters for 1924 and placed the operation of the fire department under a new City Council Committee on The Fire Department. The Finance

History 1882-1982 The First Hundred Years


Committee of City Council approved the fire department budget which included $12,000 for fire alarm box circuit extensions; $3,000 for new hose; $3,000 for rubber coats, helmets and boots; $1,500 for a new car for the assistant chief, and $12,000 for a fire station on North Highland Avenue NE at Los Angeles Avenue. Chief Cody also recommended that a fire station be established in the vicinity of Stewart Avenue SW (now Metropolitan Parkway SW) and University Avenues in the Capitol View / Sylvan Hills neighborhoods. The members of the fire department were required to report on and off duty in full uniform. The Southern Bell Telephone Company offered their property on Courtland Street, in exchange for No. 4 Fire Station. The Central Presbyterian Church offered to purchase No. 2 Fire Station for $25,000. The contract for erecting the new No. 19 Fire Station was let for $25,897.00. Chief Cody asked that an aerial truck be purchased for No. 2 and that the old service truck be transferred to No. 9. He asked for an aerial truck for No. 11 and the transfer of the old service truck to No. 16. The chief asked for the purchase of eight canister type all-service gas masks for the department, the establishment of a training school for firefighters and the immediate establishment of No. 19 Fire Station on North Highland Avenue NE. Emmett C. Presley and Henry W. Medlin were relieved from fire duty and were assigned to the fire alarm department as regular linemen. Hydrant Inspector, J.L. Alsabrook, was relieved of duty and placed back in the department as a regular firefighter, the hydrant inspector’s wagon was sold and a Ford truck was purchased.

engine company on 1 June 1925 On 30 June 1925, the Fire Department Repair shop was moved from No. 4 Fire Station to the old department stables at the rear of No. 7 Fire Station on Oak Street SW. That building, although not currently used, stall stands in 2012. . The fire department placed an Ahrens-Fox NS4 piston pumper of 1000 GPM capacity, in service at No. 1 on 9 July 1925. This was the first motorized “piston” pump of its kind in the City as all of the previous motor driven engines had rotary gear pumps. The new machine was also equipped with a “booster” tank and hose. This engine still exists and is privately owned but not in the southeast. The 1918 ALF Type 12 Triple Combination 1000 GPM engine previously assigned to Engine 1 was transferred to No. 3. On 2 December 1925 the people of Atlanta voted in a referendum approved a base pay for Atlanta firefighters of $175.00 per month top pay. Chief Cody asked for the installation of a fire station in the Tenth Ward, in the vicinity of Stewart Avenue SW and the A&WP Railroad in the newly annexed area now known as Sylvan Hills and Capitol View. The Chief requested installation of an aerial ladder truck at No. 2 to better handle the south end of the central business district, especially the manufacturing areas of the Garment District. His plan was to transfer of the old service truck to Station No. 19. He also asked for the purchase and placement of a new aerial ladder truck at No. 11 and the transfer of the old service truck to No. 16.

A new Hudson automobile was purchased for the first and second assistant chiefs and two Buick automobiles for the assistant chiefs at No. 2 and 8.

He asked for a modern, up-to-date water tower to replace the old 1904 FEMCO/Hale then in service and that a large capacity pumper be purchased to act as a water tower tender. He asked that No. 2 Fire Station be moved to the city-owned lot, one block south of the present station (old Girls High School) and that some provision be made to erect a “practice tower” on the same lot.

No. 18 Fire Station was repaired and the old former City of Kirkwood elevated water tank located at that building which previously had been that cities water works was removed.

NEW COMPANY ENGINE Co. No. 19: North Highland Avenue NE --One, 750-gpm American-La France rotary pumper.

1925 The city of Atlanta would dramatically grow on 1 January 1925 when the Atlanta city limits expanded adding the neighborhoods known as Howell Station and Rockdale Park in the Northwest, parts of Cascade Heights, West View Cemetery, Capitol View Manor east of Stewart Ave. and north of Deckner Street SW, south of the Atlanta & West Point Railroad and Morningside Park and Johnson Estates on the Northeast side.

Captain Lieutenant

S.G. Jordan F.E. King

Engineer Engineer Hoseman Hoseman Hoseman Hoseman Hoseman Hoseman

J.W. Hull J.E. Bradford W.W. Turner O.I. Jacobs S.D. Preston R.A. Varnedoe T.J. askew W.L. Medlin

The Board of Fire Masters adopted a house or work uniform for members of the department on 25 April 1925.

1926

On 27 May 1925 Engine Co. No. 5 was transferred to the quarters of Engine 1, due to the city changing the grade of Madison Avenue (now Spring St SW) and Peters Street, in front of the station.

Mayor Sims reactivated the Board of Fire Masters for 1926. Operations of the fire department were removed from the City Council Committee on the Fire Department.

The new No. 19 Fire Station was placed in service at the northeast corner of North Highland and Los Angeles Avenues NE as an

The first sedan-type automobile was purchased in April of 1926. It was a Hudson Super-six automobile. Chief Cody requested the

History 1882-1982 The First Hundred Years

65


replacement of all touring cars in the department with this enclosed type of machine.

the city agreeing to furnish fire protection for the unincorporated areas of the county.

The Central Presbyterian Church began buying No. 2 Fire Station at the rate of $1,925 per year, beginning 16 April 1926.

Chief of Police James L. Beavers asked for police precincts to be set up in Fire Stations Nos. 12, 16, and 7 or 17.

Chief Cody asked that No. 4 Fire Station be sold and that Engine 4 be housed with Ladder & Engine 8 and that Ladder 4 be housed with Engine 6. He asked that the proceeds from the sale be used to erect a new No. 2 Fire Station elsewhere. He asked that No. 5 Fire Station be sold and that the proceeds from the sale be used to erect a station at some other location.

The Southern Bell Telephone Company again offered to exchange some of their property, this time on Courtland Street, between Houston and Ellis Streets NE, in exchange for No. 4 Fire Station on North Pryor Street at Banks Place NE. The City of Atlanta did not approve the trade.

Building Inspector Charles J. Bowen condemned No. 5 Fire Station and it was abandoned on the account of changes in the grades of Peters and Spring Streets SW. The entire removal of the west side of the building was made to provide for the widening of Spring Street. The Supreme Court ruled, on 13 September 1926, that each piece of fire equipment in the department must have a regular officer in charge at all times and on 14 September fourteen new lieutenants were elected to man the engines of two-piece companies. The National Board of Fire Underwriters’ concurred that this was required. The new No. 20 Fire Station on what at that time was called Dill Avenue SW was activated on Saturday, 11 December 1926. Since its opening, Dill Avenue SW east of Stewart Ave SW (Metropolitan Parkway SW) has been renamed to Manford Road SW in the Capitol View neighborhood. A new 75-foot American La France Type 17 tiller aerial ladder truck was installed at No. 11 Fire Station on 11 December 1926 and the old ALF 1915 city service ladder truck was moved to No. 16, making that company a two-piece company. Two American La France Metropolitan 1000 GPM engines arrived in late 1926. One of these was assigned to Engine No. 4. The assistant chief ’s headquarters was moved from No. 8 to No. 11 Fire Station on 26 March 1926. NEW COMPANY Engine Co. No. 20: 590 Dill Avenue--One, 750-gpm American LaFrance rotary pumper. Captain Lieutenant Engineer Engineer Hoseman Hoseman Hoseman Hoseman Hoseman Hoseman

G.H. Dyer E.D. Dodson Walter Dobbs E.W. Estes J.S. White T.J. Askew L.B. Bowen W.A. Sheppard E.J. Baker H.C. Steed

1927 Fire protection in the unincorporated sections of DeKalb County, outside of the city limits, was withdrawn and only calls for fires would continue to be made to Agnes Scott College, (to back up the City of Decatur Fire Department), Emory and Oglethorpe Universities. Fulton County offered $30,000 toward the purchase of fire equipment, 66

Chief Cody asked that No. 2 Fire Station be relocated one block south of the present building on Washington Street SW. He stated that the city was at the time paying rent on an old house which was not really suitable for fire station use. The old fire house of No. 5 was torn down and a modern fire station was constructed on the same location at Trinity Avenue SW and Spring Street SW. The new station was placed in service on 1 July 1927. This station would be used until 16 August 1965. The chief asked for the erection of a fire station in the vicinity of Brookwood Station at Peachtree Road NW and Deering Road. He proposed that it be equipped with a 75-foot aerial ladder truck and a 1000 GPM pumper. He asked for the purchase of a lot and the erection of a fire station in the vicinity of Bankhead Avenue NW (now Donald Lee Hollowell Parkway NW) and Ashby Street NW, (now Joseph E. Lowery Boulevard NW), He also desired a station in the vicinity of McDonough Road SE, (now McDonough Boulevard SE), and Hill Street SE. Improvements in efficiency would include that No. 19 Fire Station be made a two-piece company with the addition of a ladder truck. The chief recommended the purchase of two large capacity hose wagons to be loaded with 1,500 feet of hose and equipped with deck pipes and lifesaving devices for the downtown area. Due to taller buildings the Chief asked for the erection of a Drill Tower, complete with equipment to properly train the firefighters. The old greenhouse at No. 12 Fire Station was abandoned and torn down. Locally owned Davison-Paxon-Stokes a thriving department store had sold out to R. H. Macy’s of New York in 1925. Macy’s purchased the Peachtree - Ellis site of the Leydon House where the AVFD had experienced its third LODD in 1872. Macy’s would develop the land into their huge Davison Paxon Department Store in 1927. Eventually shortened to just Davison’s, that name would be used for the local stores until 1986. Macy’s closed their downtown store in 2004 and the sturdy building currently has multi uses including some vital to the fire department. The chief asked for the extension of the fire alarm system’s wires underground, especially on Lee Street, between Gordon Street and Fort McPherson; on Marietta Street, north to No. 16 Fire Station, and the addition of more fire alarm boxes. The Fire Department asked that the Atlanta Water Works provide more and larger fire mains and better fire protection for the East Lake section which was

History 1882-1982 The First Hundred Years


to be annexed 1 January 1928. During the year another fire inspector was added to the department.

dissolved in 1965. Interestingly residents voted to re-incorporate into the City of Brookhaven in 2012. This was the beginning of the fine fire rescue department DeKalb County operates today.

During November another Hudson Super-Six sedan was purchased for the use by the assistant chiefs.

On 30 March 1928, Chief Cody revealed plans to paint all fire alarms boxes yellow in place of the standard red color.

Two new (1926)1000 GPM American LaFrance Type 112 “Metropolitan” engines were placed in service at No. 4 and old Engine 4’s 1918 ALF Type 12 1000 GPM was transferred to No. 7. The other Metropolitan went to No. 11.

Department Chief Cody asked that Fulton County establish fire stations in the extreme north side and one on the south side, and that DeKalb County establish a fire station in the Druid Hills section. He recommended that all of these stations be placed under the supervision of the Atlanta Fire Department.

The “Plumb-System” of street numbering was adopted for the city and all fire stations were renumbered to comply with the new quadrant system. This numbering system was used throughout all of Fulton, DeKalb and Clayton Counties. NEW STATION ADDRESSES No. 1 166 Alabama St., S.W. No. 2  189 Washington St., S.W. No. 3 317 Marietta St., N.W. No. 4 53 Pryor St., N.E. No. 5 278 Trinity St., S.W. No. 6 39 Boulevard N.E. No. 7 535 West Whitehall St., S.W. No. 8 176 Carnegie Way, N.W. No. 9 621 Central Ave., S.W. No. 10 405 Oakland Ave., S.E. No. 11 30 North Ave., N.E. No. 12 1166 DeKalb Ave., N.E. No. 13 447 Flat Shoals Ave., S.E. No. 14 1203 Lee St., S.W. No. 15 1202 W. Peachtree St., N.E. No. 16 824 Marietta St., N.W. No. 17 1384 Gordon St., S.W. No. 18 106 Kirkwood Rd., N.E. No. 19 1069 Highland Ave., N.E. No. 20 590 Dill Ave., S.W.

The Chief recommended that No. 18 Fire Station be relocated to a point in the East Lake section and that it be made a two-piece company. Other recommendations included a fire station in the vicinity of Hill Street SE and McDonough Road in Lakewood Heights; one in the eighth ward and one on Bankhead Avenue NW in Grove Park. He asked for the purchase of two squad wagons with space for loading 2,000 feet of hose and to be manned with ten men each for the central portion of the city--one on the north side and one on the south side; a new hook and ladder truck and a new 1000 GPM engine. Department leaders asked for the establishment of a drill tower and the erection of a station at the corner of Hunter St SW and Ashby Streets, (now Martin Luther King Jr. Drive and Joseph E Lowery). Additional manpower was requested for Stations No. 10, 12 and 14 so that these would have two additional men each and that the reserve city service truck at No. 19 be placed in service with a full crew at that station. To ensure prompt fire department response, it was recommended that all school buildings be equipped with fire alarm boxes connected to the city fire alarm system.

Hook and Ladder companies had been numbered consecutively up to this point but were not using the fire station number where they were assigned. Several Ladders were simply renumbered to coincide with the Engine Company and Fire Station Numbers during 1927. 1928 The Atlanta Fire Department discontinued fire protection service to DeKalb County, except for alarms from colleges, schools and hospitals, effective 1 January 1928. It would be 1934 before private individuals began a subscription fire department in the Emory areas of unincorporated DeKalb County. The county would eventually take over the private fire department in 1937 but this single station was the only protection outside of the cities for another 10 years. It would be 1947 before DeKalb added a second station in Brookhaven, at that time known as the City of North Atlanta. The area was incorporated as the City of North Atlanta in 1924. In 1963, the North Atlanta’s leaders asked the state Legislature to allow a referendum on a new city charter. The Legislature agreed, but also included an additional option in the referendum allowing North Atlanta to dissolve and become unincorporated DeKalb County. The majority of voters chose disincorporation, and the city’s charter was

On 31 January 1928 the assistant chief ’s headquarters was moved from No. 2 to No. 9 Fire Station and Hook & Ladder and Engine Co. No. 2 were moved from the old Washington street location to the quarters of the new No. 5 Fire Station. The Board of Fire Masters again recommended the relocation of fire stations No. 4 and 8, on 7 February 1928. New apparatus and equipment for the year included a new 1000 GPM American La France “Metropolitan” triple combination, with booster which was placed in service at No. 5 and a new American La France Type 14 city service truck was placed in service at No. 2. The old 1916 truck was transferred to No. 19 in reserve service. The American-LaFrance Fire Engine Company gave the city a second hose wagon and service truck. The first H & H inhalator was placed in service on Ladder 11 on 15 September 1928. On 19 June 1928, the Board of Fire Masters ruled that all firefighters must wear the regulation uniform while on duty at public places. At other times they may wear overalls or non-regulation clothes while at work in stations. The Chief William B. Cody 50-year souvenir book came off the press 1 December 1928 and was offered for sale. The Georgia State Fire Chief ’s Association did a limited edition reprint of this book in

History 1882-1982 The First Hundred Years

67


the 1990’s.

south, west and north sides of the City.

1929

He asked that the old water tower, then in reserve, be placed back in regular service, and for funding for the replacement of several older motorized engines currently nearing the end of their life span spread across the department. Following the requests of Chief Cody, Chief Terrell again asked for master fire alarm boxes. He wanted these to be provided both where they could be pulled at the streets but also that they be connected with remote connections to the pull stations in all school buildings. Chief Terrell asked the immediate installation of a Bureau of Fire Prevention with well-staffed personnel.

On 26 January 1929, the Board of Fire Masters recommended to the full City Council the relocation of No. 8 Fire Station to a site on Williams Street, and No. 4 Fire Station to a site on Courtland Street. Captain John Terrell, No. 8, was elected assistant chief to succeed the late Assistant Chief Tacitus Short. On 2 February 1929, Chief Cody asked for $200,000 to be the fire departments’ to share of a proposed bond issue. Most of the AFD allocation of the funds would be for new fire stations. Of this $54,000 would go for a station on the north side and $49,000 for a new Kirkwood station to replace Company 18’s quarters. There would also be $47,000 for a station on the south side; and $34,000 for a station on the Bankhead lot in Grove Park. The remaining $16,000 would be for miscellaneous other equipment. On 11 February 1929, the Board of Fire Masters revised the range of ages that the city would consider for employment in the fire department. Applicants could only be from 21 to 35 years of age and would have to pass approved physical examinations. The city ordinance requiring the Chief of Department to answer all fire alarms was repealed on 11 February 1929. Due to the ever increasing call volume, this had become a physical impossibility. On 11 February 1929 the Druid Hills Civic Club revealed plans for a fire station in unincorporated DeKalb County but asked the Atlanta Fire Department to continue answering alarms until their station was completed. According to DeKalb County Fire Department history, nothing occurred until 1934 when a Mr. Draughn of Nashville, Tennessee, came to the area and began a “subscription fire department”. Subscribers would pay $72.00 per year for protection. The private department operated from a taxpayer building on North Decatur Road near Emory University would not respond to calls for help from non-subscribers. Captain William A. Fain was elected assistant chief on 1 November 1929, succeeding Assistant Chief Eugene J. Setze Jr., who retired. Assistant Chief John Terrell was named Chief of Department on 29 November 1929, succeeding the late Chief William B. Cody. Chief Terrell immediately asked that Fulton and DeKalb counties contribute to the costs for the city to provide fire protection for the areas outside the city limits of Atlanta if the department was expected to render services to unincorporated sections of both counties. He also asked the relocation of No. 2 Fire Station back to the vicinity of its former location near the Georgia State Capitol on a plot of ground large enough for the erection of the station and a drill tower and other equipment necessary for an up-to-date training school for firefighters. Chief Terrell supported the relocation of No. 15 Fire Station to a location adjacent to Pershing Point and that it be made a two-piece company (ladder and engine.) He asked that No. 18 Fire Station be relocated to a point convenient to the East Lake section, and that it also be made a two-pierce company. With call volume for working fires going up, Chief Terrell asked the Board of Fire Masters for the establishment of two-piece companies near the city limits in the 68

The Trust Company of Georgia was given an option on No. 5 and No. 1 Fire Station for the possible location of the proposed new United States Post Office. The old second-size Nott steamer and old first-size Ahrens Continental steamer were sold, and the old American La France Metropolitan steamer was placed in the basement of the Cyclorama in Grant Park, on 3 September 1929. This steamer would eventually be moved from the Grant Park location to reside in Underground Atlanta and then adjacent to Dante’s Down the Hatch in Buckhead. Eventually the City of Atlanta would retrieve the apparatus and today it resides at the Atlanta History Center in Buckhead. One wheel has been restored but basically it looks the same as it did when it came out of service and was placed in the Cyclorama. No. 19 Fire Station was made a two-piece company with the addition of a city service truck on 1 October 1929. NEW COMPANY HOOK & LADDER No. 19: 1069 N. Highland Ave., N.E. One, American La France city service truck.

1930

Captain Lieutenant Lieutenant Ladder Driver Ladder Driver Ladderman Ladderman Ladderman Ladderman Ladderman

S.G. Jordan T.J. Findley C.C. Carter G.W. Wiley A.B. Valentine T.S. Turner W.I. Herndon Wiley A. Pope J.C. Brannon J.L. Estes

In early 1930 Chief Terrell asked for the establishment of a Bureau of Fire Prevention and the division of the department into Battalions, Companies and Platoons. He stressed the need for the Division of Fire Prevention and Protection, Fire Control and Fire Training. Additional ladder companies were needed and the Chief asked that city service ladder trucks be placed at companies No. 3, 6, and 9. His annual request would include the purchase of a new assistant chief ’s car for No. 11, as the old one had been in service for five years and for the establishment of assistant chiefs for fire stations No. 7 and 12. As Atlanta continued to grow, the chief asked for the installation of a fire station in the Twelfth Ward; four additional fire inspectors and recommended that all chief ’s aides be given the rank of lieutenant. Headquarters for the south side assistant chiefs was moved from No.

History 1882-1982 The First Hundred Years


9 to No. 5 Fire Station.

built by Fulton County at this location.

On 16 September 1930, the Board of Fire Masters recommended the adoption of the city ordinance providing for a Fire Prevention and Fire Protection Bureau of the Fire Department. The recommendation was adopted by General Council and was put into operation.

On 26 January 1930, Fulton County authorized an appropriation of $45,000 for the erection of a fire and station and to fully equip this new house in the unincorporated section of the county in Buckhead. On 15 December 15, 1930 a contract was let for the erecting of a fire station by Fulton County for the sum of $18,432.00 in the Buckhead district. This would become Fire Station No. 21.

Chief Terrell asked that four additional lieutenants be assigned to the Bureau, pointing out that the fire department had made more than 1,000 inspections and would be more efficient with the additional manpower. A Fire Control Division was created and was divided into three sections--Signals, Extinguishment and Maintenance. SIGNAL SECTION-- Consisted of the signal room, signal lines and the section was to consist of a Chief Electrician, Assistant Chief Electrician, six signal operators and two linemen. During 1930, a total of 3,808 alarms had been received and 3,469 alarms had been re-transmitted. Fourteen new fire alarm boxes were installed. The old repeaters were removed and exchanged for five of the latest type fire alarm boxes. A complete new record system was installed for the operation and maintenance of the Signal Section. A new fire alarm box numbering system plan was evolved so that boxes would run consecutively in the various districts and sections. A map of the city was erected in the signal room and was to be used as a dispatcher board. The chief pointed that the Signal Section was good but that it was improperly located. FIRE EXTINGUISHMENT SECTION-- Consisted of all firefighting; lifesaving apparatus and equipment; grounds and buildings, together will all apparatus housed and stored. The personnel consisted of Assistant Chiefs, Captains, Junior Captains, Lieutenants, Aides, Engineers, Drivers and privates. New forms of records pertaining to this section were put into operation. MAINTENANCE SECTION-- Consisted of the repair shop; the servicing and repair of apparatus, buildings and grounds as well as maintenance of fire hydrants. Personnel consisted of a master mechanic, mechanics, carpenters, tinners (roofers), plumbers, hydrant inspector and so-forth. On 2 October 1930 the Board of Fire Masters voted to allow retired members to retain their uniforms and badges. Later in the month on 23 October 1930 the old reserve water tower was repaired and placed back in service at No. 4 Fire Station. Two lieutenants and two drivers were assigned to this company. The former City of Kirkwood 1918 American LaFrance Type 20 chemical & hose car which had been in reserve status was rebuilt and placed in service at No.1 as Salvage & Rescue Company on 16 December 1930. Two lieutenants and two drivers, with a squad of men were assigned to this new piece. The four cylinder 1918 American LaFrance Chemical Engine was originally purchased by the City of Kirkwood prior to the time Kirkwood was annexed into the City of Atlanta in 1922. Late in 1930 a Training Division was inaugurated and was housed on a lot next to No. 7 Fire Station at West Whitehall Street SW and Oak Street. . A Seven-story drill tower and a 2,250 gallon cistern were

On 1 March 1930, the lieutenant of the senior grade who was assigned to work opposite a captain of a fire station was given the rank of Junior Captain, but with no advance in pay. Another fire inspector was authorized on 28 April 1930 and Engineer Harry Phillips, of Engine 9, was elected to the position. All engineers and drivers were permitted to wear the double-breasted coats and caps with braid. NEW COMPANY SALVAGE & RESCUE Co. No. 1: 166 Alabama Street S.W.--One, 1918 American LaFrance Squad Wagon (with booster). Lieutenant Lieutenant S & R Driver S & R Driver Hoseman Hoseman Hoseman Hoseman

P.C. Bouck L.B. Bowen K.G. Taylor N.E. Pittman G.G. Hooks R.B. Megee J.G. White J.W. Carpenter

WATER TOWER No. 1: 53 Pryor St., N.E.—One, 1918 ALF Tractor/1904 FEMCO/Hale 65’ Water Tower. Lieutenant Lieutenant Water Tower Driver Water Tower Driver

C.S. Rhodes H.B. Garmon J.N. Dilleshaw A.L. Crumley

1931 The insignia for all fire department personnel was ordered changed from silver to gold plate on 1 April 1931. The position of Secretary to Chief was abolished on 30 June 1931. At that time Miss Nell Guest was employed as Department Clerk. The ranks of Junior Captains were abolished on 1 April 1931 and all officers holding that rank were designated as full captains. Lieutenant P.C. Bouck and Ladder Driver C.C. Davis were sent to the Detroit Fire Department training school on 3 June 1931, to take an instructor’s course. On their return to Atlanta, they were designated Chief Instructor and Assistant Chief Instructor of the new Atlanta Fire Department Training School and Fire College. The first recruit school to be held at the Training Center adjacent to Fire Station No. 7 on West Whitehall Street SW began in November 1931. The first appearance by the Atlanta Fire Department Band and Drum Corp was on 28 February 1931. They played a 30 minute program from 18:30 hours to 19:00 hours which was broadcast over 920 AM, which at that time was WGST Radio, the Voice of Georgia Tech. The first recruit school was begun on 1 November 1931 and consisted of 75-hours of training for 70 new men. This would be the first recruit class at the new Training Center and Tower attached to

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Fire Station No. 7 on West Whitehall Street SW. During January, a new Ahrens-Fox NS4 - 1000-GPM piston engine was received for the Fulton County Fire Department and would go in service as Engine No. 21. Years later when this apparatus was sold as surplus, it was purchased and driven to Fort Oglethorpe, Georgia by Chattanooga Firefighter George Spencer who had plans to restore the apparatus. Sadly the former Fulton County Ahrens-Fox never was restored and after Chief Spencer lost his storage it ended up sitting outside for years at Guy Yates Towing in Ringgold, GA. The carcass was sold and what was left of the once proud truck was moved to Maine and disassembled for parts. As of 2012, the motor is stored as a spare for other “Foxes”. The piston pump and frame still exists and are also being stored for part needs. The hose body found a second life and was used by Andy Swift owner of Firefly Restorations in Hope Maine. They placed it on an Ahrens-Fox chassis that had been a City Service Truck that is owned by the owner of the Strum - Ruger Fire Arms Company. The hose bed now has rows of seats in the the historic truck is used to haul guests or Ruger Fire Arms through the Arcadia National Park near Bar Harbor, Maine. The new Fulton County fire station in Buckhead was placed service on 27 June 1931 as No. 21 Fire Station under the administration of the chief of the Atlanta Fire Department. NEW COMPANY FULTON COUNTY ENGINE Co. No. 21: 245 Buckhead Ave., N.E. One, 1931 Ahrens-Fox 1000-gpm piston engine with booster equipment. Captain Captain Engineer Engineer Hoseman Hoseman Hoseman Hoseman Hoseman Hoseman Hoseman Hoseman

W.G. Smith H.A. Gilbert C.E. Slate J.H. Bowden M.F. Brewer M.H. Tumlin C.E. Roach Dolph Herrington C.E. Lay J.C. Hardy J.B. Childs C.R. Housch

1932 With the addition of several stations, the city was divided into three battalions on 1 January 1932. Chief Terrell went to the Board of Fire Masters and asked for the replacement of Ladder 16, which was 17 years old. He asked for the relocation of No. 18 Fire Station to the business section of Kirkwood from the old Water Works Building. Additional Fire Stations in the second and third wards were also recommended. These were to be maintained jointly by the city and Fulton County, and stations were requested for Center Hill and Piedmont Park. In early 1932 the Board of Fire Masters ordered all members of the Fire Department to submit to mandatory and required physical examinations. These exams were done in a wholesale effort to weed out physically incompetent members of the department. In a surprise move they ordered fourteen firefighters, two with nearly a half century of service, to be placed on pensions and immediately retired. These veteran firefighters were pronounced “physically unfit” by the city’s 70

physicians. Several of the men asked for additional time to apply for their pensions but the Board said no forcing immediate retirement. There apparently was no recourse and the men were ordered to file their pension papers at the next meeting of the Pension Board of the City of Atlanta. Eventually twelve would be granted pensions. Captain Roy V. Clayton and Private W.A. White were outright fired since they did not have the required 25 years of service with the Fire Department to qualify for a pension. Members of the Decatur and Athens fire departments participated in training school sessions at the drill tower at Atlanta Fire Station No. 7. A battery shop for the Department was set up in the basement of No. 1, on 20 April 1932, under the supervision of Engineer J.C. Hallman (No. 1). 1933 Chief John Terrell died on 27 February 1933, of injuries received in the line of duty. On 6 March 1933, First Assistant Chief William Butler was elected Chief of Department. He did not like the top job and he resigned the Chief ’s position on 21 March 1933. Second Assistant Chief Otho J. Parker was elected to the Department Chiefs position. The Great Depression would have an effect on the Atlanta Fire Department much like the recession of the early 2000nds did. On 6 January 1933 the department was ordered to reduce personnel to 310. Twenty-one (21) men were laid off and immediately relieved from duty. This caused Ladder & Engine Co. No. 2 to be abolished. This was the logical company to disband since they were operating out of the leased fire station building on Washington Street SW that had previously been purchased by Central Presbyterian Church. The truck was combined with Engine 5 and Company No. 5 became a two-piece company Engine No. 2 was disbanded. The officers and member of Salvage & Rescue Co. No. 1 were relieved from duty and the company was abolished; only the two drivers were retained. The grades of Fire Marshal and Assistant Fire Marshal were created and placed in charge of the Bureau of Fire Prevention. On 28 June 1933, M. H. Carter would be appointed Fire Marshal and Harry Phillips was appointed as Assistant Fire Marshal. The city purchased a lot at the corner of McDonough Blvd SE and Lakewood Avenue SE (at that time still in unincorporated Fulton County), for a future fire station. Nine new fire alarm boxes and one private box were installed. 1934 The Fire Department had the lowest fire loss in 31 years and an alltime per-capita loss on record. This enabled the city to receive the certificate of award from the National Fire Protection Association for first place in fire prevention. An electric company turnout board was installed in the fire alarm office, and 12 new fire alarm boxes were installed. Effective 27 June 1934, members of the Fire Department were permitted to go without uniform coats during the summer months, provided white shirts and black ties were worn.

History 1882-1982 The First Hundred Years


1935 Chief Parker recommended the purchase of two 1500 GPM triple combination engines as soon as possible to replace those at No. 1 and 8; two new battalion chief ’s cars to replace those in service at No. 5 and 11; the purchase of at least 10,000 feet of first grade fire hose to replace that which had been in service too long, and a new one-ton pick-up truck for the shop. He asked that some provision be made, either by building a new structure or moving into a building of fireproof construction, the fire alarm office, and that the present equipment be remodeled. Five new fire alarm boxes were installed and 27 boxes were renumbered. The Fire Prevention Division conducted a training school for building engineers, watchmen and janitors, on fire prevention and items to be looking for while performing their normal duties. The Department again received a certificate of award from the National Fire Protection Association, for outstanding work in fire prevention. The First Annual Georgia State Fire College convened on 8, 9 and 10 May 1935. It was attended by many fire officials from throughout the southeastern United States. Officers of the Fire College were Chief O.J. Parker president; Fire Marshal M.R. Carter, vice-president, and Assistant Fire Marshal Harry Phillips, director. The Board of Directors were: Chief D.W. Brosnan, chairman; Chief B.F. Lester, vice-chairman; Chief Walter S. Blanton, Chief V.C. Sheppard, Chief N.L. Barker, Jr., Chief C.B. Bradford and, Chief Monte McEachern, members. Miss Martha Guest, secretary. Attendance to the college represented 116 firefighters from 32 Georgia cities, six were from four Florida cities; 12 were from six Alabama cities; 14 were from Chattanooga; two from Washington, D.C.; 5 from New York City, and one from Boston Mass. The Atlanta Fire Department was represented by 169 members, two members of the Atlanta City government, as did ten members of the Southeastern Underwriters Association. The total in attendance was 335. 1936 Chief Parker asked for the authority to name an assistant chief to act as personnel officer for the Department. He asked for two automatic 85-foot aerial ladder trucks; two,1500 GPM Pumping engines; at least four new life nets; two life guns, with ropes; 30 canister masks; 2 oxygen masks and two multiversal nozzles. He asked for a new 65 foot water tower with dual nozzles; 10,000 feet of new 2½ inch hose; 2 air-line masks, with 150 feet of hose each; a gas mask for each engine and four for each ladder truck. Also life nets, nozzles and small tools for each existing ladder truck. In a wrangled with the city government, Local 134 of the International Association of Fire Fighters filed a mandamus suit ordering that firefighters pay be restored to their full base salary. A mandamus is a “writ of mandate” which orders a public agency or governmental

body to perform an act required by law when it has neglected or refused to do so. Mayor James L. Key threatened to reduce the number of personnel of the department if the legal action by the IAFF against the City was successful. All of this came about due to budget constraints facing all department of the City of Atlanta at the time. The suit asked that the City be restrained from enforcing the ten-percent pay cuts called for in the 1936 city budget across all city employees. By 7 March 1936 Judge E.E. Pomeroy ruled in favor of the city in denying the mandamus suit of Local 134 stating that the firefighters being cut ten-percent of their salaries had been based on “voluntary contributions” and it was both fair and was in line with cuts made to all city departments. He stated that the ordinance passed in 1925 requiring that firefighters in the city be paid not less than the United States Mail Carriers was voided after that year, (1925), because no one council member could bind another to a financial agreement. On 27 March 1936, the National Grand Award in Fire Prevention from the United States Chamber of Commerce, and the Merit Certificate in the Clean-Up and Fire Prevention Week, of the National Fire Protection Association, was awarded to the City of Atlanta. During the April 1936 meeting of the Board of Fire Masters they agreed to follow the recommendations of Chief Parker and other officers of the department by bringing a sharp warning to the entire city council that the Board (of Fire Masters) would not be responsible for future fire losses unless additional modern equipment be purchased at once for the Atlanta Fire Department. Chief Parker called the Board’s attention to the fact that the average age of the apparatus was now 16 years old and was in desperate need of replacement. Councilman Howard C. McCutcheon urged the selection of a special sub-committee to inform the finance committee and council members of the impending crisis. They were to present an offer of $50,000 in new equipment to be paid for over a three year installment plan on a lease – purchase agreement. The City’s finance committee of the City Council acted quickly and approved the plan which included immediate purchase of two huge 1500 GPM engines at a total cost of $30,000. City attorney Jack Savage began drafting contracts for the three year lease that included the option to purchase additional equipment at the end of this period. Councilman McCutcheon brought to the council’s attention that there had been no apparatus purchased since 1927. This purchase included the American-LaFrance Type 112 apparatus currently on display at the Fire Station No. 6 at the Martin Luther King Jr. Center. The excitement of new equipment and apparatus was short lived when on 1 May 1936 Fulton County Superior Judge G.H. Howard issued a restraining order until September based on a petition from Mrs. A.B. Still of a Blue Ridge Avenue NE address who charged the city with “fraud and collusion” since Mayor Key and the Atlanta City Council has “illegally contracted to purchase the fire equipment without competitive bidding”. Records show that on 11 May 1936 the finance committee received bids for two new engines. The bids were:

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Buffalo Fire Appliance Company: two 1250 GPM engines - $23,700 Peter Pirsch & Sons Company: two 1250 GPM engines - $25,000 American-LaFrance Foamite: two 1500 GPM engines- $28,000 Chief Parker recommended the American LaFrance apparatus be the ones accepted and American-LaFrance Foamite Industries Inc. was the firm that the city contracted for the two new apparatus since Atlanta had specified 1500 GPM pumps. . On 1 September the injunction was modified by Judge Howard on a petition from city attorney Jack Savage. Judge Howard vacated that part of the order which prohibited the delivery and acceptance of the two new machines but also ruled that this modification did not in any way obligate the city to any indebtedness. On 4 May 1936, the Southeastern Fire Chief ’s Association convened in Atlanta for its annual convention. Members of the Atlanta Fire Department conducted its first annual Memorial Services at 15:00 hours on Sunday, 24 May 1936. The service was held at the Druid Hills Baptist Church on Ponce de Leon Ave NE. Doctor Louie D. Newton and Reverend Harold Sheets conducted the service. Captain H.G. Pierce of Ladder Company No. 8 was in charge of the arrangements. He stated that this was the first Memorial Service to be held since 1925 but that this would now become an annual event. The month of May was selected for the services as to commemorate the memory of the six firefighters killed on 6 May 1925 at the Jass Manufacturing Company fire on Decatur Street SE. Chief O.J. Parker called the roll of the deceased members of the department and Assistant Chief William Butler would answer “absent”, a tradition that continues in the AFR. Firefighters Elmo Bell played TAPS at the end of the service. The Atlanta Fire Rescue Department Memorial Service continues to be held annually in May. On 3 July 1936 the Georgia Court of Appeals ruled as unconstitutional a legislative enactment of 1935 which sought to reduce the pensions of firefighters from $100 per month to $75 per month and the widows of firefighters to $50 per month. The court ruled that the act was a violation of the individual firefighter’s constitutional rights. The Supreme Court held that prior acts requiring the Atlanta Firefighters to contribute to a fund for the support of the aged and disabled firefighters and widows of deceased firefighters constituted a contract between the trustees of the pension fund and the individual firefighters and that no law could be passed subsequently that would impair an existing contract. On 30 December 1936, the position of Hydrant Inspector was recreated. Hoseman A.L. Fain, of Engine Co. No. 6, was appointed to the position, effective 1 January 1937. Plans were formulated to construct a fire headquarters building on the site of No. 8 Fire Station, on 8 July 1936. This building was never constructed. On Friday 13 September 1936 members of the department held a referendum and voted 186 to 145 in favor of the 24-hours on duty and 24-hours off duty for a 60-day trial period. This marked the first major change in working conditions for the firefighters in 17 years since the two platoon system had gone into effect in 1919. 72

The planned 24/24 was requested by Local 134 of the IAFF. Advocates stated that the change would allow the men more rest and leisure and that this system was being used in most of the larger cities throughout the USA. It was agreed that at the end of the sixty days another vote would be taken to determine if the 24/24 system would be retailed or return to the 10/14 system. The trial started on 1 October 1936. The program was not popular with the firefighters and the men voted to return to the old 10-hours on and l4-hours off, on 1 December 1936. 1937 Chief Parker asked for the purchase of a 100-foot, all-metal, aerial ladder truck; $7,500.00 to rebuild three engines; one new Chief ’s automobile, and 12,000 feet of new 2½ inch hose. He again would ask that some provision be made to relocate the Fire Alarm Signal System to a fire-resistant structure. Thirty members of the Fire Department completed a two-year course in firemanship, sponsored by the Georgia State Department of Education. The Fire Department received a certificate of award from the National Fire Protection Association and the United States Chamber of Commerce. At the Wednesday 27 January 1937 meeting with the Board of Fire Masters, Mr. George L. Swann of the National Board of Fire Underwriters severely criticized the operations of the Atlanta Fire Department. This had followed an extensive survey of the department at the request of the fire board. Mr. Swann charged that the officers “lacked the fundamental knowledge of their responsibilities and were unable to answer the simplest of questions concerning the operations of the department”. He recommended that all unfit firefighters be weeded out and that more and extensive training be immediately instituted. The engineer recommended that politics be taken out of the department and that it be placed on a civil service basis. With this severe criticism from the National Board of Fire Underwriters stinging city leaders, two days later, on 29 January 1937 the firefighters themselves endeavored to better the department by having a bill passed in the Georgia State Legislature establishing a civil service system for the firefighters of Atlanta. The bill was presented to the state officials by Local 134 of the International Association of Fire Fighters. It proposed to establish a eligible list for future promotions in the department; that men injured on duty be paid for a full year; that the men be allow a thirty-day sick leave, and a twentyday vacation with full pay. The bill was introduced in legislature on Tuesday, 8 February 1937, by Senator Paul L. Lindsay, of the Thirtyfourth (DeKalb) District. On Thursday, 24 February 1937, the bill was defeated in the Senate after a public hearing. However, the State Legislature enacted a bill providing for civil service for Atlanta firefighters on 10 March 1937 the new substitute civil service bill for the Atlanta Fire Department was passed in the Senate with both Senators Millican and Lindsay agreeing to the new version of the bill. The new bill provided that the personnel of the department would remain under the jurisdiction of the chief and the Board of Fire Masters, but it made it a misdemeanor for any public official to

History 1882-1982 The First Hundred Years


discharge, suspend, or in any way penalize a firefighter for political reasons. It provided that the firefighters would continue to exercise their constitutional rights. Only the chief of the department was exempt from the civil service provisions, all others were to come under the protection of the bill. No firefighter was to be demoted, suspended or discharged, or otherwise penalized without the right of the investigation of the case upon demand, with appeal hearings mandatory. The bill also had a thirty day sick leave for sickness with full pay, with additional pay for continued illness at the discretion of the fire board. While all this was transpiring on the Civil Service issues, the Wednesday 17 February 1937 meeting the Board of Fire Masters would begin eliminating physically unfit firefighters from the rolls of the department. They ordered five privates and two officers to take their pensions by 15 April 1937 or be fired. Two new Dodge automobiles were purchased and placed in service on 15 March 1937. These were assigned to be used by the chiefs of the Second and Third Battalions. Chief Parker reported to the Board of Fire Masters on 26 May 1937 that the Parks Department wanted the old fire bell, the “Miss Augusta Hill,” to put on exhibit in Grant Park. The board passed a resolution to let the Parks Department have it but nothing was ever done to get it down and the historic bell continued to set her silent vigil atop the department’s training tower at Fire Station No.7. A twenty-day vacation for members of the Fire Department was approved by the Board of Fire Masters on 10 June 1937 The full City Council restored the twenty-day vacations for both the fire and police departments A new GMC (Panel truck) was placed in service on 20 August 1937, as a Salvage & Rescue Unit replacing the former City of Kirkwood converted 1918 American-LaFrance apparatus. On 1 October 1, 1937 the thirty-day sick leave policy became effective for the department. A new 85-foot Peter Pirsch automatic hydro-matic aerial ladder truck was installed at No. 4 Fire Station on 29 October 1937. It replaced a city service ladder truck, which was retired to reserve service. This was the first aerial ladder ever to be placed in service with the AFD that employed motive power to hoist the “Big Stick”. It had been manufactured by the Peter Pirsch & Son Company of Kenosha, Wisconsin and had cost the city $14,000 A new 1000 GPM Peter Pirsch centrifugal pumping engine was purchased and placed in service at No. 8 Fire Station on 3 December 1937. The old engine was transferred to No. 12 Fire Station. This was Atlanta’s first centrifugal pump. Prior to this time all had been either piston or rotary gear, positive displacement pumps. Engines 7 and 20 were completely rebuilt and windshields were added. Other equipment purchased and placed in service were; McCaa oxygen breathing apparatus; M.S.A. canister all-service gas masks; H & H Inhalators; two Atlas (Quarter-fold) life nets, and one Browder life gun.

1938 A replacement Fire Station, No. 2, was constructed with WPA funds, located on Lakewood Avenue SE just south of McDonough Boulevard. Operation would be jointly financed by the City of Atlanta and Fulton County. This station remained in use until 26 May 1978 when they moved into their current quarters on Jonesboro Road SE. Chief Parker urged the immediate installation of the following apparatus and equipment: One, 100-foot automatic all-metal aerial ladder truck, Two, 1000 GPM Centrifugal pumping engines, One, new Assistant Chief ’s automobile, Ten-thousand feet of new 2 ½ inch fire hose, Ten, new Fire Alarm Boxes. He asked for funds to rebuild several pieces of equipment, and relocation of Fire Headquarters to a fire resistant building. On Wednesday, 30 March 1938, the Board of Fire Masters made two important changes in the uniforms of the Atlanta firefighters. It was decided to change the cap device from the small Maltese cross to a larger one to permit a more uniform appearance for the privates of the department adjusting the emblem size to that of the officer’s emblems. The men were to be allowed to retain the small emblems and wear them on their work caps. It was recommended to adopt the regulation blue shirts as recommended by Local 134 of the IAFF but this was subject to any change by the uniform committee of the department. The rule of the men wearing white shirts without coats was rescinded and the blue shirts were substituted. The Supreme Court of Georgia made a ruling on 19 March 1938 ruling in regard to the pensions of the Atlanta Fire Department: It stated that Atlanta firefighters who retired prior to 1 May 1935, were to receive pensions granted at that time, and those who retired after that date were to receive a maximum of $75 a month. The Court also ruled that back pensions, totaling more than $70,000, must be paid pensioners who had retired prior to May 1, 1935. By legislative action adopted on that date, pensions for Atlanta firefighters were set at a maximum of $75 per month for retired men, and a maximum of $50 per month for widows of the firefighters. The city established the scale for all pension in the higher brackets. The Supreme Court ruled that in the future the firefighters, who had retired previous to the legislative act of 1935, as well as the widows, were to receive pensions originally granted to them, and those who retired after the act were to receive pensions on the scale provided for in the act. At 07:31 AM Chief O.J. Parker’s Department Chiefs car was wrecked in a horrific collision with Engine 4, on 15 July 1938. The accident occurred at the corner of Pryor Street SW and Alabama Street SW, while both were enroute to an alarm from street Box 174 at Hunter Street SW and & Pryor Streets. The heavy engine struck the officers car near the rear and the automobile overturned several times before it came to rest on its side. The impact caused the engine to mount the curb and it sheared off fire alarm Box 172 on the corner and crashed through the front door of the Jones Drug Store in the Mercantile

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Building. Chief Parker and his driver P.D. Bailey suffered cuts and bruises, while members of the engine company were bruised and shaken up but no one sustained any life threatening injuries.

He recommended using the same plans that were used for No. 2 Fire Station, to rebuild No. 18 Fire Station in the center of the Kirkwood business district.

The first time the convention of the International Association of Fire Fighters, (IAFF), was held in Atlanta occurred on 28 August 1938 at the Biltmore Hotel.

Funding was obtained from the Works Progress Administration which was used to paint and recondition six fire stations.

The convention attendees were welcomed by President, Hugh Kilgore, of Local 134, the Atlanta Fire Department Chapter. Mr. Fred W. Baer, International President, from Kansas City and Secretary George J. Richardson, from Washington, D.C. were also present for the meetings. Welcoming addresses were made by Georgia Governor Ed. Rivers, Mayor William B. Hartsfield, George Googe, Charles B. Grambling, Dewey L. Johnson, A.L. Belle Isle, Loyd T. Wheeler, Chief O.J. Parker, Congressman Robert Ramspeck, and J.F. Watkins, vice-president of the Twelfth District, I.A.F.F. Miss Alice Talton, daughter of Atlanta firefighter S.C. Talton, who had been named “Miss Atlanta,” in a beauty contest a few weeks before, was named “Miss International Fire Fighter,” during the convention. On the last day of the meeting, at a banquet, Ladder Driver, Hugh Kilgore, of No. 8, the Atlanta president, was elected vice-president of the Twelfth District.

Repairs were made to 44 pieces of equipment. Engines 5, 10, 11 and 12, and Ladder 1, were reconditioned. 100 gallon booster tanks and booster reels were installed on Engines 5, 11 and 12. The old 1913 American LaFrance 750 gallon engine of No. 14 was taken out of service on 25 April 1939 due to its age. This was the second motorized engine to be purchased and incorporated in the equipment of the Atlanta Fire Department. This fine old apparatus had faithfully served for many years having been bought on 15 May 1913. NEW COMPANY FULTON CO. ENGINE Co. No. 22: 4 Hollywood Rd. One, engine not listed, see *note. Captain Captain Engineer Engineer Hoseman Hoseman Hoseman Hoseman Hoseman Hoseman

1939 After being disbanded for just shy of six years, at 08:00 hours on Monday, 2 January 1939 Atlanta Fire Company No. 2 was reestablished in a new Fire Station, at 1361 Lakewood Avenue S.E just south of McDonough Boulevard. The new station was a single bay house of the bungalow design and fit in well with the surrounding Lakewood Heights and South Atlanta neighborhoods. The station had been built jointly for use by both the City of Atlanta and Fulton County. Company 2 had been disbanded on 6 January 1933 when the city no longer leased back the fire station at 4 Washington street SW, which had been sold to Central Presbyterian Church. The first alarm for the new company was received at 13:30 PM, for a call to Miller Reed Avenue SE and McDonough Blvd SE. Former Fire Station No. 2 of the Fulton County Fire Department became Fire Station No. 22 under AFD administration. Engine 22 was placed in service on 21 January 1939, at what at that time was numbered 4 Hollywood Rd NW. The first engine was probably a 1938 ca. Ford/Pirsch 500 GPM engine. By 1946 it had an American La France B675 750 GPM engine. Fire Chief Otho J. Parker retired on 21 March 1939. Second Assistant Chief Charles C. Styron Sr., was elected Chief of Department. Assistant Chief William P. Barker, of the Second Battalion, was elected Second Assistant Chief. Captain Henry G. Pierce, of No. 10, was elected Assistant Chief of the Second Battalion. Following his predecessor, Chief Styron asked for a new 100-foot aerial Ladder Truck; Two, 1000 GPM Engines; One, Kohler lighting unit; One, 2-ton truck, to mount the light unit; $10,000 for new fire hose and $17,000 for parts and repairs to equipment. He asked that provision be made to remove the Signal Department into a fire-resistant building. He asked for numerous improvements for the Signal Department. 74

W.G. Smith Dolph Herrington L.A. Whitley B.F. Camp M.F. Brewer M.H. Tumlin M.B. Reid J.F. Burdett W.F. Brice A.T. Hornsby, Jr.

1940 Chief Styron asked for the purchase of another 100-foot aer1a1 ladder truck for No. 1 as well as one new 65-foot Aerial Ladder truck; two new 1,000 GPM engines and two automobiles for the Assistant Chiefs. On the dream list would be $10,000 for new fire hose; $17,000 for parts and repairs to apparatus; $5,000 for general building repairs; $2,500 for new shop equipment; $1,250 for new fire alarm boxes and that bids be taken for the Fire Alarm System and the extension of the shop. Following with the Atlanta Police Department he requested ShortWave Radios for all of the chief ’s cars. Nineteen Forty would see Atlanta named the honor city of Georgia by the United States Chamber of Commerce, and was honored to be awarded the Certificate of Award by the National Fire Protection Association. A new floodlight truck began being constructed in the Fire Department Shop, on an International chassis with an Onan generator. The unit would be named in honor of Mayor William B Hartsfield. On 14 August 1940, Fire Station No. 7 was equipped with a new GMC City Service Ladder Truck, which had been built in the Fire Department shop. Engine 19, was totally reconditioned by the Atlanta Fire Department Shops.

History 1882-1982 The First Hundred Years


On 2 October 1940, City Council approved a resolution to purchase a new American-LaFrance 100-foot aerial ladder truck. On 16 October 1940 The Board of Fire Masters recommended the employment of sixteen new firefighters to replace those who had retired, resigned or had entered the armed services. 1941 The Atlanta Fire Department Shop built new Floodlight truck went in service at 08:30 AM on 2 January 1941. This much needed piece of equipment had been constructed by the fire department shop at a cost of $6,000. It was equipped with four permanentlymounted telescoping floodlights of from 500 to 1000 watts each; two permanently mounted searchlights with 2,400 candlepower each and six portable lights which could be removed and taken into a structure or other location away from the vehicle, ranging from 500 to 1000 watts each. The apparatus also had 1400 feet of rubber-covered wire on reels so that the portable lights could be used at a long distance from the truck. The truck chassis was an International truck motor and the electric generator was an Onan and had a capacity of 10,000 watts. The light truck was placed under the jurisdiction of the Superintendent of Fire Alarms and was named the “William B. Hartsfield,” in honor of the Mayor. Operators of the new unit were J.C. Hallman and A.P. Brown. This vehicle would be repowered in 1966 and in 2012 currently sits out of service, stored at Fire Station No. 34. Chief Styron asked for the purchase of an additional 100-foot aerial ladder truck; one, 65-foot aerial ladder truck; 1, 1000 GPM Centrafuga1 Pumping Engine; 1, 750-GPM Centrifugal pumping engine and a one-ton pick-up truck. He asked for the removal of Fire Headquarters to a new Fire resistant building. He asked for 3 chassis for city service ladder trucks; 1 new chief ’s car (on a Trade-in) and improvements to the Fire Alarm System. Apparatus arriving in 1941 included a new White signal line truck which was placed in service on 5 March 1941. New Oldsmobile Battalion Chiefs cars were placed in service, as follows: Second Battalion 29 March 1941 and the Third Battalion on 14 April 1941. Engine Co. No. 18 moved into its new quarters at 2007 Oakview Road SE on 6 February 1941. The transfer was made at 10:45 AM. The new station was identical with that of No. 2 on Lakewood Avenue SE and the new location put the company in closer contact with the business area of South Kirkwood. The station had been built by the W.P.A. at a cost of $1600 but gave the company much greater space than had been the case of the old firehouse located at the former City of Kirkwood Water Works building on Kirkwood Road NE. The WPA built station remained in service until 2008 when this structure was torn down and a large two bay station erected on the same lot. The current house would go in service in June 2010. The first 100-foot aerial would be an American-LaFrance Type 500 tillered aerial ladder. This truck was placed in service at No. 8 Fire Station on 10 June 1941. A new 1000 GPM Type 500 American La France centrifugal pumping

engine was placed in service at No. 5. This was an open-cab design with seating for five members. This was the first apparatus to get the firefighters off the tailboard and riding to alarms in a sitting position. No. 5’s old 1928 ALF Metropolitan 1000 GPM rotary gear pumping engine was overhauled and placed in service at No. 9 Fire Station, replacing a 750-GPM American La France pumping engine. On 1 October 1941 a new 1000-gallon Mack centrifugal pumper, the first of that make, was placed in service at No. 1. This new engine replaced the old Ahrens-Fox piston pumper which had been purchased in 1925. It was reconditioned and placed in service at No. 3. The old 65-foot American La France Hale Water Tower was removed from active service to reserve service for the last time. The Fire Department’s first short-wave radios were placed in service on the chief ’s cars on 6 July 1941. The Signal Lieutenants were tested and assigned licenses for radio communications by the Federal Communications Commission. These radios could receive but not transmit back to the Signal Office. Nine members of the Atlanta Fire Department were listed as on Military Leave during 1941 Captain J.L. Ivey of Ladder & Engine 7 was sent to the national Chemical Weapons Service School, at the Edgewood Arsenal in Maryland. Today this is the Edgewood Chemical and Biological Center located at the Aberdeen Proving ground in northern Maryland. Detailed history on this center is available at https://www.ecbc.army.mil/about/history.htm The opening of the war years found the Atlanta Fire Department depleted in manpower, apparatus and hose. At the close of 1941 the department re-activated many of its old fire cisterns, which had not seen service since the establishment of the water works. Likewise, six firemen were stationed at the reservoirs to guard against any attempted sabotage of the city’s vital water supply. 1942 World War II would have a dramatic effect on the Atlanta Fire Department. The Training Division conducted classes for 400 members of the Civilian Defense Auxiliary Fire Department. In the event of an attack these auxiliary firefighters would be used to supplement the rolls of the regular fire companies. Thirty-Five members of the Department were trained and qualified as instructors on incendiary bombs and gas defense. The fire department was presented with a new model, portable, chest-type iron lung on 25 January 1942. This was the first of its type to be used in Atlanta. The machine was a gift of the local Labor Unions licensed to do business in the city with primary donations from the Teamsters & Chauffeurs Local 450; the Truck Drivers & Helpers Local 728 and the Laundry Drivers Local No. 859. The new device was placed on the department’s rescue truck. Its use was varied. It could be used for infantile paralysis, heart attacks, pneumonia, suffocation, drowning, electric shock, and gas poisoning. Its great advantage was in its light weight; only about 40 pounds. It could be worn over clothing; snapping on at the shoulder and side, with snug rubber fittings at the neck, arms and abdomen, insuring a vacuum when in operation.

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The power unit was carried in a small chest and could be operated by electricity or by hand. Three chest units, for large and small size persons, and for children, were also included in the kit. The Emergency Civil Defense Air-Raid sirens were placed in service throughout the city on 15 July 1942. On Tuesday, 1 September 1942 the Board of Fire Masters ordered the sirens of the fire apparatus of the Atlanta Fire Department silenced when responding to alarms. They gave their reasons for the discontinuing of the warning device was that the apparatus sirens sounded too much like the newly installed air raid sirens. The chief was authorized to employ some sort of bells or whistles to warn the approach of the fire equipment. This probably would have been satisfactory had the department been able to secure bells or whistles to be installed, but as all manufacturers of this type of device had been discontinued for the duration of the war, none could be purchased. Only one exhaust whistle could be secured and was placed on Engine 9, but it never proved practical because of its low pitch. Also, some time prior to this order someone had had the idea of removing all of the old fire bells from the apparatus that had been rebuilt in the department’s shop and their whereabouts could not be ascertained, consequently the fire companies had to rely on the regulation automobile horns which were on the apparatus to gain what right of way that they could. As it was the equipment was forced to slow their response to alarms. The order to abolish the use of the sirens was completed on September 25th. With the populace so used to sirens for emergency vehicles, the result was a higher accident rate due to no sirens being utilized.

The receive only radios were replaced with Two-Way Short-wave Radios which officially were placed in service on both City of Atlanta and Fulton County Fire Apparatus at No. 21 and 22 and City-County Engine No. 2 during 1942. At this point, fifty members of the Fire Department were serving on military leave and serving in the armed forces. Chief Styron appealed to the Board of Fire Masters in July 1942 to look into the matter of the dwindling manpower of the department. It was decided to bring back to the stations the six firemen who had been on guard duty at the city water works to bolster the depleted manpower of the fire companies. About 1 December 1942 Chief Styron pointed out that the fire apparatus of the department were being considerably delayed in their response to alarms of fire because of lack of proper siren equipment on the apparatus The Board of Fire Masters unanimously voted to reemploy the use of sirens on fire apparatus and Mayor Hartsfield signed into law a council measure authorizing the use of sirens on all thirty-nine pieces of fire equipment. This new ordinance pointed out that at the same time warned that sirens were still banned from all other city vehicles. Chief Styron pointed out that there should not be any confusion between the fire sirens and the official air raid sirens as the latter was a ten-second blast and the five-seconds of silence, while the sirens of the fire apparatus were blown in a continuous warbling wail. 1943 During the war getting apparatus became almost impossible however

Someone in Atlanta media got the idea on Thursday 1 October 1942 that the old fire bell, the “Miss Augusta Hill would be of more value as scrap metal for the war effort than for sentimental or historical value to the city. Much publicity was created to break it up and give it to the scrap metal drive. This big bell was Atlanta’s only remaining memento of the city’s glorious volunteer fire department. It was planned to lower the bell to the ground from the fire department’s seven-story training tower, next to No. 7 and carry it through the streets on a truck being rung as a way to encourage citizens to get out their scrap. Then after it had served this last act, it was to be broken up for scrap itself This destructive idea to Atlanta Fire History sort of lost steam when crews looked at the work required to get the old girl down from her lofty perch. Her 1,995 pounds of penny-nickel resisted to the last and the project was finally abandoned and she still remained on her tower, for many more years watching Atlanta grow from the small town of 1867. The bell is currently on display at Atlanta fire Station No. 1. A new 1000 GPM Mack LS-95 Centrifugal pumping engine was placed in service at No. 1. The 1925 Ahrens-Fox Engine was overhauled and placed in service at No. 3 Fire Station. Engine 3’s rig was renovated and placed in service at No. 6 and No. 6’s engine was moved and placed in service at No. 16. 76

Chief Styron did ask the Board of Fire Masters to authorize the purchase of three new ladder truck chassis; 1 pick-up truck for the shop and 1 automobile for the signal division. The annual reports are pretty thin on activities of the department during 1943 however the City of Atlanta was selected as the honor city in the Inter-Chamber Fire Waste Contest, conducted by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. The report did note sixty members of the Fire Department were serving in the armed forces. On Friday 25 June 1943 Ladder 4 was in route to an alarm from

History 1882-1982 The First Hundred Years


167 Whitehall Street SW when it struck a Georgia Power Company Street Car on the Whitehall Street SW viaduct. The impact sent the apparatus out of control and it then careened into a utility pole before the rig could be stopped. Firefighter Edward H. Davis, who was the relief tillerman, was thrown from his perch on the rear of the tractor drawn aerial and hurled some distance and landing on the pavement. He was admitted to Grady Hospital but although his injuries were painful, he was not seriously hurt. Three passengers on the street car were also injured and transported with non- life threatening injuries. Cause of the accident was attributed to a slippery street caused by a light rain that was falling at the time. 1944 Atlanta was again the winner of the Award of Honor presented by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and the National Fire Protection Association. As WWII drug on and apparatus availability continued to be scarce. This however did not slow Chief Styron from asking for a new 85foot aerial ladder truck; two 65-foot aerial ladder trucks; a chassis for the water tower; one, pick-up track; 15 nozzles and tips, and the relocation of the Fire Alarm System to a fire resistant building. On 3 January 1944, two new 1000 GPM Mack LS-95 centrifugal pumping engines were placed in service at No. 4 and 11. No. 4’s old ALF rotary gear engine was sent to No. 6. No. 6’s old engine was sent to No. 12. No. 12’s old engine was sent to No. 13. No. 11’s old engine was sent to No. 10. The city was in need of fire equipment so they bought a used 1927 American La France Type 14-6 city service truck with a 55’ Pirsch aluminum aerial ladder mounted on it from Florence, Alabama and a 1930 Mack Type 70 city service truck from San Benito, Texas. The American-LaFrance was reconditioned and assigned to No. 5 (1945) and later transferred to No. 12 (1946). The Mack was also reconditioned and assigned to No. 10. It later was later transferred to Station No. 30. Due to shortages in parts, the shop had to make almost all parts to keep the rigs rolling. After conferring with the fire prevention committed of the Atlanta Chamber of Commerce, on 20 June 1944 Chief C.C. Styron would condemned fire headquarters which also housed Fire Station No. 1 as a fire trap. He pointed out that a fire in the fifty two year old building would paralyze the city because the delicate fire alarm system would be destroyed. Since its construction in an open area, the adjacent properly had built up with parking garage structures and several Masonry Joisted loft type buildings creating severe exposure to the old fire building. It was noted Station No. 1 / AFD Headquarters had no rear exists and the air shafts of it and adjacent buildings could easily lead to rapid fire spread and devastating results. Fire in an adjacent structure could easily trap every one of the AFD members on the #2 and #3 floors. His public statement would list the Alabama Street Building as the city’s No. 1 “fire trap”!! The Headquarters Building had been placed in service in 1892 and contained in addition to the Chief of Department’s residence, the quarters for over a dozen firefighters assigned to Company No 1 as well as the extremely critical and expensive fire alarm central station valued at the time at $300,000. Loss of the building would peril the lives of all of the citizens of the City of Atlanta many of which strictly relied on the Gamewell Fire Alarm Box system as their only way to summon the Fire Department. He pointed out that the

National Board of Fire Underwriters was concerned that the Signal Office and the point where the entire street Fire Alarm Boxes rang in, was in a combustible structure. They had been advising the city to get the alarm center in a non-combustible building since 1905; He asked that funds be appropriated to remove the company to a more suitable location, away from the congested area of downtown. He also requested that the fire alarm headquarters be moved to an isolated location preferably in the middle of a public park. This had been done in cities like Boston and New York so that if there was a major conflagration such as the Great Northside Fire of 1917, the Fire Alarm Center would have a greater chance of survival if not surrounded by buildings on all sides. Although in a condemned structure, moving the fire alarm center would not occur until April 1950 and Company 1 would not get to leave the structure until 19 June 1961. Fulton County received a 1944 American La France Model 240, 65’ aerial ladder with booster tank. The apparatus was assigned to No. 21 making it a two piece company for the first time on 8 September 1944. Two-way short wave radios were placed on the extra chief ’s car and the Signal Line truck, making a total of 11 pieces of equipment under radio control. The headquarters of the Second Battalion was moved from No. 5 to No. 9 Fire Station in August 1944, while the station No. 5 was being remodeled. The cap badge would be changed on 27 March 1944 and the word ATLANTA would appear. A small cloth emblem was also added to the stove pipe hats. By this point there were 77 members of the Fire Department in the armed service. 1945 Nineteen forty five would see three new Mack LS 95 centrifugal pumping engines received and placed in service at Nos. 5, 7 and 14. No. 5’s old engine was sent to No. 15; No. 15’s old engine was sent to No. 19; No. 7’s old engine was sent to No. 17; No. l7’s old engine was placed in reserve service. No. 14’s old engine was taken out of service. Chief Styron went to the Board of Fire Masters and asked that two, 85-foot aerial ladder trucks be purchased and placed in service at No. 1 and 11; two-65 foot aerial ladder trucks be placed at No. 5 and 19. He also asked for one, 1000 GPM Engine; one, two ton pick-up truck; one, 3-ton, special-sprung chassis for a water tower; one, small pick-up truck and one, four-door sedan for the Signal Section. He again recommended the removal of the Fire Alarm Signal Office from Fire Station No. 1 and that it be placed in a fire resistant building. The new headquarters was to be erected on the corner of Gilmer Street SE and Courtland Streets. This was the former site of Boys High School and currently an empty lot. During 1945 ten new fire alarm boxes for the outlying sections of the city would be added to the system. Two-way radios were installed on Engines 6, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19 and 20, and two-way radios provided for the salvage & Rescue truck. These were off the Atlanta Police System and all of

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the Fire Department radios were assigned 900 numbers. Battalion cars would be 901, 902 with shop, arson etc all also assigned numbers between 900 and 999. Even today the aides to the battalion chiefs are frequently referred to as 904, 906 etc…

GPM Engine; three Chief ’s cars; a chassis for a new water tower; 700-feet of new aluminum ground ladders and two pick-up trucks. He continued to ask for the installation of short-wave radios on all apparatus.

The Atlanta Fire Department’s new pension law became effective on 27 March 1945 which briefly provided $100 per month for retired firemen and $75 per month for widows. The bill had been passed 1n State Legislature in February and had been signed into Law by the Governor on 9 March 1945.

Atlanta would again receive the Grand Trophy from the United States Chamber of commerce and the National Grand Award from the National Fire Protection Association for being the best city in the Fire Waste Contest.

In October 1940, the U.S. government declared Candler Field a military airfield and the United States Army Air Force took over the Atlanta Airport and operated it as Atlanta Army Airfield. The facility was operated jointly by the military and civilian operations. The Air Force used Candler Field airport primarily for the servicing of transient aircraft, with many different types of combat aircraft being maintained at the airport throughout the war years. During World War II, the airport doubled in size and set a record of 1,700 takeoffs and landings in a single day, making it the nation’s busiest airport in terms of flight operation. Atlanta Army Airfield closed after the war’s end and the Atlanta Fire Department took over the operations of the fire station at “Candler Field’ By 1946 the name was change to what it was more commonly known as – “the Atlanta Municipal Airport”. When the former Army fire department was taken over by the Atlanta Fire Department on 1 September 1947 equipment would include a 1940 Army surplus 500-GPM Ford/ALF centrifugal engine and two crash trucks, a 1943 International/John Bean and 1942 Chevy/Mack. The new station was to be known as Fire Station No. 24 which had originally been old Fulton County No. 4.

Chief Styron continued to request the purchase of one, 85-foot aerial ladder truck; two 65-foot aerial ladder trucks; one, one-ton pickup truck; one, ½ ton pick-up truck; one, Jeep for the shop and an automobile for the Fire Prevention Bureau and a chassis for a new water-tower.

NEW COMPANY CRASH Co. No. 24: Atlanta Municipal Airport One, 1940 Ford/ALF Class 500 500gpm engine One, 1942 Chevy/Mack Class 125 crash engine One, 1943 International/John Bean Class 125 crash engine

The end of an era occurred on 29 April 1946 when Engine Co. No. 1 and Hook and Ladder Co. No. 1 were dissolved as two separate companies. They would be reorganized as a two piece company with Captains and Lieutenants in command. They were designated as Ladder and Engine Co. No. 1. Engine Co. No. 1 was originally organized on 25 March 1851 and seven years later Ladder Co. No. 1 was organized on 28 December 1858. The first Lieutenants were A. P. Brown and C. F Cooper.

During 1946 all Chiefs Aid were ranked as Lieutenants and by this point only one member remained on military leave while serving in the armed forces.

Fireman Fireman Fireman Fireman Fireman

1947 The City issued Bonds to include $300,000.00 to finance the building of a new Fire Department Headquarters and Signal Building on the lot at the southeast corner of Courtland Street SE and Gilmer Street SE. Employees of the Atlanta Fire Department would be placed on a sixday work week schedule in on 1 May 1947. This was made possible with 68 new men being added to the Department. Ten additional Fire Investigators were added to the Bureau of Fire Prevention. A remodeled American-LaFrance City Service Ladder Truck was added to Company No. 17, making it a two-piece company as of 28 March 1947. A new Oldsmobile automobile was purchased for the Chief of the Third Battalion. A new 1000-GPM Mack L-95 Centrifugal Engine was placed in service at No. 3 and the old 1925 Ahrens-fox Piston Pumper was removed to reserve service at No. 5. The Ahrens Fox would eventually be sold to a fraternity at Georgia Tech. The truck still exists and is owned by a private collector in one of the northern states. No. 1’s 85-foot 1918 American La France aerial ladder truck was sent to the Mack Factory to be rebuilt and add a new tractor. Chief Styron asked for one, 65-foot aerial ladder truck; one, 1000 78

H.B. McCain G.B. Dudley J.P. Benton J.M. Dilleshaw Guy Mote

1948 As almost an annual event, Atlanta received the certificate of award from the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and the National Fire Protection Association. No. 1’s aerial Ladder truck was remodeled and a new Mack LS-19 tractor was installed. A new Mack E city service ladder truck was built in the Department shop and assigned to fire Station 17. On 18 December 1948 a new Buick Roadmaster Ambulance was purchased and placed in service at No. 1, for the Rescue Squad. The department also took delivery of a new Oldsmobile that was purchased for the use of the Assistant Chiefs and a new l½ ton GMC pick-up truck was purchased for the Department shop. Chief Styron would request two, 1000 gallon pumping engines; one, heavy chassis for a water tower; three complete assemblies; one, 2 ½ ton chassis for a ladder truck for No. 5; one ½ ton pick-up truck; salary adjustments for 10 fire investigators; 10 short-wave radios for outlying apparatus and 10 new fire alarm boxes. He also hoped to get approval for two auto mechanics and additions to the Department Shop. Fulton County Station No. 23 (old No. 3) was placed in service on 11 May 1948 as an engine company at 1545 Howell Mill Rd NW.

History 1882-1982 The First Hundred Years


ENGINE Co. No. 23: 1545 Howell Mill Rd. One, 1948 Mack LS95 1000gpm engine. Lieutenant Lieutenant Lieutenant Engineer Engineer Engineer Fireman Fireman Fireman Fireman Fireman Fireman Fireman Fireman Fireman Fireman

C.E. Lay J.F. Burdett A.T. Hornsby, Jr. R.P. Fain N.T. Herrington J.L. Born H.F. Wooten L.T. Laseter L.E. Whitley H.M. Anderson M.H. Tumlin C.C. Rowan B.F. Merritt R.E. Starnes L.F. Lewis H.L. Martin

1949 A new 75-foot J-75 Seagrave Aerial Ladder Truck was placed in service at No. 11 and a new 65-foot J-65 Seagrave aerial Ladder Truck was placed in service at No. 19. New 1000-GPM Mack LS-95 Centrifugal pumping engines were purchased and placed in service at No. 6 and 9. These were the first apparatus with the wrap around so-called “Tennessee Suctions”. The Signal Division continued to move dispatch operations to the new Atlanta Fire Department Headquarters at 46 Courtland St SE at Gilmer. This was a slow process since all alarm boxes were hard wired and terminated as the old headquarters and fire station No. 1 location on West Alabama Street SW. Alarm Box circuit wiring had to be pulled by the Signal Division to now terminate at the 46 Courtland Street SE “Signal Office”. Chief Styron requested one new 1000 GPM Pumping Engine; two 750 GPM Pumping Engines; one Assistant Chief ’s Car; one chassis which was to be used for a new water tower; two pick-up trucks and 10,000 feet of new hose. He asked for aerial ladder trucks for No. 10 and 16. Improvements in mobile communication continued to be needed and the Chief asked for ten short-wave radios. To have better records of telephone alarms, recording equipment for the switchboard in the signal department was requested. He saw the need for a new radio transmitter and due to length of time in service he asked for funding that would include replacement of all cable in the fire alarm box system that had been in service for more than 30 years. He also hoped to get additional fire alarm boxes. With the department ever growing, the Chief asked the Board of Fire Masters for a two-story addition to the Fire Department Shop and two additional auto mechanics for the shop. Fulton Co. Fire Station No. 25 (old No. 5) was placed in service on 3 April 1949 as an engine company with a 1944 American La France/ International 500 GPM pumper. NEW COMPANY ENGINE Co. No. 25: 2346 Sewell Road SW at Beecher Street in Cascade Heights One, 1944 American La France/International B550

500 GPM engine. Lieutenant Lieutenant Lieutenant Engineer Engineer Engineer Fireman Fireman Fireman Fireman Fireman Fireman Fireman Fireman Fireman Fireman

G.P. Webb L.E. Fain, Jr. J.E. Nation L.E. Whitley D.L. Swint H.M. Summerlin C.C. Downs, Jr. J.R. Johnston B.F. Merritt L.F. Lewis M.H. Tumlin C.E. Walton J.N. Brown E.A. Lipford W.G. Mc Gill E.G. King

1950 The Atlanta Fire Department Headquarters would relocate from Fire Station No. 1 on West Alabama Street SW and move into the brand new, partly sprinkled but non combustible headquarters building at 46 Courtland Street SE on 21 April 1950. Replacement of well-worn and old apparatus began to take place with a little more frequency as manufacturers all retooled from war equipment production to a huge back log of fire equipment orders. Atlanta would take delivery of two new Pirsch, 1000-GPM Pumping Engines. These went into service at No’s 5 and 8. Number 5’s old Mack was reconditioned by the AFD shops and placed in service at No. 12 and No. 8’s old 1937 Pirsch Engine was reconditioned and placed in service at No. 13. No. 13’s old American La France Engine was reconditioned and placed in service at No. 20, replacing an older ALF 750 GPM pumping engine. A new, 85-foot Pirsch tiller aerial Ladder Truck was purchased and placed in service at No. 1 Fire Station. No. l’s old 1948 Mack/1918 ALF 85 foot aerial ladder truck was placed in service at No. 11. No. 11’s old 1949 Seagrave Aerial Ladder truck was reconditioned and placed in service at No. 5. No. 5’s old 1927 American La France 55-foot aerial ladder truck was reconditioned and placed in service at No. 12. Number 12’s old 1930 Mack City Service ladder truck was reconditioned and placed in service at Fire Station No. 10. Two Pirsch 65 foot aerial ladder trucks were assigned to Fulton County owned Stations No.’s 23 and 25. Ladder 23 would go in service on 19 June 1950 and Ladder 25 began operations on 15 November 1950. A new 1949 Mack chassis and a 55-foot Pirsch electric aerial ladder assembly were purchased and constructed as an aerial ladder truck at the Fire Department Shop. Headquarters of the Chief of the Second Battalion was moved from No. 9 to No. 5 fire station. During 1949, seventeen AFD members and nine members for Fulton Co. were serving in the armed forces. Chief Styron recommended increasing the personnel for the Bureau of Fire Prevention and he asked for ten, new two-way short-wave radios for the outlying apparatus. The Chief asked for recording equipment for the telephone switchboard and the radio transmitter of the Signal Section. The Chief would again request the replacing of all cable in the Fire

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Alarm System that had been in service for more than 20 years and for the installation if more fire alarm boxes; an additional lineman and a draftsman-clerk for the Signal Section. He asked for the Installation of Aerial Ladder Trucks at No’s.10 and 16. As well as a two-story addition to the Fire Department Shop building and the employment of two additional auto mechanics. 1951 Fifty-six additional men were added to the Department on 1 December 1951. This allowed the Fire Department to reduce the work schedule from 72-hours to 60 hours per week. A new Buick automobile was purchased and placed in service as the 2nd Battalion Chief ’s Car at No. 9. A new 1000-GPM Pirsch Centrifugal pumping engine was purchased and placed in service at No. 1. No. l’s old 1 GPM Centrifugal pumping engine was reconditioned and placed in service at No. 17. Another new 1000 GPM Pirsch Centrifugal pumping engine was purchased and placed in service at No. 4. No. 4’s old 1000 GPM Mack Centrifugal pumping engine was reconditioned and placed in service at No. 19. Chief Styron asked that the Bureau of Fire Prevention be increased by six more fire investigators and that eight automobile allowances be provided to that division. He noted to the Board of Fire Masters that fifteen members of the Atlanta Fire Department were serving in the armed forces as were ten members of Fulton County Fire Department. 1952 The City and County Fire Departments were consolidated under the 1952 Plan of Improvement on 1 January 1952. The change added Four Fire Station, 115 Men and ten pieces of equipment to the Atlanta Fire Department. All of the Fulton County Fire Department members were absorbed into the Atlanta Fire Department. Stations that became fully under the Atlanta Fire Department were 21 in Buckhead; 22 in Grove Park; 23 in Berkeley Park and 24 at Candler Field – the Atlanta Municipal Airport. Station No 2, which had been jointly operated by the city and county, also became fully an Atlanta Fire Station. The Plan of Improvement would also add a total of 118 Square Miles to the area inside the city limits. The National Board of Fire Underwriters made a survey of the City and recommended five additional fire stations to be built in the new areas that now had been annexed into the City. This was to include four on the Northside and one on the Southside. Due to the annexation and to conform to the City of Atlanta numeric, several stations had address changes; Station 22 became 817 Hollywood Rd., N.W. Station 21 became 248 Buckhead Ave., N.E. and the quadrant system was extended to those new areas and northward through Sandy Springs to the Chattahoochee River. The year also saw twenty-seven new fire alarm boxes were installed and added to the system. Other communication improvements included two new short-wave radios which were placed on apparatus and a radio antenna was erected on the roof of the Hurt Building, tied into the dispatch room at fire headquarters. New apparatus arrivals in 1952 included two Mack LS-85 750-GPM 80

Engines. These were purchased and placed in service at No. 2 and 18. Five new 500-GPM Mack 405A Centrifugal pumping engines were purchased for the proposed new fire stations and were used temporarily at Nos. 20, 2l, 22, 23 and 25. 1953 Due to the volume of radio traffic on the Atlanta Police Radio System, Chief Styron recommended that the fire department obtain its own radio frequencies and install its own radio station. The goal was to equip all mobile equipment with two-way radios. The Chief recommended the relocation of No. 4 and 7 Fire Stations. Fire Station No. 27, at 4260 Northside Drive, N.W. was place in Service on 16 March 1953 with a 1952 Mack 500 GPM engine. During 1953 Fire Station No. 28, at 2040 Main Street NW in Riverside would be nearing completion and Station 26, at 2970 Howell Mill Road and at Moore’s Mill Road NW was completed. A 1935-8 era Ford/Pirsch pumper with a Hale 500 GPM pump and Chrysler Industrial type motor was reconditioned and placed in service at No. 27. This engine also had seen service at No. 22 and the Fulton County Fire Department Volunteer Station in Ben Hill. Three new Pirsch 1000GPM Centrifugal pumping engines were placed at No. 10, 16 and 20. The old two story wood residence, next to the fire department shop on Oak Street SW in West End was purchased by the city and converted to office and warehouse space for the AFD shops located next door. Years later this house was used as a training fire and an empty lot remains at this location in 2012. REPORT AND RECOMMENDATIONS OF THE NATIONAL BOARD OF FIRE UNDERWRITERS FOR THE CITY OF ATLANTA DELIVERED 31 DECEMBER 1953. FIRE HYDRANTS: 264 in Fulton County 189 Private Hydrants maintained by industry, checked by AFD 5,040 Three-Way Hydrants 3,640 Two way hydrants There were 636 members of the Atlanta Fire Department (including substitutes and four civilian secretaries. FIRE ALARM HEADQUARTERS: The current street box alarm system was organized and installed by the Gamewell Company in 1913 and upgraded and expanded in 1952. The system consists of: One 50-circuit cross-connecting frame One 100 circuit metal terminal cabinet One 40 circuit protector board; Two 40 circuit supervisory boards Two six circuit alarm relay boards A gang key for each class of alarm circuits An 80 circuit dispatch desk with two 4 digit transmitters Two radio receivers with broadcast microphones

History 1882-1982 The First Hundred Years


One four circuit print type register showing time and date of alarm Six 4 circuit registers for box circuits Two 6 circuits for alarm circuits One register to receive alarms for American District Telegraph (ADT) There were 460 fire alarm boxes in service including 18 privately owned street boxes; 12 Master Boxes and six private boxes in plants or locations not accessible to the public on the City of Atlanta System. The National Board of Fire Underwriters recommended at least 1,000 more boxes be installed with three under various viaducts and 11 in the high value central business district. RADIO EQUIPPED EQUIPMENT: Two-way radios are currently installed in 11 engines; 3 ladders; the department ambulance; four chiefs vehicles; one extra chiefs car; the fire /arson investigator; the Superintendent of Alarms; the Superintendent of Equipment. The signal Office line truck has a “receive only” radio. GENERAL RECOMMENDATIONS: 1) Establish three additional Battalion Districts 2) Establish an assistant and five Battalion Chief be on duty at all times. 3) Immediately hire additional firefighters so that there are 7 men per engine and ladder in the high value district; 6 men on all other ladders and 5 per engine company Additional Stations: 1) Howell Mill Road NW near Moore’s Mill Road NW 2) Cleveland Avenue SE near Browns Mill Road SE 3) Establish a company in the Ben Hill Community 4) Piedmont Road NE near Cheshire Bridge Road NE 5) Add an additional company at Station 27 due to calls in to Unincorporated Fulton County 6) Add an aerial company with Engine No. 2 in Lakewood Heights / South Atlanta. Relocations: 1) Company No. 11 to area of Mitchell Street SW and Haynes Street SW 2) Company No. 4 to Courtland Street NE near Auburn Ave NE 3) Make Engines 1, 3, & 8 double companies with hose wagons and deck guns. 4) Provide a reserve ladder with 20-salvage covers and other types of salvage equipment. 5) Fully equip four reserve engines with three-inch hose and deck guns and technically operational with recalled firefighters. 6) Relocation of the Training School and expand firefighters training. 7) Provide better markings for fire alarm boxes to conform to the national standards. None of the Atlanta boxes have the red location lights above them. 8) Provide more alarm circuits 9) All telephone alarms should be tapped out and transmitted referring to the nearest alarm box except for the first due company who should be notified by desk phone of the actual address

10) The second and subsequent alarms should be tapped out over the alarm box system using 2-2and the alarm box number’ 3-3-and the alarm box number etc., 11) The alarm tap of 5-5-5-5 should be used preceding the box number if there is the death of a firefighter. 12) Establish a running card or assignment card system through five alarms. 1954 Fire Station No. 28 was opened in Riverside on 9 April 1954 with a 1952 Mack Model-A 500 GPM engine. Later in the year Fire Station No. 26 opened on 29 October 1954 with a 1952 Mack A 500 GPM engine. A new 65-foot Pirsch Aerial Ladder and a Pirsch 1000GPM Engine were purchased. An automobile was purchased for the Chief of Department. With the report of the survey of the department made by the Engineers of the National Board of Fire Underwriters now submitted to the department, Chief Styron recommended that the construction of No. 30 Fire Station be stated at once at Cleveland Avenue SW and Macon Drive SW He also requested funding for the remodeling of the training tower and the construction of a fire burn building where the training division could have live burns to simulate fire conditions in a training environment and to add additional staff to ensure proper instructors would be present. 1955 A contract was let for Fire Station No. 30, on Cleveland Avenue SW during 1955. A new Desoto Assistant Chief ’s Sedan Automobile was placed in service at No. 11 Fire Station and a new Pirsch 1000 - GPM Centrifugal pumping engine was placed in service at Fire Station No. 15. A new 65-foot Aerial ladder truck was placed in service at Fire Station No. 10. Chief Styron asked the establishment of three additional battalion districts, manned with six battalion chiefs. He asked for the appointment of six additional fire investigators. He asked for additional (22) short-wave radios be installed on the remaining apparatus, not so equipped. After evaluating the training facility at Fire Station No. 7 Chief Styron asked the Board of Fire Masters that the Fire Department Training School be relocated to a better location with room for driver training, a training tower a draft suction cistern and an area large enough to all the department to permit live fire training. 1956 The first time the city had a compulsory retirement age was initiated on 1 January 1956. Retirement became mandatory at age 65. Chief Styron’s top request in 1956 would be for the Board of Fire Masters to approve funding for the erection of a modern seven-story training tower; construction of a classroom and office building to include a fire laboratory; a burn building and drafting cistern. He proposed this for the Training Division, on land owned by the City, on Claire Drive SW that was just east of Pryor Road in Lakewood Heights.

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New Desoto Chief ’s cars were purchased and placed in service at No. 1 and 9. A new 75 foot American La France Type 700 tillered aerial ladder truck, with a leveling device, was purchased and placed at No. 11 (new Big Red). A new 1000 GPM Pirsch centrifugal pumping engine was purchased and placed at No. 26. A new half-ton pick-up truck was purchased and placed at the department shop. This would be the year that the first seat belts were installed in AFD apparatus. All of the Chief ’s cars were completed by 29 April 1956.

in 1919 they only added one assistant chief for each district. In 1931 Department Chief John Terrell changed the Fire District designation to Battalions. This placed the central high value district under the 1st and 2nd Assistant Chiefs with south side placed in the 2nd Battalion and the north side in the 3rd Battalion under the command of a Battalion Chief.

An old Mack service truck was completely overhauled and placed at No. 30, as a reserve.

1st Battalion: School 2nd Battalion: 3rd Battalion: 4th Battalion: 5th Battalion:

Fire Station No. 30, at the corner of Cleveland Avenue SW and Waters Road SW was placed in service, with a 1952 500 - GPM Mack Centrifugal pumping engine on 20 August 1956. Engine Co. No. 31 was activated to replace the Ben Hill Volunteer Fire Department. When the company went in service on 1 July 1956 they were housed at the Georgia Forestry Division office located on Campbellton Road, S.W. in the Ben Hill section. Their apparatus would be housed in one of the shelters that had been built to protect the bulldozers and trucks of the Forest Service. Station 31 would operate from this location until their current house on Fairburn Road SW south of Campbellton Road was competed in 1957. They first operated a 1944 ALF / International B-550 closed cab 500 GPM engine formerly of Fulton Co. Station 25. The initial checks processed by the Georgia Firefighters Pension Funds were mailed to retiree’s on 31 July 1956. 1957 Station 31 moved around the corner and went in service in their new fire house at 2406 Fairburn Rd. SW on 24 April 1957. The old International / American-LaFrance was replaced with a 1952 Mack 500 GPM engine. The Plan of Improvement of 1952 had placed most of the Old Fulton County into the city adding 100,000 to the city’s population and area from 34 square miles to 118 and eventually to 128 square miles. The city took over four Fulton County Fire Stations as noted above and the National Board of Fire Underwriters stated at the time the total should be increased to 30 Stations to adequately cover the geographic area. In their 1955 evaluation of the city they also recommended two additional battalion districts. During the summer of 1957 the Board of Fire Masters of the Atlanta City Council approved establishing the two additional Battalions on 1 January 1958. On 9 December 1957 the fire board set the machinery in motion by electing the top four Captains on the promotional eligibility list appointing them to Battalion Chiefs. This created a domino affect creating the largest number of promotions up to that time since the adoption of the two platoon system had done in 1919. 1958 On 1 January 1958 the AFD would add Battalion 4 and 5. This marked the first increase in the on-duty chief officers since 1 October 1897 when Chief W.R. Joyner was successful in getting the city divided into three districts with an Assistant Chief in charge of each district. When the department went to the two-platoon system 82

The new five Battalions were broken down as follows: Companies 1, 3, 4, 5, 6, 8, AFD Shops & Training Companies 16, 22, 23, 26, 27 & 28 Companies 11, 12, 15, 19 & 21 Companies 7, 14, 17, 24, 25 & 31 Companies 2, 9, 10, 13, 18, 20 & 30

New station construction continued as new No. 10 and 12 rose from the ground in 1958. The apparatus of these companies was housed temporarily at No. 13 and 18 respectively. Company 10 lost their fire station to the building of Interstate 20 east. Station 12 was being razed for the underpass we use today at Moreland Avenue NE where it passes beneath MARTA, the former Georgia RR (now CSX) and DeKalb Avenue. New No. 10 would be moved and located at 447 Boulevard, S.E. in a three bay one story building. New No. 12 moved eastward to 1288 De Kalb Ave., N.E. in a two bay one story facility. The Fred Sheppard “Promotional Courses” for Firefighters and the Oklahoma A & M Service Manuals were adopted for study materials copies of these books were placed in the fire stations to assist the members of the department prepare for promotional exams. Fire Station No. 29 was placed in service on 13 November 1958 at 2167 Monroe Dr., N.E. with a 1958 Pirsch 1000 - GPM engine. The AFD Training Division conducted the two-day classes authorized by the Georgia State Fire College at the Atlanta Fire Department training school. There were over 400 attendees. Only one, new Pirsch 1000 GPM Engine was ordered during the year. 1959 First Assistant Chief Luther Waits Guthrie was named Chief of Department replacing Chief Charles C. Styron, Sr., who retired on 1 June 1959. Atlanta Fire Department Shop crews mounted a new 85 foot aluminum ladder on Ladder 4 during the year to obtain several additional years of use from this apparatus. The new Pirsch 1000 GPM Pumping Engine ordered in 1958 arrived and was placed in service at Fire Station No. 25 on 31 March 1959. A new a fullyequipped Pontiac Ambulance was placed in service as Rescue Co. No. l on 20 April 1959. AFD maintenance remodeled the photographic laboratory and arson division at the fire headquarters building on Courtland Street SE. This enabled the investigators to process their own photos in a fully equipped dark room. Salvage Unit No. 1 was installed at No. 1 Fire Station on 16 Ju1y 1959 with a 1952 Mack 500 GPM engine and a complement of salvage

History 1882-1982 The First Hundred Years


equipment. Headquarters of the Chief of the Third Battalion was moved from No. 29 Fire Station on Monroe Drive to No. 11 Fire Station on North Avenue NE to be more centrally located in their territory. Fire Station No. 12, located at 1288 De Kalb Avenue NE was placed in service on 1 April 1959 as a double company. They went in service in new quarters operating a 1945 Mack 1000 GPM engine and a 1958 Pirsch 75 foot aerial truck. New quarters for Fire Station No. 10 located at 447 Boulevard S.E. was also placed in service on 1 April 1959. They came on line operating a 1954 Pirsch 1000 GPM engine, 1955 Pirsch 65 foot aerial truck and a 1958 Desoto as the Battalion 5 Chief ’s car. Later in the year ground was broken for the new Fire Station 4 on Ellis Street NE between Courtland Avenue NE and Piedmont Ave NE This year would also finally see progress on a new Training Center at the previously discussed city owned property on Claire Drive S.W. Fulton County and Atlanta entered into a contractual agreement that the city would provide fire protection service to the Sandy Springs Fire District. The AFD took over these operations on 1 April 1959. Other locations outside the city limits receiving fire protection on a contract basis were: American Art Metal Co; Owens-Illinois Glass Co; and Globe Union, Inc. 1960 A new Training Center was officially placed in service on 17 June 1960 at 25 Claire Drive SW, adjacent to the Lakewood Fairgrounds. At the time it was a state of the art modem facility with a drill tower, a pump test pit, a classroom building, burn building two flammable liquids burn pits and a storage building. The Claire Drive complex replaced the drill tower attached to the south side of Station No.7. The top part of the drill tower at former Station 7 was removed in 1963 but if you drive by the West Whitehall and Oak Street SW location today, you can tell where it formerly was on the station structure. By 2012, all that remains in use at the Claire Drive facility is the pump test cistern, the drill tower and the fenced in training yard. The acreage was over a former land fill and deterioration of the fill material caused dangerous levels of methane gas to enter the classroom building. Training staff had to order “No Smoking” in the structure well before this was done in other fire department buildings. The structure began to sink and sag to a point it eventually had to be abandoned and torn down. The training offices and classrooms then moved into some vacant bays in the city owned Candler Warehouses on Murphy Ave SW in West End for a while. Arrangements were made to lease the idle Lester R. Brewer Elementary School on Bagwell Drive SW off Poole Creek Rd. Training stayed there for several years and now classroom activities are currently held in the former Jeremiah S. Gilbert Elementary School at 407 Ashwood Ave SW. This building is being leased from the Atlanta Board of Education. Gilbert Elementary was named in honor of the son of the first Doctor in Fulton County. His home still stands at 2238 Perkerson Rd SW in the Perkerson Park area. What is left of Gilbert Road SE in Atlanta and Clayton County is also named in his honor.

The Atlanta Fire Department has produced several books about the department over the years. The oldest known is a paperback published in 1917. This was followed by one produced for the 1928 Southeastern Fire Chief ’s Association meeting which was held in Atlanta. The 1928 edition was reproduced by the Southeastern Fire Chiefs Association in 1987, so there are likely copies of the reprint still in existence. The first hard back “yearbook” type book was the 1960 Annual titled “Prompt to Action”. This edition had excellent history of the Atlanta Fire Rescue Department and excerpts from that edition have been carried in a limited degree in all that have been published since that time. This edition includes and expands that previous information in 2012. Other historical books have been printed in, 1975, 1983, 1992, 2000 and 2007. In 1960 the Department was under the leadership of Chief L. Waits Guthrie as the year began. Sadly and unexpectedly, Chief Guthrie died on 18 September 1960. First Assistant Chief Collins Henry Hildebrand Jr. was promoted to Department Chief by Mayor Ivan Allen Jr. on 3 October 1960. In 1960 the AFD was operating 5 Battalions and 32 Stations including the station at the Atlanta Airport and the Sandy Springs Fire Protection District Station contracted by Fulton County to be operated by the City of Atlanta Fire Department. The all-male firefighters were working two shifts. This resulted in working a 10 hour day and a 14 hour night shift. Lots went on at the Atlanta Airport at Candler Field during 1960. Company 24 received a 1960 Dodge apparatus equipped with a 1000 pound Ansul Dry Chemical system on 18 July 1960. Then Fire Station No. 24 moved into a new Station south of and across the taxiways from the former “Green” terminal building on 19 August 1960. Later on 12 November 1960 Station No. 24 at the Atlanta Airport received a new 1960 American-LaFrance “Foam Queen” Crash Truck to improve protection at what was rapidly becoming an extremely busy airport. Fourteen additional personnel were assigned to Station No. 24 to man the new equipment. All men assigned to 24’s attended a Crash Rescue school conducted by the 2089th Crash Rescue Company assigned to Dobbins Air Force Base in Marietta. Other apparatus bought in 1960 included a Desoto Chiefs Car for Battalion 2 and a 3/4 ton Chevrolet pickup for the Fire Department Shop. The uniform of the Fire Department was changed. The most visible item was the replacement of the “stove-pipe” style hat. This was the first major changed in the dress uniform since 1925. Fire Station No.4 relocated to a new facility at 125 Ellis Street NE between Piedmont and Courtland Streets. The new three bay station opened on 1 November 1960. Engine and Ladder 4 were moved from the 1887 building on Pryor Street, now known as Park Place. Battalion 1 and the First Assistant Chief were also moved to new Station 4. The old station on Park Place was demolished in the late 1970’s after being purchased from the city and used as Horne Desk Company for many years. 1961 New equipment purchased in 1961 included two 1961 Peter Pirsch

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& Sons 1500 GPM open cab pumpers and crews again rode the rear step. These were assigned to Engine 1 and Engine 4. During the year Engine 5 and Engine 8 received 1500 GPM American-LaFrance open cab pumpers with crew jump seats. A ¾ ton Chevrolet pickup was assigned to the Supply Depot at Station No.1. It replaced a 1950 Ford pickup which was transferred to the Hose and Ladder Depot at Station No. 23. Rescue 1 was assigned a new Ford van type Rescue truck. Their former apparatus was totaled because they were broadsided by Engine 1 at the intersection of Spring and Marietta Streets NW. Station No. 1 crews had to be moved out of their old house on Alabama Street SW before the new station on Elliot St was finished. Old #1 had been purchased by Rich’s Department Stores and was immediately torn down for construction of the new Richs parking deck / garage. The apparatus were responding to the box at Peachtree St NW and Marietta Street NW. Response paths had changed due to the expulsion from old No. 1 that was caused Engine 1 to run from Station No. 5 at Spring St SW and Trinity Ave SW. Ladder 1 was relocated to Company 4’s quarters on Ellis St NE. and Rescue 1 was housed with Engine No. 3 on Marietta St. NW and Latimer St. Rescue 1 was running eastward on Marietta when hit by Engine 1 running north on Spring St NW. Beck Walker was riding shotgun on Rescue No. 1 and received career ending injuries. All other injured firefighters eventually returned to work. Fire Company 1 was officially relocated and got to move into their new quarters at 71 Elliott St., S.W. on 19 June 1961. 1962 The African-American Community of Atlanta began to pressure the Mayor and City Council to integrate the Fire Department. Mayor Ivan Allen Jr. ordered the Department to recruit and give exams for potential Black firefighters. Preliminary tests were given to 38 men who applied for the positions. The city would initially hire sixteen to become firefighters. New equipment purchased in 1962 included new Ford Galaxy Chiefs Cars for Battalion 1, 3, 4 and 5. The Atlanta Fire Department took delivery of the first apparatus with canopy covered “jump seats” in 1962. The rig was a 1963 Ford/Pirsch 1000 GPM Engine was delivered to Engine 11. Ladder 21 took possession of a new Ford/ Pirsch 75 Foot Mid Mount Aerial. Both were ‘63 models but delivered to the AFD in December 1962. These were accepted and crews trained, Engine 11 went into service on 15 January 1963 and Ladder 21 entered service on 8 January 1963. Safety for the firefighters responding on apparatus began to take a higher priority. These included seat belts and turn signals which were provided on all apparatus in the AFD fleet in 1962. (The seat belts were only in the cab and still the men on the tail board and turntables had to hang on.) A revised Fire Prevention Code for the City of Atlanta was approved and signed by the Mayor during 1962. This replaced the old code which had been adopted by the city in 1951. Emergency generators were installed in five of the fire stations during 1962. This began a program to provide standby power for all stations within five years. Some of those original generators are still in use and have provided emergency power service for a lot of years. 84

Records did not indicate which stations initially got the generators. The following apparatus was disposed of during 1962; 1925 AhrensFox pumper (E1), 1928 ALF 75’Tiller (L11) and a 1928 ALF Type 112 - 1000GPM engine was donated to the Stone Mountain Auto Museum. They also had an antique apparatus from the City of East Point donated for display. As they got more cars, the two old fire apparatus were then moved outside and began to rapidly deteriorate in the Georgia weather. Both Atlanta and East Point would go a retrieve their historic pieces. East Point still owns both of their first two chain drive American-LaFrance’s. A past mayor gave the 1928 Atlanta apparatus to the National Park Service and it sits cosmetically restored at the Fire Station 6 Museum in the Doctor Martin Luther King Jr. National Historic Site at Auburn Avenue NE and Boulevard. 1963 Racial barriers would be broken in 1963 as the sixteen rookies were hired and trained for the position of Firefighter. Charles Mosley, although approved by the City of Atlanta for training as a firefighter would leave the department on 8 April after only one week of training for another position. He was replaced by Frank Bolden who made the department a career. The initial African-American firefighters were Johnny Belcher, 29; Frank Bolden, 23; Harvey Bowen, 20; William Callier; 23; Theodore Ector, 26; William Hamer, 24; Milton Harp, 26; Gartrell Jordon, Jr., 26; Ralph Lester, 23; James Maddox, 25; Elbert Morrow, 30; Marvin Reed, 25; Quinton Redding, 26; Harold Rosemond, 28; Emmett Smith, 29 and Robert Ware, 21. Many of these men made a career of the fire department rising to various command positions. William Hamer would rise through the ranks to become Department Chief on 17 June 1985. James Maddox would work 28 of his 30 years at Station 16, retiring as a Lieutenant. Theodore Ector would rise through the ranks as a Fire Apparatus Operator (now designated as Sergeants), and rode the seat as Acting Captain, Acting Lieutenant at Stations 9 and 25 and retired in 1992 as a Lieutenant from Company 31. The new Black firefighters received 75 hours of training at the Atlanta Training Facility under the supervision of Training Chief R.N. McGill. This initial training was done at the recruits own expense and on their own time as they were not employees of the city. This was the current policy for all rookie trainees and not just done as a resistance to integrate the Fire Department. During this time period the fire department had a “substitute system”. Men would pay for their own training and would fill in as substitutes when additional manpower was needed. When a vacancy occurred the Chief would hire from the substitute pool. Two classes entered training at the same time remaining segregated with one White and one Black. The substitutes were hired only from the White class thus when the two classes went permanent, the White firefighters would have a slight bit of seniority on the Black firefighters who all had started training at the same time due to the days that they had worked as subs. In 1963 Atlanta was on the two shift system. Upon completion of the African-American recruit training the new firefighter’s first shift worked 1 April 1963. They were all assigned to Fire Station 16 at 824 Marietta Street NW near Bankhead Ave NW. With the 2 shifts system, single companies had 7 men to a shift and double companies had 14. Since all of the new firefighters went to Engine and Ladder 16, they had to have at least 4 Whites. This broke down as one Captain and one Lieutenant and two Fire Apparatus Operators on duty per shift.

History 1882-1982 The First Hundred Years


There was also an extra driver and an extra officer assigned for when the regulars were off. Therefore on 1 April 1963 Company 16 had 6 Whites and 8 Blacks per shift. Company 16 operated an Engine and a City Service Truck. Captains A.P. Black and Ray Gossett were the white captains assigned to Company 16. Shortly after these new firefighters went to work, Station 16 relocated to 1048 Simpson Road NW at Flowers Place NW on 13 May 1963. Interestingly the City of Atlanta had purchased a dwelling and large lot for just $3500 in 1962 to build the new Fire Station No. 16. The house had been owned by Theodore “Tiger” Flowers, the world’s first African American Middleweight boxing champion in the world. Two streets were named in honor of him in the Hunter Hills and Dixie Hills neighborhoods, Flowers Place NW, beside Station 16, and Tiger Flowers Drive NW. respectively. On opening day in their news station, Company 16 operated with a 1954 Pirsch 1000GPM engine and a 1958 IHC/ALF 65’Junior Aerial truck. The hiring of the original sixteen was a success to the African American community who had fought so hard for almost 10 years to see Blacks hired as Atlanta Firefighters. Unfortunately, Mr. John Wesley Dobbs, one of the strongest community leaders who led this battle had died without seeing the fruit of his labor become reality. Houston Street NE in the Old Fourth Ward was later renamed in his honor. Mr. John Wesley Dobbs was the grandfather of Atlanta’s first African American mayor, Mayor Maynard H. Jackson. John Wesley Dobbs was also a Past Grand Master of Prince Hall Masons in the state of Georgia. There would be two more segregated rookie classes over the next year plus. When the second class of Black Firefighters graduated, two experienced guys were transferred from Company 16 to Engine 6 along with two new rookies. Their positions at 16 were then filled with new personnel. Also of interesting note is several sons of the original 16 have followed in their fathers’ foot steps and become second generation Atlanta Firefighters. Theodore Ector’s son is a 2nd generation firefighter with Atlanta Fire Rescue and it currently assigned to Station 25 on the “C” Shift. During 1963, forty seven firefighter positions were reclassified as Sergeants. This was done to give additional leadership within the Department as recommended by the Insurance Services Office. In 1963 the old Fire Bell which had hung in the top of the tower at old Fire Station No. 1 on Alabama Street was placed on display on a concrete pedestal in front of new Fire Station No.1 on Elliott Street where it remains today. The old three story brick station had been torn down to make way for a parking deck for the downtown Rich’s Department Store. The Rich’s building was later removed and replaced by the Sam Nunn Atlanta Federal Center Office Towers. Nineteen Sixty-Three also saw the expansion of the contract between Atlanta and Fulton County. Fire protection was established north of the City of Atlanta to the Chattahoochee on 1 April 1963. To meet the needs of the district, Engine 33 was organized during 1963 and operated a reserve 1952 Mack 500GPM pumper. The new Fulton County Company was housed with the city engine at Station 27. The North Springs Fire Protection district was formed so that between it and the existing Sandy Springs Fire District, the city coverage protected all of Fulton County south of the Chattahoochee River. The county again expanded the contract on 1 August 1963, so

Atlanta would provide protection for the Air Host Inn on Virginia Avenue near the Atlanta Airport. This hotel was located on and “island” of land that was not inside the city limits of Hapeville, East Point or College Park. To this day in 2012 this small area of land still remains a “no man’s land” and is technically still protected by the Fulton County Fire Department. Two additional Ford/Pirsch 1000 GPM pumpers were received in December 1963. These were actually 1964 model apparatus. They were assigned as Engine 9 and Engine 12 and placed in service on 26 December 1963. A 1963 Chevrolet Station Wagon was purchased for use by the Chief of Training. The Department Chief, C.H. Hildebrand was assigned a new 1963 Pontiac. 1964 The National Board of Fire Underwriters, more commonly known as the Insurance Services Offices conducted a survey of the city during 1964. Several items noted to be deficient on their previous survey in 1954 had been resolved. These deficiency points for the water system and fire department responsibilities were eliminated. Atlanta received an ISO Class 3 rating. Engine 3 and Engine 6 each received new 1964 Ford/Pirsch 1000 GPM engines. These replaced two Mack 1000 GPM pumpers. Former Engine 6, a 1947 model was transferred to Engine 19 where it replaced a 1944 Mack. Former Engine 3, a 1949 model was reassigned to Engine 13. The Department placed a 2500 Gallon Walter Aircraft Rescue Truck and a Supply Tanker in service at the Atlanta Airport, in October 1964. An additional bay was added to the existing Station No. 24 to house this new equipment. The hiring procedure for the entire city was changed in 1964. By July, applicants would apply at the City Personnel Department where they would initially qualify and do the required paperwork. From here they were assigned to the Fire Training Center for an agility test. Interviews were then conducted by the Chief of Training and a member of the Personnel Department. At this time, any applicant who did not meet the requirements of the AFD was eliminated. Upon receipt of clearance on background checks conducted by the FBI, an applicant’s name was placed on a list of eligibility according to grades. They were then hired as positions became open. 1965 Motorized apparatus and age of facilities began to cause station relocations during the 1960’s. Station 1 and 4 had been relocated and new Fire Station No.5, located at 414 Central Avenue SW was placed in service on 17 July 1965. This facility housed Engine and Ladder 5, which relocated from a 1927 vintage station at 278 Trinity Avenue SW. Fire Station 5 Park, located at the corner of Spring and Trinity, marks the location of this former station. Due to their old building and now closeness, Engine 9 also was transferred to operate from Station 5. They left a single bay house at 621 Central Ave. SW that had been constructed in the horse drawn era. Old Station 9 was first occupied on 4 August 1904. Nine would remain quartered with Company Five until 5 June 1967 when Company 9 moved to their current station in the Adamsville (originally known as Lick Skillet) section of Atlanta.

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The Signal Division installed a new five channel recording system. All radio channels and all incoming emergency phone lines could now be recorded. Two way radios and associated towers were placed in service at Stations 17, 21, 23, 28, and 31. During 1965, four more stations received emergency generators. They were 11, 17, 18 and 31. New Plymouth Chief ’s cars were placed in service for the 1st. Assistant Chief and the 4th. Battalion Chief. 1966 In 1966 the Atlanta Fire Department was still operating with only two shifts working. The extremely long hours and low pay were critical issues among the city’s bravest. The debate over these problems had gone on for almost a year with Local 134 of the International Association of Fire Fighters. Local Union leaders were busy negotiating with city hall for salary increases as part of the 1966 budget. All of their efforts seemed to be falling on deaf ears. In February 1966, the Local held a march and rally at city hall. Firefighters and their families manned the picket lines protesting the 60 hour work week and the 24 hour Saturdays, (so the shifts could change from days to nights on the 10/14 schedule) and the poor pay. Starting pay in 1966 was $403/ month. Some members of the department felt the leadership of Local 134 was not negotiating aggressively enough or fairly representing the membership. The Local was apparently trying not to become the “bad guy” in the ever growing dispute. The union membership did not take kindly to this low profile approach so most quit Local 134 to form “Atlanta Fire Department Union Independent Local No. 1” or AFDUI. In addition, Local 134 members felt they were getting no support from the National IAFF who vehemently opposed any strike by firefighters. This new union split from the IAFF, an AFL-CIO union, after being promised support by the Teamsters International. In June, the members of AFDUI Local # 1 went out on a three day strike. The fire protection in the city was totally crippled. Mayor Ivan Allen Jr. talked the firefighters into returning to the stations and promised renewed negotiations. About the only change was that the city fathers had learned a lesson very well in these three days without the firefighters. In September, seeing no changes and no action even in the preliminary stages, Local No. 1 ordered another walk out. This time 736 of the Fire Departments 798 employees walked off the job! Having seen the problems of losing all fire protection from the labor walkout in June, the city was waiting. Telegrams were immediately sent to all of the strikers stating they must report back to work or lose their job. The few firefighters left on the job were now working 24 hours a day seven days a week! The strikers picketed the stations where the few firefighters were working. To relieve the shortage, the Personnel Department began hiring people off the street as fast as they could to fill out the paperwork. These men were sent to the stations with no training and operated under the guidance of the few veteran firefighters who were not out on strike. They would be assigned to the Training Center as class space permitted. Before years end, the Training Division had worked with 280 recruits of which 242 qualified as rookie firefighters. Obviously, there were some excellent people hired under these conditions and also some people who, under normal hiring conditions, would have never been hired to 86

work for the AFD. Some of the strikers were out less than a week and began to trickle back. Some were out about 6 month and others never came back to work. The nation’s first strike by a fully paid fire department against the city government would divide the AFD for more than the next 25 years. During 1966 the ever increasing growth in the Fulton Industrial District forced Fulton County to provide fire protection. The County and the City reached an agreement to build a Fire Station at 4760 Fulton Industrial Boulevard SW to protect the Fulton Industrial Fire Protection District. Work began in 1966 but would not be completed until May of 1967. Station 34 became Fulton County Fire Station 11 in January 1978. That building was demolished in 2011 and a new county station erected on the same lot in 2012. An 85 Foot Pirsch Pittman Snorkel was placed in service as Ladder 4 on 5 July 1966. This was the first articulating boom platform used by the AFD. The new style aerial quickly became known as Snorkel 4. Ladder 8 also received a new 100 Ft Peter Pirsch & Sons Tillered aerial pulled by a Ford crew seat tractor. This new aerial entered service on 27 July 1966. 1967 Roughly six months after the strike the AFD went to a three platoon system on 1January 1967. This dropped the weekly average hours to 56. Ninety seven new personnel were needed to accomplish this schedule. Although now on three shifts, crews were still working the 10 hour day/ 14 hour night schedule. This additional shift and the reduction of hours had been the primary issue in the strike of ‘66. Ladder 1 received a new 1967 Ford/Peter Pirsch 100 Ft Tillered aerial in 1967. Crews were trained and the apparatus entered service on 9 March. On 17 May 1967 Station No. 34 officially went into service at Fulton Industrial Boulevard SW and Robinson Drive SW. This station was owned by Fulton County but manned by the AFD under a contract. They went in service with a 1967 Ford/ American LaFrance 1000 GPM engine. Atlanta moved Engine 9 from operating out of Station 5 to a new station in Adamsville. Station No. 9 opened on 5 June 1967 at 3501 Gordon Road NW. The street has since been renamed Martin Luther King Jr. Drive. 1968 Many African Americans on the fire department believed that Local 134 of the IAFF was not meeting the needs of the Black Firefighters. In 1968 Brothers Combined was organized to better address the problems facing the minority personnel. African American Firefighters had been informally meeting prior to 1968, but Brothers Combined was officially organized in 1969. In one of its meetings William “Bill” Hammonds suggested the organization be referred to as Brothers Combined. In 1970 Brothers Combined would become a chartered member of the International Association of Black Professional Fire Fighters (I.A.B.P.F.F.). Brothers Combined was formed to eliminate the discriminatory and segregationist practices of the Fire Department and to make opportunities for advancement

History 1882-1982 The First Hundred Years


fair for all employees. A 1952 Mack pumper with a 500 GPM pump was converted to a Chemical Unit by the Fire Department Shops. This apparatus was placed in service as Rescue 2 operating from Station 4. The truck went in service on 27 November 1968. Rescue 2’s primary function would be to respond to accidents on the rapidly expanding Interstate Highway system in the city. The Fire Chief received a Chrysler Newport and two Plymouth sedans went to the Arson Squad. Construction contracts were let for Stations 35, 36 and 8. During the latter part of 1968, the city received two American-La France 1000 GPM engines and three Ward La France 1000 GPM engines all with Detroit diesel power plants, the first diesels in the fleet. These were assigned in 1969. 1969 On 1 April 1969 Deputy Chief Paul O. Williams was sworn in as Department Chief of the Atlanta Fire Department. He would take over a Department of 959 personnel operating on a budget of $8,820,053. April 1, 1969 also saw Fire Station No. 34 become home to Engine 37. Thirty-seven went into service operating with a full staff and captains were assigned to each engine. This was also a contract company with Fulton County. Engine 37 began service on a new 1969 Ward-LaFrance 1000 GPM pumper with a 500 gallon booster tank. Fulton County had actually purchased two of these WardLaFrance apparatus. Engine 32 in Sandy Springs also received a new engine to replace a 1955 Ford/Pirsch 500 GPM pumper. This 1955 apparatus is currently being restored by members of the City of Sandy Springs Fire Department. The City of Sandy Springs covers what had been the former Sandy Springs and the North Springs Fire Protection Districts of unincorporated Fulton County The 6th Battalion was relocated from Station No.26 to Station No. 21 on 24 April 1969. Ladder Company 26 was established on 31 July 1969 to provide better truck coverage in the northwest section of the city. Twenty six went into service on a new 1969 Ford / Peter Pirsch 75 Ft mid mount aerial truck. The second station at the Atlanta Airport was placed in service on 23 October 1969. Company 35 was organized and moved into a brand new station located between the parallel runways near the east side of the growing complex. Company 35 began operation with a 1969 Walter 3500 gallon foam/ crash truck and a 1952 Mack 500 GPM engine. The Mack had been converted to have a 1000 gallon water tank. Due to the need for Truck Company coverage in the Adamsville and Fulton Industrial areas, Ladder Company 9 was established on 6 November 1969. They began coverage with a 1950 Pirsch, 65 Foot junior aerial. Ladder 11 had received a new Pirsch aerial which moved the 1956 American-LaFrance affectionately known as “Big Red” to become Ladder 23. Ladder 23’s 1950 Pirsch was reassigned and became Ladder 9’s apparatus. Ladder 9 used this apparatus until 1972 when Station 38 opened and Ladder 38 was organized with Ladder 9 disbanded.

Fire Station No. 8 was relocated from 176 Carnegie Way NW at the corner of Spring Street to 1711 Marietta Boulevard NW at Carroll Drive on 10 November 1969. This relocation had been recommended by the National Board of Fire Underwriters due to the need in the Chattahoochee Industrial District and the fact many of the original low number stations were now to close together for motorized apparatus response. The old 1897 vintage station at Carnegie and Spring Streets NW was abandoned and soon demolished. Battalion 2 also relocated from Station No. 16 to new Station 8 on the same date. Engine 16 received a new 1000 GPM Ward-LaFrance pumper which entered service on 9 December 1969. 1970 On 2 February 1970, Fire Station No. 32 of the Fulton County contract service moved from the single bay house on Sandy Springs Place west of Roswell Road to a new 3 bay station at 135 Johnson Ferry Road NE at Sandy Springs Circle. With this move, Ladder 32 was placed in service with a 1969 Seagrave 85 Foot Tillered aerial. County Engine 33 which had been housed at Atlanta Station No. 27 since going in service in 1963 was relocated to operate from new Station 32 on 2 February. The former fire station was used by the Fulton County Health Department for many years but now torn down and totally gone by 2012. Station 32 became Fulton County Station 2 in 1978 and now serves as Sandy Springs Station 2. Fulton County (and the City of Atlanta) tried to negotiate a contract with DeKalb County where DeKalb Engine 12, located on Roberts Drive would respond on “automatic aid” with the Engines 32 and 33 into North Springs and more importantly the section of what is now the City of Sandy Springs known as “the panhandle”. This the land area that runs along the northern border of DeKalb County all the way east to the Gwinnett County line and south of the Chattahoochee River. When no agreement could be reached, Fulton County was forced to build a fire station 1.04 Miles (5,400 Feet) north of DeKalb Station 12. The rear of the fire station is less than 200-feet from the Fulton / DeKalb County line! February 2, 1970, also saw the establishment of Engine 36, a contract station in the North Springs Fire Protection District. The new two bay station was located at Spalding and Roberts Drives, north of downtown Dunwoody. Engine 36 began operation with a new 1969 Ward LaFrance 1000 GPM engine which had been received late in 1968 awaiting the completion of the fire house. This building remains a fire station and is now Sandy Springs Fire Department Station 1. Ambulance Service was needed at the Atlanta Airport. On 4 June 1970 a new Chevrolet Ambulance known as Rescue 3 was placed in service at Station No. 24. During 1970 Station No. 7 and 16 received new pieces of aerial equipment. Both began operating 1970 Seagrave 85 Foot mid-mount aerials. Ladder 7 replaced a 1949 Seagrave 75 Ft aerial and new Ladder 16 replaced a 1958 International / American LaFrance 65 Foot Junior aerial. This apparatus was built by the AFD Shops and had originally seen service as Ladder 21. Engine No. 10 and Engine No. 7 both received new Mack CF (Cab forward) model 1000 GPM Engines with 500 gallon booster tanks. Engine 7 had been operating a 1945 Mack and Engine 10’s new piece replaced a 1954 Pirsch. These two Mack apparatus would start many years of CF’s becoming the front line engines for the AFD.

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1971

Crash Rescue Truck. The Fire Chief received a Chrysler sedan and Battalion 4 got a Plymouth sedan. Communications advances in the Department continued with the replacement of tube style station radios with transistor types, voice coded alarm boxes replaced some of the cable pull boxes and portable radios were placed in the company apparatus. New recording equipment arrived at the Signal Division with an 8-channel recorder to tape all telephone and radio traffic both incoming and outgoing, time stamp and read-out and playback recorder. The Atlanta Association of Independent Insurance Agents donated a Chevrolet C-10 van to the Fire Prevention Bureau to carry out its mission of fire prevention to the community. 1973

The Atlanta Fire Department formed a Honor and Color Guard in 1970. This precision marching unit was designed to represent the AFD at various sports functions, funerals, and events where presenting the colors was needed. During 1970 five more 1000 GPM Mack CF model engines were placed in service. These went to Engine Companies 3, 5, 21, 23 & 30. Ladder Companies 10 and 30 both received new Peter Pirsch & Sons 75 foot mid mount aerials. With the receipt of the new equipment, former Engine 3’s 1000 GPM Ford / Pirsch engine was transferred to become Engine 31 and Engine 7’s former 1000 GPM Ford / Pirsch was reassigned as Engine 17. The Department had experimented with demand type breathing apparatus from several manufacturers over the last couple of years. By 1971, the AFD quit purchasing the Filter Type masks as more and more plastics were coming into the American lifestyle. These Filter Type masks would not offer any protection from the toxic gasses emitted when plastics burned. Additional demand type self contained breathing apparatus were received. Previously used demand masks were then placed on reserve apparatus. By years end there were 280 SCBA’s in service of which 39 were assigned to the fully equipped, ready to go reserve equipment. A used 1965 Ford Chassis was equipped with a AFD shop built body holding a cascade system, extra SCBA bottles and an air compressor. This truck entered service as Mobile Air 1 on 1 October 1971. Station 1 also received a new Cascade and compressor system. The system also had two 300 Cubic Foot storage tanks. These two systems greatly expanded the ability of the department to provide quality air for the demand type masks both from a stationary and a mobile unit. 1972 To meet the recommendations of the American Insurance Association, formerly known as the Board of Fire Underwriters, the AFD completed Fire Station No. 38 at 2911 Bankhead Ave NW at Field Road. Engine and Truck 38 officially went in service on 19 August 1972 operating a 1961 American-LaFrance 1500 GPM engine and a 1958 Pirsch 75 Ft Junior aerial. Engine 12 and 33 each received new Mack CF 1000 GPM pumpers. Former Engine 12, a 1963 Ford/Pirsch was transferred to Engine 27. Old Engine 33, a tired 1955 Pirsch pumper went into reserve. On 12 October 1972 Station 35 received a new Walter 3000 gallon 88

Ladder 12, 25 and 31 each received new Peter Pirsch & Sons 85 Foot mid mount aerials in 1973. A second Pittman Snorkel on a Pirsch chassis was delivered to the city and assigned as Ladder 29. It went in service on March 2nd. Engines 2, 8, 13,18, 26, 28, 29 all received new Mack CF 1000 GPM custom pumpers with 500 gallon booster tanks. Engine Company 5 took delivery of a new Henderickson / Peter Pirsch & Sons 1000 GPM 50 Foot “Squirt”, the only one to see service in the AFD. Ladder 21 and Ladder 24 received 1973 Mack CF, 75 Ft. Aerialscope or Tower Ladder apparatus. Ladders 24 would not go into service for several years and the equipment was just stored in the Station. The first protective clothing made from Nomex, a fire resistive material, was purchased for the AFD. The department ordered all clothing now had to be made from Kevlar or Nomex to meet the requirements of the NFPA for Fire Department use. This included the turn out gear not just the uniforms. Due to the continued growth of the Hartsfield International Airport and the number of pieces of apparatus assigned to Station 24 and 35, a 7th Battalion was established on 1 December 1973. Formerly Stations 24 and 35 had fallen under the command of the 4th Battalion. During 1973 the department took delivery of an American LaFrance 1000 GPM engine with a Fecon roof turret and foam system. This apparatus was assigned to Station 24. The first class of AFD personnel to take a 12 month course to become an Emergency Medical Technician was completed in December. There were 18 graduates from the class of 20. The continued concerns of the Brothers Combined relating to the Departments apparent discrimination in hiring and promotions led to an official investigation by the Community Relations Commission. They agreed with the Black Firefighters claims and Class Action suits were brought against the city. The suit was actually designed to stop all promotions and all hiring within the Department. The next recruit class would not enter the AFD until 1977 and promotions did not resume until 1980. 1974 In May 1974, Department Chief P.O. Williams officially established an AFD Library in the old training center classroom on the second floor of Fire Station No.7. The Chief then appointed Deputy Chief Steve Campbell as the Department Librarian and Historian. Following

History 1882-1982 The First Hundred Years


Chief Campbell’s retirement from active duty on 31 December 1974, he still had a position and worked full time in the Library. Through his dedicated efforts including bringing in his personal collection of artifacts from home, many “one of a kind” documents were placed in this room. Much of what you have been reading was compiled by Chief Campbell. Sadly after he was no longer able to come to work at Station 7 on a daily basis, materials began to disappear from the Library with some even seen “for sale” in various flea markets around the Atlanta area. Much of the departments’ one of a kind history was lost and to date no really secure facility has been provided to keep or display Atlanta Fire Department history. The name was officially changed from the Atlanta Fire Department to the Atlanta Bureau of Fire Services in early 1974. This was done as the ABFS became a division of the Department of Public Safety. A. Reginald Eaves was appointed as the first Public Safety Director for the City of Atlanta on 19 August 1974. The titles of the top positions in Police and Fire became Director rather than Department Chief with this restructuring. By mid-year 1974 the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission had held up promotions resulting from exams given earlier in the year. It was expected this situation would result in a court case which it did. Fire personnel would be hired as late as 1974 but all hiring stopped when the court case became official. What had actually happened is that not only were promotions completely stopped, so was all hiring by the ABFS. The court case would drag on for six years before the case was settled out of court in 1980. By this time, there were over 200 vacancies in the department of which less than 50 were “tailboard” positions. The normal attrition had decimated the officers’ ranks within the department removing years of firefighting experience. As the hiring freeze began to take effect, all Lieutenants were removed from being drivers on the Battalion Chief Cars. Many of the Chiefs found themselves having to drive to the scene, talk on the radio while in route and make command decisions with no assistance either on the fire scene or at the Battalion offices. Eventually, firefighters were reassigned to be the Chiefs Aides. Eventually they would be classified as Command Techs. On 19 December 1974 IAFF Local 134 sponsored a private viewing of the new action movie TOWERING INFERNo. This was the first feature film about a working fire in a hi-rise building. Georgia Governor Jimmy Carter made an appearance at the movie to show his support for firefighters. The movie was shown at Phipps Plaza in Buckhead. New equipment delivered in 1974 included a new 100 Foot Peter Pirsch rear mount aerial for Ladder 4 to replace an aging and worn out Snorkel. Interestingly, the Snorkel was sold by the city, refurbished and used for several years by the Fort Oglethorpe, Georgia Fire Department. Fort Oglethorpe Department Chief Randy Camp had worked for many years with the AFD and fully knew the usefulness of this type of apparatus. Engine 3’s apparatus was transferred to become Engine 19’s rig. Chemical 5 was placed in service in 1974. It was a 1 ton Chevrolet four-door C-20 with an Ansul dry chemical tank and hose reel. The unit was “special called” and taken by the Engine crew when answering calls on the interstate or as needed. Engine 5 would go

out of service when the personnel were required to man Chemical 5. During 1974 Atlanta organized their first Search and Recovery Team with certified scuba divers. They operated from a 10 foot power boat pulled by a van. The team was equipped with a full complement of dive equipment, including tanks, wet suits etc. New 1974 Dodge station wagons were placed in service as Battalion Cars 4, 5 and 7. The First Deputy Chief and the Chief of Training also receive a new Dodge wagon. During 1974 the Insurance Services Offices visited and evaluated the City of Atlanta Fire Department. Much of the insurance rating is also dependent on the ability and reliability of the Atlanta Water Works. On 1 July 1974 the ISO reclassified the Atlanta Fire Department from a Class 3 to a Class 2 insurance rating. This resulted in additional savings for residents and businesses on their fire insurance rates. 1975 During July 1972 a number of test burns were conducted in the former and now vacant Heart of Atlanta Motor Hotel and the Henry Grady Hotel buildings, both which were to soon be demolished The heavy masonry structures made excellent locations for “real building” type fire tests. These tests were conducted by various nationally recognized experts in cooperation with the AFD and the Atlanta Building Department. Many of the safety items required by law as part of modern fire codes are the result of successful testing and data learned in Atlanta. Pressurized stairwells, auto closing hallway doors, extended sidewall sprinklers, early types of residential sprinklers and more were tested under real life conditions where wind and air movements in a building are a possibility. A lot of this was in response to the problems discovered at the multi fatality Baptist Towers HiRise for the Elderly fire in November 1972. This testing was also done to help test potential systems for the New Westin Hotel that occupies the site of the old Henry Grady Hotel which had been on the southwest corner of Peachtree Street NW and Andrew Young international Boulevard NW. New Plymouth Station Wagon vehicles were received and assigned to the 2nd, 3rd, 4th and 6th Battalion Chiefs. June 17, 1975 airport Station 24 received a GMC Dry Chemical Rig Fire Station 40, located at the mid point of the runways on the south side of Hartsfield International Airport went into service on 11 September 1975. Equipment assigned was a 1972 Walter 3000 gallon crash truck and a 1960 Dodge Dry Chemical rig. Fulton County Ladder 34 was established to provide a truck company in the Fulton Industrial Fire Protection District when they received a new 1975 Mack 75 Ft Aerialscope. Fire Station 39 was constructed during 1975 on Wieuca Road NE just west of Roswell Road. The original intention had been to operate Engine 39 as a city engine and also operate Ladder 39 as a truck company which would answer city alarms but also respond as the second truck company to county alarms in Sandy Springs. Budget cuts came into play and the completed building stood vacant from late 1975 until 8 May 1978. No Ladder Company 39 was ever established as by this time it was becoming clearer that the contract to provide fire protection to Sandy and North Springs Fire Protection Districts and dispatch for the Fulton County volunteer fire companies would

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end at the end of 1977. Apparatus initially received for Station 39 were a 1975 Mack CF 1000 GPM Engine and a 1975 Pirsch 100 Ft Mid Mount aerial truck. Neither of these pieces ever saw service assigned to Company 39. The engine would go to Engine 6 and the aerial to Ladder 38. The AFD produced the second edition of the yearbook “Prompt to Action”. This was a 260 page edition and the first since the initial hard bound book of 1960 1976 After almost a year of threats by the City Council, the ABFS was ordered to close two fire stations in early 1976. Engine Company 3 and Engine Company 17 were taken out of service at 08:00 hours on 8 April 1976. Personnel from these houses were transferred to fill vacant positions throughout the city. Originally, Station 6 had been one of the houses slated to close. Community pressure to the City Council from within the Old Fourth Ward made the Department change its plans. Sadly, just short of fifteen years later Station 6 would be finally be eliminated as an active house and the old station closed for ever. Although they lost their house Engine 6 maintains their identity and runs from Station 4 on Edgewood along with Squad 4. There are no longer and Engine or Truck Company 4. A 150 Foot Henderickson / Calavar “Fire Bird” apparatus was placed in service on 10 October 1976 at Company 5. The huge machine was reduced to a special call piece of apparatus within a few years and never did live up to the expectations all had for its use. Two Mack Model CF 1000 GPM engines were placed in service as Engines 1 and 4. Both were equipped with Fecon foam turrets on the roof; ground sweep and undercarriage nozzles. These were assigned to be readily available for respond to incidents on the interstates. These were painted Red White and Blue as an American Flag graphic in honor of the Bicentennial of the United States. Unfortunately, Engine 1 was involved in a wreck on New Years Eve. When the apparatus was repaired, it was repainted the traditional red and white. Engine 4 would keep its multi colors flag design for several more years. To the shock of the entire AFD and City of Atlanta, Department Chief Paul O. Williams, 60, shot himself at his Sandy Springs home on Friday 19 November 1976. He had been appointed Department Chief in April 1969 by Mayor Ivan Allen Jr. Chief Williams had been with the Department since 1942. Although the reasons will never be known, the stress of the discrimination lawsuits and the lack of ability to fill desperately needed positions within the department are thought to have played a factor in the tragic event.

GPM apparatus in 1977. These were diesels with 500 gallon booster tanks. Old Fire Station No. 4, on Pryor Street, now known as Park Place NE, was demolished in November 1977. The house was first occupied by the AFD on 1 January 1887. The original maintenance facility for the department was at the rear of this station. It had been sold by the city shortly after Company 4 was relocated to Ellis Street in 1960. A hi-rise office building known as 55 Park Place sits on the site today. The AFD lost another top official in May 1977 when Department Chief J. I. (Hoot) Gibson resigned to become the Department Chief of the newly formed Fulton County Fire Department. This left the AFD with 12 top officer positions unfilled and promotions blocked by court order. Assistant Chief A.P. Black was appointed to the top position for the AFD to replace Chief Gibson. The racial discrimination suits relating to promotions were still in the courts and had been since 1974. There also had been no hiring of additional firefighters since 1974. Normal attrition had not slowed the loss of personnel through either retirements or resignations. This left the department manpower at only 858 and by now the situation was considered critical. Public Safety Commissioner A. Reginald Eaves was able to get the courts to allow one training class to be hired in late 1977. The starting salary was $9,256 per year. This was the first time the department had even taken applications since 1974. The Class of December 1977 also contained the departments’ first female firefighters. They were Liz Summers, Sheila Galloway, Emma C. Morris, Sheila Kirkland, Louvenia Jenkins, Janie Jones and Lisa Brady Bowen. Several members of the “Original 7 would remain with the Department until retirement. The 1977 Recruit Class (one of the largest in AFD history) had the dubious distinction of being referred to as “Reggie’s Raiders”, in mockery of the first Public Safety Commissioner A. Reginald Eaves 1978 New apparatus delivered in 1978 included a 100 Foot mid mount Pirsch assigned to Ladder 23; a 100 Ft Rear mount Seagrave assigned to Ladder 1 and two 1978 Mack CF 1500 GPM pumpers assigned to Engine 7 and Engine 19. After years of hand me down and sometimes worn out apparatus, the Virginia Highland Civic Association was so happy to get a brand new apparatus that the truck was actually christened with a bottle of champagne broken on its bumper on the ramp in front of the station on 4 June 1978. Engine 19 then became known as the “Champagne Bulldog”, a slogan that remains today.

The Department began a program of obtaining portable radios for each apparatus in 1977. Better communications on the fire ground was found to be critical at incidents of any size. By mid-1977 the Communications Division began going through the initial stages of converting to a Computer Aided Dispatch System. A series of problems occurred and it would be almost 10 years before actual alarms were assigned strictly by a computer and the “round file” listing all the streets and alarm assignments finally retired.

The newly formed Fulton County Fire Department began operation on 1 January 1978 which reduced the number of companies by five engines and one ladder. Atlanta Engines 32, 33, 34, 36, 37 and Trucks 34 and 32 were all disbanded at 00:01 on New Year’s Day to become Fulton County Fire Department Engine 2, 4, 6, and Truck 2 on the north side and Engines 11, 13 and Truck 11 in the south half of the county. The county was no longer contracting with the City of Atlanta for operation of the Sandy Springs, North Springs and the Fulton Industrial Fire Protection Districts or dispatching of the various volunteer department in Fulton County. Roughly 150 firefighters from the City of Atlanta resigned to become employees of the 170 man Fulton County Fire Department.

Engine 9, Engine 22 and Engine 36 would get new Seagrave 1000

Originally, Atlanta was going to continue to do the dispatching for the

1977

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new FCFD. Some nasty politics became involved and once again the city and county both went through their almost expected “can’t play well with others” tactics. Mayor Maynard Jackson told Fulton County authorities that if the city could not operate the fire protection for the entire county and actually expand the previous contract, then they could find someone else to dispatch them, In a panic and on very short notice, Fulton Fire had to find someone to handle their communications. The FCFD was able to contract with the City of East Point for communications and continued this service for several years before opening their own 911 center. Interestingly in 1992, there were some talks about merging the FCFD and the AFD into one department but that never happened. Taxpayers became tired of the as usual Fulton County politics and since 2000 new cities of Milton; Sandy Springs and John’s Creek have formed. Between these and existing Mountain Park, Roswell and Alpharetta, all of the area in Fulton County north of the City of Atlanta is now within an incorporated city, each with their own Fire Department. The very southern part of the county also incorporated and became the City of Chattahoochee Hills Country and like the new cities to the north also has its own police and fire departments. All that remains of the Fulton County FD is the unincorporated areas outside the cities in the southern part of the county that is south and west of the City of Atlanta predominately known as Cedar Grove, Sandtown, Stonewall, Cliftondale and Campbellton. Most of the south Fulton cities are continuing to annex more and more of the unincorporated territory from the county which continues to reduce the areas currently protected by the FCFD. Public Safely Commissioner A. Reginald Eaves resigned under controversy in March 1978. He was replaced by Lee P. Brown. Engine 39 was finally established in a new fire station that had sat empty since being completed in 1975. They began service to North Buckhead on 8 May 1978 with a spare Ford/ Pirsch 1000 GPM. Company 2 relocated from their Works Progress Administration built single bay Station on Lakewood Avenue to a new double bay station on Jonesboro Road SE in Lakewood Heights. The new station went into service on 26 May 1978. The AFD was given national attention in the October 1978 edition of FIRE ENGINEERING magazine when they ran an article on the Loew’s Grand Theater fire written by MFA Member Dave Williams. 1979 With the popularity of the TV Show EMERGENCY, citizens began to demand that their Fire Departments take on more and more responsibility related to medical and first responder type responses. This demand caused the AFD to establish four additional Rescue Companies in 1979. They were Rescues 2, 8, 9 and 29. Actually this was a change of who was doing what as the rescue service had previously been handled by the Atlanta Police Department and the AFD had done Bomb Technician and disposal alarms. Since bombs were more associated with law enforcement and medical with fire, these duties were traded on the orders of Public Safety Director Lee P. Brown in January 1979. Due to continued and rapid expansion at the Atlanta Airport, January 1979 saw the new budget provide money so the AFD could assign a full time fire inspector and a full time mechanic to the 7th Battalion which handles the stations at Hartsfield, (now Hartsfield-Jackson) International Airport.

Atlanta’s last steamer, the “Steve R. Johnston” was removed from the Cyclorama in Grant Park and placed on loan to Dante Stephenson who attempted to set up a fire museum in Underground Atlanta. A second steamer, owned by Councilman Hugh Pierce, which had been stored in the Fair Ground Fire Station at the Lakewood Fairground, was also moved to Underground Atlanta in 1979. The stay there was short lived as Underground Atlanta would eventually completely shut down for a number of years. Dante built a shelter and had the AFD owned Steamer moved to his Dante’s Down the Hatch restaurant on Peachtree Road in Buckhead. The AFD eventually did get the American-LaFrance steamer back and stored it for a time at Station 39. It currently resides at the Atlanta History Center located at 130 West Paces Ferry Rd NW in Buckhead. The former Hugh Pierce owned steamer is on display at the Southeastern Railroad Museum in Duluth, GA In March 1979, the Atlanta Public Safety Committee recommended that the City Council approve a measure which would require smoke detectors in all multi-family housing. The new ordinance would take effect on 1 January 1981. Public Safety Commissioner Lee Brown proposed that the positions of Battalion Chief and above be appointed rather than promoted through a civil service exam. This move quickly brought Local 134 of the IAFF to protest in March 1979, as it would make all of the Chief Officers little more than political positions with little regard to qualifications. The Union argued that the Bureau Director could also be changed with every change in the Mayor’s office with the previous Department Chief having to revert back to his or her previous position. This proposal was also against the joint City/County Plan of Improvement of 1953 which is a State Law. This led to more court time and additional delays in all promotions. Local 134 of the International Association of Firefighters lost the “Dues Check Off – collective bargaining by the city in May 1979. The city said the Local could not show that it represented 50% of the firefighters and thus the Finance Department was no longer required to withdraw Union dues when the pay checks were cut. New Apparatus placed in service during 1979 included the repowering of Ladder 11 with a 79 Seagrave Tractor pulling a rebuilt 1966 Pirsch 100 Tillered Aerial and three new Oshkosh M- 4000 Crash trucks for the Airport. Shortly after these additions at the airport the Federal Aviation Administration listed Hartsfield as one of the best protected Airports in the country. Chief A.P. Black retired in 1979. He had been with the AFD for over 36 years. A recruit class of 36 firefighters graduated and began their probationary status in December 1979 1980 Chief R.B. Sprayberry was appointed the Director of the Atlanta Bureau of Fire Services in 1980 by Public Safety Commissioner Lee P. Brown. He was promptly confirmed by the Atlanta City Council. As we go to press for this annual in 2012, Chief Sprayberry is one of three retiree’s still alive that fought the deadly Winecoff Hotel Fire in December 1946. The major accomplishment of 1980 was that the six year old racial discrimination lawsuit was finally settled. In January the Bureau

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began to actively accept additional applications for the position of Firefighter. By this time the starting salary was up to $11,510 per year. As more rookie firefighters began to fill the vacancies, promotions could now take place. The final agreement was reached in an “out of court agreement” that was then approved by Federal Judge Charles Moye. It stated that 35% of the Battalion Chiefs, 50% of the Captains and 50% of the Lieutenants would be African American. The city was ordered to hire new recruits at a ratio so that 48% were black and 52% white. Promotional tests were given to all departments members with seven or more years of service. Appointments to the vacant positions were then made from a list of black candidates and a list of white candidates to conform to the agreed upon percentages. This process was closely looked at by Judge Moye and saw many firefighters literally go from the “tailboard” to the Chiefs Cars! Because of attrition that had occurred within the ABFS there were several large recruit classes during this period. By the end of 1980 all vacant positions had been filled. Crowded conditions had always been a problem at Station 21. The single door building housed the 6th Battalion, Truck 21 and Engine 21. On 5 April 1980, the accelerator stuck at a high RPM as Engine 21 was attempting to depart quarters on a run. The Engine slammed into the wall by the apparatus door. The Fire Apparatus Operator tried to put the rig in reverse and it roared backwards hitting the rear wall before coming to a halt. Station 21 was very structurally damaged. Engine and Ladder 21 were transferred to Station 39 while the 6th Battalion was sent to Station 29. After much review, the decision was made to abandon the existing building on Buckhead Avenue NE. A new Station 21 was built at 3201 Roswell Road NE where it remains today. This house opened on 3 November 1984. The Department established a new Truck Company on 19 June 1980 when Ladder 2 was placed in service. The addition of this truck company greatly improved coverage to southeast Atlanta for a period of time until budget cuts would cause the disbanding of Truck 30. Engine 16 and Engine 39 would both receive new 1000 GPM Seagrave pumpers in 1980 as the only pieces of new apparatus purchased this year. Engine 16’s new Seagrave replaced the last WardLaFrance engine to see service in the city. As a way to boost morale the AFD approved that each Company could design and wear a “Company Patch” on their uniform and turn out coats. Between 1980 and 1992 all stations have at one time or the other designed company emblems except Stations 27 and 39. The Atlanta Bureau of Fire Services assisted various other city departments and civic groups as everyone tried to gather information on the missing and murdered children. The canvassing door to door began on 20 October and by 26 October 1980, the ABFS had knocked on 50,730 doors. Over 3,400 miles were logged and the effort involved 6,822 man hours. The Fire Bureau was credited with contacting almost 80% more households than the Police Bureau did within the same amount of time. 1981 A great loss occurred on 26 March 1981 when Retired Deputy Chief and departmental historian Steven B Campbell died. He had been on the AFD 42 years, serving from 25 September 1932 until 31 December 1974. The original PROMPT TO ACTION yearbook of 1960 and much of the departments’ history in all of the yearbooks, 92

including this publication, are thanks to the dedication and hard work of Chief Campbell. Station 24 at Hartsfield International Airport was relocated to new quarters at the northeast corner of the complex in 1976 but the old building stood vacant. In the spring of 1981, the old station was converted to become the Maintenance Shop for the 7th Battalion. They would continue to use this former station until runway expansion required it to be demolished. The Shop was then relocated to a new facility constructed as a portion of the then Airport Headquarters Building adjacent to Station 40. Airport Headquarters has relocated several times since then and is currently on Doug Davis Drive west of Atlanta Avenue in the City of Hapeville. The first Rescue Section Chief was appointed on 18 June 1981. Captain Thomas E, Brown was given these responsibilities and assigned to be Rescue 17. A host of other officers were reassigned on this same date. Chief Tom Brown remains in public service having left Atlanta Fire to become the Department Chief of the DeKalb County Fire Department. He then went to the law enforcement side and currently serves as the Sheriff of DeKalb County. New apparatus delivered to the city in 1981 included four Oshkosh Model T-6 Crash vehicles assigned to the various stations at the airport. Ladder 1 received their repowered 1981 Seagrave pulling the 1967 Pirsch 100 Tillered aerial and Ladder 5 was given a 1981 Seagrave 100 Ft Tillered aerial. No engines were replaced during 1981. All of the Battalion cars were replaced with 1981 Ford LTD sedans. After unsatisfactory results no additional station wagons would be used as Chief Cars. 1982 Apparatus deliveries for 1982 included new Seagrave 1500 - GPM pumpers for Engines 6, 10, 11, 21 and 31. This began a new era in engine design with the introduction to the AFD of the vertical 500 gallon booster tank, which resulted in a lower hose bed for the average firefighter to grab hose for quick and efficient hose evolutions. Rescue 29 received a new Chevrolet unit. Engine 21’s new Seagrave 1500 GPM rig replaced a 1971 Mack CF. This apparatus was rebuilt and placed back in front line twice as Engine 27. The rebuilt Mack replaced a very worn out 1968 Ford/Pirsch which had started its Atlanta FD career as Engine 7. The airport obtained another Oshkosh M-15 crash truck and a Mack CF 1000 GPM Fecon Foam – roof turret engine. A fourth station for Hartsfield International Airport was built during 1982. Station 32 was constructed adjacent to the international concourse and very close to the main midfield terminal. Echo 1 and Battalion 7 were relocated when the facility went into service on 18 November 1982. Communications received a “Dimension System” telephone board for the Radio Room. This system replaced an old PBX board which had over 20 years of service receiving the incoming emergency calls. A variety of problems within the department were so severe that the City Council established a Fire Committee to see what could be done. They issued an extensive report covering all aspects of the ABFS operations and deficiencies relating to operations, equipment, manpower etc. Shortly after their report was completed, the Fire Committee was disbanded in October 1982 having found itself now “lacking business”. Fire Bureau problems were now to be addressed

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solely by the Public Safety Committee of the City Council members. The Department celebrated its 100th Birthday as a paid department on 1 July 1982. Department Chief R. B. Sprayberry retired from the top position on 26 August 1982. He ended a career of more than 38 years of service to the city. Fire Marshall Franklin Heard was named as Acting Director by Interim Public Safety Director George Napper. He had only recently replaced Lee Brown own who had resigned to take another job out of state. Mayor Andrew Young appointed Doctor B. J. Thompson as the

director of the Fire Bureau in October 1982. Dr. Thompson was head of the United States Fire Administration at the time of the appointment. He became the first Department Chief Officer not to have risen through the ranks of the AFD or the ABFS. The ABFS entered into a $520,000 contract with Motorola Communications to upgrade the radio system for the city. These improvements were to include a Computer Aided Dispatch System. New tone alert radios for all stations were included in this upgrade. This was the first step to eliminating the firefighters from having to sit night watch.

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HISTORY 1983-2012 Beginning The Second Century 1983 Chief B.J. Thompson hosted a meeting of Fire Chiefs from all departments that border Atlanta on 5 January 1983. The topic was “Automatic Aid” and boundary drop agreements. This is a system where the closest apparatus respond to a specific address regardless of jurisdictional lines. Although all neighboring department participated in the initial meetings, several of the small department refused to begin the system which in reality would have benefited them more that they would provide service to Atlanta. Although thought to be somewhat radical at this time, “Automatic Aid” did become a way of operation throughout the Metro Atlanta area for a while. By 2012 departments have again returned to “turf guarding” and use their own resources until almost depleted before asking for “Mutual Aid” and or a task force response from the Georgia Mutual Aid Group. Public Safety Director George Napper initiated a program to raise roughly $50,000 which was used to purchase smoke detectors for low income residents of the city. The ABFS Fire Education Section was instrumental in getting this program initiated. The Atlanta Bureau of Fire Services hosted the 110th Annual International Association of Fire Chief ’s Convention in Atlanta between 28 August and 31 August 1983. Personnel from almost all of the departments in Metro Atlanta and members of the MFA all participated to make this event, attended by almost 4,000 people a huge success. American-LaFrance and the ABFS entered into a three year contract where ALF would supply all apparatus for the city. It was designed to be negotiable at the end of each year where it could be extended another year with some cost of living and inflation adjustments. Two 100 Ft Tillered aerials and three 1500 GPM engines were initially built under this contract. One of these new engines was placed on display during the IAFC Convention in August 1983. New ALF engines went to Companies 15, 23, 25, 30 and 38. 1984 All 1½ inch attack lines were replaced with 1¾ inch attack lines during 1984. This gave a much better flow of water but kept the flexibility of the smaller hoses. The 2½ inch supply lines began to be changed to 3 inch hoses in 1984. Initially, the hose bed was “split loaded” with one side holding 2½ and the other side 3 inch hose. A new mobile air unit was constructed in 1984 but on a 1983 Ford 7000 Diesel Chassis. The apparatus had a 21 Cubic Feet per Minute breathing air pump and a cascade system. A 1,000 foot high pressure air hose was also provided. This is so the hose could be strung up inside a hi- rise building or other remote location and Self Contained Breathing Apparatus bottles could be filled in a staging area high in a building. The rig also was designed to carry 60 filled bottles. Other apparatus delivered in 1984 went to Engines 18, 29 and as Yellow 8 at the Airport. Each received a 1500 GPM AmericanLaFrance pumper. Ladder Companies 4, 11, and 21 each received a new and identical 100 Ft Tillered ALF aerial. Rescue Companies 1 and 9 also received 1984 Chevy apparatus. 94

The Last Meal in Fire Station 5 was held on 24 May 1984. The station was demolished for the reworking of the downtown interstate highway connector between I-20 and I- 75 & 85. . The meal was actually held almost a month early as Engine and Ladder 5 did not disband until 30 June 1984. At this time, Company 5 became Squad 5 running from Station No. 1. The Squad became the cities Hazardous Materials Response team as well as a manpower unit and extra heavy rescue company. Firebird 5 was moved to Station No.9 as an extra special call piece of equipment. It saw little action and was eventually sold as surplus. On 24 October 1984 Georgia Governor Joe Frank Harris presented the MFA MEDAL OF VALOR to Firefighter J.N. Harris of the Atlanta Fire Bureau. Other recipients included Capt. H. J. Jones and FAO J.M. Sheets of the Fulton County Fire Department and to Firefighter Wade Bramlett of the Cobb County Fire Department. This award is the highest honor that can be won by a member of the Atlanta, DeKalb, Fulton or Cobb Departments. 1985 In the later part of 1985, a new type of response terminology hit the AFD. The program, called ‘’Automatic Aid”, was placed into effect and agreements were signed with Fulton County and Cobb County. Automatic Aid is the concept where the closest apparatus to an incident responds, regardless of what name is painted on the door. It is designed to reduce response time for those locations along the boundaries of the various municipalities. An example is Fulton County Engine and Truck 11 can reach places in Atlanta Engine 9’s territory before 9 can. Atlanta Engine 27 can respond and arrive at locations on Powers Ferry Road long before Fulton County (or now Sandy Springs Company 2 can get south from Sandy Springs. This is different from “Mutual Aid” where you specifically request a particular type or piece of apparatus from your neighbor. Concern was that Atlanta would be sending equipment out into the counties more often that it would make use of the Automatic Aid agreements. This notion was quickly dropped when the 1985 statistics showed that the city had received Automatic Aid 109 times but had provided Automatic Aid only 45 times by year end. By 1992, the program was still alive in need some refinement to make it work as it should. Although it did prove that the individual departments could work together and helped break down some of the “turf guarding” barriers that had existed between the various fire departments for many years, by roughly 2002 most of the Auto Aid responses had stopped. By 2012 we are back to getting assistance on Mutual Aid only, with the exception of the Cities of Atlanta and Sandy Springs on the north border and an agreement with Fulton County for Auto Aid including dispatch with Fulton County Engine 23 in Sandtown. Historically, at 08:00 hours on 1 March 1985 Chief James Bibbs and Fourth Battalion Companies responded to 3901 Campbellton Road SW as the first official ‘’Automatic Aid” alarm in the city’s history. In early 1985 Figgie International, the parent company of long time fire truck builder American-LaFrance, announced it was closing the ALF division. Atlanta had a running contract for both aerials and engines from ALF and would now be shopping for a new apparatus

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builder. The last “Senior Aerial” a 100 foot Tillered rig to ever be built at the Elmira, New York facility was delivered to the AFD in 1985. It was assigned to Truck 16 for its entire front line career. Soon afterward Peter Pirsch & Sons, another old apparatus maker filed for bankruptcy following the company losing a lawsuit related to a firefighter who fell off a Pirsch apparatus. That accident was caused by poor judgment on the firefighter part. The last “senior aerial” manufactured by Pirsch also came to metro Atlanta. It served as Ladder 1 with the East Point Fire Department for its entire career. Both trucks were at several events including the Atlanta Fire Musters where apparatus photographers appreciated the opportunity to get pictures of these historic rigs side by side. New equipment arrivals for the AFD in 1985 included a Pirsch Samaritan Heavy Rescue / hazmat truck that was assigned to Squad 5. The apparatus was constructed off East College Avenue near Sam’s Crossing in Avondale Estates GA. Apparatus relocations in 1985 included Ladder 23 being disbanded with crews assigned to become Ladder 8. Rescue 29 was moved from running out of Station 19 to Station 29 and Engine 15 had to double house with Engine 23 until their new quarters on 10th Street was completed. On 8 June 1985, Mayor Andrew Young appointed Assistant Chief William H. Hamer to Department Chief. This appointment followed the retirement of Chief Bobby Jack Thompson on June 3rd. On 24 June 1985, Atlanta Airport Assistant Chief Thomas Brown resigned from the AFD to accept the position of Department Chief of the DeKalb County Fire Department. Within a period of 16 days, the two largest departments in the state both had African American Fire Chiefs who had many years of service with the AFD. Chief Hamer was one of the original sixteen Black firefighters hired in 1963. In October 1985 the DeKalb County Fire Department assigned an ambulance to Atlanta Station 12. There is a portion of the eastern side of the city that is in DeKalb County and they provide county wide EMS Service. Station 15’s small fire house at 1202 West Peachtree NW had been sold to Cadillac Fairview Corporation as part of a huge new office building complex. The 1914 vintage bungalow style building was demolished for a parking deck for the IBM Building on 21 November 1985. 1986 By 1 January 1986 the Atlanta fire Department was totally out of the “Cable” connected street alarm box business. Only Radio Boxes remained in service and by 2012 all of these are gone as well. A new piece of support equipment became available to the AFD in 1986. The Metropolitan Fire Association, the Atlanta area “fire buff ” club, purchased a used canteen truck from the Teaneck, New Jersey Fire Department. Originally known as Field Service Unit 880, this apparatus, manned strictly by volunteers, was now being automatically dispatched as part of the Third Alarms, or whenever 7 or more Engines were working. FSU-880 provided food and drinks

for the firefighters at major and long duration incidents. The Canteen went in service in April 1986 and made 12 alarms during its first partial year of operation. For the first time since 30 June 1882, the AFD had some volunteers in its ranks. During 1986, Engine 27 was relocated to Station 39 while extensive renovation was done to Station 27. The building on Northside drive had originally opened in March 1953. New Station 15 opened on 29 September 1986 at 176 Tenth Street NE on the site of the former Clark Howell Elementary School which had burned in 1969. Engine 15 had been operating from Station 23 since 4 November 1985 when their house on West Peachtree was sold. Rescue 29 was also relocated to Station 15. Rescue 29 was disbanded to become new Rescue 15. A Federal Court Judge ruled in favor of Local 134, giving them back “Dues Check Off ” for its members. Following a lengthy court battle, 15 lieutenants were promoted in September 1986. Nearly all of the new officers were white in a department now 60% black. Included in the promotion was B. Nish Willis, the first Female promoted to an officer’s position in the AFD. She made a full career with the AFD and retired. During early 2012, she came out of retirement to become the Department Chief for the City of Riverdale Georgia, a metro Atlanta city on the south side. In this 1985 case, the Federal Judge ruled that neither the testing nor the methods were in any way discriminatory. He then ordered the AFD to promote the 15. 1987 Deputy Chief Car 901 was relocated from Station 1 to Station 15’s new house on 31 March 1987. Due to the crowded conditions at Fire Headquarters on Courtland Street SE, Fire Prevention relocated to the former District Commanders offices at Station 1. The DeKalb County Fire Department and the Atlanta Fire Department began ‘’Automatic Aid” support of each other on 5 June 1987. Less than 24 hours after taking effect, DeKalb County Engine 6 assisted Atlanta Companies 18 & 12 at a working dwelling fire on Knox Street SE in Kirkwood. The AFD had similar agreements with the Fulton and Cobb County Fire Departments with all making numerous runs into the others territory for a number of years. Fire Apparatus Operator Bobby Adair retired on 24 June 1987 after working 32 years for the city. While 32 years of employment was not a record, the fact that his entire career was spent at AFD Station 6 likely was a record. Governor Joe Frank Harris presented the MFA MEDAL OF VALOR to two Fulton County Firelighter’s and to Atlanta Firefighter Ricky Perdue. The presentation was conducted at the Georgia State Capitol building on 29 September 1987. Firefighter Perdue had rescued a child under very adverse conditions from a house fire on Myrtle Street NE while assigned to Engine 15 on 6 April 1987. After being disbanded since 8 April 1976, due to budget cuts, Engine

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Company 17 was reorganized on 14 October 1987 at their current Station at 1489 Gordon St SW. Ladder 17 was established and Ladder 7 disbanded on this same date to provide better truck company coverage in the Westview area and surrounding neighborhoods. Battalion 4 was also relocated from Station 25 to the new Station 17 on this same date. Since this time, the street has been renamed Ralph David Abernathy Drive SW. Apparatus delivered in 1987 were three Spartan / Steeldraulics (SPI) 1500 GPM Engines and two Duplex / LTI 108 foot Tillered aerials. Two Ford Crown Victoria Chief Cars went in service at Battalions 3 and 7. Two Ford / Salisbury medium rescue trucks went to Rescue 2 and 8. The Deputy Chiefs Car was renumbered as Car 900 in November 1987. This was done due to the creation of a First Battalion with a specific downtown territory needing the 901 number. The Metropolitan Fire Association produced their 1st Edition (1988) of the “Metro Atlanta Fire Apparatus and Shift Calendar”. These sold for $5 in the fall of 1987 giving members a look at their duty shifts for 1988 which helped in their “pick vacation days” for 1988. Numerous members have collected all editions or at least the years they have been on the job. The first three years were all black and white and since 1991 have been in full color. Ironically, the 2012 edition was still just $5. 1988 The city would host the 1988 Democratic National Convention which required special attention by the Fire Department. A mini dispatch center was set up in the Omni to handle emergencies during the DNC. One alarm was handled by the full first alarm assignment which “stood by” beneath the Omni for the entire duration of the DNC. Company 17 was one of the groups which had been moved into this standby position. Engine 3, disbanded since 8 April 1976, was reestablished at AFD Station 17 on 11 July 1988 and then disbanded again on 17 July 1988. The Officers assigned for this temporary duty adopted the Company slogan of “We covered their asses” using the Democratic Parry symbol on “T” shirts that were printed and are now a rare collector’s item. Company 4 bunked in at Station 15 and Battalion 3 was moved to Station 11 while the convention security forces used Station 4 as their headquarters. The Georgia Department of Transportation would finish using Fire Station 5 on Central Avenue as a construction office for the downtown connector work and the building would be demolished in ‘88. The only buildings now standing which had previously been Atlanta fire stations are old Station 4; Station 6 which is a Fire Museum old Station 16 and old station 17. Others include currently disbanded Station 7 and replaced Station 13 which remains city owned. Old 17 at Cascade and Ralph David Abernathy SW was used by the Police Athletic League. The original Station 18 was on Kirkwood Road NE and had been the City of Kirkwood water plant and fire station. When 18 got a new WPA built structure and moved over to Oakview Road SE in 1939 the building was used as the Kirkwood Branch of the Atlanta Public Library for many years. Former Station 16 on Marietta Street was sold and for years was occupied by Nathans Auto Parts. This building is still privately owned and used 96

for offices. Station 13 was renovated in 1988 at the cost of almost $100,000. Engine 13 was housed at Station 10 while this work was being done. Station 13 is now an empty building in 2012 as a new station was built across Metropolitan Ave SE from their former quarters. Three new Spartan/SPI 1500 GPM engines were placed in service during 1988 as Engines 12, 27, and 28. Ladder Companies 12 and 17 placed new 108 Foot Tillered Duplex/ LTI apparatus in service in March 1988. Truck Company 17 was organized from Ladder 7 which was disbanded. Relocating the aerial was needed to provide better coverage for West End and the Bush Mountain sections of the city. Lieutenant Paul Morley officially placed Ladder 17 in service when he gave a “Signal 13” at 15:31, on 31 March 1988. To assist when responding on “Automatic Aid” Atlanta companies bordering DeKalb and Fulton County Fire Department jurisdictions were given portable radios from the adjacent departments. There was more than one case of the departments listening to their neighbors and heading for the “boundary drop” alarms before officially being dispatched by their respective Communications Divisions. Sadly, by 2012 all of this automatic aid has disappeared other than the jointly dispatched units between Atlanta and the City of Sandy Springs and also with Fulton County Engine 23 in Sandtown. Department Chief William H Hamer retired at the end of the year. Chief Hamer had been with the Atlanta Fire Department and Atlanta Bureau of Fire Services for almost 26 years and was one of the original 16 Black firefighters hired in 1963. Several Chiefs Cars were relocated during 1988. Battalion 4 moved back to Station 25 from Station 17. Deputy Chief Car 900 relocated from Station 15 back to Station 1 on 1 July 1988 and Car 903 moved from Station 11 to the now vacated offices at Station 15 at the same time. 1989 Four new Spartan/Grumman 92 Foot mid mount Ladder Towers were placed in service in early 1989. These went to Truck Companies 8, 25, 29 and 34. These apparatus were extremely heavy (roughly 72,000 pounds) creating some interesting response routes as the Truck Companies were too heavy for many smaller street bridges and viaducts. History was made on Friday, 7 April 1989 when the Department went onto the “Silent Watch” program for night hours. This marked the first time since 1 July 1882 that a firefighter did not have to sit a watch during the night hours monitoring alarm bells in the old days or radio traffic today. Engine 34 was reestablished on 10 April 1989 in a new two bay station on Southside Industrial Parkway SE. This section of southeast Atlanta had originally been the Blair Villa Apartment complex and the South River Gardens and Poole Creek neighborhoods. The noise abatement and buyout programs from nearby Hartsfield International Airport had demolished almost all of the dwellings. The now vacant area was redeveloped as an industrial park and the station was added for fire protection. Ladder Company 30 was disbanded and reestablished as

History 1983-2012 Beginning The Second Century


Truck Company 34. Georgia Governor Joe Frank Harris presented the MFA MEDAL OF VALOR to Atlanta Firefighter Wendell I. Porter and DeKalb County Driver Engineer Lewis C. McClain in ceremonies at the State Capitol on 20 September 1989. November 1989 marked the end of AFD Station No. 3’s former building at 317 Marietta and Latimer Streets NW located in the Brooklyn section of the city. Engine 3 had been relocated to this station from quarters at 255 Marietta St. NW at Baker Street on 25 November 1884 and earlier at 14 North Broad Street NW (1861) and Walton & Spring Streets NW. in 1859. It was sad to see the typical two story brick firehouse being demolished. In December 1989, terminology of apparatus was changed and all Ladder Companies became known as Truck Companies. Hartsfield International Airports demand for Medical service caused the AFD to establish Echo 2; a second fully staffed Advanced Life Support Unit. The ambulance was assigned to Fire Station 35, located on the east side of airport, between the main pairs of runways. Echo 2 went into service on 15 December 1989. 1990 The Atlanta Fire Department was given national attention in the February 1990 issue of FIREHOUSE MAGAZINE when a detailed article on Peachtree - 25th Street Fire was printed. The incident was thoroughly researched by Carol L. O’Farrell (now Carol O. Ball) who at that time was Metro Fire Association Assistant Foreman and a DeKalb County FD Fire Education Specialist. The fire had occurred on 30 June 1989. In May 1990 the name reverted back to the Atlanta Fire Department from Atlanta Bureau of Fire Services. During 1990, Quality Fire Apparatus Company from Tuscaloosa Alabama started delivery of Spartan Gladiator chassis 1500 GPM engines with Cummings Diesel power plants. These were assigned to Engines 2, 8, 13, 14, 20, 26, and 34. These were 4-door cab styles. LTI delivered were two Spartan / LTI 110Ft. Tillered trucks assigned to Trucks 1 and 2. A new Ford Crown Victoria sedan was assigned to Battalion 4. New medium duty rescues were delivered to Rescue Companies 1, 2, 9 and 15. All were on International Chassis with 3-D Metals bodies. The airport saw deliveries of a Spartan Grumman 92 Aerial Cat Ladder Tower, Ford E-One mini pumper and three Spartan Quality 1500 GPM structural engines with 4-door cabs. On 15 June 1990 the Metropolitan Fire Association celebrated their 20th birthday as the local “fire buff club” Their June meeting was held at Atlanta Station No. 11 at 30 North Avenue NE. Station 11 was the site of their first official “in station” meeting which had been on 9 July 1970. Although the Montgomery County, Maryland Fire Department took honors of having the first “All Female” engine crew to work a 24 hour shift in the Spring of 1990, the Atlanta Fire Department has two “Firsts” involving some of our Female Firelighters. The AFD had the first mother/daughter on the same department occurred when Tina Hix was hired in September of 1985. Mother Joyce had been a firefighter since November, 1980. The AFD also had another

first when Firefighter Liz Summers, one of the original females hired in 1977 saw her son, Irving Reese follow in the family tradition become a firefighter in 1987. The first husband/wife team had been Joseph B. Marshall and Janie Jones-Marshall. On 4 October 1990, Deputy Chief David M. Chamberlin Sr. was named as Fire Chief by Mayor Maynard Jackson. This ended the long period of having only an Acting Chief leading the AFD since Chief Hamer’s retirement in December 1988. Beginning with the recruit class that started in February 1990, all personnel would graduate as at least an EMT. Existing personnel were provided with training to become EMT’s as well. Many would take additional training to be certified as paramedics. 1991 The paid Atlanta Fire Department entered its 109th year of operation in 1991. A committee of AFD employees and Metropolitan Fire Department members Greg Simpson and Dave Williams produced a 110th Anniversary book for the AFD which came out is 1992. With so many years of history, many very interesting facts have had to be omitted from all editions due to space limitations. While the committee which produced the 1992 book was “in the historical fact gathering mood”, there are very early plans to produce a book on the AFD written as a “history book”. Sadly this never was completed. By 2012 there is very active work being done to produce a Atlanta Fire Apparatus book and once that is completed, several of the MFA members again want to get the History book done as well. If done as we want to, all pages will be history and photos of working fires or apparatus. Since designed to be a history book the majority of this work could be filled with narrative. Stay tuned!!! Deputy Chief A.D. Bell retired from the Atlanta Fire Department in 1991 after being appointed to the position of Georgia State Fire Marshal by Governor Zell Miller. Chief Bell had spent 24½ years with the AFD before taking the statewide job. Due to storm damage to the roof of Station 6, Engine 6 had been temporarily housed with Company 4 since 3 March 1991. Again there were plans to disband Engine 6 however the Old 4th Ward neighborhood protested strongly. Mayor Jackson appeased the neighborhood stating that Engine 6 would not be disbanded. The AFD then disbanded Engine and Truck 4 on 11 April 1991. Since Company 4 was in a commercial zone, city management got little resistance to shutting down Company 4 and the neighborhood was appeased since that left Engine 6 operating from Station 4 on Ellis Street. Station 6 was then leased to the National Park Service for a Fire Museum. The Park Service had offices for the Martin Luther King Jr. Historic District on the second floor of the 1894 vintage building for many years. The City of Atlanta owned 1928 American LaFrance Type 145 engine was museum quality restored and is on display at this facility. With the disbanding of Company 4, Squad 5 was relocated from Station 1 to Station 4 to ease the very crowded conditions that existed at One. Squad 5 was disbanded and reestablished as Squad 4. Although these companies have relocated to 309 Edgewood Ave SE, Station 4 continues to house Squad 4 and Engine 6. Engine 5 was reestablished on 10 June 1991 in a new house at 2825 Campbellton Road SW due to distances to adjacent fire stations.

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Battalion 4 was relocated from Station 25 to this new station as well to be more centrally located in the Battalion. In 1991, the Atlanta Fire Department Honor Guard won the Honor Guard Competition at the International Society of Fire Service Instructors Convention held annually in Cincinnati, Ohio. This was an extreme honor for the AFD as competition was fierce. The AFD Honor Guard consisted of Section Chief McClendon Billings, Captain Barry Dodson, Lt. Calvin Mathews and Fire Medic Timothy J. Miller. All aspects of color guard precision drill and military flag folding were judged. The National Championship brought home a prize of $1,500. The AFD honored the city’s first African American Firefighters with a black tie dinner at the Marriott Marquis on 27 April 1991. These men had officially gone to work on 1 April 1963. New apparatus arrived in 1991 with; three Spartan / Quality 1500 GPM engines assigned to Engines 1, 5 and 6. Spartan LTI 110 Ft tiller trucks went to Trucks 10 and 38. Ford Crown Victoria sedans were assigned to Battalion 1, 5, and the Assistant Chief. Squad 4 received a new Spartan / Hackney heavy rescue and haz-mat truck. This rig had roll up doors and a rear command area. Support apparatus included a Ford F-150 truck with compartments for air bottles and a MAKO Air compressor trailer to run as a second piece to Mobile Air 7. The Ford and trailer were called Air 7-B. The airport received a Spartan Quality 1500 GPM structural engine. They also got a Spartan / Quality 1500 GPM engine with a 55 foot Readi – tower telescoping ladder and waterway. In addition they received a Spartan / LTI 110 Foot tiller and an Emergency-One Titan IV Crash Fire Rescue truck. This apparatus had Halon and 50 foot Stratosphere telescoping ladder and waterway For the first time since obtaining radios in the Chief Cars, the AFD abolished using the 900 numbers for Battalion Cars on 15 June 1991. The original radios used by the AFD were actually part of the Atlanta Police Department radio system. All of the Fire Department Cars were given numbers in the nine hundreds. When the Fire Department obtained their own channel for communications, the use of the 900 numbers continued for many years. In 2012 you still hear the Chiefs aids frequently referred to as “Nine –oh __” for the battalion aid such as “905”. The AFD expanded from one Assistant Chief covering all 7 Battalions to two when the department established Division I and Division II on 4 July 1991. Division I was based out of Station 1 and was responsible for all of Battalions 1, 2, 3 and 6. Division II was based out of the Hartsfield International Airport, Fire Headquarters building adjacent to Station 40. Division and was responsible for Battalions 4, 5 and 7. 1992 The department had been toying with the new Large Diameter Hose for some time. The three captains at Engine 18 agreed to try it. Engine 18 was Special Called from Kirkwood to a fire on Milton Avenue SE in the Peoplestown neighborhood due to the need for lots of water for ladder pipe operations. Although they learned the hard way to drop the line and then move the hose out of the center of the street BEFORE charging it, the use of the 5-inch supply line was basically successful at this fire in a well involved commercial building. 98

Following this fire Engine 7 and Engine 16 were also outfitted with five inch supply hose. The call signs were changed from engines to wagons to designate those with and those without 5-inch. Eventually one Engine in every battalion would become a Wagon, and eventually 5-inch supply lines would go city wide. In 1992 the department received Spartan / Quality 1500 GPM engines for Company 3, 7, 9, 16 and 22. Trucks were assigned to 25, 26 and 31. These were Spartan / LTI 90 foot mid mounts. Battalion 3 received a Ford Crown Victoria sedan and the air shop received an International E-1 air supply truck with a 40 CFM compressor. The airport received a Chevrolet mini-pumper with a Colet – Cheetah pump body and a 250 GPM pump. This truck carried 300 gallons of water. The height of the truck was kept low so it could handle calls inside the parking decks. Station 35 was relocated and rebuilt at 2150 Central Cargo Circle on the east end of Hartsfield – Jackson International Airport. The new station went in service 25 October 1992. The Atlanta Fire Department produced the 1992 Commemorative Book celebrating 110 years as a paid department. Copies of this book remain available for $68 (plus tax & shipping) from the Metropolitan Fire Association (www.metrofire.org) 1993 Following the abandonment of the Gamewell Fire Alarm street box system there was no longer a physical reason for fire headquarters to remain at 46 Courtland Street SE. Since no cables were all meeting at a single location and the fact that Fire Headquarters was surrounded by Georgia State University’s downtown Atlanta Campus, Fire and nearby APD Headquarters were sold to the State of Georgia and both headquarters operations were relocated to the former and at that time City of Atlanta owned multi story and multi building Sears Roebuck & Company southeastern catalog distribution center at 675 Ponce De Leon Ave NE. The Sears building became known as called City Hall East. In addition to housing the Police and Fire Headquarters, both the Police and Fire radio systems (along with all other city agencies) were merged into a common 911 Center in this building. All Public Safety headquarters were later moved to Peachtree SW and the former Sears complex sold to a private developer. New apparatus in ’93 included Spartan / LTI 100 Ft tiller truck for Truck 11. The airport received a Spartan / Hackney heavy squad hazmat rig with roll up doors and a GMC Kodiak chassis with a 1500 gallon foam tank. The truck ran as a Foam Tender. Battalion 2 & 5 received a new type command vehicle, a Ford/ Southern Ambulance vehicle with seating and tabletop area and an on-board generator. Engine 3 was reestablished on 20 June 1993 in a new 3-bay drive through station that was literally built on the ground level and under the parking deck at the rear of Phipps Plaza at Peachtree and Lenox Roads NE. Access to the station is from the Phipps Boulevard side. August 1993 saw the Metropolitan Fire Association establish the Hot News Alert Network. This system which still exists 19 years later was based on pager systems in Boston, Denver, Milwaukee, Chicago etc where working fires were paged to subscribers on Alpha-Numeric pagers.

History 1983-2012 Beginning The Second Century


1994 In 1994 a special temporary retirement plan was first introduced when “the rule of 75” was established where if your age and years of service added up to 75, you could retire. Within months of the announcement, the Atlanta Fire Department lost almost 100 of its senior firefighters including the Fire Chief, David Chamberlin. Engine 23 would again fall victim to budget issues and was disbanded on 24 November 1994. The station was never really idled as the Arson Investigators and one of the EMS supervisor units continued to operate from Station 23 in Berkley Park. New equipment placed in service was a Spartan/LTI 100’ Tiller Truck for No. 21. The Airport got its first Colet Jaguar K15 CFR rig. In 1994 the EMS Program underwent a major change. The Rescue Companies 1,2,8,9 and 15 were all disbanded. Personnel were reassigned to place Emergency Medical Technicians on specifically designated Engine companies. Over the next few years all engine companies would have at least an EMT on each shift. This let these engines to go as “First Responders” to provide quicker response by medical personnel. To provide assistance to the EMT, Med-Com 1 and Med-Com 2 were established to be the Medical Oversight units. Personnel assigned to these units were Paramedic Lieutenants. All reports produced for runs involving medical issues were sent to the Med-Com lieutenants for review to ensure correct terminology. The Med-Com trucks also carried extrication and other specialized tools. Since 1990, all Firefighter had to be Ga.-EMT’s. These engines had Basic Life Support capability. The medical team could start intravenous fluids (IV), shock a heart via an Automatic External Defibrillator (AED), treat medical and trauma patients. The extrication duties fell to the truck companies with assigned hydraulic cutters and spreaders, rams and shoring blocks. In August 1994 Atlanta Fire expanded their VHF radio system from “Dispatch” and “Fire ground” to an 8 channel system using some channels available from other departments who had shifted to 800 MHz or UHF. During 1994 an agreement was signed with Fulton County to use Station No. 39 on Wieuca Road NE to house Fulton County Engine 4. This was due to the FCFD having problems with response times in the morning traffic if having to respond south from FCFD Station 2 in downtown Sandy Springs. The agreement was that Engine 4 would respond to both county alarms and former Engine 39’s immediate alarm area inside the city as an exchange for rent. Atlanta Engine 39 officially was disbanded on 12 September 1994. Metro Fire Association operated Field Service 880 was relocated from Station 39 to Atlanta Station 3 at Phipps Plaza. With the formation of the City of Sandy Springs, the new SSFD liked the arrangement and in 2012 Quint-4 continues to occupy this 3-bay station running both Atlanta and Sandy Springs calls. 1995 Winston L. Minor became fire chief of the department on 11 September 1995. Chief Minor was a native of Atlanta and was appointed Fire Chief by Atlanta Mayor William “Bill” Campbell. Chief Minor became the second African American to serve as Department Chief.

More budget cuts would cause the elimination of Division II as well as again disbanding Battalion 1 during early 1995. The Metropolitan Atlanta Progressive Black Firefighters Association and the Georgia Fire Academy teamed up to present a seminar on “Addressing the Fire Problems in Minority Communities during March 1995 Retired Atlanta Fire Chief David Chamberlin was appointed the Fire and Public Safety Director of the Atlanta Centennial Olympic Games. Deputy Chief Vincent Dunn of the Fire Department – City of New York was in Atlanta to teach two seminars sponsored by the International Association of Fire Chiefs. Classes were conducted on Major Fire Incidents – Collapse of Burning Buildings and Safety on the Fire Ground. While in the city in April 1995, he also was the guest speaker at the Metropolitan Fire Associations April meeting which was an “ask the Chief questions on FDNY” event. There was a large attendance of MFA members as well as department personnel. Sixty AFD Lieutenants would take the written test for Captain and 400 took the written test for Lieutenant on Sunday 22 October 1995. From the list compiled the top fifty on the Captains side and 85 on the Lieutenants level would move on to the oral exam. At that time there were 27 Captain and 25 Lieutenant openings. The 1995 test list was used for two following years. During the year Atlanta Fire Communications radio system was converted from the old VHF radios to the new 800 MHz radio system. The new $36 million dollar system covers all radio systems in the city and not just fire. The cut over from the VHF system to the 800 MHz trunked system took place in the early morning hours of 12 November 1995 with the radio room located in the former Sears (City Hall East) Building on Ponce de Leon Ave NE. Atlanta Police would make the move to the 800 Trunked system two weeks later. Battalion 4 and 6 received a new style command vehicle, a Ford/ Southern Ambulance vehicle with seating and table top area and radio hook ups and an on-board generator. 1996 In January 1996 the Tandy Corporation, parent company of your neighborhood Radio Shack stores donated 8,000 smoke detectors to the Atlanta Fire Department. The AFD in turn to donated 2,000 of these to the Metro Atlanta Fire Chief ’s Association. Each of the 40 member departments benefited by receiving 50 detectors for use in their respective areas. These were designed to be given out to low income homes that might otherwise not be able to obtain a smoke detector. The AFD installed these detectors when delivered to ensure that they were placed in the proper area within the home. Statistics show that a greater than average fire incident rate occurs in low income areas with many lives lost due to lack of detection. Atlanta Mayor Bill Campbell accepted this great gift in a press conference at Atlanta Fire Station 22. On 25 January several promotions were made at the top Chief levels within the AFD. Very soon after this, new promotions were made to Assistant Chief (Division I) followed by Battalion Chiefs Captains and Lieutenants. The VHF channels that had been in use by the Atlanta fire department

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since in the 1940’s fell silent for the last time on 29 January 1996. All of this equipment was moved out of the 46 Courtland Street SE “Signal Office” as this former AFD Headquarters Building had been sold to Georgia State University. The 4th alarm fire at the Coach & Six Restaurant at 1776 Peachtree Road on Tuesday 6 February 1996 would be the first “Help Call” fire handled on the multi tactical channel system Everything is now on a repeated Trunked 800 MHz system. Due to some structural issues, Fire station No. 11 located at 30 North Ave. was closed 5 March 1996. Truck 11 was relocated to station 15, and ran as Truck 11 from Station 15 until 2001 before being disbanded to establish new Truck 15. Engine 11 was initially sent to Station 15 on 10th Street NE however within a few shift Engine 11 moved in with Engine 6 and Squad 4 at Station No. 4 on Ellis St NE. Eventually Engine 11 was disbanded and the company moved to reestablish Engine 23 in the summer of 1996. On 24 May Department Chief Winston Minor and Lieutenant Liz Summers graduated from the “Carl Holmes Executive Development Institute” (EDI). This institute is a graduate division of Florida A & M University in Tallahassee. Both completed a 5 year program in Management Systems. The City of Atlanta hosted the 1996 Summer Olympic Games held in Atlanta, Georgia. From a fire safety standpoint everything worked as planned under Chief Winston Minor’s command. The fire department opened two temporary fire stations to provide close protection for the events. Station 63 operated from Grant Field and Station 64 at operated from Hemphill and Eight Street, both on the Georgia Tech campus. These two temporary fire stations housed engines 51, 61, 62, 63, 64, 71, 72, 73, 81, and 82, and ladder companies 63, 64, and 81. They covered the Olympic Village and the events on the Georgia Institute of Technology campus. The ’96 Olympics were etched in history due to the bombing at Centennial Olympic Park along what at that time was the west side of Techwood Drive NW. The bombing occurred the night of 27 July 1996. One individual was killed and another died of a heart attack. Over one hundred people were treated at local hospitals. Field Service Unit 880 was called to the scene and spent several hours providing re-hab support for the fire and law enforcement personnel working the scene. Officials felt that running from the suburbs into incidents during the Olympics was easier than maneuvering around inside the congestion. Field Service Unit 880 was relocated to DeKalb County Station 21 in Dunwoody and although dispatched by the Atlanta Fire Department, would remain housed at DCFD 21 for a number of years. Atlanta Fire Departments first full time Public Information Officer, Lt. Tim Szymanski let the AFD immediately following the 1996 Olympics to take a job as the PIO for the Las Vegas NV Fire Department. He reported to that position on 12 August 1996 and as of 2012, continues in that capacity with the LVFD. Prior to coming to the Atlanta FD, the Lieutenant had been with the Gwinnett County and City of Winder Fire Departments. During 1996 the AFD established a presence on the web. Although site access has changed over the years the fire rescue department remains represented on the World Wide Web. The 50th anniversary remembrance of the tragic Winecoff Hotel fire was held at Atlanta Fire Station 6 Museum on 7 December 1996. 100

In spite of the heroic efforts of Atlanta’s Bravest and numerous surrounding fire departments, 119 people died, making the Winecoff the most deadly hotel fire in American History (to date). This event was conducted 50 years and 12 hours from the time the original alarm was received by phone on Saturday morning, 7 December 1946. The restored museum’s 1927 American-LaFrance, Type 145, pumper was one of the pieces of equipment which fought this fire. It is now preserved as part of the U.S. Park Service operated Martin Luther King Jr. Historical Site. Chief Joe Tolbert did an excellent job of giving a description of the fire and the operations to save lives and extinguish this fire. A new Spartan/LTI 100’ Tiller truck arrived for Truck 16. This replaced the last “senior aerial” built at the American-LaFrance plant in Elmira NY. 1997 In late 1997 the Relief Days “R-Days” were removed from the work schedule for all non-exempt employees. Captains at the time were still considered exempt employees. Another step forward would occur in 1997 as the Atlanta Fire Department forms and record keeping began to convert to an all electronic format. Within a few months hand written and documents generated on a typewriter were a thing of the past. Thursday, 13 March 1997 was a sad day for the AFD with the passing of Allen Candler Bryant Jr., Communications Director for the Atlanta Fire Department. Allen was an Atlanta native and graduate of Brown High School in West End in the Class of 1967. Prior to coming to Atlanta he had previously worked as a Police officer and Detective for DeKalb County and spent several years in their 911 center. His career in communications and his knowledge of the trunked 800 systems lead him to work for the Gwinnett County Fire Department 911 center before taking the City of Atlanta position. Allen collapsed while on duty in the A.F.D. Communications center at City Hall East. He was transported to Piedmont Hospital and passed on 14 March 1997. He was 47 years old. His funeral was Tuesday 18 March with burial at Westview Cemetery in Atlanta. Allen was married to the former Carol Hornsby, the daughter of A.T. Hornsby, retired AFD 4th Battalion Chief. With many departments going to the Trunked 800 MHz radio systems, conventional scanners no longer allowed members to hear communications while off duty. In early 1997 Uniden introduced the “Trunk-Tracker models, which, although pricy, did again let people listen in to the happenings of the Atlanta Fire Department. The first edition of the Atlanta FD’s new newsletter In QUARTERS hit the streets on 24 April 1997. All AFD personnel were been asked to submit articles for consideration by the newsletter committee. This was the first department wide newsletter since Tim Szymanski left for Las Vegas. By 2012 the newsletter has stopped and started several times almost always with different names. The department is currently producing THE SUPPLY LINE as a quarterly publication. Atlanta Fire Station No 2 had some sinking floor issued s in the apparatus bay during 1997. The floor was replaced but the station never was totally abandoned during the work. During the day, trucks were stored outside since the work did not affect the crew quarters (other than noise and dirt). At night, Engine & Truck 2 relocated

History 1983-2012 Beginning The Second Century


down to Station 34 and Med Com 2 quartered with Engine 30. This created some unusual assignments during the night hours due to the long response times for Company 2 from 34’s.

technology for respiratory safety at incidents. Each firefighter received their own face piece. The shocker of the year was that the city gave all firefighters a $2000 pay bonus.

New apparatus arrived for Engines 21, 31 and 38 who received Spartan/Quality 1500GPM pumpers. The Airport Battalion received a Spartan/Quality 1500GPM Structural engine and Colet Jaguar K40 CFR rig.

Atlanta continued to work on becoming an accredited agency. During 1999 the department made the grade and did earn the accreditation from the Commission of Fire Accreditation International. Atlanta Fire Rescue became the largest department to earn that distinction to that date.

1998 Due to the fire incidents and especially the number of fatalities associated with living units that had no detection for early warning Chief Winston Minor re-established the smoke detector program originally begin in 1983. Initially, various manufacturers donated detectors to the stations. Neighborhood residents were canvassed as far as needs and AFD personnel passed out and installed them to those who needed them. The reinstated program remains ongoing in 2012 with some grant money being used to purchase detectors. Fourteen continuous years into this program, it is estimated that AFR personnel have distributed (and in most cases installed) an estimated 50,000 smoke detectors. Sadly, since battery operated, there have been several documented cases where fires occurred on low income residents where AFD had installed early detection devises, but the residents had removed the battery rendering the smoke detector useless and inoperable. During June 1998 the State of Florida requested mutual aid due to some massive brush fires down in the middle other their state. The Georgia Mutual Aid Group (GMAG) assembled apparatus and manpower from throughout the State of Georgia, including several who volunteered from the Atlanta FD. Firefighters were deployed for one week tours with shifts leaving on Monday and Thursday. Additional Basic Life Support engines were created in the latter part of 1998. These included Engine 1, 18, 20, 27, 29 and 34. The BLS Wagons are Wagon 3, 5, and 12. For those who were not buffing the AFD at this time Engines carried standard 3-inch supply lines and Wagons carried 5 inch Large Diameter hose. Retired Chief Ray Gossett passed away on 27 November 1998. Chief Gossett along with several other Atlanta Fire Department and Metropolitan Fire Association members are the ones who produced the 1975 Atlanta yearbook. Much of the material they gathered you have also read in this edition in 2012. Atlanta would end 1998 with 53,321 alarms. No annual report was produced by the department which previously had shown number of personnel and alarm details. The final run honors went to Truck No. 2 for a water problem assist on 31 December at 23:55. Run No. 1 for 1999 had gone to Engine 7 for a grass fire rolling out at 00:26. The initial working fire for the new year was at 00:57 for an apartment fire at 1084 Ponce de Leon Ave NE near North Highland Ave NE. New arrival for Engine 25 as a Spartan/Quality 1500GPM engine was placed in service. 1999 During 1999 the Atlanta Fire Department replaced the Cairns breathing apparatus, with new Scott 4.5 units providing the latest

A ten year Lease-Purchase agreement with Quality Fire Apparatus Company of Tuscaloosa, Alabama began the re-equipping of the entire engine and truck apparatus fleet. The last total re-equipping of the fleet occurred in 1918 when the city motorized the entire department with ALF rigs. The Airport received the first of the Plans apparatus as a Spartan/ Quality 1500GPM engine with a 60 gallon Class A foam tank and foam system for structural responses. It was the first to have air conditioning. The Airport also received, but not part of the Plan a Spartan/LTI 100’ Tiller Truck. Atlanta got additional accolades in 1999 as the International Association of Fire Chiefs presented Department Chief Winston Minor the International Benjamin Franklin Fire Service Leadership Award. In addition Firefighter Matt Mosley of Squad 4 earned the IAFC’s Benjamin Franklin Fire Service Award for Valor for the rescue of Iver Sims during the Fulton Bag and Cotton Mill Fire of 12 April 1999. The Atlanta Fire Department hosted an Above Ground Tank Symposium in May 1999. The classes were conducted by well-known professionals discussing the hazards of the large fuel depots such as the two tank farms on Parrott Ave NW and those at Hartsfield – Jackson International, both within the city. The event was sponsored by Chem-Guard Inc., EFA Technologies, Industrial Scientific Corp, The Georgia Fire Academy both Colonial and Plantation Pipeline companies. Hull, Massachusetts firefighter John Clasby was severely injured at a fire in Hull when a propane tank exploded. The shrapnel severed John’s spinal cord, leaving him paralyzed from the abdomen down, After hospitalization in Boston, John was transferred to Shepherd Spinal Center in Atlanta for rehab training for six weeks. Members of the Atlanta Fire Department provided support for John and his family, including taking him to the Metro Atlanta Fire Apparatus Show and Muster. The original plan was for him to be at the muster an hour or so… He was enjoying the socialization with all the local Georgia firefighters so much they arrived at noon and were some of the last to leave. A great showing of southern hospitality to an injured firefighter brother from the metro Boston area. The annual Metro Atlanta Fire Apparatus Show and Muster moved locations from Atlanta Area Technical and Metropolitan College campuses to an open area on the corner of Phipps Plaza near Atlanta Fire Station No. 3 for the last Saturday in July event. It would remain at this location until eliminated from AFD events due to lack of funding. Atlanta hosted the joint conference of the Georgia Association of Fire Chiefs and the Georgia Firefighters Association 11 thru 15 August 1999.

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The AFD Planning Committee sold watches with the AFD Patch logo during the holiday season in 1999. 2000 Firefighter Matt Mosley was presented the Metropolitan Fire Association MEDAL OF VALOR by Georgia Governor Roy Barnes on Tuesday 4 January 2000 for his dramatic rescue at the Fulton Bag & Cotton Mill fire during 1999. The MFA Medal of Valor is the absolute highest award that can be presented to an Atlanta, Fulton County DeKalb County or Cobb County firefighters and is equal to the military Congressional Medal of Honor. New apparatus continued to arrive in the fire department, due to the lease purchase plan. Engine 18, 29, 23 and 30 received their Spartan/ Quality rigs. Changes in station air quality standards caused the AFD to look at all of the fire houses. Apparatus starting and returning to the stations placed a lot of diesel exhaust inside the buildings. This was placing the hazard in the apparatus bays, but also getting into the day rooms and sleeping quarters. Technology was adapting along with the standards changes and exhaust removal equipment began to be slowly put in the fire stations to capture the vehicle exhaust and vent it to atmosphere external to the building. Keeping all the black diesel exhaust out of the building assisted all stations with general housekeeping and repainting needs as well. The Atlanta Fire Department produced History of Service yearbook updating details from the previous yearbooks. The book was released from the publisher on 6 April 2000. Due to space limitation much of the AFD history was dramatically compressed in this edition. On 23 May 2000 Atlanta Fire Station 14 was closed and the engine move north to house with Engine and Air 7. The small single bay residential cottage type which had served Oakland City since 17 May 1913 was soon demolished and work began on a new two bay, drive through station on the same lot at 1203 Lee Street SW on the corner of Avon Ave SW. The new fire station opened in 2001. This was the first of several proposed station rebuilds, in some cases to replace worn out, century old facilities. So far, stations 4, 14, 13, 18, 25, 28 and 35 have had total replacement or massive renovations which should be completed in 2012. The original plan was to replace two fire stations a year but the economic downturn since 2008 has pretty well stopped this project. Engine Company 19 would celebrate their 75th Anniversary in 2000. T-shirts were printed and patches were also sold by the “Champagne Bulldog” company. Company 19 went in service on 1 June 1925. In July 2000 regional firefighters were provided with free training when the Norfolk-Southern Railroad and the Federal Railroad Administration teamed up to bring the PCS Phosphate “Fire Safety Train” to Atlanta for a week of Haz-Mat classes. The event was held in “the gulch” across from Atlanta Fire Station No. 1 and at the rear of the Norfolk Southern railroad office buildings, (which are now closed). The training train was held over and short classes held during the annual Metro Atlanta Fire Apparatus Show and Muster also held in the parking lots beneath the MLK and Techwood viaducts. Atlanta’s historic Fire Station 11 at 33 North Avenue NE was sold during late 2000. Although it had had several names, the building still 102

stands and is used as a restaurant in 2012. During 2000 the fire department started a three year replacement plan of all fire equipment. Through a lease / purchase agreement all 33 engines, and 11 trucks were replaced in a less than a three year period. The idea was to totally standardize the entire fleet for easier maintenance on parts etc. Although this did place some newer apparatus in reserve for a few years, by 2012 this has come back to haunt the city. Twelve years later all of this equipment now has high mileage and creates severe maintenance issues and keeping the aging fleet running and in service has been at a very high cost. During 2011 three engines and one ladder were received which has again begun a systematic replacement program with some equipment replaced annually. Additional new equipment is expected during the latter part of 2012. 2001 Two Thousand one would see Mayor Shirley Franklin become the first female Mayor of the City of Atlanta. Former AFD “Acting Director” Chief J.I. “Hoot” Gibson passed away on 1 September 2001. Chief Gibson had been with Atlanta from 1946 to 1978 when he resigned to become the department chief for the newly formed Fulton County Fire Department. Following the death of Department Chief P.O. Williams, then Mayor Maynard Jackson appointed Chief Gibson “Acting Director” but never promoted him to the top position. At this time it was the Atlanta Bureau of Fire Services under the Department of Public Safety. Neither the Police or Fire sides had Chief Officers, only Directors. Former Atlanta Assistant Chief R.T. Strong who retired from Atlanta following a 26 year career passed away on 8 December 2001. After his retirement from Atlanta, he then became the Department Chief of the Fulton County Fire Department. New rigs continued to pour in to the shop to be assigned. Engine 12, 17, 6, 28, 2, 27, 7, 1, 10, 15, 20, 22, 8, 13, 9, 16, 19 and 5 all got their Spartan Quality rigs. Truck assignments were Truck 1, 12 and 17 received a Spartan/Aerial Innovations (AI) 105’ Tiller. Trucks 25 and 29 each got a Spartan /LTI 90’ mid-mount aerial. 2002 Fire station No. 4 was next to be replaced and relocated to its new building at 309 Edgewood Ave S.E. near Fort Street on 21 February 2002. This facility houses Engine 6 and Squad 4. Former Station 4 on Ellis Street NE was sold but the building remains standing. During 2002 all of the 1993 and ’95 Battalion vans were replaced by Ford Excursion SUV type vehicles with command modules in the cargo area. These modules allow the command team to plan the operations on table drawers with dry erase surfaces and remote radio console. New engines arrived for 26, 14, 34, 3, 21, 38, 31 and 25. Trucks were assigned to 2, 38, 21, 11 and 10 as they got Spartan/AI 105’ Tillers. Trucks 31 and 26 received Spartan/LTI 90’ mid-mount aerials. Division1, the Assistant Chief received a new Ford crown Victoria sedan. The Airport received a Spartan/Quality 1500GPM Structural engine.

History 1983-2012 Beginning The Second Century


On 15 May 2002 the CSX Railroad presented a check for $1000 to the Georgia Firefighters Burn Foundation to show their appreciation of the AFD’s response and handling of two railroad incidents in March of this year. The presentation was made at Atlanta Fire Station No. 8, which is first due at CSX’s huge Tilford Classification and Maintenance Yard. The Atlanta Fire Department hosted an AMTRAK sponsored “Emergency Response to Passenger Train incidents” training class in July 2002. Classes were taught by Larry Beard, Director of Emergency Response for AMTRAK The classroom sessions where held at Atlanta Training Center on Ashwood Ave SW with the cars parked in the gulch by South Tower off Spring Street SW. The drill part of these classes took place at the rail cars during the Metro Atlanta Fire Apparatus Show and Muster on 27 July 2002. Following the terrorist attacks of 2001, the AFD Training Division conducted a Firefighter Survival Class at the training center on Ashwood in July. 2003 Chief Winston Minor would retire from the department at the end of January 2003. He was temporally replaced by Deputy Chief Kenneth Allen who served as acting department chief for the remainder of the year. Several areas of southwest Atlanta were among a number of metro area cities that experienced severe flooding due to heavy rains on 21 September 2003. AFD of course responded and assisted removing citizens from danger on that Saturday night. In an effort to give back to the community, Captain Jimmy Hodges led a team of off duty firefighters who returned one week later on 28 September to the hard hit areas to assist elderly citizens clearing out flooded basements and debris removal. Most of these volunteer were members of the Atlanta Black Firefighters - Brothers Combined Association. Due to the influx of equipment Atlanta needed the long bay stations to store spare Tillered aerials. Field Service Unit 880 was asked to vacate the bay at Atlanta Fire Station 3 and the Atlanta volunteers operations were moved to DeKalb County Station 21 in Dunwoody on 6 September 2003. Although housed in DeKalb, ReHab-880 operations continued to be dispatched by the Atlanta FD. A photo taken by Metropolitan Fire Association member Greg Simpson at an apartment fire at North Avenue and North Highland Avenue on 10 March 2003 was used as a cover shot on an edition of FIRE ENGINEERING magazine. The 20th Annual Metro Atlanta Fire Apparatus and Apparatus Show was held Phipps Plaza in Buckhead adjacent to the quarters of Engine No. 3. One October 2003 marked a historic date and the few remaining municipal radio fire alarm boxes were silenced. The hard wired cable boxes had been gone since in the mid 1970’s, primarily due to MARTA Subway construction. Lots of these originally got replaced with Gamewell radio boxes. With more pay phones and eventually so many cell phones, the cost of maintaining the box system for the very few bonified alarms received on them made removal extremely cost justified.

On 1 December 2003 Dennis Rubin was appointed as Department Chief replacing Interim Atlanta Fire Department Chief Kenneth Allen. The last rig of the lease / purchase plan arrived for Truck 16. The got a Spartan/AI 105’ Tiller. The Airport received three Ford E350 ambulances. 2004 Dennis Rubin would take over as the fire chief in January 2004. He had previously served as both the fire chief and later as the city manager of Dothan, Alabama. He was the first fire chief hired from outside the fire department since B. J. Thompson in 1982. Both chiefs were responsible for bringing the International Fire Chief Conference to the City of Atlanta. Dennis Rubin’s experience in fire and rescue spanned more than 35 years. He was Fire Chief Norfolk, Virginia; and Dothan, Alabama before his appointment to the Atlanta top job. Rubin has written more than 160 professional journal articles and authored three books. Rubin had graduated from the University of Maryland with a B.S. in fire administration. The first paramedic engines were placed in service, and a paramedic supervisor was put in place to assist with oversight. Engines 2, 5, 15, 21, 23 and 38 led the way placing at least one paramedic engine in each battalion. Due to continued medical demand at Hartsfield – Jackson International Airport, a third Echo unit - was placed into service at Station No.40. Due to the continuing demand for specialized services the Georgia Mutual Aid Group received funding to purchase and equip several Georgia Search and Rescue apparatus with one of these trucks assigned to the Atlanta Fire Department. During 2004 all personnel on all shifts at Station No. 8, Squad 4, and Station 14 received G.S.A.R. Training. When training was completed, Georgia Search and Rescue, (G.S.A.R), activated “G.S.A.R. 6” which was assigned to Station No. 8. The new rig for GSAR 6 was a Spartan/ Rosenbauer tractor and crew cab pulling a General Safety Heavy Rescue trailer with roll up doors and required equipment. The Airport received a Ford F350/Custom Works 250GPM Mini pumper. On 28 May 2004 the Atlanta Fire Foundation was approved and was granted a 501-C-3 status by the IRS. This would be the beginning of a conduit for local business and residents to support the men and women of the Atlanta Fire rescue Department. In the aftermath of some of America’s most tragic events, it became evident that our Corporate Partners and Communities must contribute their resources toward the funding of a leading edge fire and emergency service program. The purpose of which is to provide the Atlanta Fire Rescue Department with the resources necessary to operate and respond effectively to local as well as national emergencies. While the City continued to grow at a rapid pace, budgetary constraints made it increasingly difficult to provide the economic resources necessary to meet as well as exceed the public safety needs and expectations of its residents. The main purpose of the Atlanta Fire Foundation is to galvanize the City’s residents and business leaders to assist in providing the financial support necessary to

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operate, develop and sustain the fire department’s capabilities to effectively respond to all emergencies. The Foundation, through fundraising efforts, allowed the Atlanta Fire-Rescue Department to develop comprehensive training and education programs for its officers and insure that the individuals providing emergency services are equipped with state-of-the-art equipment. In so doing, each resident and visitor of the City will be served, as the overall safety will be enhanced. The Atlanta Fire Foundation is a nonprofit organization established totally for the purpose of providing Atlanta’s firefighters with stateof-the-art equipment, education, training, and the establishment of community outreach initiatives between firefighters and residents of the City of Atlanta. This Corporation is operated as a “charitable” organization within the meaning of section 501 (c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986, as amended. The Foundation’s mission is to aid, support and assist Atlanta Fire-Rescue, through gifts, contributions, or other means. 2005 Fair Labor Standards act allowed overtime to be paid to captains for the first time in 2005. Changes were made to the cities pension program maximizing at 3% a year with a cap of 80%. To conform to NFPA Standards and general fire service trends, Atlanta Fire Communications was ordered by the Department Chief to assign two fire chiefs on all fire alarms. This was done to allow the second chief to assume the duties of an additional sector commander or if not needed in that role to be the safety officer for the event. The department began allowing crews to wear uniform shorts while on duty. Eventually the dangers of medical calls with bare skin which could easily make patient contact caused personnel to again have to revert to long pants. Due to the trends of the times and most alarms being of a medical rather than a fire nature, the Atlanta Fire Departments name was officially changed to the Atlanta Fire Rescue Department in early 2005. With the increased number of suspicious packages; unknown powders and the ever increasing threat of terrorist activity the department established a Homeland Security Chief. Atlanta Fire Rescue responded to the call for disaster assistance and sent both equipment and personnel to the Mississippi Gulf Coast following the terrible destruction to the area caused by Hurricane Katrina. Crews were assigned by FEMA to work in Mississippi from Biloxi, westward to Pearlington in Mississippi and eventually some were detailed from Chef Menteur to parts of the City of New Orleans in Louisiana. While retirements from fire departments are normal, 16 November 2005 would end a string of four generations of firefighters in the Atlanta Fire Department with the retirement of Assistant Chief Joseph M. Tolbert who was assigned to Division 1. He retired following a 33 year career with the AFD. Over the years and family history, Chief Tolbert had collected a massive amount of historic documents and photos of the early days of the Atlanta FD. Like Chief Stephen B Campbell before him, he had a massive interest in the department and many items you see in this book are from their personal collections. 104

2006 In 2006 Brenda N. Willis made departmental history as she became the first female to be appointed as a Deputy Chief in Atlanta Fire Rescue Department Fire Company 33 was reestablished for the first time since 1978 when Station 33 was opened in May at Hartsfield Jackson International airport. Thirty-Three became the fifth fire station assigned strictly to the world’s busiest airport. There quarters are south of Sullivan Road and were needed to protect the newly constructed fifth runway. Mobile Data Terminals (MDT) began to be installed in all apparatus and would go on line in 2008 after the new 911 center opened in a downtown Atlanta location. Engine 36, 13, 17, and 7 were upgraded to paramedic engines over the course of the year. Squad 4 received a new Spartan/Emergency-One Heavy Rescue/ Hazmat rig with 8 man seating and required equipment. Field Service Unit 880 (now ReHab-880) was relocated from DeKalb County Station No. 21 back to Atlanta Fire Station 3. Although housed in Dunwoody since September 2003, it always was dispatched by Atlanta Fire communications. As of this book in 2012, ReHab-880 continued to be housed and operated from Atlanta Station No. 3. The Atlanta Fire Rescue Department and many survivors, families of victims etc., met at the Spotted Dog restaurant located in former Atlanta Fire Station No. 11 on 3 December marking the 60th year since the tragic Winecoff Hotel fire that claimed 119 lives on 6 December 1946. 2007 The FAA changed the apparatus ID’s at the airport from “Yellow” to the following: engines to the station number, ladders started at 41, 42 and 43, CFR’s became ARFF 1 to 10, Echo to Medic, Minipumpers were numbered 44, 50 and 51, Squad 24 became Squad42, Mass Casualty became MCU46, and administrative cars took their rank or position. The Yellow, (and before that Red) were used as that was the apparatus color. These new FAA required designations were required nationwide. Many of the photos in any Fire Departments yearbooks are taken by fire buffs. These are dedicated individuals, who in many cases are not and have never been on a fire department but are collectors of FD history or respond on single and multiple working incidents to record what is going on in photos. Many many of the photos in this and all of the Atlanta history books since 1975 have been taken by members of the Metropolitan Fire Association. Atlanta would lose one of those dedicated people on 29 March 2007 when former Kodak employee and MFA member Hugh Brannon passed away at 83. His vast collections of slides now reside with and are preserved at the Atlanta History Center in Buckhead. Effective 6 March 2007 Department Chief Dennis Rubin resigned his position with the City of Atlanta to return to his home town and become the Department Chief of the District of Columbia Fire Department in Washington DC. His last day at the Atlanta helm was 7 April.

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With the creation of the new City of Sandy Springs, a rash of new incorporated cities formed eliminating all unincorporated areas in the northern part of Fulton County. On the south end, the City of Chattahoochee Hill Country formed in the very southern portion of the county. Some residents tried to form a new city in what was left of unincorporated south Fulton but not all residents or businesses wanted to go into a new town and this was voted down by the residents. Several sections and entire sub divisions of the Sandtown and Utoy Springs Community instead asked the City of Atlanta to annex them. To provide city services Atlanta asked Fulton County if they could house an engine with Fulton Company 23 on Cascade Road SW. Almost in typical Fulton/ Atlanta political squabbling, county officials, mad at the city for annexing said NO. About three years would pass before protecting this area would be worked out. In April 2007 Fire Station No. 36 was re-established at 1335 Kimberly Road SW. This was a very less than ideal arrangement as the Engine Company crews initially were living in one big room in what had been the cafeteria /auditorium of an abandoned City of Atlanta former elementary school. Engine 36’s apparatus was just parked in the open by the dumpsters. Eventually double wide trailers were moved in adjacent to a service driveway at the rear of the school for the crew and an open ended tent type shelter provided to cover their apparatus. Although now out of the rain it still was not adequately protected as there was no way to heat the apparatus shelter during the winter. Neither the truck nor equipment could ever be locked up at the Kimberly Road location. Although the trailers were decent for a while, there was no way to connect to a sewer line since the trailers were at the back of the school. Waste went into a sewage holding tank that had to be commercially pumped out several times a week at tremendous expense. Engine 36 would endure this from April 2007 until February 2009 when the “trailer park” was closed and Engine 36 relocated to operate out of Atlanta Station 9. Eventually an agreement was made where the City of Atlanta pays Fulton County to respond Engine 23 as first due in these annexed areas which had been in 23’s immediate prior to annexation. At that time in 2010, Engine 36 was again disbanded and manpower moved to reform Squad 4, which had been disbanded due to budget issues and manpower shortages. Atlanta and its Fire Department were suddenly placed in the national media spotlight at 05:41 on 2 March when a bus carrying the Bluffton University baseball team was involved in a fatal accident at Northside Drive NW and I-75. Details of this incident are covered in the Notable Fire section of this book. Paramedic Supervisor Unit PS-1 and PS-2 were established on 9 August 2007. These were Lieutenants who responded to critical medical incidents. These units would remain in service until 12 June 2008 when they were disbanded. Atlanta Fire Rescue placed Battalion 1 back in service, and charged them with special operations command. On 1 June 2007, Truck 11, which had been operating from Station 15 since Station 11’s closure in 1996, was disbanded to form newly established Truck 15. This was merely a name change. New apparatus deliveries were 2 Chevrolet Suburban’s for Battalion 3 and 5 and an International/E-One Breathing Air supply rig. The

new air unit was placed in service as Air7. It has a Mako 33.2 CFM breathing air compressor and remains in front line service in 2012. The Airport received 10 Oshkosh Striker 3000 CFR rigs and a Ford F-550 mobile stairway to assist evacuating passengers from planes. Construction began on the new City of Atlanta Public Safety Building at 225 Peachtree Street SW adjacent to the Atlanta City Jail. The building now houses Fire, Police, and Corrections headquarters which were moved from City Hall East. City of Atlanta hosted the International Fire Chief Conference for the second time. City began its random drug screen policy The Atlanta Fire Department produced 125 Year of History yearbook updating details from the previous hard bound yearbooks. Atlanta and many other metro department provided equipment and manpower to assist a massive woods fire that gutted most of the Okeefenokee National Wildlife Park in SE Georgia between Waycross and Fargo. These were known as the Sweat Farm Fire and the Georgia Bay Complex. The fire burned 564,460 acres in Georgia and Florida. Following the L.O.D.D. of Atlanta Firefighter Steven Solomon, thirty-five member of the Atlanta and Macon Fire Departments volunteered their time and constructed a house for Firefighter Solomon’s widow. Although a lot of work, crews managed to finish the log cabin building in time for the family to have Christmas in their new home. 2008 Kelvin Cochran takes the helm as the Department Chief of the Atlanta Fire Rescue Department in January 2008. Groundbreaking for replacement Fire Station No. 13 took place on 3 May 2008. Atlanta Fire Rescue Department was awarded the status of “Accredited Agency” by the Commission on Fire Accreditation on 12 August 2008.. Atlanta Station held their 38th annual Christmas Dinner for Deserving Children at the fire station on Saturday 15 December 2008. Over 250 children and their families were in attendance. Station 16 has done this event since 1970. Battalion 2, 3 and 5 received Chevrolet Suburban command cars with command modules in the cargo area, two Ford 250 GPM mini pumpers arrived for #11 and 23 and an International Command and Communications van for large and prolonged incidents was placed in service as a special call piece of equipment. 2009 The temporary station for Engine 36 was abandoned and the company relocated from the trailer park / tent city on Kimberly Road SW to Atlanta Station 9 on Martin Luther King Jr. Drive NW in April 2009. Work continued and later that year an agreement was reached with Fulton County where Engine 23 would respond “first due’ back into what had previously been their own territory before the annexation in exchange for Atlanta Company 9 and 31 responding “first due” to areas in the unincorporated county where city stations were closer…

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Interesting how the automatic aid concept had again returned to the southwest side of Atlanta. Atlanta Chief Kelvin J. Cochran would leave Atlanta in July 2009 having accepted an appointment from President Barack Obama to serve as U.S. Fire Administrator. No permanent chief was named to replace him Torrential rains created record setting flooding in Atlanta and the surrounding metro area in September 2009. The massive amounts of rain water caused creeks to begin rapidly rising on 20 September. The streams and the adjacent Chattahoochee River would not crest until late on 21 September. The rapidly moving extremely high water caused many many roads and bridges to be severely damaged or completely washed out. Travel west of Atlanta and in the southwest section of the city was totally crippled. Over the entire western side of Georgia there was massive damage to infrastructure and private property. The event caused 100++ year flooding in many areas and caused multiple fatalities in the Atlanta metro area and throughout parts of Georgia and Alabama. Flooding again became a problem in Atlanta as the remnants of Hurricane Ida would roll through the area generating torrential rains in November 2009. Heavy rains forced some creeks over their banks in several Atlanta-area neighborhoods again creating an operational strain on the department’s ability to handle this type of emergencies. Georgia had roughly $500 million in flood related losses during 2009! As part of the Atlantic Station redevelopment project of the former site of the Atlantic Steel Company, the developer agreed to construct a replacement for Fire Station 11. A new KME Engine and Pierce Arrow rear mount aerial were delivered. Issues developed between the contractor and the city accepting the new fire Station. The brand new equipment sat outside in the yard at the Fire Department Shops on Claire Drive SW for an extended period of time before finally being placed in service. The Airport received two Pierce 85’ Quint Rear Mount Ladder Towers in 2009 and an International Shoring truck and trailer was placed in service as part of the GSAR team. 2010 After a fourteen year lapse in having their own fire hall, the slogan “Above the Best” was re-established in a new Fire Station 11 on 8 December 2010. Company 11 is in a large two story facility at 165 16th Street NW just west of Techwood Drive and the I-75 /I-85 downtown connector. This was a new company operating with an engine and truck once again along with a new the mini pumper for parking deck fires. Truck 15, having been made from original Truck 11, was not disbanded to reform new Truck Company 11. Engine Company 13 would also get new quarters in 2010. The new station was officially dedicated on 18 May 2010. It sits across Metropolitan Ave SE and technically is next door to the previous station. It replaced a former Phillips 66 station that occupied the NW corner of Flat Shoals Ave and Metropolitan Ave SE in East Atlanta for many years. Thirteen went from a single story, single bay fire hall to a two bay, two story, and fully sprinkled fire station. In June, Engine 18 was relocated from their temporary home on Warren Street at the Grady Health Center into a new station of the 106

same design and Engine 13’s new house. In this case however, the WPA vintage station was razed and the new fire station constructed on the same lot. 2011 Several periods of heavy rain over the last couple of years continued to cause severe flooding in low areas along flood prone creeks including Nancy, Peachtree, Poole, Proctor and Utoy. In all instances there were calls for assistance from residents that were trapped in their homes or business. They then called upon Atlanta Fire for assistance. The worst flooding to hit the metropolitan Atlanta area occurred in September 2009. The City of Atlanta escaped the brunt of that particular storm which held slightly to the west of the city doing massive damage in Cobb, Douglas, Paulding and other counties the west of the City of Atlanta. Following a few more flash flooding events, Atlanta fire Rescue management acknowledged that they were “ill equipped” to handle swift water events. Although there were some trained and certified personnel, lack of a boat severely limited effectiveness. During 2011 new water craft were obtained and personnel trained in its use in swift water. The rescue boats have been assigned to Station 11 and will be pulled by Mini-Pumper 11. During 2012 Atlanta Station 35 at the east end of and between the runways at Hartsfield Jackson International Airport was rebuilt and renovated. As with Company 18 before them, crews and apparatus were moved to temporary housing while the work was being done. During 2011, KME delivered two 1500 - GPM engines to Engine 2 and 22. There were on display at the International Association of Fire Chiefs conference held in Atlanta at the World Congress Center. They were also the first new apparatus added to the city fleet in many years. Construction started on a replacement for Fire Station 28. The new facility will be on a triangular piece of land at Hollywood Road and Felker Ward Street NW in Riverside. This is about 3 blocks southeast of the current station at Main Street NW and Church Street in downtown Riverside. 2012 On 16 May 2012 the Atlanta Fire Rescue Department held the 66th Annual Firefighter Memorial Ceremony in the Atrium at the Atlanta City Hall. The event was started in 1946 to commemorate the tragic loss of six firefighters on 6 May 1925. Firefighters from Companies 4 and 6 were crushed while operating at a multi alarm fire in the Jass Manufacturing Company at 321 Decatur St SE between Bell Street and Grant Street SE. The company was a cotton waste reclamation operation, an industry prone to frequent fires and a location of numerous alarms over the years. Although the fire was rapidly extinguished, water from firefighting efforts had saturated over 150 typical 500 pound bales of reprocessed cotton on a mezzanine. As firefighters moved in for overhaul and mop up, the mezzanine collapsed killing six and seriously injuring six others. This annual event is held in May every year. An enhanced 911 information system for City of Atlanta residents was made available city wide in 2012 and is being used by emergency dispatchers. The Atlanta Fire Rescue Department is not only urging residents to register for Smart911, but its employees as well. When registering, the system allows users to enter whatever

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personal information that they feel comfortable with sharing via on line registration. This information can include a home or work address, information about disabilities, medications, alternate contact numbers, pictures, automobile descriptions, and other information that may be pertinent for first responders, during an emergency. Remember - anyone that lives, works, or plays within the City could potentially benefit from first responders having the preregistered information available. Additionally, when traveling abroad any jurisdiction that utilizes Smart911 will have your information readily available, making registration a win for everyone. On 5 June, 2012, forty-four Atlanta Fire-Rescue Department Fire Recruits completed nine months of training to obtain their National Professional Qualifications Standards for Firefighter I and Certifications, Licensure in State and National Registry as Emergency Medical Technician-Intermediate Certifications, Hazardous Materials Awareness and Hazardous Materials Operations. The AFR would like to congratulate all forty-four graduates of Recruit Class 11-02 and 12-01 on their accomplishments while in training. The departmental management looked forward to their contributions while providing exemplary service to the residents of the City of Atlanta. The graduation ceremony was held at the Atlanta Civic Center at 395 Piedmont Avenue NE. On 20 July 2012, the AFR initiated a test project to evaluate the effect of non-transport EMS units. This project is in conjunction with the departments Standards of Response Coverage (SORe) initiative. Two Quick Intervention Crew (QIC) units were placed in service at Station #4 and Station #16. These are dispatched as QIC (Quick) 1 and QIC-2. In the first phase of this project, the units were to provide basic life support service. In the second phase of the project, the units served as advanced life support paramedic units. Data from this project gave the AFRO the input to move forward in providing quality emergency medical service to the citizens of Atlanta. The Atlanta Fire Foundation received a $10,000 Fire Education and Safety Grant on 7 August 2012 from the Amerigroup Community Care-Georgia. They are the philanthropic arm of Amerigroup, known as the Amerigroup Foundation. The $10,000 was used for fire education focused on child safety. Some of the funds were used to provide car seats for families in need around the metro area as part of the Governor’s Office of Highway Safety (GOHS) Child Safety Seat Program. This generous grant allowed the Atlanta Fire Rescue Department the ability to continue funding of some of their comprehensive training and education programs, ensuring their mission of promoting safety, security, and enhanced sustainability that enriches the quality of life for the residents of Atlanta continues to come to fruition. Due to the myriad of hazards faced by the AFRD, it is necessary to develop a strategy for special operations, capable of meeting the challenges, while simultaneously providing for the safety of department members and the public. On 30 August 2012, the Special Operations Command was reorganized and assigned an Assistant Chief to oversee its operations. This command had previously been organized in the 1980’s as management for the Rescue Companies and again in 1996 for the duration of the Centennial Olympics. Special Operations capabilities refers to those aspects of saving life or property that employ the use of tools and skills that exceed those normally reserved for firefighting and emergency medical and rescue. These disciplines include Rope Rescue, Swift water/Flood Rescue,

Confined Space Rescue, Tunnel Rescue, Trench Rescue, Hazardous Materials and Structural Collapse Rescue, among others. It shall be the stated goal of Special Operations companies to offer Incident Commanders (IC) the ability to safely initiate operations in particularly difficult or dangerous situations. The AFRD operates a tiered capability/response system which has the capacity to handle two simultaneous incidents in addition to being prepared to address anyone of the identified special operations disciplines (Hazardous Materials, High/Low Angle Rescue, Confined Space Rescue, Trench Rescue, Structural Collapse Rescue and incidents involving Weapons of Mass Destruction) for a large scale event. Collectively these companies will be capable of forming into a Type I team with the ability to function up to 72 hours, independent of outside assistance. Core disciplines, at a minimum meet the operations level of NFPA 1006, 472 and may exceed these levels where the department defines the need. The company and the apparatus assigned; Squad 4, Heavy Rescue/Haz-Mat rig and TSU-air monitoring Squad 42, Heavy Rescue/Haz-Mat rig Company 1, Engine and Truck, Decon unit Company 2, Engine and Truck, Decon Unit Company 8, Engine, GSAR 6 Company 11, Engine and Truck, Swift water Rescue Boats Company 14, Engine and Truck, Collapse Rescue Company 40, Engine and Truck, support function Atlanta Chief Kelvin J. Cochran was named 2012 “Fire Chief of the Year” by Fire Chief Magazine during the International Association of Fire Chief conference held in August 2012 in Denver. Cochran served as Atlanta Fire Chief from January 2008 through July 2009 before accepting an appointment from the President to serve as U.S. Fire Administrator. Cochran returned to Atlanta in May 2010 to join the leadership team of Mayor Kasim Reed’s administration. The operation he directs is a $74 million department with 35 fire stations and nearly 1,000 firefighters. Atlanta’s fire department has seen improvements in response times and recently reached a goal of four firefighters per apparatus. On 4 October 2012, the Department announced they had awarded KME an order for seven (7) custom pumpers and three (3) 10lfoot tractor drawn aerials, as well as a 5 year service and maintenance contracts for the new apparatus. This is a multiyear award with options for future apparatus purchases. The pumpers will be built on KME’s Predator ™ chassis and will include a drive line retarder for superior stopping and brake life, a two-stage 1500gpm pump, 500/60 gallon water/foam tank, Class A foam system and a high capacity hose bed with low and safe access just above the frame rails. The tractor drawn aerials will be built on KME’s Predator Severe Service ™ chassis and will include a drive line retarder, front bumper winch, and 500hp engine. The tractor has a short 140 inch wheelbase and the overall length is less than 56 feet. The 101 foot AerialCat ™ steel ladder includes a 1500gpm waterway and KME’s Store Front Blitz’” capability Tremendous credit must be given to the Atlanta Fire Rescue

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Department for producing great men and women of every ethnic persuasion. We know there are others who we have missed but just to name a few members of the AFD who continued their fire careers: Chief William Hamer, Department Chief – Atlanta Fire Department Chief J. I. (Hoot) Gibson – Department Chief – Fulton County Fire Department Chief Ronald .T. Strong, Department Chief Fulton County Department Chief A.D. Bell, Appointed Georgia State Fire Marshall Chief Thomas Brown Department Chief DeKalb County Fire Department (current serving as the Sheriff of DeKalb, County in 2012), Chief Winston L. Minor, Department Chief – Atlanta fire Department Jack Holland, Department Chief; Kent Ryan, Public Safety Director; Steve Bowles, Bill Barrett, all who left Atlanta to go to Gwinnett County Fire Department. John C. (Jake) Moore, severely injured at the Seaboard fire which killed Chief Dean retired and appointed Chief to form the Forsyth County FD Mack Bailey – retired from AFD – appointed Assistant Chief Forsyth County Fire Department Eugene Everett – Department Chief – Rockdale County FD David Hilton, Department Chief - Cobb County Fire Department Tommy Pate – Department Chief City of Douglasville Lou Cuneo, Appointed Assistant State Fire Marshall Hank Christian EMA Director in Okaloosa County Florida Danny Bowman, current Fire Chief and EMA Director for Forsyth County GA Chief Rosemary Cloud, Department Chief – City of East Point. she rose through the ranks of the AFRD to become the first female to

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score number one on the Captain’s exam, became Assistant Chief (Airport Ops) and the first female appointed as Fire Chief in the United States that just happens to be of African American descent. Randy Camp would leave Atlanta as a Captain to become Department Chief of the Fort Oglethorpe Fire Department and current Chief of Department for Walker County in NW Georgia Bruce Borders, former Chief of Cherokee County Chief J. T. Flynn – Director of Planning and Zoning – Clayton County GA. Chief Walter Campbell, Deputy Chief W.F. Warthen. Chief John McNeil – Department Chief – Rockdale County and now Chief of the City of Covington FD FAO Charles (Wormy) Wofford retired from AFD to become the Executive Director of the Georgia Fireman’s Association, leading that statewide organization for many years. Lt. Tim Szymanski – Public Information Director – City of Las Vegas NV Fire Department Capt. C.E Rhodes Department Chief of Milledgeville Ga. Chief Rhodes left there and became Department Chief at James Island South Carolina Chief Lee Edmonson – City of East Point Chief William Ware – City of East Point During early 2012, Assistant Chief Brenda N. Willis was the latest AFR retiree to shelve retirement to become the Department Chief for the City of Riverdale Georgia, a metro Atlanta city on the south side. It is important that we make the distinction by race and gender to historically show the contributions made by so many individuals who started with the Atlanta Fire Rescue Department and added to their public safety careers with other agencies.

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RESCUE AND EMS HISTORY OF THE ATLANTA FIRE DEPARTMENT RESCUE AND EMS HISTORY OF THE ATLANTA FIRE DEPARTMENT By Bob Gish AFD Retired “Rescue” has a broad interpretation depending on who is using the term. In the early years in Atlanta, “rescue” was used to describe saving persons from life-threatening situations by having firefighters remove them to safety. Rescuing by extricating was basically someone using tools, jacks and other measures to accomplish the rescue. The medical treatment aspect evolved to some degree in the 1920’s and medical treatment by the Atlanta Fire Department was recorded in Annual Reports beginning in 1928. Ambulance service in Atlanta was started in 1896 by Henry W. Grady Memorial Hospital using converted enclosed wagons drawn by horses. Later they moved to motorized ambulances and today Grady EMS is using the most advanced rigs around. During the mid-part of the twentieth century many funeral homes saw operating ambulances as a new source of income and augmented the ambulance service in many parts of the city. The first H & H inhalator was placed in service on Ladder 11, on 15 September 1928. It was described as a 50 pound box that mixed oxygen (O2) and carbon dioxide (CO2) in hopes to drive the patients’ desire and natural need to breathe. It had an inhalator and positive pressure delivery capability and a suction capability. These machines were purchased periodically by the department over the years until more advanced and lighter breathing machines were added to the inventory. The former City of Kirkwood’s 1918 American-La France chemical engine and hose car was rebuilt by the Atlanta FD Shops adding booster equipment. The truck was staffed with Lieutenants, drivers and men and went in service at Station 1 as Salvage & Rescue Co. No. 1 on 16 December 1930. Seven years later the Rescue Company progressed by receiving a 1937 GMC Panel truck on 20 August 1937. During that year another H & H Inhalator was purchased for the AFD. The 1937 Annual Report was also the first year that runs for the Rescue / Salvage Company were recorded and they ran 161 calls. On 25 January 1942, a portable iron lung machine was placed on Rescue 1. A negative pressure ventilator (often referred to as an iron lung) is a form of medical ventilator that enables a person to breathe when normal muscle control has been lost or the work of breathing exceeds the person’s ability. The records of 1948 show the city received a Buick Road Master Ambulance, staffed it with two fire personnel and it answered 320 alarms during that year. It was called Rescue 1 although it had no rescue (extrication) capability. On 20 April 1959 a fully equipped Pontiac ambulance was placed in service at Station No. 1. It ran 383 alarms that year. Records show that Rescue 1 ran medical calls both for fire personnel and civilians, handling such things as heart attacks, drowning, overcome by smoke, injuries and other emergencies. Atlanta firefighters have been trained

in basic first aid to treat the sick and injured for many years. In 1961 a new Ford/Aerobuilt Grumman Olson Rescue van with transport capability was placed in service. This rig was more like a real rescue as it had a complement of medical and resuscitation equipment plus extrication tools, cutting torch, SCBA and a winch on the front bumper. It was staffed by two Rescue Operators. Rescue 1 ran 111 calls in 1961. Nineteen-seventy saw the addition of a 1970 Chevrolet “Suburban” Wayne/DIVCO “Sentinel” Ambulance assigned to the Atlanta Airport. It was assigned the radio ID as Rescue 3. The firefighters had received American Red Cross Advanced First aid. In 1972, a Chevrolet Step Van with emergency transport capability for department personnel was placed in service as Rescue 1. It also had the full complement of rescue tools for extrication, medical and trauma treatment and it responded to 496 calls during 1972. Dr. Ronald L. “Ron” Weed was a young resident emergency physician at Grady Hospital and moonlighting at South Fulton Hospital during the early 1970’s. He often treated the patients brought to South Fulton by Rescue 3. Unfortunately most of those patients who had suffered a heart attack at the airport did not survive. Dr. Weed took interest in a program that was being implemented in other parts of the country such as Seattle, Miami, and Los Angeles County called “Advanced Life Support.” This program called for first responders such as firefighters to be trained to a higher level of medical care so they could intervene in cardiac emergencies under the direct supervision of a hospital based doctor via portable radio. Success through increased survival rates had been documented in these other cities. Between 1973 thru 1975 Dr. Weed trained 12 Fire Lieutenants, Fire Apparatus Operators and Firefighters and Police. Nine Atlanta firefighters completed the first Advanced Life Support Program for the State and provided these services to Atlanta’s extremely busy airport on Rescue 3. When they completed this new program and they became the first certified “Cardiac Technicians” on the department. In December 1973, the first class of AFD personnel to take a 12 month course to become an Emergency Medical Technician was completed. There were 18 graduates. In July 1975 Rescue 3 was equipped with a Physio-Control LifePak 4 defibrillator, a Motorola “Orange Box” 2-way medical radio, equipment for endotracheal intubation, IV fluids and cardiac medications, anti-seizure drugs, and concentrated dextrose in addition to the first aid and oxygen delivery equipment previously carried. The American Heart Association and Fannie Mae as well as the State of Georgia ask that we change the name of the unit from a Rescue to another more appropriate name more fitting due to crew training and the new type and classification of transport units becoming common. Rescue 3 was disbanded in September 1975 and re-established as “ECHO-1” when these Cardiac Technicians began service as an advanced life support unit. The radio designation “ECHO” was neither an acronym nor a phonetic alphabet label as has been suggested in fire department lore. “ECHO” became the designation because the new advanced life support unit was equipped

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with a dedicated 2-way radio that allowed the Cardiac Technicians to communicate with a hospital based physician from the emergency scene in real time. Whenever the CT’s received an order for medication to be given to their patient they were required to repeat the order back to the doctor verbatim, or “echo” it, before administering meds. This was to assure there were no misunderstandings. In 1978 the Airport received a 1978 Dodge Medicruiser Ambulance which was assigned to Station 32. Also in 1978 Dr. Ron Weed, MD was made Medical director for the Rescue Section of the Atlanta Fire Department. With the popularity of the TV Show EMERGENCY, citizens began to demand that their fire departments take on more and more responsibility related to medical and first responder type incidents. This demand caused the AFD to establish four additional Rescue Companies in 1979. They were Rescues 2, 8, 9 and 29. Actually this was a change of “who was doing what” as the rescue service had previously been handled by the Atlanta Police Department and the AFD had done Bomb Technician and disposal alarms. The APD had gotten in the Rescue business under the direction of Municipal Judge Arthur Kaplan and many people are alive today due to his interest and training given to the officers on these units. Since bombs were more associated with law enforcement and medical with fire, these duties were traded on the orders of Public Safety Director Lee P. Brown in January 1979. Administration of the Rescue Service Section was placed under the Division of Field Operations. The rigs were; two Dodge Tradesman vans assigned to R-2 and 8, two 1978 Chevrolet one ton with Southern Ambulance utility bodies assigned to R-29 and 9 and all were non-transport. In 1979 Rescue 1 received a Chevrolet Southern Ambulance. The AFD was not getting into the patient transport business. Rescue 1’s vehicle was for critical transport of fire personnel as had been the case since the truck they were assigned in 1961. Captain Thomas E. Brown was the first Rescue Section Chief appointed on 18 June 1981 and was given the rescue responsibilities. He was assigned radio ID Rescue 17. Rescues 2 and 8 received new 1981 Chevrolet one-ton, light utility chassis apparatus with rescue bodies by Southern Ambulance Builders. These trucks replaced two of the high mileage rigs inherited from APD. In 1983 AFD added two more new trucks for Rescue 9 and 29. These also were one ton Chevrolet trucks with a light rescue utility bodies built by Southern Ambulance Builders. As the duties and responses increased, the rescue rigs became beefier and by 1984 the city purchased two Chevrolet two and on half ton chassis’ and medium duty First Response bodies which were assigned to Rescue 1 and 9. The capabilities and capacity both increased but not personnel. Rescue 1 remained a non-transport rig.

soon added tactical rope rescue and heavy extrication all on one rig, a 1985 Pirsch/Samaritan. This moved the AFD to heavy rescue operations with an assigned crew of six trained personnel. A Special Operations Section would be organized in 1987. This was used for all special events operations with Atlanta Police and Fulton County Sheriff Tactical Operations included AFD participation with the Tactical Medics. By 1989 Special Operations would move to Field Operations under the Deputy Chief. The Rescue rigs again increased in their capacity because of their mission continued to grow. They went to a bigger three ton chassis in 1987 when two Ford F-750 diesel medium duty rescues with bodies by Saulsbury were assigned to Rescue 2 and 8. Hartsfield International Airports demand for Medical service caused the AFD to establish Echo 2. This second fully staffed Advanced Life Support ambulance was assigned to Fire Station 35, located on the east side of airport, between the main pairs of runways. Echo 2 went into service on 15 December 1989. Both Echo-1 and Echo-2 received diesel powered Ford E-350 Wheeled Coach Ambulances. These were assigned to Stations 32 and 35. Delivery of advanced life support would not come to Field Operations (downtown) until 1989 due to Cardiac Technician and Paramedic training not being offered to members in the field until 1988. Neighboring departments such as Clayton and DeKalb County had both jumped on the EMS bandwagon and had full staff training as well as transport units. Some EMT’s enrolled in Paramedic training on their own and at their own expense, but the resistance to EMS in general among senior members of the department created friction. Those with the higher level of medical training were viewed with skepticism and distrust, and were often accused of not being true to the mission of the “fire” department. This held the Atlanta Fire Department back for many years while other metro departments moved ahead with embracing EMS and raising their level of service by providing advanced life support. The fire service in general has had to accept medical being 80% of their work load and like it or not this is a large part of their duties. As the last of the staunch “antimedics” have retired the AFRD has made great strides in the last ten years and ALS engines are now common in AFRD. Beginning with the recruit class that started in February 1990, all personnel would graduate as an EMT. Existing personnel were provided with training to become EMT’s as well. Many would take additional training to be certified as paramedics. The Rescue fleet was replaced with diesel International 3D Manufacturing Co. twelve ton rated medium rescue body rigs in 1991. Also that year Squad 4 received a ten man cab Spartan/Hackney & Sons Heavy Rescue Body rated at twenty-six tons.

The Rescue/Medical Section would be attached to Training by 1985 with a dedicated budget to the purchase specialized tools and equipment for Rescue and Hazardous Materials functions. The Airport added a Chevrolet Ambulance to the Airport.

The Airport added squad capabilities with the addition of a 1992 Spartan/Hackney & Sons Hazardous Materials, Heavy Rescue rig on a twenty-one ton chassis. It has similar equipment as Squad 4 plus specialized equipment for airport rescue.

In 1986 with the disbanding of Engine and Ladder 5 caused by the Georgia DOT needing the station for expressway expansion the rescue capability and capacity greatly increased with the addition of the two piece company reorganized as Squad 5. Squad 5’s mission was a manpower squad and hazardous materials responses. They

In 1993, the Airport added a Ford F477 XKT diesel seven ton chassis with a Southern Ambulance Builders walk thru body assigned to Station 32. Additionally, that year Special Operations moved to the Fire Chief ’s office with a Battalion Chief appointed for Rescue. Atlanta won the bid to host the 1996 Olympics and planning fell to

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the created Assistant Chief for Olympic Planning.

assumed those duties.

In 1994 the EMS Program underwent a major change. Rescue Companies 1,2,8,9 and 15, (formerly 29), were all disbanded. Personnel were reassigned to place Emergency Medical Technicians on specifically designated Engine companies. Over the next few years all engine companies would have at least an EMT on each shift. This let these engines to go as “First Responders” to provide quicker response by medical personnel. These engines had Basic Life Support capability. The medical team could start intravenous fluids (IV), shock a heart via an Automatic External Defibrillator (AED), treat medical and trauma patients. The extrication duties fell to the truck companies with assigned hydraulic cutters and spreaders, rams and shoring blocks.

The AFRD enhanced the rescue operations with the addition of a Collapse Rescue rig. The 2009 International truck had a tandem axle and was a 54,000 lbs. gross weight vehicle. It pulls a 40,000 lbs. shoring trailer from obtained as surplus from the Watershed Management Department. It is capable of supporting collapse operations for up to 6 hours without support and carries enough shoring to stabilize materials in excess of 500,000 lbs. Equipment includes tools capable of breaching concrete structures and for lifting and stabilizing heavy objects in excess of 100,000 lbs. as well as shoring for trenches and rapidly removing dirt without having a negative impact on victims.

To provide assistance to the EMT, Med-Com 1 and Med-Com 2 were established to be the Medical Oversight units. Personnel assigned to these units were Paramedic Lieutenants. All reports produced for runs involving medical issues were sent to the Med-Com lieutenants for review to ensure correct terminology. The Med-Com trucks also carried extrication and other specialized tools. The rigs used the 1990 International / 3D Manufacturing trucks formerly of Rescue 1 and Rescue 2. The Airport received a 1996 diesel Ford F479 Unlimited Mobility walk thru ambulance. The Airport would add a Chevrolet Ambulance and assigned it to Station 40 in 1999. In 2002 Dr. James Augustine, MD became Medical Director for the entire department.

During 2011 two new swift-water rescue boats and trailer were obtained and personnel trained in their use. This broadened the rescue capability and capacity to include water rescue service for the Department. The rescue boats have been assigned to Station 11 and will be pulled by Mini Pumper 11. A 90 day pilot program began 20 July 2012 to take the medical run load off some of the busier engines by adding two 2005 Ford Expeditions that were transferred from the Watershed Management Department. These were outfitted with medical and trauma equipment and staffed with Paramedics. They were assigned to Stations 4 and 16 and run as QIC 1 and 2. The QIC stands for Quick Intervention Crew. As this book heads to press 30 August 2012 would see the Special Operations Command again reorganized under the command of an Assistant Chief to oversee its operations. They report to the Deputy Chief of Field Operations.

Atlanta Fire again moved further into the heavy rescue operations in 2002 with the addition of a Georgia Search and Rescue (GSAR 6) rig and trained personnel. The rig was a tractor and trailer combination carrying a full complement of rescue and extrication tools to remove victims from collapse and other entrapment situations. Numerous similar trucks were purchased by the Georgia Mutual Aid Group and assigned to various fire departments throughout the state. All are equipped the same and designed to operate together on massive incidents. Replacement of the ambulance fleet at the Airport occurred in 2003 with the addition of three Ford E350’s and assigned them to Stations 32, 35 and 40. The first paramedic engines were placed in service in 2004, and a paramedic supervisor was put in place to assist with oversight. Engines 2, 5, 15, 21, 23 and 38 led the way placing at least one paramedic engine in each battalion. Due to continued medical demand at Hartsfield Jackson International Airport, a third Echo unit - was placed into service at Station No. 40. Between August 2007 and June 2008 the EMS supervision returned with the creation of Paramedic Supervisor positions known as PS-1 & 2. They ran out of Station 23 with several types of rigs while in service. They would fall victim to budget cuts and were gone in less than a year. The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) changed the call signs for the equipment at the Airport and the “Echo” ID was changed to “Medic” in 2008. A new Medical Director was named in 2008 as Dr. Mark Waterman Rescue and EMS History of the Atlanta Fire Department

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130 Years of Historic Fires 1882 - 2012 ATLANTA FIRES 1882 – 2012

THE WHITEHALL STREET CONFLAGRATION Tuesday, 30 January 1882 at 19:00 PM

THE CITY DIVIDES INTO QUADRANTS: Although we have used the quadrant system throughout this writeup of historic fires (so you could relate to where these incidents occurred) it was the beginning of 1927 that the city officially split into NE, NW, SE and SW. In many cases these were divided along streets, but in some cases such as the line between SE and SW, they follow a “land lot” line once south of Claire Drive. This same thing happens north of Mount Vernon Highway in the City of Sandy Springs. Sometime the dividing line is not where one might think it would be, such as it following Lake Forest Road rather than Roswell Road, etc. Over the years the numbering system in the city has been changed two different times. These occurred in 1927 and again with the Plan of Improvement in 1952. The 1952 numbering system covered all of Fulton County - both inside and outside cities - that existed at that time. In addition, both Clayton and DeKalb Counties adopted the same numbering scheme in that their numerical assignments are just a continuation of the Atlanta – Fulton County system which starts at Five Points. To relate this to the Quadrant System, if you have your back to the dividing point, even numbers will be on your left and odd numbers on your right facing out. Due to the two times we have had renumbering, the exact geographical location of a historical fire prior to 1952 versus the same street number in 2012 may not be exactly the same. THE ALABAMA-PRYOR STREET CONFLAGRATION Monday, 20 January 1882 at 00:30 AM The fire originated in the four-story brick Brown Building, at the southeast corner of East Alabama and South Pryor Streets. The building was occupied by the Frank E. Block Candy & Cracker Factory. The fire spread to involve the Jackson Building on the northeast corner, a three-story brick structure. It then spread to the three-story brick Wilson House on the southwest corner; to the threestory National Surgical Institute building on the northwest corner; to the two, two-story brick buildings to the south of the Wilson house on Pryor Street; to Kenney’s Alley; to the two-story brick Campbell & Johnson building to the south of the Brown building on Pryor Street; and to the two-story brick John Stephens Building to the east of the Brown Building on Alabama Street. One man lost his life in the Wilson House and Foreman Jerry Lynch received injuries to his head from a falling brick. The fire originated in the basement of the Brown Building from an overturned furnace; spread of the fire was attributed to high winds. Loss was set at $265,800. The entire Volunteer Fire Department was in operation at this fire under the command of Chief Engineer Henry Karwisch and his Assistant Chief ’s William C. Reynolds and George H. Diehl. Eight hose streams were used. This fire would be the driving force to move to a paid department. The Atlanta Constitution was critical over the lack of water pressure from the water works.

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This fire originated in the one-story brick store of Thomas Richtie & Company at 86 Whitehall Street SW. The fire spread to the onestory brick Duhme & Duffy building located at 88 Whitehall Street and southward to the adjoining two-story brick multiple occupancy building next door; to the two-story frame Great Southern Tea Company; and to two, one-story frame buildings used as dwellings. The entire Volunteer Fire Department was in operation under Chief Karwisch. All three of the steamers and numerous hydrant lines were stretched and lined up on Whitehall Street SW to stop the fire from crossing Alabama Street. In all 13 lines were used. No injuries were reported. Yet again the waterworks system failed to provide adequate water pressure. Fire loss totaled over $100,000 and was never determined how it started. This huge fire was the final straw as they say in the move to become a paid department. Work would proceed over the next few months resulting in the paid department beginning in the summer of 1882. THE MARIETTA-PINE STREETS CONFLAGRATION Wednesday, 14 March 1883, at 04:30 AM The fire originated in a one-story frame machine shop, No. 426 Marietta Street. The fire spread to No. 424, also a machine shop; to No. 422, a dwelling; to Nos. 428 and 430, double-tenements, both two-story frame structures; and to No. 432, a frame dwelling. The entire Fire Department (Engine Company No. 1, Engine No. 2 and Hook & Ladder No. 1) responded under the command of Chief Engineer Matt Ryan. Four hose streams were used. The fire originated in No. 426 Marietta Street from hot ashes in a combustible container. The spread was attributed to high winds and wood shingle roofs. The loss was $12,600. THE KIMBALL HOUSE FIRE Sunday, 12 August 1883 at 04:34 AM

This fire originated in the cellar of John Lagomarsino’s fruit stand in the building. The hotel had been erected in 1870 by Hannibal L Kimball, at a cost of $60,000. It was a six-story brick structure and contained 300 sleeping rooms. The entire Atlanta Fire Department was in operation at the fire under the command of Chief Engineer Matt Ryan and had eight hose streams stretched and operational on

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the large building. The Marietta Fire Co. No.1 came down to Atlanta with a new steamer, hose reel, and 3,000-feet of hose; and went in service at No. 1. Mr. John Kershaw, a former volunteer firefighter, was injured by a piece glass. The building was completely destroyed at a loss of $185,000. Cause of the fire was believed to have been from careless smoking.

employed four hose streams on the fire. The apparatus had difficulty in responding due to the muddy condition of Crew Street. Cause of the fire was from a defective flue. Loss was set at $4,000. A new twostory brick Crew Street School was built on the same site and used for many years until demolished to make way for the Atlanta freeway interchange.

On the morning of 12 November 1883 considerable excitement was created about half past seven o’clock by the falling of a portion of the walls of the burned out Kimball House. These unstable walls had been left standing since the August fire. The section that fell was about 35 feet in length, extending into the alley in the rear of the Peachtree block of buildings and just in the rear of Moran’s Drug Store. The falling mass struck and instantly killed a young AfricanAmerican named George Washington. It also did considerable damage to Moran’s drug store and the adjoining buildings. Moran was in bed in the rear of the store at the time. He was lying near a window, and made a narrow escape from death or serious injuries. His store and stock were almost wrecked at the time of the hotel fire and he was living in the building to prevent looting. It was rumored that the Kimball House Company had already compromised a probable heavy damage suit by paying George Washington’s mother $200. After the collapse the company engaged a work force to tear down the remains walls. The Kimball people and the city authorities were severely censured by the public for their negligence in allowing the walls to remain standing so long which lead to this needless loss of life.

THE JAMES BANK BLOCK-CENTRAL BANK BUILDING CONFLAGRATION Wednesday, 17 March 1885 at 2:30 AM

THE FERGUSON & BLOUNTS AGRICULTURAL IMPLEMENT COMPANY FIRE Tuesday, 16 October 1883 at 03:00 AM The fire originated in the storeroom of the three-story brick plant which was located at No. 11 Bartow Street. The entire Fire Department, under the command of Chief Matt Ryan, was in operation, employing four hose streams to bring the fire under control. Cause of the fire was undetermined. The third floor was gutted and the roof burned away. The loss was $65,000. THE ARLINGTON FLOURING MILLS FIRE Tuesday, 8 January 1884 at 21:45 PM The fire originated on the second floor of the two-story brick walled plant located on Bartow Street at the Western & Atlantic Railroad. The entire Fire Department was on the scene directed by Chief Ryan and used four hose streams to control the fire. These were first attached to the fire hydrants, but as the plugs were frozen, they were transferred to steamers working over cisterns. The second floor and roof were destroyed with a loss of $56,000. The cause was not determined. Driver M.R. Murray, of Engine No. 2, suffered a dislocated shoulder and two fractured ribs in a fall. THE CREW STREET SCHOOL FIRE Wednesday, 12 February 1885 at 23:30 PM The fire originated in the attic of the two-story frame structure school which had been built in 1872. The building was totally destroyed. Equipment from Nos. 1 and 2 answered the alarm and

The fire originated at the bottom of the elevator shaft of the fivestory brick James Bank Building located at No. 16-20 Whitehall Street SW (later where the Atlanta National Building stood and in 2012 the site of the plaza area over Underground Atlanta). The fire spread upward to involve the entire structure and spread northward to involve the Central Bank Building at No. 2-14 Whitehall Street SW. Many dramatic rescues were performed by the Department. Eight occupants were injured and two men were killed; one was Mr. Ed Mercer, a former volunteer firefighter, who died of injuries received in a fall through an elevator shaft. Foreman Andrew Boos of the Hook and Ladder Company was overcome by smoke; and Deputy Marshal Walthal R. Joyner, a former volunteer, suffered a broken hip in a fall from a ladder. The entire Fire Department and a large number of former volunteer firefighters worked at the fire under the direction of Chief Ryan, operating eight hose streams on the fire. The James Bank Building was destroyed above the third floor, and the second floor and roof of the Central Bank Building were burned out. Cause of the fire was from a carelessly tossed match in accumulated trash in the elevator shaft. The loss was $89,491. Losses like this would eventually cause code changes requiring one automatic sprinkler at the top of elevator shafts above each car to help stop vertical fire spread upward via the shafts. THE GATE CITY STREET CAR BARNS FIRE Saturday, 17 May 1885 at 22:50 PM The huge one-story, rambling frame structure located at the corner of Jackson and Wheat Streets (now Auburn Avenue) was fully involved upon the arrival of the fire companies who were unable to get water on the fire due to the lack of hydrants in the vicinity. Besides total destruction of the building, five street cars, one flat car, two mules, and all of the harness and stock feed were lost. Cause of the fire was from careless use of a kerosene oil lamp. Loss was $75,000. THE SPELMAN SEMINARY FIRE Friday, 24 June 1887 at 17:25 PM The fire originated in the two-story frame building known as Union Hall, located in the old McPherson Barracks off Leonard and Culver Streets, and was completely involved upon the arrival of the first companies under the command of Chief Engineer Walthal R. Joyner. He issued a call for help when it was found that there were no hydrants in the vicinity. Two of the companies were compelled to stretch hose lines from hydrants on Peters Street. A high wind was blowing and in a short time the fire had communicated to and

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destroyed five, two-story and two, one-story frame buildings. Several others were badly damaged. Cause of the fire was from a defective flue. Loss was $38,000. Both of these streets no longer exist and have been absorbed into the Spellman College Campus. THE SOUTHERN AGRICULTURAL WORKS FIRE Friday, 20 January 1888 at 18:35 PM The fire originated in the center of the two-story brick building located at No. 358-388 Marietta Street NW, in the section used as a maintenance shop. Chief Joyner responded on the first alarm with Nos. 1 and 3, and the Hook & Ladder Company. These companies were augmented by those from Nos. 2 and 4 who had responded to an alarm from Box 57 at the corner of Haynes and Rhodes Streets, which had been pulled for the same fire. Nine hose streams were used but could not prevent the entire plant from being badly damaged. The loss was $18,836 and the cause of the fire was not known. THE LEYDON HOUSE FIRE Monday, 9 April 1888 at 02:30 AM The fire originated in the kitchen house of the old residence at No. 124 Peachtree Street NE. The kitchen house was located at the rear of the main building and the fire communicated to this building due to high winds. Engine & Hose Company No. 4, Hose Company No. 3 and Hook & Ladder Company No. 1 answered the first alarm from Box 15 at the corner of Peachtree and North Broad Streets NW; and succeeded in controlling the fire. Later that morning, the fire rekindled and progressed to destroy much of the old dwelling. This Second Alarm resulted in Chief Joyner calling for help to prevent the Governor’s Mansion and the R.H. Richard residence on either side of the burning dwelling from becoming involved. The old Leydon House had been erected in 1858 by Mr. Alfred Leydon, and was used by the Federal batteries in getting a range on the city during the Civil War. Cause of the fire was incendiary with the loss listed at $13,236. THE WEST AND EDWARDS BUILDING FIRE Monday, 14 May 1888 at 06:47 AM The fire originated on the second floor of the two-story brick building at the southeast corner of North Pryor Street and Edgewood Avenue NE (now the site of Georgia State Universities Ten Pryor Street Building). The entire Fire Department was called out to this fire and operated 11 hose streams on the blaze. The operation was under the direction of Chief Joyner. The entire second floor and roof were burned away at a loss of $27,448. The cause of the fire was undetermined. THE JACKSON BUILDING FIRE Easter Sunday, 24 April 1889 at 03:15 AM The fire originated in that portion of the building occupied by the Wellhouse & Sons paper warehouse at No. 38 East Alabama Street, on the corner of South Pryor Street SW, (Where Underground Atlanta is today). The fire began in the elevator shaft and spread upward through the four-story brick building to involve all of the floors and resulted in a complete burn out. The entire Fire Department was in operation at this fire, employing seven hose streams of water on the blazing structure. The fight was directed by Chief Joyner. Cause of the fire was not determined. The loss was $59,989. Three days later on a recall to extinguish a smoldering fire in the waste paper, a heavy wind and thunder storm struck the city. The violent wind associated 114

with the storm toppled one of the unstable walls of the burned out structure which fell on Laddermen William P. Leach and Harry O. Howell, killing both of them instantly. THE VAN WEINKLE & BOYD BUILDING FIRE Sunday, 10 August 1890 at 20:00 PM The buildings were located at the southeast corner of Marietta and Foundry Streets SW and were occupied by the bed spring firm of Golstein, Haas & Guthman. The plant consisted of two buildings; one, two-story, and the other, a four-story structure. The alarm was turned in at 20:00 hours and the entire department responded on the three alarms sounded by Acting Chief Jake Emmel, who was in charge. Eight hose streams were brought to bear on the fire but not before both buildings were destroyed at a loss $100,000. The cause of the fire was not determined. THE GEORGIA TECHNOLOGY SCHOOL FIRE Thursday, 21 April 1892 at 02:35 AM The fire originated in the building on the campus known as Machinery Hall, a two-story brick building with a five-story tower. Chief Joyner transmitted the 3-3-3 general alarm when the Academic Building caught fire and when it was found that there was no water in the new main which was being laid on North Avenue. The Academic Building was saved, but four frame dwellings on Cherry Street NW were destroyed. Eight hose streams were used on the fire as well as the streams from the chemical engine. Origin and cause of the fire was not determined. The loss was $35,000. THE ATLANTA TELEPHONE EXCHANGE BUILDING FIRE Friday, 28 July 1893 at 19:03 PM The fire originated in the telephone exchange on the top floor of the building at No. 21 Marietta Street NW at the corner of North Broad Street. The fire got its start in the cock loft of the three-story brick structure and burned away the roof and a portion of the third floor battery and switch rooms. Due to the failure of the water mains to keep up with flow demand, Chief Joyner struck a second alarm to bring out additional steamers. Businesses in other parts of the building suffered extensive water damage from the six hose streams used. The spread of the fire was attributed to a back draft explosion and failure of the Water Works to maintain pressure in the mains. Hoseman W. Frank Coley suffered a cut over the right eye when he was struck on the head by a ceiling fan. Cause of the fire was from an electrical shortage in the wiring. The loss was $15,000. THE NORCROSS BUILDING FIRE Tuesday, 9 January 1894 at 22:55 PM The building involved was located at the southwest corner of Marietta and Peachtree Streets SW, the site of what by 1967 had become the 41 story First National Bank and later the Wachovia Bank Tower, (the tower is now owned by the State of Georgia). At that time, it was a three-story brick building and was a multiple occupancy building. The fire originated on the third floor in the area used by Jacobs Pharmacy, which also occupied the ground floor for storage. The third floor and roof were burned away and necessitated a 3-3-3 general alarm and the use of ten hose streams. Cause of the fire was

130 Years of Historic Fires 1882-2012


undetermined. The loss was $42,369. THE W.O. JONES LIVERY STABLES FIRE Friday, 9 February 1894 at 22:45 PM The fire involved the huge four-story frame building numbered 3941 South Forsyth St SW. It covered the area from Forsyth westward, back to Madison Avenue (now Spring Street SW). The fire originated in a storeroom in the center of the second floor and spread quickly through the large quantity of hay on the floor. The fire had been discovered by an employee. Upon arrival of the first fire companies, a back draft explosion occurred and the entire second floor burst into flames. Chief Joyner immediately sounded a 3-3-3 alarm. Several dramatic rescues were performed but two men died of burns and many horses and mules were burned to death. The entire structure was destroyed despite the use of 14 streams of water, the largest ever employed by the Fire Department up to that time. All engines and hose wagons of the department were in service at the fire. Foreman Jacob Emmel was badly burned on his face and suffered two broken ribs and a fractured nose in a fall from the second floor. Cause of the fire was not determined and the loss was set at $150,000. THE VENABLE BUILDING FIRE Thursday, 27 December 1894 at 02:35 AM This was the former old Georgia State Capitol building and was located at the southwest corner of North Forsyth and Marietta Streets NW on the site now occupied by the Western Union Building. The structure was a five-story building and had been built by Hannibal I. Kimball for the Atlanta Opera House and Building Association to be used as an opera house. Funds ran out before completion and when the state government was moved from Milledgeville to Atlanta in February of 1868, this structure was remodeled to be occupied as the State Capitol. State office moved into this building on 23 August 1870. It was used as the capitol until the completion of the present state house on Washington Street SW which opened on 3 July 1889. At the time of the fire, the building was used as a multiple occupancy structure and was known as the Venable Building. The fire originated in the engine room in the basement and communicated to the upper floors by way of the elevator shaft. Third, fourth, and fifth floors as well as the roof, were burned out. Eleven hose streams were employed by the combined force of a general alarm. Cause of the fire was not known. The loss was $104,716.

three alarms being sounded. Fourteen hose streams were used for control of the fire. Occupants of the building were: the G.B. Everett Company; the Rhodes, Snook & Haverty Furniture Company; the warehouse of the Venable brothers; and the Western & Atlantic Railroad, which had warehouse space in the basement. Cause of the fire was not determined. The loss was $28,000. THE WOODWARD LUMBER COMPANY CONFLAGRATION Saturday, 11 May 1895 at 17:10 PM This fire originated in the engine room of the lumber company and, before it could be controlled, reached conflagration proportions. The massive fire destroyed practically the entire block bounded by South Butler, East Hunter, Terry Streets SE, and the Georgia Railroad. Besides the lumber stacks and the buildings of the lumber firm, 22 dwellings were also destroyed; eight on Hunter Street, (now M.L. King), six on Terry Street, three “back alley houses at the rear of these, three on Butler Street, and two on an alley called Georgia Railroad Street. This was a general alarm fire. Thirteen streams of water were used. Eight firefighters were affected by the heat but not seriously. Cause of the fire was not known. The loss was $35,000. THE COTTON STATES AND INTERNATIONAL EXPOSITION CONFLAGRATION Tuesday, 15 October 1895 These buildings were located in the present Piedmont Park. This massive fire brought out the entire Exposition Fire Department and was augmented by Engine & Hose Company No. 6 of the City of Atlanta department under the command of Chief Joyner. The fire originated in the building known as the Old Plantation Show from the explosion of a can of kerosene. Spreading on the heels of a high wind, the flames communicated to the building intended for use by the Hagaback Circus Association and to the Plantoscope buildings. From here the fire quickly spread to the building housing an exhibit called Living Pictures, which was Atlanta’s first encounter with the entertainment medium we now know as motion pictures. The loss in the fire was $20,000. THE WELLHOUSE & SONS PAPER COMPANY FIRE Saturday, 19 October 1895 at 07:00 AM

The fire began in the factory building located at 90 Decatur Street SE and resulted in a general alarm. Before the fire could be brought under control, it had burned not only the lumber and buildings of the plant, but spread to several stores and dwellings along Decatur Street. Eleven hose streams were used. The cause of the fire was not determined. The loss was set at $17,000.

This company had moved from 38 East Alabama Street SW to a larger facility and now occupied the buildings at No. 257-263 Decatur Street SE, between Pratt and Moore Streets SE. This was a three-story brick structure, which extended south clear back to the Georgia Railroad at the rear. This fire rapidly became a general alarm and necessitated the use of ten hose streams. A total of 45 employees escaped the building without injury, but the non-sprinkled structure was completely gutted. The fire was caused by an explosion of accumulated gas on the third floor. The loss was $100,000. This same company previously had experienced a major fire on Easter Sunday in April 1889 that had resulted in two Line of Duty Deaths for the Atlanta Fire Department.

THE AUSTELL BUILDING FIRE Wednesday, 30 April 1895 at 05:13 AM

THE MARKHAM HOUSE CONFLAGRATION Sunday, 17 May 1896 at 21:34 PM

The building involved was located at Nos. 2, 4, 6, and 8 North Forsyth Street near Marietta St NW. It was a two-story brick structure being used as an office building and warehouse. The fire resulted in

This vast fire involved the entire block bounded by Loyd Street SE (now Central Avenue), Decatur Street, Collins Street SE (now covered by the Courtland Street viaduct), and the Georgia Railroad.

THE TRAYNHAM & RAY PLANING MILL CONFLAGRATION Thursday, 28 March 1895 at 18:05 PM

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The fire was caused from burning grease in the Ellis Restaurant on Decatur Street SE igniting the tanks of gasoline used for fuel in the cooking range. It quickly spread to the Palace stables of Milam and Patterson, No. 14 Loyd Street, and the H. M. Patterson livery and sales stables at No. 16 Loyd Street; both were old frame structures. The fire then spread to the Commercial House and the Atlanta Plumbing Company at Nos. 10½ and 12 Loyd Street. The city freight office of the Southern Express Company, No. 18 Loyd Street SE, was the next to go; and from here the fire attacked the famous Markham House, No. 22-24 Loyd Street SE, quickly reducing it to ruin. By 10:00 hours the conflagration had spread to building’s along Decatur Street, involving the Golden’s Beef Market and the I.C Clark’s bar at the corner of Loyd; to Rucker’s barber shop, No. 7173 Decatur Street; L & I Fulton Loan Company, No. 79½ Decatur Street; Osier’s clothing store, No. 81 Decatur Street; and the Milam & Patterson stables, in which 47 horses perished. Next to go was the store of Hynam Pitman, No. 93 Decatur Street; J.S. Loyd Company, No. 95 Decatur Street; and the Tittlebaum & Company, a bar room, at No. 109 Decatur Street; Boyd’s Drug Store, No. 103 Decatur Street; the Atlanta House, kept by Madame Gault, No. 97 Decatur Street. From here the fire communicated to and destroyed four dwellings on Collins Street in Atlanta’s ill-famed red light district, and damaged another before spreading to the Courtland Street Coal & Grocery Company at No. 45 Courtland Street. A change in the wind caused the fire to jump Decatur Street and damaged five buildings on the other side of this street. This was a general alarm fire employing all of the regular and reserve engines and hose wagons; the two hook and ladder trucks; and all of the equipment from the Exposition Fire Department, which had been stored in the city fire houses. A total of 20 hose streams were used on the huge fire. One man, an employee of the Patterson stables, was burned to death; another broke his ankle on Courtland Street; and Hoseman L.E. Bennett, of Hose Company No. 6, was overcome by heat. The loss sustained in the vast conflagration was $300,000 and it brought about the establishment of Engine Company No. 8, on Carnegie Way, the next year. THE RUCKER BUILDING FIRE Thursday, 21 December 1899 This two-story brick structure was located at No. 40-42 West Alabama Street SW, next door to fire headquarters and was used by a score of business firms. The second floor and roof were burned out, but Chief Joyner sounded the 3-3-3 alarm as a precaution due to its proximity to other structures in the vicinity. Twelve hose streams were used. The cause of the fire was not known. The loss was $40,000. THE WARE FURNITURE MANUFACTURING COMPANY CONFLAGRATION Monday, 7 May 1900 at 15:00 PM This manufacturing plant was located on Marietta Street NW, out of the city, just west of Ponders Avenue. The fire originated in the machinery room of the very large three-story frame structure and the flames spread to involve 34 one-story dwellings in an area comprising five or six acres between Third and Fifth Streets; Ponders Avenue; and McMillan Street. This was a two-alarm fire and six hose streams 116

were used but were not effective due to the low water pressure in the area. No. 1 lost its hose wagon by being burned and Chief Joyner was overcome by heat. Cause of the fire was from an overheated glue pot in the furniture plant. Loss was $130,000. The fire never communicated to any structures within the city limits. THE KING HARDWARE-CRUTCHIN FURNITURE COMPANY FIRE Tuesday, 21 August 1900 at 23:30 PM The building involved was located at No. 51-53 Peachtree Street, just south of Auburn Avenue, and was a four-story brick structure. The building was in the process of being occupied by the hardware firm and being vacated by the furniture company. Both had goods stored in the building. This was a three-alarm fire and nine hose streams were used. The fire originated on the second floor; all of the floors above this were burned out and the roof destroyed. Cause of the fire was not known. The loss was $45,000. THE CHATTAHOOCHEE CONVICT CAMP AND BRICK COMPANY FIRE Sunday, 3 December 1900 at 22:30 PM The large plant and prison camp was located beyond the city limits in the community of Chattahoochee, Georgia. At the request of the plant operators, Chief Joyner sent five men and 1,500 feet of hose to the scene on a special train of the Southern Railroad. The plant had its own water system but additional water was obtained from the nearby Whittier Cotton Mills. Practically the entire plant was destroyed. Cause was due to an overheated brick kiln. The loss was $60,000. THE MARKHAM BLOCK CONFLAGRATION Thursday, 21 February 1901 at 05:45 AM The fire burned out all of the business houses on Central Avenue SE, Decatur Street, along the Georgia Railroad, and several houses on Collins Street SE. In all, 17 structures were destroyed and ranged in height from one to three stories and were either brick or frame. The buildings involved were occupied by the. J. J. & J. E. Maddox Company, an the Arnold Hat Company, the Draper-Coggins Shoe Company, the R.N. Fickett Paper Company, the GramblingSpalding Shoe Company, the McConnell Dry Goods Company, the Dinkins-Davidson Hardware Company, the Plant Syrup Company, several other smaller establishments and three dwellings on Collins Street. This was a general alarm fire, but only six serviceable hose streams could be obtained due to a break in a water main to the north of the city. The fire originated in the Maddox building from an undetermined cause. The newspapers reported that the fire started from the explosion of an oil tank in the wholesale grocery house of J.J. and J.E. Maddox, and soon spread to the adjoining buildings. The loss was $500,000. THE OLD SOLDIER’S HOME FIRE Monday, 30 September 1901 at 08:25 AM The home for old Confederate veterans was located on Confederate Avenue SE in Ormewood Park, and was outside the city limits (the site was rebuilt for their home and for years served as the headquarters of the Georgia State Patrol). Chief Joyner sent the Chemical Engine & Hose Company No. 2, and Hook and Ladder No. 2 to render what service they could as the home was beyond the water limits

130 Years of Historic Fires 1882-2012


of the city. The structure was a three-story frame building erected on a 60-acre tract of the old Schutze farm. The 72 old soldiers were evacuated without injury, but the building was completely destroyed. The origin of the fire was in the center of the building from an incinerator. The loss was $35,000. THE LYCEUM THEATRE FIRE Wednesday, 6 November 1901 at 14:40 PM The Lyceum Theatre was located at the southwest corner of Edgewood Avenue SE and Piedmont Avenue and was a two-story brick structure. This was a three-alarm fire. Six streams of water from hand lines were used, as well as one from the “turret-flooder”. The fire had been caused earlier when a large electric sign at the front of the building fell across trolley wires causing a short-circuit in the electric wiring in the theatre. None of the 400 patrons of the house were injured but Hoseman Fred Jones of No. 3 was burned on the leg while fighting the blaze. The loss in the fire was $38,000. THE ALHAMBRA HOTEL FIRE Saturday, 2 August 1902 at 01:45 AM This building was located at 291 Peachtree Street NE at the northeast corner of Pine Street and was a three-story frame structure. It had been erected to accommodate the crowds who came to the Cotton States and International Exposition in Piedmont Park. Seventy-five guests were registered at the hotel and about 30 people were forced to jump from upper story windows to escape the flames, but none of them were seriously injured. This was a four-alarm fire and eight hose streams were used but could not prevent the old building from being destroyed. Origin of the fire was on a rear porch and was caused by hot ashes being placed in a combustible container. The loss in the fire was $20,000. THE PEACHTREE-MARIETTA STREETS CONFLAGRATION Tuesday, 9 December 1902 at 3:47 AM This exceedingly dangerous fire involved all of the structures in the block bounded by Peachtree St SW, Marietta Street SW, North Broad Street SW, and Viaduct Way. This is the area that at one time was the Peachtree Arcade and is now occupied by the former Wachovia Bank Building that is owned by the State of Georgia. This was a general alarm fire and involved more than 20 structures varying in height from one to five stories and housing some 44 business concerns. Among the large buildings destroyed were the three-story Snook & Austin Furniture Company, formerly the old National Hotel on Peachtree Street; the five-story Norcross Building at the corner of Peachtree and Marietta Streets, now the Wachovia Building; the twostory Williams Hotel on Marietta Street; the two-story Fitten Building and Gelder’s Hotel on Marietta; the Grant Building at the corner of Broad Street; and the Emery Steiner Building on North Broad Street. A total of 35 streams of water were used in an effort to bring the vast fire under control. The origin of the fire was in the basement of the Snook & Austin Furniture Company from an unknown cause. The loss was $325,000. THE GRADY HOSPITAL FIRE Saturday, 17 October 1903 at 01:45 AM

building. Two women were burned to death. This was a four-alarm fire and ten hose lines were used to bring water to bear on the fire. The medical ward was destroyed along with the hospital laundry, the janitor’s apartment, and the kitchen was heavily damaged. The cause of the fire was from burning coals from the laundry range. The loss was $25,000. THE STAR THEATRE FIRE Monday, 29 December 1902 at 11:13 AM The theatre was located at No. 36½ Decatur Street SE just east of Pryor Street. It was a frame structure with a brick front. The front section housed the clothing firms of the Model Clothing Company and Hawkins & McCurley. A thick fire wall between the theatre and the Kingsberry Building kept the flames from extending to that structure. Chief Joyner sounded the 3-3-3 due to the proximity of the burning vaudeville house to other buildings in the area which were of highly combustible construction. Performers in the theatre, who were rehearsing for the afternoon matinee, were forced into the streets in scanty costumes. Twelve hose streams were used on the building playhouse but the interior of the structure was completely wrecked. The cause of the fire was from sparks from a chimney of another building entering an open window and igniting some stage props. Loss to the building was $9,000. THE SEWELL STOCKYARDS CONFLAGRATION Wednesday, 14 December 1904 These yards were located on West Peters Street SW at Jeanette Street (now known as Joiner St SW). The fire originated in a hay loft of the rambling frame structure and in seconds, spread by a high wind, involved the entire structure. Employees released the animals in the stalls and over 500 mules roamed over the city until the following morning. This was a five-alarm fire and required a combined attack of 15 streams of water to bring the dangerous blaze under control, but not before it spread to, and destroyed the Stevens Planing Mill; the Harper, Weathers & Ragsdale stockyards; two brick stores at No. 206 and 208 West Peters Street; and four houses facing the railroad tracks. Cause of the fire was not known. The loss was set at $20,300. The large U-Haul Storage facility occupies the site in 2012. THE PIEDMONT PARK CONFLAGRATION Thursday, 11 January 1906 at 05:30 AM This fire originated in the old exposition’s New York Building and before the fire companies could make the three mile run to the park, both the New York and the Fine Arts Buildings were completely involved. The firefighters concentrated their efforts in trying to save the Piedmont Driving Club. Although the structure did catch fire crews were successful and prevented it from being destroyed. The smoke affected the animals of the Van Amburg Circus that was wintering in the Coliseum. Their bellows and cries could be heard throughout the fire scene but the skillful work of the Fire Department prevented their building from catching fire. This was a three-alarm fire with the department using eight streams of water on the blaze. The cause of the fire was a mystery. The loss was $20,000. The old New York Building was remodeled and fitted out as a bowling alley, kitchen and saloon, and made part of the present Piedmont Driving Club.

The fire involved the Black ward of the hospital on Pratt Street SE. The fire originated in the laundry and quickly involved the entire 130 Years of Historic Fires 1882-2012

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THE SOUTH ATLANTA CONFLAGRATION Tuesday, 15 May 1906 at 13:00 PM

plant complex remains standing in 2012 and is frequently painted for advertising.

The fire originated in a house near the corner of Jonesboro Road SE and Martin Street SE in the South Atlanta neighborhood. Flames rapidly spread on the wood roofs due to a high wind. It swept over 1-acre and destroyed 40 dwellings and their contents. The fire occurred outside the city but the equipment from No. 9 and No. 10 were sent to render what aid they could. Lack of water prevented the vast fire from being halted. The fire spread westward to the grounds of Gammon Clark Universities but these buildings were saved from destruction. Cause of the fire was sparks from a fire under a wash tub communicating to the dwelling. Loss was $40,000 and 400 residents were made homeless.

THE ARLINGTON HOTEL FIRES Friday, 3 May 1907 at 01:02 AM

THE WESTERN & ATLANTIC RAILROAD ROUNDHOUSE FIRE Monday, 1 October 1906 at 08:53 AM The fire occurred in the group of railroad shop buildings situated between the “wye” tracks, just east of the old floating gas holders of the Atlanta Gas Light Company. Phillips Arena sits on this location today. Before the fire equipment could make its way to the scene, the flames had spread to involve the entire group of the railroad company buildings including the shops, roundhouse and other structures. Eighteen locomotives and 35 freight cars were also destroyed. Cause of the Five Alarm fire was believed to have been sparks from a locomotive. Loss was listed as $150,000. After the fire, the railroad relocated to new facilities at Tilford Yards in Hills Park, several miles to the northwest of the city.

A mysterious fire occurred in the Arlington Hotel located on the corner of Marietta Street NW and Cone Street resulted in Mr. Walter Campbell being overcome by smoke. He was removed and taken by ambulance to the Grady Hospital. Campbell recovered sufficiently by morning to return to his room. When he first went to the hospital, it was thought he could not survive. The incident resulted in an investigation by detectives of the Atlanta Police Department. After the flames had been extinguished and the fire department had returned to quarters, fire was found by a night watchman to have broken out in a new place in the hotel. The AFD was again called to the scene and quickly extinguished this second fire. Two weeks later there were two similar fires of suspicious origin in the same hotel, and these facts aroused considerable suspicion. The origin of none of them was definitely ascertained. THE TERMINAL DISTRICT CONFLAGRATION Friday, 8 May 1908 at 03:44 AM

THE HARPER BROTHERS, RAGSDALE & CARLISLE STOCKYARDS FIRE Tuesday, 25 December 1906 at 04:15 AM The yards were located near the corner of Marietta Street NW and Emmett Streets, not far from the Union Stockyards and outside of the city. Before the equipment from No. 3 and No. 8 could arrive on the scene under the command of new Chief W. B. Cummings, the plant was completely involved; and the lack of fire hydrants rendered the work of the firemen ineffective. One hundred horses and 400 mules lost their lives, and other valuable stock and property were destroyed. Cause of the fire was from an overturned lamp used by a burglar who was in the process of robbing the company’s safe. The loss was $100,000. THE PECK-DUNN FURNITURE MANUFACTURING COMPANY FIRE Sunday, 3 March 1907 at 01:00 AM The plant was located out of the city limits on Ridge Avenue SW and several of the fire companies responded under the command of Chief Cummings. The fire originated in the big lumber yard and spread to include the factory, the warehouse and the dry kiln. From here, the fire communicated to the Georgia Car Company and water was used from the private system of the Buckeye Cotton Oil Company across the railroad tracks. Six lumber and coal cars were also destroyed. Cause of the fire was undetermined and the loss was $45,000. The concrete elevated water tank from the former Buckeye 118

The fire had its origin in the Harry L. Schlesinger Cracker Factory at the northeast corner of Nelson Street SW and Madison Avenue (now Spring Street SW). Fanned by a brisk wind, the flames soon involved the entire structure and began spreading to buildings on the south side of Mitchell Street. Chief Cummings arriving on the first alarm transmitted the dreaded 3-3-3 alarm and in minutes the entire Fire Department was at work on the fast spreading fire. Sweeping the buildings on the south side of Mitchell Street SW, the flames progressed and jumped the street to involve the Terminal Hotel on the northeast corner. The firefighters were able to halt its northward march, but a change in the wind direction began spreading the fire eastward along both Mitchell and Nelson Streets SW. It was stopped before it could spread beyond Forsyth Street. The area involved in the big fire was bounded by the north side of Nelson Street, the west side of Forsyth Street, the east side of Madison Avenue, and all the buildings on the north side of Mitchell Street except three structures from Forsyth Street. In all, 42 business firms, occupying 31 buildings, were completely burned out and over 1,000 people were thrown out of employment. Twenty-five other firms suffered losses of varying degrees from $5,000 to $10,000. Among the firms affected were the Schlesinger Cracker Factory, the Liquid Carbonic Company on Nelson Street, the Terminal Hotel, the Atlanta Brewing & Ice Company, the Terminal Station Annex, the Marion

130 Years of Historic Fires 1882-2012


Annex, the McCurly Building, the Central Bank & Trust Company, the Keystone Type Foundry, the Goodrum Tobacco Company, the Robinson Neckwear Company, the Walker-Cooley Company, the McClure Ten-Cent Company, the Warren Manufacturing Company, the Georgia Vehicle Company, the West Disinfecting Company, the Binder Frame Company, and the Piedmont Hat Company. A total of 25 hose streams were employed as were those from the water tower and both the old Joyner Pipes. Cause of the great fire was undetermined and the loss was $1,250,000, making it the most destructive and costly conflagration ever to strike the city to that time. THE PIEDMONT STABLES CONFLAGRATION Monday, 11 May 1908 at 09:13 AM This fire originated in the Schwitzeriet Brothers Bakery at No. 126 Marietta Street SW; and before it was brought under control had spread to destroy ten buildings, a church on Marietta Street and eight dwellings on Spring Street between Marietta Street and the Western & Atlantic Railroad tracks. The Piedmont Stables suffered the heaviest loss amounting to more than $35,000 in valuable horses as 175 animals, two of them prize winners, would die and $25,000 in carriages were destroyed. The Orpheum Theater was crowded from floor to balcony with persons watching a vaudeville performance. Manager Kahn was warned that the fire seemed serious and announced that it had been decided to abandon the performance and evacuate the theatre. As the audience started to leave someone ran through the lobby shouting “Fire!” and in another moment scores of men in the balcony began a rush for the exits. Fortunately, cooler heads stopped this before it became serious. Half-a-dozen people were bruised in the first crush, but no one was seriously hurt. The theatre escaped damage, although it was greatly threatened. Firefighters used 20 hose streams from the combined forces of a general alarm. Cause of the fire was from an overheated oven in the bakery. Loss was set at $63,000.

had been caused by a forge being left burning. The loss was $25,000. THE RICHARDSON BUILDING FIRE Tuesday, 26 January 1909 at 14:50 PM The fire originated at the rear of the third floor of the three-story building located at the southwest corner of the Broad Street SW bridge, once the site of old Fire House No. 1. The firefighters were summoned to the scene by the blowing of locomotive whistles. The Mower-Howbart Company occupied the first and third floors, and the second floor was occupied by the E.W. Allen Company. The building was fully involved upon the arrival of the first companies and Chief Cummings, fearing that the entire block might be burned, issued Second and Third Alarms. Hose streams were played on the fire from the Atlanta Georgian Building at the rear, the railroad tracks, and from Broad Street. A total of 11 hose streams were used, including those from the water tower. The adjoining buildings at No. 7 and 9, occupied by the Cotton States Belting Company, were heavily damaged by smoke and water. The cause of the fire was defective wiring. The loss was set at $80,000. THE NEW LYCEUM THEATRE FIRE Saturday, 30 January 1909 at 03:00 AM This building was formerly the old Star Theatre and was a three-story brick structure numbered 34-42 Decatur Street SE, employed as a moving picture theatre. Chief Cummings issued several help calls for equipment from two-thirds of the department who employed 14 hose streams on the burning structure. The temperature registered eight degrees above zero and the water from the hose streams froze and covered the entire front of the gutted structure. Cause of the fire was from a defective flue in the theatre restaurant. The loss was $65,000.

THE ATLANTA BOX FACTORY CONFLAGRATION Monday, 13 July 1908 at 23:18 PM

THE VIADUCT PLACE CONFLAGRATION Wednesday, 10 November 1909 at 2:45 AM

This fire originated in the three-story brick Atlanta Box Factory Building at the southeast corner of Bartow Street SE and the Western & Atlantic Railroad. Before the combined efforts of the Fire Department on a general alarm, and using 18 hose streams could be placed in operation, the fire engulfed the entire building and spread to the adjoining buildings housing the United Paper Company, the A.K. Morgan Grain Company, the J.I. Case Threshing Machine Company and the General Electric Company. An alley and the sprinkler system installation protected the Orpheum Theatre and the new building of the Ford & Johnson Furniture Company. Cause of the fire was undetermined. The loss was $65,000. The night watchman of the box factory, Mr. William J. Morris, age 63, burned to death.

This was a group of small structures facing a pedestrian walkway on the north side of the Western & Atlantic Railroad, between the Whitehall Street SW and Broad Streets SW viaducts. It was on the same design as what later was known as Plaza Way. The fire had its origin in the Western & Atlantic Railroad warehouse on the Wall Street level and spread upward to involve the Jack Smith poolroom on the Viaduct Way level at the Broad Street end. The main body of fire extended at the rear of these buildings and necessitated the evacuation of guests from the Windsor-Clifton Hotel on Broad Street; Folsum’s Hotel on Marietta Street SW; and Gelder’s Hotel, also on Marietta Street. The rapid spread and the dangerous area in which the fire occurred caused Chief Cummings to issue four alarms to bring the fire under control; but not before it had spread to, and either destroyed or damaged, the Jack Smith Pool Room, the Paul Smith Pool Room, the Viaduct Barber Shop, the Amuse-U Moving Picture Show; Paul Burkett’s Umbrella Shop and the New Baltimore Dairy on Peachtree Street SW. The cause of the fire was never determined. The loss was $25,000.

THE MILLER-KARWISCH BUGGY & WAGON WORKS FIRE Monday, 20 July 1908 at 19:02 PM The fire originated on the second floor of the three-story building across the street from Boys High School on the southwest corner of Courtland and Gilmer Streets (site of the present Georgia State University). This was a three-alarm fire. The firefighters employed 12 hose streams of water but the second floor, third floor, and roof were burned away. While operating at the top of a ladder, Engineer of Steamer, Raymond M. Fischer, Engine No. 6, was knocked from his position and fell to the sidewalk; he was killed instantly. The fire

Ten hose streams were used. It was at this fire that the department first used its new 75-foot aerial ladder truck for rescue work.

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THE SIMON’S DEPARTMENT STORE FIRE Tuesday, 22 March 1910 at 23:40 PM Shortly before midnight fire broke out in the Simon’s Store, for ladies and children’s furnishings at 49 Whitehall Street SW, in the very heart of the shopping district. Several alarms were struck and numerous hand lines placed in operation before the situation was under control. The establishment was located in a four-story brick walled building having board on joist floors and wood deck. The retail building also had a basement which was fully stocked with the new shipment of Easter goods. The fire originated in the basement in the back part of the building and had gained considerable headway before being discovered by an Atlanta Police patrolman passing on the street. Smoke gained access to all three floors through the elevator shaft, although the fire proper was confined to the basement. Damage was estimated between $15,000 and $20,000. The Atlanta Constitution reported that “Although smoke poured in dense volumes from windows on each floor, at no time were adjoining buildings of J. P. Allen & Company and Davis & Freeman threatened”. The loss is covered by insurance. THE CASTLEBERRY HILL CONFLAGRATION Tuesday, 31 May 1910 at 23:08 PM The fire originated in the livery stables of Thomas Brothers, Cooly & Nash, at No. 198 West Peters Street SW near West Fair Street. Before the first alarm companies could arrive, the flames flashed through the rambling sheds and 12 horses perished. As the flames began spreading to other buildings, Chief Cummings began calling help until a total of four alarms had been sounded. The fire communicated to the Baker’s wagon yard at the rear of the livery stables and 12 additional horses perished here. A tool house of the L.H. Fain & Company became involved; then the Texas Barbecue House and the livery stable of the T.L. Smith Company were next to go, but the horses in this building were saved. The Bennett Lumber Company was then attacked and all of this plant was lost, including 15 box cars on the railroad tracks. Within 15 minutes the entire block bounded by Peters Street SW, West Fair Street SW, Jeanette Street SW, (now Joiner Street SW) and the Central of Georgia Railroad was leveled. The cause of the fire was listed as incendiary. The loss was $50,000. THE EMPIRE SHIRT COMPANY FIRE Tuesday, 11 January 1911 at 08:23 AM The fire originated in the millinery firm of Silverman & Lansberg on the second floor of the four-story building at No. 44 - 48 West Mitchell Street SW. This was a three-alarm fire with ten hose streams being used. Before the fire could be controlled, the flames extended upward and a score of women operators of the Empire Shirt Company on the third floor were required to be rescued by way of the ladders of the Fire Department. The building housed several occupancies and all suffered varying degrees of smoke and water damage. Cause of the fire was not known. The loss was $40,000. Firefighter James D. Cottingham of No. 4 was injured painfully in a fall of 10-feet from a ladder. THE PETERS-WALKER STREETS CONFLAGRATION Sunday, 25 June 1911 at 01:15 AM

254 West Peters Street SW, the flames soon reduced both buildings to smoking ruins. Before the equipment on three alarms could bring 12 hose streams to bear on the burning buildings, both were completely gutted, together with a one-story barber shop between them. The fire was prevented from spreading to the buildings housing the Jacobs Pharmacy, the Peters Street branch of King Hardware Company, and the Frank Revson Bottling Company. An investigation of the cause of the fire revealed that it had been caused by safe-crackers using nitroglycerine to blow the safe. Loss to the properties was $150,000. THE SKINNER TRANSFER CONFLAGRATION Thursday, 21 September 1911 at 00:13 AM The fire originated in the building at 305-352 Decatur Street SE, near Fort Street. The structure was occupied by the J. Goldberg Furniture Company and rapidly spread on brisk winds. The flames communicated to the stables of the Skinner Transfer & Storage Company next door to the building of origin. This was a four-alarm fire with the fire companies employing nine streams of water to control the blaze, but not before a major part of the block between Fort and Hilliard Streets was destroyed. Occupants affected by the fierce fire were the Skinner Transfer & Storage Company, Hyman Brothers Saloon, the Southern Iron & Paper Stock Company, the J. Goldberg Furniture Company, a small barber shop, and six dwellings on Fort Street. Cause of the fire was listed as incendiary. The loss was $40,000. THE PRYOR-HUNTER STREETS CONFLAGRATION Wednesday, 1 November 1911 at 20:10 PM This fire originated at the rear of the Oscar Barnes Furniture Company building at 21 East Hunter Street SW (now Martin Luther King Jr. Drive SW); and before the first alarm fire companies could arrive and begin operations, the fire had completely involved the furniture store and spread to the Ellis Building located on South Pryor Street. The stiff wind blowing directly to the southeast showed no signs of abating; Chief Cummings realized he had a full blown conflagration on his hands and sounded the 3-3-3 on the AFD alarm bell system. The fire companies employed 14 streams of water in the fight, eight on Hunter Street and six on Pryor Street. From the Ellis Building, the fire spread to the building owned by Reuben A. Arnold and Jack J. Spaulding. Fears were expressed for the business on Whitehall Street, and patrons of the Vaudette and Alpha Theatres were turned out of these moving picture houses as a precaution until the danger had passed. Sparks from the fire started a small blaze on the roof of the Southern Bell Telephone Exchange at the corner Mitchell and Pryor Streets, but this was quickly extinguished by the crew of the chemical company. Three additional hose lines were advanced along Pryor Street to protect exposed structures. The buildings of Loftis A. Boatenreiter, and the Robinson Furniture Company next to the Barnes Building on Hunter Street were badly damaged by smoke and water. The wired-glass windows of the huge ChamberlinJohnson-Dubose Department Store protected that building from flames. The Walter R. Brown Building at the southwest corner of Pryor and Hunter Streets escaped damage. Cause of the vast fire was undetermined. The loss was set at $150,000.

Originating on the first floor of the two-story Tuggle Gordon Department Store, located at 258 West Peters Street SW, and quickly spreading to the three-story Smith & Higgins Department Store at No. 120

130 Years of Historic Fires 1882-2012


THE WARREN MANUFACTURING COMPANY FIRE Monday, 20 May 1912 at 15:30 PM The fire originated in the basement of the four-story building at No.

THE W.F. WINECOFF MANSION FIRE Monday, 8 December 1913 at 20:20 PM . This huge residence was located on Peachtree Circle NE in the new and fashionable Ansley Park section of the city. Before the arrival of the equipment from Nos. 4, 8 and 11, the structure was completely involved and was destroyed along with its contents which included expensive furnishings and valuable jewelry. Cause of the fire was a mystery. The loss was set at $175,000. Mr. and Mrs. Winecoff were away from home at the time and escaped injury. Ironically, 33 years later, almost to the day, Mr. Winecoff was one of 119 that died in the fire in the hotel that bore his name on 6 December 1946. THE WHITEHALL STREET-STEWART AVENUE CONFLAGRATION Tuesday, 13 January 1914 at 22:55 PM

58-60 West Mitchell Street and spread upward through the elevator shaft to involve the upper floors and roof Several terrified operators were rescued by the way of No. 1’s aerial ladder and several ground ladders. Chief Cummings transmitted two additional alarms but the fire was quickly brought under control. The cause of the fire was not known. The loss was $50,000.▼ THE JOHN J. WOODSIDE STORAGE WAREHOUSE FIRE Thursday, 13 February 1913 at 08:15 AM The fire involved the Number Three warehouse at No. 135 - 137 Bell Street and was fully involved upon the arrival of the first alarm fire companies. Chief Cummings transmitted four alarms placing the water tower and ten hose streams in use to control the fire. Even with this much flow, the third and fourth floors of the four-story structure with load bearing brick walls and plank on heavy timber floors and roof decked structure was completely gutted. Origin of the fire was not determined but it was believed to have been caused by “rats chewing matches or by spontaneous combustion”. The loss was $250,000. Remnants his company still existed until recently as A.C. White Moving and Storage Their former building is now abandoned on Edgewood Ave NE just west of Krog Street NE THE ARAGON HOTEL FIRE Sunday, 5 May 1913 at 14:40 PM This hotel was located on the southeast corner of Peachtree NE and Ellis Streets. The fire originated under the roof and necessitated in four alarms being sounded and 11 hose streams being used to control the fire. Several guests were rescued by the aerial of No. 1 and by way of the inside stairs. The fire burning under the roof destroyed that section and burned down to involve the entire sixth floor and most of the fifth floor before it could be brought under control. All of the lower floors were heavily damaged by water. Cause of the fire was not determined. The loss was $20,000. This corner now houses the SE entrance to the Peachtree Center MARTA Subway Station and an open parking lot.

The fire originated in the four-story brick building occupied by the Cotton States Belting Company at No. 580 Whitehall Street SW near Northside Drive. In minutes a high wind spread the flames throughout the structure and began attacking the adjoining building occupied by the B.P. Avery & Sons Company, No. 584 Whitehall Street SW and to a one-story, and a two-story dwelling. This was a general alarm fire with the department employing 14 streams of water to bring the fire under control. The cause of the fire was not disclosed. The loss was set at $250,000. In 2012 this is now just a vacant lot. THE WILLIAM M. MCKENZIE BUILDING FIRE (Chapter 1) Sunday, 22 February 1914 at 12:15 PM The building involved was located at 122 – 124 Peachtree St NE running through the block to 85 – 89 Forsyth Street NE and occupied the south side of James Streets (now Williams Street). The fire originated in the basement section of the Johnson Gewiner Company and quickly spread throughout the structure damaging the Stoddard Dry Cleaning Company, the Pickard Dean’s drugstore, Stephen A. Ryan’s loan office, the tailoring shop of John Chalmer, the Georgia Realty & Trust Company, and the lodge rooms of the Woodmen of the World on the second floor. Fears were expressed for the adjacent Piedmont Hotel, a 10 story, fire resistive structure located on the same block and immediately adjacent to the south. Also threatened were the 2-story masonry wall with wood floor mercantile buildings only 30-feet across James Street to the north; the new Ansley Hotel, which later became the Dinkler Plaza Hotel located west, across the 60-foot wide Forsyth Street just south of Williams Street NW, and the tall Candler Building, located 65-feet away across Peachtree Street NW to the east. With these severe exposures, Chief Cummings would transmit five alarms. Twelve hose streams were used. Five firefighters were injured. They were Captain W.B. Cody, Ladder No. 3; Ladderman L.A. Davis, Ladder No. 1; Hoseman J.Y. Dooly, Hose No. 2; and Engineer of Steamer J.T. Medlin, Engine No. 4. Cause of the fire was from a vulcanizer left burning. The loss was $150,000. Keep all these exposure issues in mind as the building was rebuilt and would become the scene of two more multi-alarm fires; one in 1922 and one in 1945.

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THE EAST LAKE COUNTRY CLUB FIRE Sunday, 22 March 1914 at 19:45 PM

THE BYRD PRINTING COMPANY FIRE Thursday, 11 March 1915 at 01:55 AM

The fire originated in the kitchen of the club and in minutes the flames were spreading upward through the walls and involved the entire structure. The club was located well outside of the city limits in unincorporated DeKalb County but the motorized engine from No. 12 was dispatched to the scene to render what aid it could, assisting firefighters from the cities of Kirkwood and Decatur. Before Engine 12 could arrive the majority of the building had been consumed. Due to the lack of fire hydrants in the vicinity, the engine was set up at draft sucking water out of a small ponding spot in Doolittle Creek. Due to the damage already done, efforts were concentrated in saving the barns and other buildings in the group. The club had been opened by the Atlanta Athletic Club on 4 July 1903, at a cost of $43,000. Cause of the fire was from a defective flue in the kitchen. The loss was $65,000. East Lake Country Club is now within the city limits of Atlanta.

The night watchman of the Atlanta Journal saw the flames from a distance and telephoned the Fire Department that headquarters was on fire. The fire company was turned out quickly and it was discovered that it was not the fire station, but the Byrd Printing Company building, next door on Alabama Street SW west of Forsyth Street SW. The fire was involving the fourth floor of the four-story brick structure and was in complete control of this area.

THE BLACK BUILDING FIRE Saturday, 25 April 1914 at 13:30 PM The fire originated in the basement in quantities of cane chairs and other furniture of the Bombay Reed Manufacturing & Importing Company. In trying to confine the flames to the basement area, 17 firefighters were overcome by the toxic fumes and required hospital treatment. Chief Cummings transmitted four alarms and eight hose streams were used. The flames were confined to the basement and the first floor which were occupied by the Oliver Typewriting Company. Cause of the fire was from defective wiring. The loss was $30,000. THE ELYEA-AUSTELL BUILDING FIRE Tuesday, 15 December 1914 at 07:30 AM The fire originated on the second floor of the two-story brick structure in the area employed by the Elyea-Austell Company as stockrooms. The structure covered half of the block bounded by Edgewood Avenue SE; Decatur Street, and North Pryor Street SE. The adjoining old three-story Austell Building at the corner of Pryor and Decatur Streets, occupied the other half of the same block. (The area is now the site of the present Ten Pryor Street Building). Occupants of the building were the Elyea-Austell Company, auto suppliers and dealers in motorcycles, bicycles and graphophones; the Tripod Paint Company; and Harbour’s “Smoke-House”, a combination cigar stand, soda fountain, and lunchroom. Due to the low temperature at the time of the fire and the heavy built-up section; Chief Cummings ordered Second and Third Alarms putting eight fire companies in service at the scene, using 21 hose streams. Several of the hose lines were taken into the adjoining Austell Building and played on the fire from this position. The fire burned out the second floor and roof, and the first floor suffered heavy damage from water. Ice forming in the streets presented a hazard to the working firefighters. W.R. Berryhill of No. 8, suffered injuries in a fall but were not serious. Chief John Jentzen, of the Sanitation Department, had cinders hauled to the scene and scattered on the frozen streets. As the Atlanta Fire Department had the bulk of its motor apparatus tied down working this fire, East Point sent its motor apparatus to Atlanta fire headquarters for use in the event of another fire. Cause of the fire was unknown. The loss was $100,000. The Type-10 American LaFrance engine (Serial No. 109), that pulled this fill-in service is still owned by the City of East Point. 122

Fearing that the entire block might be destroyed, Chief Cummings called help until a total of five alarms had been transmitted and a total of 12 heavy hose streams of water were playing on the fire. At one time, Chief Cummings thought that he would have to move his family out of their third floor apartment over the fire station. His sister, who was at the point of death, caused the chief extreme anxiety. The family, however, managed to conceal the danger from her and she slept while the firefighters fought the blaze next door. Water damage was extensive in the basements of both the fire station and the Pittsburgh Plate Glass Company, on either side of the Byrd building. Cause of the fire was not determined. The loss was set at $75,000. THE TERMINAL BLOCK FIRE Saturday, 10 April 1915 at 11:40 PM The fire involved the second floor of the three floored structure at No. 66-68-70 West Mitchell Street SW and the equipment from Nos. 1, 2, and 5 were the first on the scene. Before the engines could be set up and the hose lines laid, the fire began spreading to the third floor and roof. Chief Cummings, fearing a repetition of the great 1908 conflagration, sent in help calls until a total of five alarms had been sounded. By skillful work, the Fire Department confined the fire to the upper two stories and roof of the structure. A total of 14 hose streams were employed in bringing the fire under control. The second floor was occupied by the Robinson Neckwear Company and the All-Star Manufacturing Company. The third floor was occupied by W.A. Elroy & Company, a manufacturer of artificial limbs. The Jacobs Pharmacy, which occupied the ground floor at the corner of Madison Avenue (Spring Street), was heavily damaged by water. No. 66 and 68 on the ground floor were vacant, but also suffered water damage. Cause of the fire was not determined. The loss was set at $50,000. This was Chief William B. Cummings last major fire before being defeated for the position of Chief Engineer of the Atlanta Fire Department by Captain William B. Cody of Ladder No. 3. THE SOUTHERN COTTON OIL COMPANY Thursday, 16 September at 21:45 PM The fire originated in the meal house of the big plant across the tracks from Fort McPherson and the alarm brought the equipment from No. 7 and 14 to the scene. Chief W. B. Cody sounded a second alarm calling for the motor equipment of the department. No. 12 and No. 16 answered the call and No. 15 was also sent, but the engine struck a hole in the street breaking an axle. None of the

130 Years of Historic Fires 1882-2012


firefighters were injured. The flames soon spread throughout the plant and destroyed the cotton seed hull house, the fertilizer plant, and the cabins of several employees. Courageous firefighting saved the main processing mill of the plant. Cause of the fire was not known. The loss was $75,000. THE MUTUAL FILM EXCHANGE FIRE Saturday, 16 October 1915 at 14:30 PM This film exchange occupied the first and second floors of the Mion Building at No. 40-42 Luckie Street NW. The fire originated on the ground floor near the stockroom and inspector’s room when a spark from an electric fan ignited scraps of film on the cutting table. The flames flashed with explosive force through the first floor. Most of the employees on this floor were able to escape without injury, but the flames swept up the stairs and enveloped the reels of highly combustible nitrocellulose film stored in racks here. Five young men made their way to safety by cutting through a window to the roof but three young girls were burned to death and 16 people were injured, including several members of the AFD. Thousands of feet of motion picture film were burned including several two-reel pictures of Charlie Chapman, Harry “Snub” Pollard, Harold Lockwood, Mabel Norman, “Fatty” Arbuckle, and Chester Conklin. The flames spread to the roof of a two-story dwelling at No. 41 Cone Street NW and the roof was burned away. The building was also occupied on the ground floor by the plumbing firm of Smith & Guest. The damage to the building and its contents was estimated at about $500,000. THE CHARLES VITTUR LIVERY STABLES FIRE Thursday, 13 January 1916 at 21:45 PM This fire originated at the rear of the first floor of the two-story structure at No. 169 Marietta Street NW and spread rapidly throughout the structure killing 72 horses. The fire required the operation of a four-alarm response using 13 hose streams to prevent the spread to the Gem and Marietta Hotels on either side of the burning stables. As it was, several beds in the Marietta Hotel caught fire from sparks entering the building through a skylight. These were quickly extinguished, however, but not before the hotel suffered severe water damage. Charles Thompson, a driver for the Barclay & Brandon undertaking establishment, who slept on the second floor, was killed in a leap from a window. Cause of the fire was from a defective flue. Loss was $60,000.

over $4,250,000. The fire burned out 682 buildings. The cause of the rapid spread of the fire was attributed to wood shingle roofs and inadequate fire protection. Wood shingles, so very common on dwellings of the early twentieth century, would be the cause of rapid fire spread and huge conflagrations in many cities between 1900 and 1920. Atlanta’s turn was only 14 months away… Lessons learned from these events that brought huge amounts of equipment to an incident from long distances was the need for standardized hose thread so equipment could be cross connected. Each hydrant and each hose manufacturer would have their own thread design. This was done partly to guarantee that that a particular city and its fire department would continue to have to buy equipment only from one source. The Great Baltimore Fire of 1904 had massive amounts of equipment rushed to the scene, only to sit useless due to incompatibility of the hose and hydrant threads. Both Augusta and Macon use non-national standard thread. The NFPA addressed this and thus was born National Standard Hose Thread as we know it today. THE CASINO SKATING RINK ROOF COLLAPSE Friday, 9 June 1916 This building was located at No. 81 South Pryor Street SW near Mitchell. Suddenly and without any cracking sounds or warning, a wide span of roof fell in with a crash trapping a score of people. Not only was the building used for skating, it also hosted boxing events from time to time. Fortunately, not many patrons were in the building at the time of the structural failure. The fire equipment responded and a second alarm was sounded to bring in more ladder trucks to assist in cutting through the roof from the top of the debris to rescue the people trapped underneath. Three people were killed and five were injured. The cause of the roof structural failure was not recorded. THE J.P. ALLEN DEPARTMENT STORE FIRE Wednesday, 20 December 1916 at 07:00 AM

THE AUGUSTA, GEORGIA CONFLAGRATION Wednesday, 22 March 1916 at 6:30 PM On hearing the news that a terrible fire was destroying the City of Augusta, Georgia, Mayor Woodward authorized Chief Cody to dispatch help to the stricken city. The Webb motor engine of No. 12, with 2000 feet of hose and 12 men under the command of First Assistant Chief R.H. Pressley and Captain J.M. Jenkins, were loaded on flat cars of the Georgia Railroad and the special train left for the east Georgia city. Other equipment was sent from Waynesboro; Macon, Savannah, and Columbia, South Carolina. The huge conflagration swept through the major portion of the business section along the Savannah River and caused a damage of

The department store building was a five-story structure and was numbered 51-53 Whitehall Street SW, but extended clear through the block and also had an entrance on South Broad Street. It was a brick structure, and had a basement and a gravel roof. Thick fire walls protected the Davison-Paxon Stokes Department Store on the south

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at the corner of Hunter Street and the S.H. Kress Ten Cent Store on the other side. Firefighters on five alarms fought the fire from all four sides, but could not prevent the destruction of the building. The fire originated near the elevator shaft on the fifth floor from an unknown cause. The loss was estimated at $210,000.

Engine Co. 14 with him to the new outbreak a few blocks to the west. By now the flames had spread to a dwelling of Martha Simms, located in an alley running from York Avenue SW to Gordon Street SW (also now called R.D.A Boulevard). Sparks and brands then set fire to the roof of Marshall Nelms home on Gordon Street.

THE T.H. BROOKE GRAIN COMPANY FIRE Monday, 19 February 1917 at 07:30 AM

At this point Chief Cody sounded the 3-3-3 to bring in more equipment. A vacant house directly opposite the Nelms residence caught fire and was reduced to ruins. Next to go was the two-story Gordon apartments and the home of Robert C. King, a member of Atlanta Fire Company No. 1; all were virtually destroyed. Damage to all the buildings in the neighborhood was $35,000. Atlanta firefighters finally got control of this fire but their activity for this date was far, far from being over.

The hay and grain warehouse, located at the rear of the main building at No. 212 Marietta Street NW, (near what today is Andrew Young International Boulevard NW), was fully involved upon the arrival of the first fire companies. The blaze resulted in five alarms being sounded and 15 streams of water were used to bring the stubborn fire under control. In driving his hose wagon through an alley at the side of the burning building, Driver C.C. Winter, No. 4, struck his head on some scaffolding and was hurled to the ground. He was rushed to Grady Hospital where his injuries were first considered light and he was released. He was again hospitalized and on 2 December 1917, he died of his injuries. Injuries were sustained by 12 other AFD members but were of a minor nature. The fire was caused by some undisclosed nature. The loss was $25,000. The Omni Hotel occupies the site in 2012. THE CANNON HOTEL FIRE Friday, 18 May 1917 at 22:30 PM The four-story structure, formerly known as the Pryor Hotel and even earlier as the Dodd Building, was located at the northwest corner of Pryor St SW and Alabama Streets. The fire originated under the roof and within a few minutes had burned down to involve the third and fourth floors. All the guests were evacuated without injury. Chief Cody called for additional help until a total of five alarms had been recorded. Twelve hose streams were played on the burning structure from all four sides. The street floor was occupied by the Snelling Soda Company; the Cannon Cafe; the office of Edward N. Larding, a broker; and the No. 30 South Pryor Street Shoe Shop. Cause of the fire was not known. The loss was $30,000. THE WEST END CONFLAGRATION Monday, 21 May 1917 at 11:43 AM Two small boys built a bonfire in the backyard of the residence of Mr. Fred Walker, at No. 56 York Avenue SW, in West End and sparks were blown under the house and ignited some rubbish. Before the apparatus from No. 1 and No. 2, - under the command of First Assistant Chief R.H. Pressley could arrive, - the entire house was a mass of flames and the stiff wind out of the south was spreading the fire to other dwellings in the vicinity. There were occupied by Mr. Edward Kirkman, No. 54 York Avenue, and Mr. Gus Moreland, No. 52 York Avenue SW. Upon arrival, Chief Pressley immediately requested a second alarm. This request presented an immediate problem as just prior to this fire, apparatus from Nos. 5, 7, 9, and 14 were operating at a two-alarm fire in one of the buildings in the huge Candler Cotton Warehouse complex at Murphy Avenue SW and Glenn Street, (now Ralph David Abernathy Boulevard SW). The signal office sent what equipment it could and Department Chief Cody saw the dense column of smoke from his position at the Candler Warehouses and carried the motor 124

THE WOODWARD AVENUE CONFLAGRATION Monday, 21 May 1917 at 12:15 PM This fire had its origin in the home of Mr. W. H. Timms at 335 Woodward Ave SE at King Street in Eastside. Apparatus from Company 6 and 10 were first to arrive having been released from the two incidents in West End. By the time they arrived, several houses to the east and west of 335 on the south side of Woodward were rolling in fire and fire was beginning to jump across Woodward to involve houses on the north side of the street. Upon arrival, 2nd Assistant Chief William Butler urgently appealed for additional equipment and firefighters. The Signal Office advised him they had motorized Engines 15, 16 and Ladder 4 in route. Hearing the Signal Office strike the Second Alarm, Chief Cody assembled what equipment that could be spared from the two West End incidents and rushed to Woodward Avenue. By 12:30 PM, this new fire had spread to involve the entire block bounded by Woodward Avenue SE; Connally Street SE, King Street SE, and Terry Street SE. Nine dwellings on Woodward and three on King Street SE were demolished and seven more badly damaged including some “rear alley houses” behind the houses on King Street. All of the houses damaged or destroyed were wood frame and had wood shingles. The cause of this fire was thought to be accidental. By 2012, this block is now covered with modern garden apartments which replaced the southeastern corner of what had been the Capitol Homes Public Housing Project for many years. It had already been a long day for Atlanta’s Bravest but wait….. There’s more... THE GREAT NORTHSIDE CONFLAGRATION Monday, 21 May 1917 at 12:46 PM Fire Alarm Box No. 46 located at the corner of Decatur and Bell Streets SE rang in to the communications room at Fire Station No. 1 at 12:46 PM. Ladder No. 11 was the only piece of equipment in service due to the simultaneous fires at the Candler Warehouses; West End and Woodward Avenue SE. Upon the arrival of the truck company, a fire was found burning in a stack of old, used mattresses at the rear of the old “pest house” on Fort Street SE, near Decatur Street SE. The building was being used by Grady Hospital as a storage warehouse. Captain John Terrell brought the big chemical unit to bear on the blaze but was unable to control the fire and within minutes, the walls

130 Years of Historic Fires 1882-2012


and roof of the long rambling frame building were soon a mass of flames. Due to the wind, fire was beginning to spread northward through a congested group of wood frame, wood shingle roofed dwellings. The captain issued an urgent request for additional help but was informed by the signal operator that there were no apparatus available. Captain Terrell then ordered a mounted police officer to hurry to the Woodward Avenue fire and in-person report to Chief Cody of his critical need for additional equipment. By this time Chief Cody had noted the huge column of black smoke in the sky northeast of his position and taking what apparatus he could, hurried to this new fire. Due to all the back to back alarms, the horse’s hoofs were now bleeding from the long forced runs. The strong wind fanning the gathering fire, swept through the Skinner Brothers Transfer Company on Fort Street NE. Other large occupancies in this area to be destroyed were the Trio Laundry on Hilliard Street NE; the J.K. Orr Shoe Factory, across the street; and the John J. Woodside Storage Warehouse at the corner of Edgewood and Bell Street; and at this point the fire began sweeping over this wide thoroughfare. It was at this time that Chief Cody asked Mayor Candler to appeal for outside aid, and in a short time equipment began arriving from the cities of East Point, Decatur, Kirkwood, Marietta, Newnan, LaGrange, Griffin and Gainesville. With time, special high ball trains rushed in apparatus and firefighters from Augusta, Macon and Savannah, Georgia; Chattanooga, Knoxville, and Nashville, Tennessee; and Jacksonville, Florida. Upon leaving Edgewood Avenue and rolling northeastward, the vast conflagration picked up speed in its forward movement. Very shortly it had practically swept the area clean bounded on the west by Bell Street, Hilliard Street, Bedford Place, Hunt Street, Nutting Street; on the north by Ponce de Leon Avenue, Vedado Way, and Greenwood Avenue; to the east by North Boulevard, Kennesaw Avenue, Randolph Street, Prospect Place, Younge Street and Decatur Street near Bell Street SE on the south. The section burned an area of over 300 acres and destroyed a total

warehouses. Of structures destroyed, 1,682 were covered with wood shingle roofs. Many of Atlanta’s notable religious structures had been lost in the vast fire, namely the Grace Methodist Church, comer of North Boulevard and Highland Ave.; the Jackson Hill Baptist Church, corner of Jackson Street and East Avenue; Westminster Presbyterian Church, corner of Forrest Avenue and North Boulevard; Old Wheat Baptist Church, corner Auburn Avenue and Fort Street; and St. Paul’s Episcopal Church on Auburn Avenue. Property loss amounted to over $5,000,000 and 10,000 people were left homeless. Only one life was lost as a result of the fire. Mrs. Bessie Hodges died of shock following the burning of her home on North Boulevard. Only ten of the large number of firefighters were injured and all were minor. The fire was finally brought under control at about 22:00 that night but many small fires still burned in isolated spots. For the third time in her history, Atlanta was place under martial law. Cause of the “Big Fire” was sparks from the Woodward Avenue fire igniting the mattresses on the back dock at the old African-American sections of Grady Hospital. Shortly after this fire, the Atlanta City Council addressed the issue of wood shake shingles on dwellings within the city, something the Chief had been begging them to do for several years. THE MILLER-UNION STOCKYARDS FIRE Thursday, 10 January 1918 at 7:23 PM The fire originated in the section of the live stock yards occupied by the commission house of A.L. Suttles on Brady Avenue NW which at the time was still outside of the city limits. Within minutes the flames were in control of the feeding pens and stalls. The alarm was sounded and six fire companies responded on the three alarms sounded by Chief Cody. It was difficult to control the fire due to its spreading so fast in the combustible contents, and the mule barns were soon involved. It was in this section that the animals were confined to be quarantined by the Federal Bureau of Animal Industry. A fortunate change in the direction of the wind saved the big White Provision Company packing plant on Howell Mill Road at the Southern Railroad. Over a thousand mules and a large number of cattle and hogs escaped the flames and stampeded down Howell Mill Road and later were reported roaming over the northwest section of the city and county. Three hundred head of cattle and a large number of hogs and mules were burned to death, as well as a large quantity of feed and grain. The fire was finally brought under control with a loss of $63,000. The cause was not determined. Today the huge former White Provision Company meat packaging plant has been converted into retail and loft apartments and condominiums. THE SOUTHERN CHEMICAL COMPANY AND THOMAS VULCANIZING PLANT EXPLOSION Tuesday, 12 February 1918 at 17:45 PM

of 1,938 structures of which 47 were brick and 1,891 were frame construction. Classified by occupancy, 1,537 were dwellings and apartments; 42 mercantile; 351 garages and outhouses; and 8 miscellaneous occupancies, including churches, special hazards, and

The fire originated in the Thomas plant at No. 590-594 Marietta Street NW and in seconds involved the entire structure. It spread quickly to the Southern Chemical Products Company at No. 598600-612 Marietta Street NW.

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Upon the arrival of the first fire apparatus, all of the structures were burning fiercely. Five alarms were transmitted quickly and ten engines and five ladder companies were soon operating 15 heavy streams of water on the fire under the command of Chief Cody and his Assistants, R.H. Pressley and William Butler. Both the buildings were wrecked and the streets were blocked with debris. The wires of the Georgia Railway & Power Company and the Southern Bell Telephone Company were knocked from the poles in front of the structures. Two men, Rowland H. Thomas and John Smith, who were unloading a tank car of gasoline, and 11 other employees, were injured. Cause of the fire was from the explosion of escaping gasoline from the tank car. The loss was $250,000. THE BOULEVARD SCHOOL FIRE Tuesday, 19 February 1918 at 17:00 PM This elementary school was located on the northeast corner of North Boulevard and Irwin Street NE in the Old 4th Ward. Upon the arrival of the first alarm companies the fire was in control of the second floor and roof, and required four alarms and ten hose streams to stop its spread; however, the school was completely gutted. A four room frame annex was saved. Captain John M. Jenkins and Hoseman J.M. Johnson were both painfully injured when a section of the roof fell in. The cause of the fire was a defective flue. The loss was $20,000. This was the last major fire to which a horse-drawn fire apparatus responded. The school was rebuilt across the intersection as the two-story John Hope Elementary School structure at 112 Boulevard NE that remains in use in 2012. The current school is named for John Hope (June 2, 1868 – February 20, 1936) who was born in Augusta, GA and was an educator and political activist. He was a well-educated man who could have passed for white, but he was proud of his black heritage and identified with the black community. Hope graduated from Worcester Academy in 1890 and then from Brown University in 1894. He went on to teach at several universities and became professor of Classics at Atlanta Baptist College in Atlanta. He was also active in the Niagara Movement which evolved into the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, (NAACP). In 1906, Hope was unanimously chosen to be president of Atlanta Baptist College and was the first black to be selected for that position. In 1913 Atlanta Baptist was renamed to Morehouse College. John Hope remained president until his death in 1936. THE HAWKS BUILDING FIRE Monday, 9 December 1918 at 19:30 PM The building involved was located at No. 7-9-11 East Mitchell Street SW and was occupied principally by the Sterchi Furniture Company and the Cefalu & Warren Grocery Company on the ground floor. The fire required the services of nine engines and five ladder trucks responding on four alarms. Twelve heavy hose streams were used from four sides, including those of the water tower. The third floor was burned out and the roof destroyed. The lower floors suffered heavily from the water. Origin of the fire was in a storeroom on the third floor. Cause of the blaze was from carelessness with a cigarette. The loss was $75,000.

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THE INMAN YARDS CONFLAGRATION Sunday, 16 March 1919 at 5:15 PM The fire originated in the roof of the large two-story transfer yard office of the Southern Railroad’s Inman Yards, a mile beyond the city limits. The structure involved was a two-story frame freight transfer building 126-feet long, and having two open platforms on either side for truck and rail car access. A strong wind was blowing and in a short time the warehouse was completely involved. Flames soon spread to eight freight cars at the building and began spreading to the wood cars on nearby tracks and began running across the massive railroad classification yard. Twenty-six locomotives were placed into use, rapidly moving many freight cars out of harms way. Chief Cody, with Engines 3 and Engine 6 responded to the scene, but were unable to render much assistance due to lack of fire hydrants in the vicinity and only a three inch water line in the freight yard. Two fairly effective streams were finally obtained and efforts were concentrated in trying to save other property; but not before the fire had destroyed the yard office and warehouse, and the freight cars on 15 storage tracks. In all, 80 cars of perishables, and 20 empties were burned. Residences along Marietta Road NW were saved. Cause of the fire was not known. The loss was $1,500,000. THE HOME ART SUPPLY COMPANY FIRE Tuesday, 12 August 1919 at 18:11 PM Fire of unknown origin destroyed the three-story building at 172 Whitehall Street SW, (now Peachtree St SW) on the northeast corner of Garnett Street and caused about $100,000 damage. It was occupied by the Tarbo Soda Fountain and the Home Art Supply Company. Shortly after 18:00, when the streets were crowded with people hurrying home from work, flames were seen shooting high from the back part of the building. Firefighters responded quickly, but the fire had a good start for when they arrived the building was a roaring furnace. Crews could not attack the building from close quarters, owing to the intense heat, and the onlooker crowd was so thick police were called to hold them back. The fire, which was in the back part of the building, near the top floor, was fanned by a light breeze and quickly worked its way to the first floor and broke out in the front of the ground floor near the Whitehall Street windows. Shortly after fire broke out the front windows, the roof burned through and collapsed. Several of Atlanta’s Bravest who were working on the edge of the roof narrowly escaped injury. The fire was a three alarm response with eight hose streams being used and even then the flames could not be controlled. It was by great effort that the stock of the Atlanta Leather Company, on the right (exposure 4) side of the building, was saved from the blaze. Mr. M. W. Moss, manager of the leather company, said water and smoke did about $25,000 in damage. Trolley traffic was held up for more than three hours. The building was owned by the George Boynton estate. The Atlanta Public Safety Complex occupies this lot today and Garnett Street no longer intersects with Peachtree.

130 Years of Historic Fires 1882-2012


THE WILSON HOTEL FIRE Friday, 7 November 1919 at 02:26 AM This structure was formally known as the Stag Hotel and was located at No. 5 Walton Street, NW at the corner of Peachtree Street (later the site of the Muse’s Clothing Company building). It was a fourstory brick building with retail on the ground level and the hotel occupying the three top floors. The fire originated in a linen closet on the second floor and spread upward to involve the entire building. Five alarms were sounded and 11 streams of water brought the fire under control. There were 27 guests registered at the time of the fire. Some of them jumped from windows, some were rescued by fire department ladders; others climbed out onto the roof of the Strand Theatre, next door. Five men were killed by being burned to death or from injuries received in jumping from the upper windows. Twelve others were reported to have other minor injuries. Cause of the tragic fire was undetermined. The loss was $35,000. Immediately following the fire, the gutted structure was demolished and construction was begun on the fine, new George Muse Clothing Company building which still stands today. Winter Properties redeveloped the Muse’s Building in 1996 along with several adjoining buildings on Peachtree Street. The block is the southeast corner of the Fairlie-Poplar Historic District. Muse’s is part of a mixed-use complex, within walking distance of Underground Atlanta and Georgia State University, used as retail space (approximately 26,000 square feet) and loft apartments. THE ATLANTA VARIETY WORKS CONFLAGRATION Wednesday,, 19 November 1919 at 15:00 PM The fire originated in the plant at No. 192 Humphries Street SW near McDaniel Street SW and the Southern Railroad, which manufactured brooms and mops. Extending from the manufacturing building, the fire destroyed both the factory and 16 dwelling that were set on fire from the radiant heat and fire brands falling on their wood shingle roofs. There were no injuries. The fire called for five alarms being sent in and the use of 14 streams of water before the firefighters, handicapped by a high wind and terrific heat, were able to control the fire. Cause of the blaze was not known. The loss was $75,000. THE ALL SAINTS ESPISCOPAL CHURCH FIRE Sunday, 11 January 1920 at 21:10 PM This church, which is still standing, was located at No. 256 West Peachtree Street NE at the corner of North Avenue. This was a three-alarm fire with eight hose streams being used. The fire was discovered by Dr. J.H. Dean, when flames broke from the auditorium through the roof. Before it could be brought under control it had not only destroyed the roof but also gutted their $10,000 pipe organ. The heat was so intense that is caused the lead to melt destroying the beautiful stained glass memorial windows throughout the church. Cause of the fire was undetermined. The loss was $50,000. THE PIEDMONT GARAGE & STORAGE COMPANY FIRE Sunday, 8 February 1920 at 03:30 AM This was a four-story brick and wood-joist building and was located at No. 10-12 South Piedmont Avenue. The second and third floors were sub-leased to the United States Post Office for truck storage.

Nineteen mail trucks were destroyed as well as others belonging to the Norris Candy Company, Kingan Packing Company, Mutual Grocery Company, and the McRoberts Drug Company. The fire also consumed 838 automobile and truck tires which were stored in the facility. Several firefighters narrowly escaped death when the walls of the building collapsed into the street. Ladder Driver Z.A. Johnson and John K. Castleberry, both of No. 2, received broken ribs and severe bruises. The falling walls also damaged the South Piedmont Sausage Company at No. 8-A South Piedmont Avenue and the Hembree Company next door. The fire originated on the third floor from carelessness with a cigarette. Loss was $200,000. The building had been erected in 1870 and had been known as the Rucker Building. It also had, at one time, been used as a dance hall. By 2012 there is a large new structure on the site at the southeast corner of this intersection which is part of the Hugh Spalding–Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta complex THE T.H. BROOK & COMPANY FIRE Thursday, 18 June 1920 at 19:20 PM Brook and Company operated a grain and feed mill at 18 South Butler Street SE on part of the Greenfield estate. The fire became a fire alarm incident and 12 hose streams were placed in operation. The heavy wet grain elevator collapsed the building carrying the walls out into the street. Flying bricks caused slight injury to Firefighters John Mayfield and Amos Risse of Company 2. The fire spread from the southern end where the plant backed up to the Georgia Railroad. It was suspected that sparks from a steam locomotive was the ignition source. Damage was listed at $200,000. THE PIEDMONT DRIVING CLUB FIRE Wednesday, 6 October 1920 The section of the club, located in Piedmont Park near Piedmont Avenue NE and 15th Street NE, destroyed, was once the New York Building of the old Cotton States & International Exposition and required a three-alarm response and seven hose streams to bring it under control. Ironically, this structure had gallantly been saved from destruction by fire during the Piedmont Park Fire of 11 January 1906. Cause of the fire was defective wiring. Loss was 30,000. THE McKEE MOTOR COMPANY FIRE Saturday, 16 October 1920 at 00:00 AM This fire was in a two-story masonry building located on the northeast corner of Peachtree Street NE and Pine Street, across from the W.W. Orr Doctors Building. It contained a number of secondhand automobiles and McKee was also the franchise distributor for the Kissel Motor Car Company, an American manufacturing company based in Hartford, Wisconsin. The company custom built highquality automobiles, hearses, fire trucks, taxicabs, and utility vehicles between 1906 and when they went into receivership protection in November, 1930. McKee also sold the Allen Automobiles, but mostly used vehicle by the time of the fire. The blaze gutted the showroom and shop area requiring 12 hose streams to be placed in action before control was obtained. The cause of the fire was never determined and damage was estimated in the $50,000 range.

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THE J.S. FIELD & COMPANY FIRE Sunday, 12 December 1920 at 16:30 PM The building was located at No. 43 - 45 Whitehall Street SW and was a three-story structure with an annex. The firm dealt in women’s ready-to-wear clothing. On the original alarm, the fire companies succeeded in confining the fire to the first floor which was burned out and all of the Christmas stock was lost. Before the companies could take up and leave, the fire broke out anew on the second floor, having burned unnoticed in the ceiling; and in a short time, the entire structure was a mass of flames. Two more alarms were sounded. Ten hose streams were employed to bring the fire under control. Cause of the fire was from defective wiring. Loss was $100,000. The site is now the Peachtree Street entrance to the Five Points MARTA Subway Station. THE MORROW TRANSFER & STORAGE COMPANY FIRE Monday, 13 December 1920 at 00:15 AM Morrow occupied a structure at 122 Magnolia Street NW near Sunset in the Vine City neighborhood. The one-story brick walled, wood roofed building was used to store household goods. Arriving companies found the building fully involved. Four alarms were struck and 12 hose lines placed in operation to being control to the situation. This also was listed as a $50,000 loss from an unknown cause. Today this is about 700-718 Magnolia Street NW where a large open lot remains that is owned by the adjacent Morris Brown College complex. THE DAHL FLORIST COMPANY FIRE Saturday, 25 December 1920 at 10:00 AM This three-story brick structure was located at No. 103 Peachtree Street NE, at the intersection of Broad and Luckie Streets. The building was owned by W.H. Kiser. This was a seven-alarm fire. Fourteen hose streams from hand lines were used and streams were also employed from the water tower and Joyner pipe. Nunnally Company, next door, at No. 101 Peachtree Street NE, suffered water and smoke damage to the extent of $10,000. This building was owned by A.W Calhoun. Slight damage was also sustained by the Walter G. Ballard & Company, No. 105 Peachtree Street NE; and the I.M. Barne Phonograph & Music store, No. 107 Peachtree Street NE. Cause of the fire was defective wiring in a fuse box in the basement. The loss was $235,000. In 2012 this is the section of the Robert H. Woodruff Park north of Auburn Avenue NE in downtown Atlanta. THE B.F. GOODRICH COMPANY FIRE Tuesday, 28 December 1920 at 05:10 AM The company occupied the two-story structure located at No. 263 Peachtree Street NE and was completely gutted despite the equipment and men of a three-alarm response, using eight streams of water. Origin of the fire was in the basement and was caused by an overheated furnace. Loss was $30,000. The location of this address is part of the Regency Hotel complex by 2012. MUTUAL AID TO ATHENS, GEORGIA Tuesday, 25 January 1921 at 02:30 AM Athens, Georgia fire fighters fought through the early morning hours to contain a blaze that threatened to sweep through all of 128

the downtown section of their city. Newspaper accounts indicate that by 2:30 AM three full blocks and a dozen buildings housing numerous businesses had been destroyed. With the situation still far from under control, and flames heading toward College Avenue and the University of Georgia campus, a plea for assistance was sent to the Atlanta Fire Department for immediate help. Atlanta answered the call for assistance and dispatched Engine No. 1 which was loaded on a special train of the Seaboard Air Line Railroad and rushed to Athens under the personal command of Chief Cody and a crew of volunteers. The only serious human injury suffered by the fire department was when the City of Athens Fire Chief George W. McDorman fell from a ladder at about 6:00 AM and broke both of his wrists. Atlanta Chief Cody then took command of the fire with several nearby towns having also sent men and equipment that were assisting the 25-man force of Athens Fire Department. The fire started in the four-story Max Joseph building at the corner of Wall and Clayton Streets. Unfortunately, also in that building was the Denny Motor Company, an automobile retailer who had drums of gasoline stored on their first floor. Explosions from the petroleum, as well as windy conditions, spread the flames quickly. The Max Joseph building was completely gutted within an hour and the Michael Brothers retail and wholesale stores were destroyed in just 45 minutes. The block bounded by Jackson, Clayton, Wall, and Broad Streets was entirely destroyed, with severe damage to many of the surrounding buildings as well. THE ROYAL COTTON PRODUCTS COMPANY FIRE Thursday, 3 March 1921 at 22:55 PM The plant was located on Milton Avenue SE at the Atlanta & West Point beltline. The building was a frame structure, 30 feet wide by 150 feet long and was owned by the railroad. It was completely destroyed. This was a three-alarm fire. Eight hose streams were used. Cause of the blaze was not known. The loss was $165,000. Although not confirmed, it is thought that the Atlanta & West Point Railroad rebuilt the structure with brick walls and wood roofs with the typical freight shed design for trucks on one side and rail cars on the other. The building would later become the Shook & Fletcher Insulation Company. This structure would become the scene of a multi alarm fire that took the life of Captain Jerry Prince of Company 30 in February 1986. THE MOORE SUPPLY COMPANY FIRE Saturday, 11 June 1921 at 20:30 PM This two-story brick building was located at the southeast corner of Edgewood Avenue NE and North Pryor Street (now the site of the Ten Pryor Street Building). The entire second floor was burned out and the fire threatened to spread to neighboring structures. The spectacular blaze attracted a crowd of 4,000 onlookers. During the process of the fire, Harry Joyner of No. 8, and C.S. “Dusty” Rhodes of No. 4 were cut by falling glass. The second floor had been occupied by the Bean & Magill Printing Company and the Moore Supply Company, the first floor by Harbor’s Smokehouse, ParkerBrabab Drug Company and the Royal Cafe at No. 37-39 North Pryor Street NE; and the Piggly-Wiggly Grocery Company and the Sanitary Market at No. 33 Edgewood Avenue. This was a four-alarm fire. Eight hose steams were used. Cause of the blaze was not known. Loss was $50,000.

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THE GEORGIA HOTEL FIRE Sunday, 26 June 1921 at 01:00 AM

THE LUCILE AVENUE CONFLAGRATION Wednesday, 14 December 1921 at 02:48 AM

This hotel was situated at No. 24 West Mitchell Street SW, at the southeast corner of South Forsyth Street. The structure extended back to the Gate City Hotel on Forsyth Street and to the Bass Clothing Company on Mitchell Street. Upon the arrival of the first fire companies, a portion of the ground floor, occupied by the garage of H.G. Hastings Company, was a mass of flames. This section contained several trucks of the seed company which were lost. Zion’s on the ground floor; Duffey’s at the corner, and several other stores were all burned out. Among the 20 guests at the hotel, all were evacuated without mishap. Miss May Concourse of Albany, Georgia, was rescued from a second floor window. This was a sevenalarm fire. Twenty-five hose streams were used from the street level and from the Gate City Hotel and the Bass Clothing Company on Mitchell Street. Both of these structures were damaged by smoke and water. The fire originated in the storeroom of Hastings from some unknown cause. The loss was $125,000. No one was injured except Fire Chief Cody who was badly bruised by a falling brick.

The fire originated in the two-story residence at No. 166 Lucile Avenue SW, at the corner of Lawton Street; and before the blaze could be controlled, a brisk wind spread the flames to destroy seven two-story dwellings and damaged six others. Those destroyed were Nos. 146, 142, 132,166, 170, 144 and 148 Lucile Avenue SW. Those damaged were Nos. 150, 154, 158, and 160 Lucile Avenue SW, and Nos. 84, and 88 Culberson Street SW. This was a general-alarm fire. Twenty-eight streams of water were used to control the fast spreading fire. Cause of the vast fire was sparks from a chimney. The loss was $45,000.

THE DIXIE PAPER & BOX COMPANY FIRE Friday, 8 July 1921 at 02:10 AM This plant was located at No. 1000 Marietta Street NW near the end of Howell Mill Road NW and was a two-story brick structure with a tar and gravel on wood deck roof. The building contained quantities of cardboard and rolls of paper, and a carload of tires and machinery belonging to the Southern States Phonograph Company. The fire was discovered by Atlanta Police beat Officer B. P. Maynard who ran to Station 16 and gave the alarm. This was a four-alarm fire and required a force of nine streams of water to control the fire which at times threatened the vast stockyards. During the process of the fire a section of the walls collapsed on a group of firefighters, which included the crew of Engine No. 11. Hoseman J.H. Stoddard and E.M. Johnson were painfully bruised, but W.P. Pierce, age 32, received a badly crushed leg, a fractured hip and internal injuries. He was sent to Grady Hospital where fears were expressed for his life. As it was, it was necessary to amputate his leg. When the fire had been extinguished, only a portion of the walls and a 300 foot smoke stack remained standing. Cause of the fire was sparks from a passing locomotive. The loss was $125,000. This was the site of the Charles S. Martin Distribution Company for many years. The buildings are now multi tenanted in 2012 including Five Monkeys LLC and 5 Seasons Brewing Company. THE NATIONAL STOCKYARDS FIRE Wednesday, 28 September 1921 at 00:50 AM This big livestock stock yard complex was on Howell Mill Road NW at Brady Avenue and was outside of the city. Upon the arrival of the first fire companies, the streets were filled with stampeding horses and mules running in every direction. Over 127 of the animals perished in the burning structures of Hall & Nash; Weill Brothers; Taylor, Herrin & Etheridge; the Turner Stockyards; and the Coggins & Company. Cause of the big fire was sparks from a locomotive. Loss was $135,000

THE WILEY CANDY COMPANY FIRE Wednesday, 4 January 1922 The plant was located at the corner of West Hunter, (now Martin Luther King Jr. Drive NW) and Haynes Streets NW and was a threestory brick structure with a tar and gravel on wood deck roof. It was entirely involved upon the arrival of the first fire companies and was destroyed, despite the men and equipment on three alarms using nine hose streams. At one time, during the height of the blaze, the Metzger Mattress Company next door was threatened but the firefighters managed to save it. Cause of the fire was not known, the loss was $45,000. This location is an open parking lot for the Georgia Dome in 2012. THE WILLIAM M. McKENZIE BUILDING FIRE (Chapter 2) Sunday, 15 February 1922 at 11:03 AM Fire again destroyed the old McKenzie Building at the southwest corner of Peachtree Street NW and James Street (now Williams Street NW) and for a time threatened to spread to the big Piedmont Hotel located to the south, and attached to the south wall of the burning building as well as all the exposures listed on the 1914 fire at this location. The fire originated in the section occupied by the Stoddard Dry Cleaning Company on the ground floor and spread upward to involve the second floor. Other occupants of the structure who suffered varying degrees of damage were the Pollock & Berg Clothing Company, the Reed Oil Company; the Dean Drug Company; Tom Weaver’s Barber Shop; J.H. Sanders Vulcanizing Company; Davis & White, commercial artists; Henry H. Irving, Kodak finishers; Ben Hur Hall (on the second floor); Easterlock School of Oratory; L.H. McLaughlin, photographer; and Irwin Mueller. The dangerous fire necessitated a four-alarm response and a total of 14 hose streams were used to bring it under control. Mr. David, a local musician, had a narrow escape from the building; and Captain George W Tumlin, Engine No. 6, received a severe cut on the hand from falling glass. The second floor of the building had originally been used as the armory of the old Gate City Guard. Cause of the fire was not known. The loss was $150,000. Again the building was rebuilt awaiting another fire in 1945. THE DORRIS GARAGE FIRE Saturday, 22 July 1922 at 02:59 AM The automobile storage building was located at No. 91-117 Gilmer

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Street SE near Piedmont and had at one time housed the livery stables of Milan & Miller. Originally the building was constructed for the old Karwisch Buggy Works. It was a one-story brick, woodjoisted structure fronting 120 feet on Gilmer Street and running back 150 feet to an alley.

Camp Jesup, Georgia available online: http://www.georgiaencyclopedia.org/nge/Article.jsp?id=h-1091

This was a three-alarm fire and ten hose streams were used to halt the progress of the flames. Other occupants of the building were the Jenkins Vulcanizing Company and Hargrove Brothers Auto Repair Shop. Over 100 automobiles were destroyed in the building. The fire originated in the vulcanizing shop and was believed to have been caused by burglars setting fire to the building in their attempt to blow the safe. The loss was $200,000.

The building involved was known as the “Sunshine Corner” and was later the Plaza Way NW Building. The fire broke out on the top floor of the three-story Eiseman store which had escaped destruction in the fire of the previous week, and for a time this fire threatened to be a duplication of the earlier conflagration. The fire had been detected by a railroad watchman and soon the switch engines began blowing their whistles to sound the alarm. Before the arrival of the fire apparatus under the command of Chief Cody, the fire had spread to involve the two upper floors of the clothing firm and was spreading to the adjoining L.E.M. building. Four alarms were sounded, and twelve hose streams finally brought the fire under control. Cause of the latest fire was an electrical short in a motor of the elevator. The damage was estimated at $250,000.

THE I.V. STUPHIN PAPER COMPANY Thursday, 10 August 1922 at 18:10 PM The company was located at No. 476 Marietta Street NW at Johns Street NW. They occupied a three-story heavy timber floored and wood roof deck structure. It had been loaded to capacity with bales of waste paper and rags. The building was practically destroyed. Three alarms were sounded and nine hose streams were used to bring the fire under control which was accomplished at 19:30 PM. Cause of the fire was a short in the electrical wiring system. The loss was set at $50,000. A vacant lot is there today. THE S.H. KRESS COMPANY CONFLAGRATION Saturday, 23 September 1922 at 23:45 PM A fire, spread by an explosion on the second floor of the S.H. Kress Five & Ten Cent store building on Whitehall Street SW, rapidly involved the entire three-story brick building. Soon afterwards it communicated to the three-story brick L.F.M. Department Store on the south side, and then jumped an alley at the rear and involved the Childs Hotel on South Broad Street which caused the evacuation of 150 guests. The fast burning structures threw a great glare into the sky and Chief Cody, soon after his arrival on the scene, sent in a general alarm, bringing every piece of fire fighting equipment to the big fire. The department’s giant water tower was in service with a heavy stream being operated from the mast nozzle and the two deck guns adding their streams to the fight. The new White hose wagon from No. 1 was stationed in front of the L.F.M. building and directed its powerful stream into the blazing building. Even the old Joyner Pipe was used on Broad Street to flood the Childs Hotel. Fighting the immense fire with all their might, the firefighters managed to save the Eiseman Clothing Store adjoining the L.F.M. building at the railroad. Flying brands ignited practically every awning in the area. Other structures in the block bounded by Whitehall, Alabama, South Broad Street, and the railroad, suffered some degree of damage from smoke and water. Occupants were the Burt Shoe Company; the F.W. Woolworth Ten Cent store, both of these on Whitehall Street; the Leggett’s Drug Store, at the corner of Alabama Street; the Service Market; Brisel’s Cafe; and Verner’s Restaurant on South Broad Street. While the Atlanta Fire Department was in operation, out of town equipment from Fort McPherson, Camp Jesup, Decatur, and East Point stood by in the vacated engine houses to protect the city from any further fires. All of the buildings destroyed were the property of Mr. John W. Grant. What caused the explosion and resulting fire was a mystery. The loss was $1,250,000. There is an interesting history of 130

THE EISEMAN CLOTHING COMPANY FIRE Saturday, 30 September 1922 at 22:13 PM

THE BYRON APARTMENT FIRE Sunday, 11 February 1923 at 10:15 AM The apartment building was located at No. 208-210 West Peachtree Street NW near Simpson St. It was a four-story wood frame brick veneer structure. The fire originated in the basement from a defective furnace and the flames communicated to the upper floors by way of the rear stairs. In minutes the top floor and roof were ablaze. Upon the arrival of the first alarm companies, the balcony on the front was filled with people; and the firefighters quickly erected ladders and 15 of the trapped people were removed to safety. Chief Cody issued a second and third alarm, fearing that there might be other people trapped inside. Nine streams of water were used and the fire was quickly brought under control, but not before a loss of $70,000 had been suffered. THE BIG BETHEL AFRICAN METHODIST CHURCH FIRE Friday, 17 February 1923 at 2:30 PM The church was (and still is) situated at 220 Auburn Avenue NE on the northwest corner of Butler Street (now Jessie Hill Jr. Drive NE). The fire was discovered by a passerby who turned in the alarm bringing in Engines No. 4 and No. 6, and Ladder No. 4; and upon their arrival, the huge granite structure was found fairly well involved. Second Assistant Chief William Butler sounded a second alarm which also brought Chief Cody to the scene. He, in turn, transmitted additional alarms until a total of five had been rung. Firefighters brought to bear 14 streams of water on the Maze which by now had engulfed the big religious structure which at the time was the second largest African-American worship building in the world. The fire spread throughout the building and in a short time the roof and tower caved in, collapsing a portion of the walls. Cause of the fire was not determined. Damage was $250,000. The massive granite walls survived the fire and the building was rebuilt and is the same building that remains an active church in 2012 on the same site. THE PONCE DE LEON BALL PARK FIRE Saturday, 8 September 1923 The ball park (originally called Spiller Field) and the adjacent Ponce de Leon Springs was privately owned by Mr. R.J. Spiller. The fire was discovered burning under the grandstand by the night watchman at

130 Years of Historic Fires 1882-2012


Spiller’s Fountain of Youth just across the street where the massive Sears, Roebuck & Company building that at one time served as City Hall East is now located. The all wooden stands burned fast and in less than 15 minutes the tinder dry grandstands and bleachers collapsed, sending flames and sparks high into the air. The fire required five alarms and ten streams of water to control the blaze. The Atlanta Crackers Baseball’s Clubs secretary, “Silver Bill” Stickney, barely escaped with his life. He slept in an apartment beneath the stands and was rescued with great difficulty after he had been burned about the legs and body. Besides the stands, the grass of the playing field, billboards on the railroad embankment to the east and trees and telephone poles, were also burned. All of the “Crackers” uniforms, trophies and equipment were lost. It was necessary for the Atlanta team to play its Saturday game that afternoon with Chattanooga, as well as the remaining games of the season, at Rose Bowl Field on the Georgia Tech Campus. Cause of the spectacular fire could not be determined. The damage was set at $75,000. THE WHITEHALL STREET BOARDING HOUSE FIRE Friday, 1 November 1923 at 02:30 AM The building involved was a three-story brick structure and was located at No. 153½ Whitehall Street SW, (now Peachtree Street SW). The boarding house occupied the second and third floors, and the J.J. Saul Shoe Shop and the Walton Restaurant occupied the first floor. These latter occupancies suffered severe damage from water and smoke. When the fire companies arrived several guests were hanging out of the second floor windows. Six women were rescued by the firefighters who erected ladders to bring them down. A high wind was blowing and it was feared that the flames might envelop the entire block; where upon Chief Cody sent in the 3-3-3 bringing to the scene every piece of fire equipment in the city. Eighteen hose streams were used to control the dangerous blaze. Smoke from the burning lodging house also routed guests from the Oxford Hotel, next door, at No. 161 Whitehall Street SW. Cause of this fire was not known. The loss was $50,000. THE BOYS HIGH SCHOOL FIRE Sunday, 6 January1924 at 04:45 AM This school was located on the southeast corner of Gilmer Street SE and Courtland Streets, across from the former site of the Atlanta City Auditorium. For many years this same corner served as the site of fire headquarters and fire alarm signal office for the Atlanta Fire Department. The four-story brick structure was a mass of flames when the fire apparatus pulled in and had spread to involve two frame dwellings on Courtland Street, just south of the school, and destroying them both. Chief Cody wasted no time in augmenting his fire forces by sending in several additional alarms until a total of 12 engines were operating 18 hose streams on the blazing structure. At one time the fire threatened to spread to the municipal auditorium and the old water tower was set up in Gilmer Street and a curtain of water was employed to protect that big structure. The Joyner Pipe was placed in operation across the ramp which led down into Decatur Street and its powerful stream was hurled into the inferNo. A very high wind was blowing out of the northwest and the temperature was registering zero, causing the Atlanta Fire Department to operate under extreme conditions. By daylight the gold grey dawn revealed the hulking building in a beautiful mantle of ice sheathing the entire structure. The fire

originated in the basement from an overheated furnace which had been kept going so that the school would be warm for the opening Monday morning. It was necessary for the students to be sent to Walker Street School, (which itself would be destroyed by fire years later) until other arrangements could be made. The old school had been erected in 1894. The city had sold this structure and the building was about to be replaced by a new school on Parkway Drive NE at 10th Street NE. The new structure would serve as both Boy’s High School and Tech High School until 1947 when Atlanta high schools went Co-Ed. By 2012 the street name has changed to Charles Allen Drive at 10th St NE in Midtown and the campus is Henry Grady High School. At one time the Gilmer Street lot had been eyed to erect a new Fulton (County) High School on the site but the plan was never carried out. After the fire, the building was demolished and for several years the site was used as a parking lot for the adjacent auditorium before being divided for Atlanta Fire Department Headquarters and Signal Office and the remainder was eventually taken over by Georgia State University. Loss to the building was $100,000. THE DRUID HILLS GOLF CLUB FIRE Friday, 9 May 1924 A fast traveling fire, fanned by a brisk wind, swept through and completely consumed the wood frame club house which was situated at 740 Clifton Road NE just north of Ponce De Leon Avenue. Firefighters from Atlanta and Decatur responded to the calls for help. At that time there was no DeKalb County Fire Department. Several alarms were sounded but crews had difficulty in getting water to the scene because of the distance from the nearest fire hydrants. Captain “Chick” Lagomarsino, Ladder No. 1, suffered a dislocated shoulder in a fall from a ladder and Charlie Long, Ladder No. 12, in impaled nail injury to his foot. All the club’s trophies and supplies were destroyed along with the ten year old building, and represented a loss of $100,000. The cause of the fire was a defective chimney flue. The building was rebuilt and the replacement structure remains an active golf clubhouse for the famous golf course in 2012. THE A.C. MILLER & COMPANY FIRE Saturday, 8 November 1924 at 03:43 AM The fire originated on the third floor of the three-story brick heavy timbered building that was at the southwest corner of Courtland and Gilmer Streets (now the location of Sparks Hall of Georgia State University). Fire was found in a section in which painting and upholstering was carried on and where 38 expensive automobiles were stored. These were all destroyed. Smoke and water did extensive damage to the lower floors. This was a two-alarm fire with eight streams of water being employed. The fire burned out the third floor and destroyed the roof. Cause of the blaze was not known. The loss was $45,000. THE ATLANTA CONSTITUTION BUILDING FIRE Sunday, 8 March 1925 at 10:00 AM This was the old newspaper building that stood at the southeast corner of Forsyth and Alabama Streets SW. It was a six-story fire resistive brick building with a wood roof deck but masonry walls and reinforced concrete floors designed to hold the equipment and presses of the daily newspaper. The blaze was through the roof when discovered by a passerby. Before the fire companies could get

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into operation, the fire backed down to involve the entire sixth floor which was totally burned out. A large portion of the roof was also consumed and destroyed. The new Rich’s Department Store, adjoining the newspaper office, was saved by a favorable wind. The standpipe of that building was used by the firefighters to fight the fire from the roof of the department store. All of the photographic equipment in the sixth floor studies of Francis E. Price and Tracey Mathewson were ruined. All of the departments on the floors below, except the composing room, were damaged by water. It was necessary for the Monday morning’s edition to be printed on the presses of their competitor, The Atlanta Journal. A total of 16 fire companies answered seven alarms and employed as many hose streams to bring about control of the fire. R.J. Findley, a bookkeeper for the newspaper; Charlie Shannon, an advertising man; and “Dude” Randall, a porter, were trapped in the elevator just below the fifth floor when the lift stopped running. They escaped by knocking out the top of the car and making their way to the street by way of the stairs. Cause of the fire was shortage in electric wiring. Loss to the plant and building was $175,000. THE JASS MANUFACTURING COMPANY FIRE Wednesday, 6 May 1925 at 02:30 AM The building involved was located at No. 321 Decatur Street SE, and occupied a lot on the south side between Bell Street SE and what at that time was Fort Street SE. Fort Street would eventually be abolished south of Edgewood Ave SE by the Henry W. Grady Housing Projects of the Atlanta Housing Authority, but in 1925 extended clear to Decatur Street SE. The non-sprinkled structure was actually owned by the Southern Railroad. The railroad had leased it to Moses L. and Samuel Jass for a cotton reclaiming operation. Baled cotton waste from mills throughout the southeast was shipped here by the boxcar full and the company would retrieve additional fibers which would be baled and then sold back to the mills. The building was well involved upon the arrival of the fire apparatus on the first alarm which were Engines 4, 6, and 10, and Ladder No. 10, under the command of Assistant Chief J.H. Anderson. Chief Anderson sounded a second alarm, bringing in Engines No. 1 and 2 and Ladder No. 2 with First Assistant Chief R.H. Pressley and Chief of Department W. B. Cody. The fire was quickly controlled by numerous hand lines and the firefighters began moving into the building to mop up the remaining fire. Suddenly a mezzanine floor, holding over 150 bales of cotton, which dry, weigh 500 pounds each, collapsed on the men, burying 12 of them under the tremendous weight. Chief Cody at once sounded the 3-3-3, bringing to the scene the entire department to assist in the rescuing of the trapped firefighters. Six of them were removed alive, but the other six had been killed instantly. Those who were injured were First Assistant Chief R.H. Pressley; Assistant Chief J.H. Anderson; George F. Sockwell, No. 4; Z.A. Johnson, No. 2; J.N .Dilleshaw, No. 10, and W.T. Holt, No. 2. 132

The men who lost their lives were Captain Casper O. Bone, No. 4; Lieutenant Robert L. Dennard, No. 6; Hoseman Frank F. “Pat” Wilson, No. 4; Ladderman Lee H. Smith, No. 4; Hoseman Earl S. Konkle, No. 6; and Hoseman Clyde C. King, No. 6. ] Cause of this tragic fire was never determined, but City Building Inspector Charles J. Bowen gave the cause of the floor collapse as burned and weakened timbers and the added weight of the watersoaked bales of cotton. Due to the low values of large quantities of waste cotton, the damage, surprisingly, was only $10,000. To date, this remains the most deadly incident with the largest number of Line of Duty Deaths in the history of the Atlanta Fire Rescue Department. THE SOUTH BROAD STREET CONFLAGRATION Friday, 31 July 1925 at 00:09 AM The fire originated in the one-story building occupied by the Crump’s Cafe and the J. Mogul Ready-to-Wear Clothing Store at No. 67 and 69 South Broad Street SW. An alarm was sent in by a police officer from the fire alarm box on the corner. By the time the fire companies rolled in, the fire had spread to involve the four-story brick building occupied by the Georgia Art Supply Company, No. 65 Broad Street SW. This structure, too, was completely involved. From here the flames spread to involve the two-story buildings housing the Lewis H. Cottomgim Seed Company, No. 63 South Broad Street; the Hamlet Barber Shop, No. 61 South Broad Street SW and the Gibson Furniture Company at No. 57 South Broad Street SW. When the flames began attacking the rear of establishments facing South Forsyth Street, Chief Cody called for a general alarm and the entire department converged on the scene. Mutual Aid responded in to back-fill Atlanta Fire Stations from Fort McPherson, East Point, and College Park. The occupants of the one-story structures on Forsyth Street SW were the J.E. Rhodes & Sons Company, No. 68; the Forsyth Pet Shop, No. 64, and the People’s Furniture Company, No. 58. Sparks destroyed an awning of the J.P. Allen department store on the opposite corner of Broad and Hunter Streets. Herman A. Ewing, aide to Chief Short, suffered a hernia while dragging hose. Cause of the fire was listed as incendiary. The loss was $200,000. THE ATLANTA SHOWCASE COMPANY FIRE Saturday, 22 August 1925 at 3:00 AM The fire in this two-story brick building located at Nos. 10 -16 Foundry Street NW, resulted in four alarms being sounded and 12 hose streams being employed to control the blaze. Assistant Chief J.H. Anderson was in charge of the combined forces which prevented the spread of the fire to other occupancies but could not prevent the building from being gutted. Water damage was sustained by the Dixie Government Store at No. 245 Marietta Street NW, and the Second Hand Furniture Company, No. 249 Marietta Street NW. W.B. Hopkins and A.C. McCord, both of No. 4, were overcome by smoke but were quickly revived. The fire originated in a shaving room at the rear of the plant from some unknown cause. The loss was $80,000. The site of this fire is now part of Centennial Olympics

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Park. THE COTTOMGIM SEED & FEED COMPANY FIRE Sunday, 31 August 1925 The company was located in a two-story wood floored brick building located at No. 328 Marietta Street NW, across the street from Fire Station No. 3. The rapidly growing fire resulted in a four-alarm response. Ten hose streams were employed to bring the fire under control. At one time during the progress of the fire, the Piggly Wiggly Grocery Company warehouse and the Selig Company, on either side, were menaced. C.M. Phillips of No. 11 was overcome by smoke. The cause of the blaze was undetermined and the loss was $60,000. THE BOATWRIGHT PAINT COMPANY FIRE Saturday, 5 September 1925 The fire originated from a small explosion somewhere on the third floor and was discovered by an employee of the plant located at No. 514 Marietta Street NW. That employee was the only occupant and had been working down on the second floor of the three-story brick building. The blaze which ripped through the structure required the efforts of men and equipment on five alarms and the use of 14 hose streams to control the fire. H.G. Wright, of Company No. 11, fractured his arm in a fall on the railroad tracks at the rear of the plant. Spontaneous combustion was given as the cause of the fire and $75,000 was set as the damage. THE AUTOMOTIVE SERVICE COMPANY FIRE Tuesday, 22 September 1925 at 01:10 AM Automobile Service Company was operated by Claude E. Barnwell and occupied a large one-story brick structure owned by Harry Wilensky at 23 South Forsyth Street SW south of Alabama Street. The building was being used as an indoor parking garage and minor repair facility. Due to the proximity of the burning garage to other highly hazardous structures in the vicinity, Chief Cody called for a general alarm and 24 streams of water were used; nine of which had been laid out through old Fire Station No. 1 on Alabama Street SW and played on the fire from the rear of the station. Over 100 automobiles and trucks stored in the building were lost. Origin of the fire was not disclosed, but the damage amounted to $100,000. This site was later the Store for Homes building of Rich’s Department store and today is occupied by the Sam Nunn Federal Center Office Tower. THE COCA-COLA BOTTLING COMPANY FIRE Wednesday, 28 October 1925 The bottling plant occupied the first floor of the two-story brick structure at No. 460 Edgewood Avenue NE. The second floor was divided into apartments. The fire had been discovered by the house watchman of Engine No. 6, who observed the fire from the rear of the engine house at Auburn Avenue NE and North Boulevard. He immediately called the signal office and called for a full alarm; four additional alarms would follow.

and roof were burned away, but the firefighters prevented the fire’s spread to other structures. Warren Moore, age 39, was burned to death in a second floor apartment. T.C. Smith was injured when he was forced to leap from an upper floor window. K.C. Kaylor, his wife and son, who also had an apartment, were away at the tine of the fire. Cause of the fire was not determined. The loss was $200,000. The structure was rebuilt and used by the bottling company for many years until they built a new plant at 864 Spring St NW, which by 2012 has also been replaced and that plant demolished. This building was then sold and used by Zep Manufacturing Company for the manufacturing and distribution of various household and industrial cleaning products for a number of years. Zep, established in Atlanta in 1937, moved to Seaboard Industrial Drive NW following another massive fire in this structure on 22 May 1959. Again the tough building was rebuilt and The Atlanta Belting Company then acquired the plant. Atlanta Belting makes all types of conveyor belting such as used to move rock, food products and even on the check out counters at big box retail and grocery stores. This company continues to use the facility in 2012. THE ARLINGTON ALARTMENTS FIRE Saturday, 31 October 1925 This fire was located in a two-story brick front wood frame rear with basement multi family apartment building located at 342-356 Atlanta Ave SE near Grant Street in the Grant Park neighborhood. The fire went to three alarms with seven hose streams placed in operation for control. Forty residents narrowly escaped death while being routed from the large structure and several did receive injuries. Chief Cody injured his shoulder on a fall from a ladder at this alarm. Cause was listed as a faulty furnace in the cellar of the building. Following the $100,000 fire loss, the structure was torn down and houses are on these lots today. THE EAST LAKE COUNTRY CLUB FIRE Sunday, 22 November 1925 Fire would strike the facility on Alston Drive SE again on a Sunday just 11 years after it was destroyed on 22 March 1914. As with the previous incident, the club remained situated outside of the city even though Atlanta had absorbed the City of Kirkwood in 1924. Apparatus from both Atlanta and Decatur answered the alarm upon special request and used six hose streams to fight the raging fire. Mr. and Mrs. W.W. Carpenter, the superintendent and hostess of the club narrowly escaped death by the fire while escaping from their apartment on the second floor. Both were slightly bruised and burned. Charles Brittian, club clerk who was asleep on the ground floor; and William Sheppard, night watchman, safely escaped unhurt. The fire originated in the large lounging room on the first floor and spread rapidly to destroy the big structure for the second time. The club had been rebuilt following the earlier fire. Several of Bobby Jones trophies were lost. Cause of the fire was defective wiring. The loss was over $250,000.

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THE ROSWELL COTTON MILL FIRE – ROSWELL GA Saturday, 12 June 1926 The Roswell Mills in Rowell, Georgia, were best known for their role in producing supplies for the Confederacy during the Civil War. They made “Roswell Gray” fabric to be sewed into Confederate military uniforms. During the reconstruction period and the beginning of the twentieth century, the Roswell Manufacturing Company underwent several important changes. In 1897, the series of mills began using steam power, which improved productivity but kept the mill very dependent on adjacent Vickery (Big) Creek. Easley Cotton Mills, a company based in Easley SC, bought the mill complex for $800,000 in 1920. At that time, the mill had 120 looms and 12,000 spindles. This infrastructure is a testament to the mill’s large production capacity and value to the city of Roswell. Six years later, the four-story plank on timber brick walled mill was set on fire by a lightning strike. Mayor Walter Sims received word that the Roswell Manufacturing Company was burning and that the small volunteer fire department of that town was in desperate need of assistance. The mayor authorized Chief Cody to send whatever equipment was needed to the city located just across the Chattahoochee River. Engine No. 15 made the trip with its regular crew and a number of other members who volunteered for the assignment. The huge four-story brick building was situated about ¾ of a mile beyond the river bridge. The structure was completely destroyed at a loss of $400,000. The rebuilt facility mas much smaller and would be only two stories. Roswell Manufacturing would never again be as large factory equipment wise as it had been prior to this fire. The company was purchased by Southern Mills in 1947 and by 1975, all production stopped as a result of outsourcing textile manufacturing overseas. The mill’s recent past is far less recorded in history than its pre-1950 history, probably an unconscious effort by local media outlets and city leaders to focus on more modern aspects of the town and not its controversial Confederate past. There is no readily available record of the economic impact of the mill’s closing on the surrounding area. It seems that the mill lost much of its money making power when the age of King Cotton had passed. THE FOX MANUFACTURING COMPANY FIRE Thursday, 14 October 1926 at 22:00 PM In 1907, the Ware-Hatcher Bros. Furniture Company took out a single building permit for a series of five “ordinary masonry” buildings on Means Street, specified to be from one to five stories tall. No numbers, locations, or other descriptions were given on the permit. It is impossible to know which buildings of the entire Ware Plant were covered by the permit, but it is suggested they included all of the structures fronting on Means Street from Bellwood Avenue (later named Bankhead Avenue) to the Jackson-Orr Furniture Company property line, as shown on the 1911 Sanborn map, exclusive of the buildings at 544 and 512 Means Street, which were already there and which were connected to each other by the Ware construction. Thus, the Ware Furniture building would date from 1907 - 1908, the years in which the Ware buildings were permitted and completed. The structures on Means Street were dominated by furniture manufacturers. First Ware-Hatcher then Southern Furniture, then the Fox Manufacturing Company, occupied the buildings. Southern Furniture went out of business in 1919 and Fox Manufacturing apparently met its demise during the Depression after struggling to 134

recover following this fire. The big four-story building housed the firm that manufactured fine furniture. The fire originated in the section of the building of the fiber plant and in minutes the flames, feeding on highly flammable materials, spread throughout the plant and began pouring from all of the windows. It was seen by an employee of the Standard Oil Company who ran directly to Old Station No. 16 on Marietta Street to give the alarm. Three engines and two ladder trucks responded on the first alarm under the command of Assistant Chief O. J. Parker, who noted the proximity of the big gasoline storage tanks of the Standard Oil Company across a narrow alley and sounded a second alarm. Chief Cody came in on the second alarm and increased the equipment at the scene to 11 engines and six ladder companies, on a total of five alarms. Twenty-four high volume hose streams failed to bring the fierce fire under control quickly and the structure was completely burned out. However, the firefighters were successful in preventing the spread to the gasoline storage tanks. J.M. Watson, night watchman for the furniture company, had been forced to jump from a second-story window to escape the flames and had bruised himself severely. M.A. Dooly, driver for Chief Parker, fell from a ladder and dislocated his shoulder. Cause of the fire was not known. The loss was $250,000. THE MATHER BROTHERS FURNITURE COMPANY FIRE Thursday, 3 March 1927 at 21:00 PM The building involved was a five-story brick structure, of mill construction, located at the northeast corner of Forsyth and Hunter Streets SW and was occupied by the Mather Brothers Furniture Company. Rich’s Department Store would later expand onto this lot. The fire had originated in the penthouse on the roof over the elevator shaft; and fanned by a high wind, began to spread downward to involve the lower floors. The first arriving companies, under the command of Chief W.B. Cody found the big structure completely aflame above the second floor. After two additional alarms had been sounded; the chief, fearing that the entire block including the Rich’s department store might become involved, ordered a general alarm. The 19 engine companies employed 25 streams of water to control the fire, operating from all four sides of the burning building. The third, fourth and fifth floors were gutted and the roof was burned away. Following the fire, the city building inspector ordered the walls demolished down to the first floor and the furniture company later moved to the northwest corner of Hunter, (M.L. King) and Broad Streets SW. Cause of the fire was a defective elevator motor. The loss to both the stock and the building was $250,000. THE W. L. FAIN GRAIN COMPANY FIRE Saturday, 30 July 1927 about 05:00 AM The building involved was located at 260 Mechanic Street, N.W, just north of the Atlanta Gas Company’s huge floating gas tanks. It was a five-story brick, mill constructed building and was filled to capacity with sacked grain and baled hay. The first alarm was sounded just before dawn and required the services of several additional alarms.

130 Years of Historic Fires 1882-2012


The fire companies used a total of 16 streams of water to bring the fire under control.

THE DOCTOR’S BUILDING FIRE Sunday, 6 April 1930 at 7:48 AM

Shortly after 09:00 the crews began trying to enter the building contrary to the orders of Chief Cody who had left the scene. While the crews were moving in close to the structure, the wall on the west side buckled and fell outward burying the firefighters under a mass of brick and burning hay.

This building was formerly the Marlborough Apartments at 478 Peachtree St NE on the northwest corner of Pine St. It had been erected in 1904, by Mr. George P. Howard, George Muse, and W.W. Orr on the site of the former residence of Mr. John Bulow Campbell. It had been converted to a doctor’s building in 1921. The fire had originated in the St. Luke’s restaurant in the basement near the elevator shaft, and in minutes the flames were roaring up the shaft to involve the roof and fourth floor of the four-story brick structure. Engines No. 11, 8, and 15, and Ladders No. 11 and 8, under the command of Assistant Chief O.J. Parker, answered the first alarm and quickly set up operations.

Captain A. Clyde Cawthorn, Engine No. 5 and Hoseman James

Barney Richardson, Engine No. 4, were killed. Those injured were First Assistant Chief R.H. Pressley, a broken foot; Lieutenant James L. Ivey, Engine No. 4, a strained back; Lieutenant Paul S. Fleming, Engine No. 5, a wrenched back; Hoseman M.E. Bailey, Engine No. 5, burned back and possible internal injuries; Hoseman J.S. Etheridge, Engine No. 5, a broken foot; Hoseman A.V. Dodd, Engine No. 5, a broken leg, burns and possible spinal injuries; Ladderman L.W. Pittman, Ladder No. 4, severely bruised; Ladderman L.E. Martin, Ladder No. 4, lacerated arms and legs, and bruises; Ladderman Carey E. Poss, Ladder No. 2, lacerations on back and legs, and bruises; and substitute L.R. Duncan, Engine No. 1, overcome by smoke. The cause of the tragic fire was spontaneous combustion. The loss was $75,000. Mechanic Street NW no longer exists and would have been at ground level beneath the Georgia International Plaza, just east of the Georgia Dome. THE W.B. DISBRO LUMBER COMPANY FIRE Friday, 4 May 1928 This plant was located on the east side of Whitehall Street SW, between the Southern Railway and Stewart Avenue and covered an acre of ground. The firm manufactured window sashes, doors, and other finished products. The fire originated at the rear of the planing mill; and before the arrival of the first fire companies, a brisk wind spread the flames to the vast stacks of “stuck” lumber in the yard. Chief Cody issued several help calls and the fire companies employed 21 streams of water on the fire. But before it could be brought under control, it had destroyed several million board feet of fine lumber, the planing mill, the warehouse, and the company’s offices. Several trucks belonging to the company were also destroyed. The fire then spread to the nearby plant of the Yancey Brother’s road machinery plant and burned that company’s shop and warehouse. Cause of the big fire was sparks from a passing steam locomotive. The loss was $200,000.

A second alarm was sounded at 07:53 AM bringing in Engines No. 4 and 3, Ladder No. 4, and Chief John Terrell who transmitted a third alarm at 08:06 AM with engines No. 1 and Ladder No. 1 answering the call along with Second Assistant Chief William Butler. Nine hose streams were operating on this fire but could not prevent the destruction of the building. Doctor L.G. Baggett was overcome by smoke trying to save his records, a lead case of radium was reported lost but later found in the debris. Cause of the fire was not known, the loss was $500,000. Many patients’ records and valuable equipment were lost. The owners of the building immediately commissioned a new building, one that would be designed specifically with the needs of doctors and dentists in mind due to the locations proximity to Crawford W. Long Hospital. (Crawford Long has recently been renamed Emory Midtown Hospital). Moreover, they required that the building be fire resistive and all floors and walls are reinforced concrete. The well-known Atlanta architectural firm Pringle & Smith was hired to design the new building. The 11 story W.W. Orr Doctors building remains in use today. THE RICHARDSON BUILDING FIRE Thursday, 1 January 1931 at 11:43 AM – Alarm Box 212 The firefighters of Engine Company No. 5 and Engine and Ladder Co. No. 2 decided to have New Years dinner at the station and that they would cook up a big old pot of black-eyed peas and hog jowl. Ladderman R. M. Flemming was delegated to go to the Piggly Wiggly Grocery Store on Broad Street SW for the needed food. While in the store making his purchases he noticed that it seemed extremely hot and that the bottoms of his feet seemed to almost be burning. Almost at the same instant, a big billow of black smoke burst from a narrow stairway located at the rear of the store that led to the cellar. Flemming laid aside his packages and hurried out of the building. Needless to say Company 2 and 5 did not get their planned dinner on News Years Day 1931. Atlanta Police Patrolman K.A. Wooster was one of many who saw the smoke. He was on his beat and while walking across the Broad Street SW viaduct he saw thick smoke boiling out of the basement under the Sunlite Electric Bake Shop. Wooster hurried to the corner of Broad and Alabama Streets and pulled Gamewell Alarm Box No. 212. In a matter of minutes the whole basement under the four-story Richardson Building was ablaze and fire began spreading upward through elevator shafts and open stairways rapidly engulfing the entire rear of the big building.

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Engines 1, 2, 4 and 5 Ladders 1 and 2, the Salvage and Rescue wagons and the water tower were quickly on the scene and began operations. Chief Terrell, realizing the gravity of the situation began to immediately call for help. The Chief would quickly tap the second, third, fourth fifth and sixth alarms and a total of 13 engines and six ladder companies were deployed around the burning building The department set up hose and operated three powerful streams from the faithful water tower. Three of the hand lines were operated from the viaduct into the railroad side of the building while four more lines worked from the ground level into the railroad side. Meanwhile, on the front side, an additional six hand lines were placed in operation. In all, 21 hand lines backed up the master streams. Heat from the massive fire was intense and at one time shattered the plate glass windows at the American Optical Company across the street. Members quickly set up a water curtain to prevent the fire from jumping Broad Street SW. Second Assistant Chief O.J. Parker and Lieutenant F.F. Anderson were injured shortly after noon when a plate glass window at the A & P Grocery Store shattered and showered them with splinters of glass The damaged stores on the Board Street SW side were: The Sunlite Electric Bake Shop; The Piggly Wiggly Grocery Store; an Atlantic and Pacific Tea Company Grocery Store and Garrow’s Candy Kitchen. Two additional places of business adjoining the main fire building, the C.D. Kenny Company and the Planter’s Peanut Company suffered slight water damage. The basement area where the fire originated was used to store sugars and tea for the Kenny Company. A considerable amount of produce in this area was destroyed. Three freight cars, two containing rolled paper and the other holding sugar, were pulled away from the building by a switch engine. Water from the many hose streams slightly damaged the paper storage room of The Atlanta Constitution newspaper. The fire would burn until late afternoon and left the street level stores, the second and third floors, just a shell of cracked brick walls and burned wooden timbers. The loss was estimated at $100,000. Fire had severely damage this same building in 1909. The Richardson Building sat on the site of the old Atlanta Volunteer Fire Engine House No. 1 and later the first headquarters of the paid fire department. THE HORNE DESK & FIXTURE COMPANY FIRE Monday, 3 August 1931 at 13:20 PM The building involved was a five-story brick structure and basement located on the west side of Pryor Street SW between the Trust Company of Georgia building and the Chamber of Commerce building, and was known as the Thornton Building. The fire which originated on the mezzanine rapidly enveloped the entire structure. Dense black smoke issuing from all the floors greeted the crews arriving on the first alarm. The stock of the entire building and the Chamber of Commerce building were feared. Sixteen streams of water were hurled into the blazing building from all available fronts; and the old water tower, which Chief Terrell had just placed back in service, had the elevated mast stream going as well as both deck guns. 136

Fire alarm response was as follows: 13:20 Telephone Alarm: Engines 4-1-8-6 Ladders 4-8, Salvage & Rescue, Water Tower; Assistant Chief Butler and Chief Terrell 13:25 Special Alarm: Ladder 1 13:45 Second Alarm Engines 2, 3, Ladder; 2 13:49 Third Alarm Engines 5-7 14:17 Fourth Alarm Engines 9-10 The fire was declared under control at 17:58 PM Cause of the fire was not known. The loss was held to only $50,000. Ironically, this company would be the last occupant of old fire station Number 4 on Pryor Street before the single bay house was torn down. THE GOOD PRICE AUTO PARTS COMPANY FIRE Monday, 27 June 1932 at 00:13 AM In a fire that destroyed this vehicle parts company, at 183 Peters Street SW just north of Mangum Street in Castleberry Hill, Ladderman R. M. Flemming’s quick reaction saved the life of Lieutenant S.H. Couch by dragging him off a collapsing roof caused by a failing wall on the burning building. Lieutenant Couch was on the roof with Hoseman W. E. Brooks. Flemming was sitting on the brick wall pulling up slack in their hose line when he felt and saw the roof starting to give-way. With the wooden roof deck beginning to collapse, Flemming grabbed the Lieutenants turn out coat and physically pulled him back to the top of the wall. Suddenly the wall they were sitting on also gave way carrying the entire crew down, but fortunately on top of the debris pile rather than buried by it. Lieutenant Couch stated “he felt sure he would have been buried beneath the brick had Flemming not pulled him off the roof deck”. Lieutenant Couch was hit in the head by a flying brick but his sturdy helmet saved him from serious injury. Ladderman Flemming sustained a severely sprained back, an injured hip and fractured some ribs. He was transported to Grady Hospital where doctors said although very painful he had no life threatening injuries. Hoseman Brooks was reviewed by surgeons and released after a large splinter from a broken ladder was removed from his arm. He had ridden the roof deck to the ground but was far enough from the wall that the bricks did not come down on top of him. Hoseman Luther R. Connally and Ladderman P. J. Donnally, also of Company 5, were injured in this incident. Damage was estimated at $15,000 and per Chief Terrell the cause was never determined. The fire was first discovered in the windy space beneath the Peters Street Viaduct and once into the building would burn for more than an hour with nine companies operating at the scene. THE ATLANTA MILLING COMPANY FIRE Saturday, 22 April 1933 at 18:50 PM The fire originated on the third floor of the four-story brick central unit of the plant at 190 Butler Street, S.E. and spread rapidly throughout the structure by way of several chutes and beltways to the penthouse on the roof.

130 Years of Historic Fires 1882-2012


On the arrival of the first alarm companies under the command of Battalion Chief W.P. Barker of the Second Battalion, the building was white hot and flames were issuing from every window. Chief Barker transmitted a second alarm which brought in two more engine companies, a ladder truck, and Second Assistant Chief, W.B. Fanning. Chief O.J. Parker also answered the second alarm; and when the flames spread to the six-story mill building, Chief Parker ordered additional alarms sounded until five ladder pipes were in operation; and a total of 23 hose streams, including those from the water tower, were hurled into the blazing buildings.

section was a one-story brick structure with a high ridged roof and ran east almost to Piedmont Avenue NE going under the Washington Street viaduct. The office section was a two-story brick building with a pointed pyramidal roof topped with a cupola.

The plant structures that were either destroyed or badly damaged included the two-story building housing the office and records of the company, the Main Building used as the primary milling area in which the heavy machinery was located and two giant flour bins. Several other smaller structures also were damaged.

The building was one of the oldest in the central part of the city. Right after the Civil War it had been used as a concert hall, a club, and a banking house. At one time a little balcony of iron grating was used by citizens to witness parades and personages entering and leaving the old Union Depot. A little grass plot in front had originally contained a magnolia tree. The first floor contained the offices of the Georgia Railroad and the second floor held beds for the accommodations of the general agent and other railroad officials. The Georgia Railroad and Banking Company occupied one of the rooms on the second floor and had a large vault for valuables of the company. What caused the explosion and resulting fire was a mystery. The loss was $100,000. Following the fire the one-story section of the building was rebuilt and the top two floors of the western end reduced to one-story. Today we know this as the “Georgia Freight Depot” which is used as a special event hall such as lunches on Firefighters Recognition Day.

The tall concrete grain elevator in which was stored between 30,000 and 40,000 bushels of wheat escaped damaged due to the fact that it contained no windows. The plant’s automatic sprinkler system operated throughout the fire, although the water released by the heads had no effect on the rapid spread of the fire. It was never determined if the sprinkler system had all valves opened at the beginning stages of the fire or if the system had been properly maintained. One firefighter suffered injuries. He was Ladderman John D. Waldron of Company No. 2, who received a nail wound in his foot. One other “casualty” did occur which affected almost all of Atlanta’s citizens. The famous old steam driven mill whistle, affectionately known as “Big Mary”, was stilled. For years “Big Mary” had sounded the hours of 7 in the morning, noon, and 5 in the evening. Practically the entire population of the city recorded the time and regulated their watches and clocks to the blowing of this whistle. Cause of the fire was never officially determined but it was believed to have been by friction of machinery, a broken belt, or a hot bearing in a motor. The loss was $400,000. By 2012, a large multi-story parking deck owned by Georgia State University covers the former site of this plant between Decatur Street and the CSX (Georgia) Railroad. THE ATLANTA JOINT TERMINAL FIRE Saturday, 19 January 1935 at 01:30 AM

The fire originated in the warehouse from an explosion and in 50 minutes swept through the 75 carloads of mixed freight stored there. It required five alarms and 28 hose streams to bring the fire under control, but not before that part of the warehouse west of the Washington Street viaduct and the office were destroyed.

THE WESTERN RUBBER COMPANY FIRE Monday, 13 January 1936 at 20:06 PM This two-alarm fire would destroy the Western Rubber Company which was on Whitehall Street SW at the Southern, (now NorfolkSouthern) Railroad overpass adjacent to what at that time was South Humphries Street SW. Building I-20 made this a dead end (and now abandoned street) between McDaniel Street SW and Metropolitan Parkway. The fire originated in the two-story brick walled structure which also had wooden floors and roof deck. The building was housing a scrap rubber recycling business and had roughly 90-tons of the material stored at the time of the fire. Flame spread was rapid and the hot fire soon involved the adjoining building occupied by the Evans Implement Company. During the fire-fight, the south and west walls collapse down onto the railroad track and 12 firefighters narrowly escaped with their lives. A number of Truckmen on the roof had to scurry to safety and beat a quick retreat as the structure began to fail. The Kansas City – Florida Special of the Southern Railroad had to be held at Terminal Station for several hours until the avalanche of bricks and rubber debris could be moved from the railroad Right-ofWay and the track checked for damage before letting a train pass. The cause of the fire was never determined and damage was estimated at $50,000. The floor slabs of this and several now demolished adjacent buildings are all that remain in 2012.

This old railroad freight depot was located at the foot of Alabama Street SW, just below the Central Avenue viaduct level. The warehouse

THE BLAIR APARTMENT HOUSE FIRE – MARIETTA GA Thursday, 23 January 1936 at 06:17 AM The Atlanta Fire Department received an urgent call for help and

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would send Engine 16 on a 27-minute mutual aid run to assist the City of Marietta’s Fire Department. The MFD was battling cold temperatures, numerous people trapped and heavy fire in a threestory brick structure on Atlanta Street. Engine 16’s crew made the run lying down in the hose bed of the open top, no windshield apparatus but Engineer N.E. Pittman had to face the icy blast with no windshield for the entire rapid ride. He fell from his seat as they arrived on the scene suffering severe frost bite to his face and neck. The fire had originated in the basement of the building from an overheated furnace and was discovered shortly after 06:00 AM. Due to residents still asleep in a building with no alarm system, rescue and rapid fire spread had quickly overcome Marietta’s Bravest. Trolley service between Atlanta and Marietta was disrupted for several hours due to this fire. TORNADO DISASTER AT GAINESVILLE GEORGIA Monday, 6 April 1936 at 08:07 AM Tragedy would strike north Georgia at 08:27 AM, on 6 April 1936, when the fifth deadliest tornado in the US history at that time came through downtown Gainesville, Georgia. The tornado left widespread destruction, killing over 203 people, and injuring another 1,600. Atlanta Fire Department sent Engines 5, 21, and Ladder 16, to the city of Gainesville to assist in any way they could at this mass-casualty tragic event. The worst tornado-caused death toll in a single building in U.S. history was at the Cooper Pants Factory. The multiple story building, filled with young workers, collapsed and caught fire, killing 70 people. Many people sought refuge in Newnan’s department store; however, it collapsed, killing 20 people. At the Pacolet Mill, 550 workers averted a tragedy by moving to the northeast side of the building. THE ATLANTA COOPERAGE COMPANY FIRE Monday, 27 July 1936 at 17:03 PM This four alarm fire would destroy a four-story brick walled structure that covered almost half a block at 272 Elliott Street NW between Haynes and Rock Streets in the African-American “Lightning” neighborhood. The plant was engaged in the manufacture of wooden barrels as well as reconditioning of both wood and metal barrels and drums. The building was completely involved on arrival but fortunately there was a strong wind from the west which aided the AFD in their efforts to keep the fire out of the closely spaced wooden houses along Davis Street NW. Radiant heat did set 333 and 337 Rock Street on fire and both dwellings were badly damaged. The intense heat also ignited cross ties on the adjacent railroad track and caused the steel rails to buckle. Danger from falling electrical wires was quickly minimized due to quick work by the Georgia Power Company from their coal fired generating facility on Davis Street west of the fire. Three firefighters were listed as injured at this operation. They were E.M. Presley of Engine 3 and Charles C. Styron (who had yet to be appointed to a full time position). Both were burned on their hands. Robert Wilson of Company No. 5 was treated for heat related issues. 138

Twelve hose streams were put in operation to darken down this fire. The cause was from an explosion of an oil burner used to char the wood kegs. The loss was $28,000. Today this geographic location sits beneath the portion of the Georgia World Congress Center on the west side of the NorfolkSouthern and CSX railroad tracks. THE ALL METAL BOTTLE COOLER CORPORATION FIRE Thursday, 24 September 1936 at 09:13 AM This fire occurred in a multi-tenanted manufacturing building at 780 Ponce de Leon Place NE, just north of Ponce de Leon Ave and across the railroad tracks from the Ponce de Leon Ball Park. The origin was careless Hot Work when a welding torch ignited some lumber and sawdust in the All-Metal Bottle Cooler Company and rapidly spread. Fire soon involved the neighboring Wizard Chemical Company and another neighbor, the Midway Chemical Company. Ten hose lines were placed in operation but severe damage was incurred by all three companies. Chief Parker and three other firefighters suffered minor injuries during the operation. The loss was estimated at $50,000. THE CABLE PlANO COMPANY FIRE Thursday, 19 November 1936 at 12:32 PM This was a five-story brick, ordinary-joisted building located on Broad Street NW next to the Volunteer Life Building. Upon the arrival of the first alarm company on Alarm Box 14, dense masses of black smoke were pouring from the third, fourth, and fifth floors. People were seen at the windows crying for help and several had already jumped to the roof of the adjoining buildings on the south. The first-in companies were Engines No. 4, 6, 1 and 3; Ladders No 4 and 8; the rescue company; and the water tower all under the command of Second Assistant Chief W.B. Fanning. Ladder No. 4, a city service truck, threw up its 50 foot ground ladder, the longest it had, but was unable to reach the window at which a young couple stood. Ladder No. 8, on arrival turned into Forsyth Street from Luckie and with its aerial saved several people from that point who were trapped in the structure. Chief Parker, on his arrival ordered a second alarm at 12:38 PM with Engines No. 5 and 6, and Ladder No. 1 responding. No. 1’s aerial ladder was quickly raised and a woman was removed from a window ledge. Additional alarms were sounded until a total of six had been sounded; the third at 12:44 PM, the fourth at 1:02 PM, the fifth and sixth, combined at 1:30 PM. A total of 14 engines, seven ladder trucks, the water tower, and the rescue company were in operation using a total of 23 hose streams and the master stream from the water tower. Three people lost their lives in the fire and 19 others were injured, including several firefighters. The dead were Terry Evans, Betty Martin, and Mrs. J. Porter Smith. The fire continued to burn and flaming embers fell down the elevator shaft and caused a blaze to break out in the basement. This extension of the fire was controlled by the use of cellar pipes. The entire interior of the structure above the third floor was burned out and a section of the roof was destroyed. Origin of the fire was believed to have been in the elevator shaft from defective wiring. The loss was $225,000.

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The fire department operation was severely criticized by the public and the International Association of Firefighters. Local 134. After the evidence was sifted through, the Fulton County Grand Jury exonerated the department of any negligence of duty. The tragic loss of life would bring about dramatic changes in the management and upgrading of equipment of the department. THE WEST LUMBER COMPANY FIRE Thursday, 26 November 1936 at 23:48 PM Exactly seven days after the tragic Cable Piano Company fire flames broke out at the West Lumber Company facility at Peters Street SW at Walker Streets and rapidly escalated to a four alarm operation. On arrival of the first companies, fire was found in complete control of the Dressed Lumber sheds located behind the three-story wood joisted office building and backed up to the Southern Railroad. High winds and sub-freezing temperatures handicapped the firefighters in their efforts to confine and hold the fire to the area of origin. Fire brands became a serious problem with the wind carrying the embers for more than a block downwind of the fire scene. At one point flames were found in an automobile junk yard located on Whitehall Street SW across the railroad. Box 332 was pulled for this second incident and responding Engines 9 and 10 quickly had this new outbreak extinguished and under control. The lumber plants Planning Mill and all the machinery were destroyed. Fifteen rail cars loaded with coal and two box cars loaded with rolled paper headed to The Atlanta Constitution were also lost. Heat from this fire scorched a warehouse building which was used for the news print paper storage before it was moved to the press rooms as needed. Sixteen pieces of apparatus and their crews would deploy and operate 23 hose lines under the command of Chief Parker and Battalion Chief W. P. Barker. Origin was narrowed to the middle of the Planning Mill structure but the exact cause could never be determined. The loss was listed as $50,000. As had occurred a week before, this fire again caused the off duty shift to be recalled to work. Immediately following this fire the members of the fire department would vote to return to the 10/14 work shift hours.

Beth Israel but at the time of the fire was not in use. Following the fire the building was razed. Cause of the fire was believed to have been the work of urban homesteaders sleeping in the building. Loss was about $25,000. THE ATLANTA COTTON OIL COMPANY INCIDENT Friday, 6 March 1937 at 15:05 PM The Atlanta Cotton Oil Company operated a multi building plant at 94 Milton Avenue S.E. This was a two-alarm fire with eight hose streams placed in operation. Four engine and two ladders answered the incident under the command of First Assistant Chief William Butler and Chief of Department Otho J. Parker. The long rambling frame warehouse was 300 feet long and 80 feet wide, and was completely leveled. Destroyed were the large cotton linters, warehousing and the seed storage building containing 2,000 tons of cotton seed. Most of the seed loss was caused by them getting wet from hose stream water damage, but a large amount of the seed was quickly dried and salvaged. THE BARRETT FOOD PRODUCT COMPANY Saturday, 10 July 1937 at 12:19 PM The Barrett Food Products Company operated from a three-story masonry building at 442 - 444 Marietta Street NW near Mills Street in Brooklyn. This was a two-alarm fire, with five engines and three trucks at the scene. A total of 10 heavy streams of water were used to control the fire. An employee of the firm endeavored to extinguish the fire which originated in the exhaust vent duct work over the cooking vats with a soda and acid extinguisher. The pressurized water did not put it out but did succeed in rapidly spreading the fire in the burning grease. In minutes the fire had come back down into the work area and vats of salad oil were blazing. At this point the 130 employees, two-third of which, were women, were ordered out of the building and all escaped without injury. The fire did not spread from the structure of origin but gutted the plant.

THE OLD JEWISH SYNAGOGUE FIRE Wednesday, 3 March 1937 at 02:17 AM

This was the second major fire in the Barrett Company’s building. It, and the Silverman’s Bakery next door neighbor, were both destroyed by the fire in 1930; the Silverman Bakery was never rebuilt. Barrett did rebuild after the 1930 fire only to have the plant gutted again seven years later. The 1937 fire was caused by ignition of accumulated grease in the vent pipes. Loss was $60,000.

The synagogue sat at the southwest corner of Washington and Clarke Streets SW, an intersection which is now long gone and would be about the middle of where I-75/85 and I-20 cross. The fire was discovered by two police officers cruising by the scene on routine patrol and immediately radioed the alarm to fire headquarters.

The Barrett Company operated several plants around Atlanta and other cities. They made potato chips, peanut butter sandwiches, and candy products etc. Following the fire the potato chip manufacturing was sold to Gordon Foods, a company which itself had some history with Barrett’s.

This would rapidly grow to three-alarms with six engines and three ladder trucks, the department salvage and the rescue wagon on the scene. The operations were under the command of Acting Battalion Chief L.A. Davis and Chief of Department O.J. Parker. A total of eight hose streams were used on the fire, but could not prevent the total destruction of the vacant house of worship. The fire communicated to the four-story brick apartment house on the south side of the synagogue and it also suffered significant damage.

You see, Mr. E.M. Gordon and his son W.P. Gordon had previously worked for Barrett Foods in Atlanta and left to start Gordon Foods in 1932. They moved their new business to the old Hanson Motor Company building located in the point at Murphy Avenue SW and Sylvan Road SW at Oakland Junction. The most well known brand to come out of the Sylvan Road factory was Gordon Potato Chips. The Gordon’s worked out a deal and by purchasing the now burned out Barrett’s brand this gave Gordon’s a lot more market share.

The Synagogue had been erected in 1906 by the Congregation of

Many readers may have taken tours through the Gordon’s plant

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as school kids or remember this as the Gordon Food Products Company. Gordon would operate from this location for many years making potato chips. When they were bought by Sunshine Foods, operations were moved to the Zip Industrial Park in southeast Atlanta and this plant was closed. The building would go vacant, became well vandalized, and was eventually destroyed by a massive multi alarm fire on Wednesday, 11 November 1998. THE AFRICAN-AMERICAN ODD-FELLOWS BUILDING “ROYAL CLUB” FIRE Monday, 23 August 1937 at 20:21 PM The Odd-Fellow building is on the northwest corner of Auburn Avenue NE at Bell Street NE. Fire seen lighting up the evening sky is always a bad sign for responding firefighters and Engine 6’s crew could see this one the moment they left the station and headed west on Auburn Avenue NE. The incident would quickly grow to a fouralarm fire which brought eight engines, three trucks, the salvage truck; the rescue truck and the water tower which was put in service at the scene. Chief officers in command were Department Chief O.J. Parker, Assistant Chief William Butler and Battalion Chief C.C. Styron. Responding fire companies found a fully involved wood frame roof, garden penthouse facility known as the “Royal Club” which sat on the top of the six-story brick and concrete building. Fire had spread rapidly through the crepe paper decorations over the dance floor and had extended to all parts of the wood frame penthouse. An attempt was made to use the building’s standpipe system, but the Siamese Fire Department Connection at the street level was stuffed with debris and no water could be pumped into the standpipe. It then became necessary to haul the heavy hose lines up the stairway and over the outside walls. The water tower was used but the stream was ineffective due to the lack of defection of the heavy stream. In all 14 hand lines were used. At no time was the fire allowed to extend downward into the main part of the building. Besides the club on the roof, the lower floors were devoted to office space and the Masonic clubrooms occupied the sixth floor. Cause of the fire was careless smoking. Loss was $20,000. The Odd Fellows Building and Auditorium are located at 228—250 Auburn Avenue, N.E. in the Sweet Auburn Historic District. These two historic buildings were built in 1912 and 1913, respectively, as the headquarters of the District Grand Lodge No. 18, Jurisdiction of Georgia, of the Grand United Order of Odd fellows of America. Mr. B.S. Ingram was District Grand Master and Dr. William F. Penn was chairman of the building committee. Renowned Atlantabased architect William Augustus Edwards designed the buildings, while Robert E. Pharrow was the contractor and M.B. Morton was superintendent of construction. Booker T. Washington personally dedicated the Odd Fellows Building in 1912.

of red brick except for the first floor of the Tower which is stone. The Annex was used for many years as a The Royal Theatre and was the only major venue in Atlanta where blacks could be seated on the main floor. In addition to providing meeting and office space for the Odd Fellows, the Tower provided office and store space for blackowned businesses and black professionals. The Atlanta Chapter of the Grand Order of Odd Fellows, a fraternal organization supporting and networking the black business community, built this substantial building as their headquarters and to provide much needed office, retail, professional meeting and entertainment space for African Americans in Atlanta. On 2 May 1975, both buildings were added to the National Register of Historic Places. This huge masonry building was totally renovated in the 1980’s and remains a landmark in “Sweet Auburn” today. The big structure has now celebrated its 100th Birthday in 2012 as this book is being compiled. THE JORDAN FURNITURE COMPANY FIRE Wednesday, 22 September 1937 at 01:29 AM The Jordan Furniture Company was located on South Broad Street SW and the incident quickly became a three-alarm fire. Eight engines, five trucks, the salvage, the rescue truck, the water tower along with Chief Parker, Battalion Chief Styron and Acting Chief J.M .Tumlin were in operation at the scene. The fire had originated in the rear portion of the building and spread to the entire interior of the structure. For over an hour the fire threatened to spread to the adjoining buildings, but the firefighters were able to confine the flames to the building of origin. The entire structure and its contents suffered severe damage from the thousands of gallons of water poured into the building. The fire was believed to have originated from a trash fire burning at the rear of the building. The loss was $35,000. THE CARROLL FURNITURE COMPANY Tuesday, 2 November 1937 at 10:20 AM The Carroll Furniture Company occupied the old McDonald Building at 151 Whitehall Street SW near Mitchell Street SW. Mr. R.L. Loyd, a furniture refinisher, was removing the finish from a piece of furniture with an alcohol lamp when it exploded, throwing the burning alcohol over the entire workshop. Loyd was severely burned on his hand but was able to escape the flaming workshop. Chief of Department O.J. Parker and Battalion Chief W.P. Barker led the fight against the flames with the equipment on two alarms, comprising six engines and four ladders. Crews operated seven hose streams and were able to confine the flames to the workshop and second floor.

The Odd Fellows Building and Auditorium are closely linked with Benjamin Jefferson Davis, Sr. (1870–1945), Atlanta’s most influential black journalist, who edited The Atlanta Independent, the official organ of District No. 18. He was District Grand Secretary and a member of the Building Committee when they were built.

This fire was in a three-story brick building with wooden floors and roof deck fronting on Whitehall Street and running back to an alley at the rear. This fire marked the first major workout for the new No. 4 aerial ladder truck which had been named the “Otha .J. Parker”. The powered aerial ladder was raised to the roof where the crews performed ventilation to rid the building of smoke and heat.

The Odd Fellows Building, called the Tower, is six stories high while the Auditorium next door, called the Annex, is two stories with an atrium that adds another two or three stories in height. Both are built

Only one injury was reported. Hoseman C.B. Huiet, of Engine 7, was struck in the chest by a hose coupling which gave way under pressure. He was only slightly injured. Loss to the firm was approximately

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$20,000. The Carroll Furniture Company would suffer yet another major fire on 19 March 1940. This site is an open parking lot today.

command of Chief O.J. Parker and Battalion Chief C.C. Styron. Six hose lines were used.

THE O.B. ANDREWS PAPER COMPANY Tuesday, 30 November 1937 at 06:36 AM

On the arrival of the first fire companies on Gordon Street SW, the flames were rapidly involving the sanctuary of the 1907 vintage building and quickly spreading to the roof by way of the shaft for the pipes of the massive organ.

O.B. Andrews was a waste paper recycler with a large facility located on Packard Street SW just off Spring Street. This was a four-alarm fire which nine engine and three truck were placed in service operating twelve hose streams, under the direction of Chief O.J. Parker, Battalion Chief C.C. Styron and Battalion Chief W.P. Barker. The baled waste paper contents of the building was fully involved on arrival and fears were expressed that the fire might spread to the Atlanta Service Warehouse at the corner and the Alterman Brothers Company at 201 Spring St SW. About 08:00 the wall on Packard Street SW side gave way and fell out into the street. This was caused by the expansion of the water absorbed bales of paper. A score of firefighters narrowly escaped death in the collapse, but crews had been forewarned of the dangerous condition of the wall and had moved away before it fell. The escape was not quite fast enough as Captain E.D. Dodson, of No. 20, received bruises when struck by several bouncing bricks. With the south wall now gone two Grant Multiversal nozzles were set up in Packard Street SW and threw powerful streams into the burning paper. The building was a three-story structure with brick and stone, load bearing walls, and plank on timber floors and columns. Cause of the near tragic fire was from careless smoking. Loss was $18,000. In 2012 this is a large open parking lot on the west side of Spring Street just north of Packard. THE RIALTO BUILDING FIRE Monday, 3 January 1938 at 04:43 AM Occupants of the Rialto Building included the Luggage Shop located at 80 Forsyth Street NW; the Tucker Jewelry shop, 78 Forsyth Street NW; the Candy Pan, 82 Forsyth Street NW and the Trick & Novelty Shop, which shared the 82 Forsyth Street NW address. Due to the danger to the Rialto Theatre at the corner of Forsyth and Luckie Streets NW, two alarms were sounded bringing in six engines, three trucks, the water tower, the salvage and the rescue truck. Chief Parker was in charge of the operation, which employed 10 streams of water to bring the fire under control. One unidentified man, who was asleep in a tailor shop in another section of the building was awakened and removed by the firefighters. Although the blaze had gained considerable headway on the arrival of the fire companies, the fire was confined to the area of its origin and brought under control in less than 30 minutes. The building was owned by the Hugh Richardson estate. Cause of the fire was undetermined. Loss was $45,000. THE GORDON STREET BAPTIST CHURCH FIRE Tuesday, 4 February 1938 at 16:20 PM Fire in the Gordon Street Baptist Church would grow to a three alarm fire. Six engines and two trucks were in operation under the

The firefighters were able to confine the fire to the rear section of the church and roof. A section of the latter collapsed and provided the necessary ventilation to prevent the roof from being entirely burned away. As it was, the organ which had been a gift of Mr. Wiley L. Moore, was almost a total loss and several pianos in the basement room were damaged by smoke and water. The church was a granite structure, the heights of an ordinary threestory building. The parsonage, Sunday school rooms, and church office, were undamaged. Cause of the fire was from an overheated furnace. Loss was $5,000. THE BLANDTOWN CONFLAGRATION (outside the city) Sunday, 13 March 1938 at 15:29 PM The fire started in a dwelling at 8 Booth Street NW in the predominately African-American Blandtown Community back before this area was annexed into the city. Blandtown sits along Huff Road west of Howell Mill Road and the Atlanta Water Works As is typical of March in Atlanta, this would be a spring day of dry conditions and high winds. Within minutes, fire had spread to dwellings on both sides of the house of origin before the alarm could be called in to Atlanta Fire Headquarters. Ladder and Engine 16 were dispatched on a still alarm. The engine stretched in a single line of hose from the hydrant at the corner of Howell Mill Road and Huff Road, but the distance was too great and the line fell short on the fire. A call for help brought in Engine 3 and Ladder 11, under the command of Battalion Chief P.S. Fleming. By this time, six dwellings on Booth Street NW were a mass of flame and fire had spread to the frame St. Peters Baptist Church. It was quickly destroyed. At this point Chief Fleming called for additional help and Engines 11 and 15, and the rescue company, came on the scene. No. 21’s extra engine was transferred to Station No. 16. An estimated crowd of 2,000 Sunday sightseers gathered and four Fulton County policemen were sent to the scene to handle the big crowd. The firefighters placed three engines in relay and were able to get three fairly good working streams on the big fire. For over three hours the fire raged before crews were able to bring it under control but not before 15 houses, a church, and two restaurants, had been destroyed. More than 75 persons were made homeless. Only one injury was listed; Hoseman Roy Crawley, of Engine 15 suffered an eye injury when some burning material blew into his face. Cause of the fire was from a defective flue. Loss was about $25,000. The rapid spread of the fire was attributed to wood shingle roofs, and frame construction a reminder of what had happened in the

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Great Northside Conflagration of May 1917. THE AKERS & HUDSON MOTOR LINES COMPANY CONFLAGRATION Sunday, 27 March 1938 at 19:25 PM The building in which the fire originated was located at 78 Bell Street SE, and covered practically the entire block bounded by Bell, Taylor, Townes, and Fain Streets (later this was the site of Grady Homes Public Housing Project and by 2012 is a big vacant lot). The structure was formerly occupied by the Atlanta Table Manufacturing Company. It was a three-story frame and corrugated iron structure. Besides the motor lines firm, it was also used by the Atlanta Floor & Insulating Company. The building quickly became fully involved and the flames shot high into the air. Burning embers were carried to nearby wood frame and wood shingle roofed houses across the street from the fire building on Taylor Street SE; and in a few minutes all of the structures were ablaze. Borne on the heels of a stiff wind, the immense fire began spreading toward the big Grady Hospital buildings and a row of dwellings on Pratt Street SE became involved and were destroyed; as well as those on Bell Street SE. A wall of water was thrown up to protect the hospital proper, the nurse’s home, and the communicative disease building. In all, 12 dwellings were leveled as well as the motor lines building. The fire resulted in a general-alarm and 28 hose streams were used to bring the dangerous fire under control. Cause was undetermined. The loss was $35,000. Two firefighters were slightly injured. W.O. Morgan, No.1, suffered a wound when he stepped on a nail and J.H. Manley, No. 4, sprained his ankle. The alarm response was as follows: Box No. 44 19:25 Engines 4-6-8; Ladders 4-8; Rescue-Water Tower; Assistant Chief W.B. Fanning 19:30 Second Alarm 2-2-Box 44; Engines 1-10; Ladder 1; Third Battalion Chief P.S. Fleming and Department Chief O.J. Parker. 19:45 Third Alarm 3-3-Box 44; Engines 3-5; Ladder 10 19:50 Fourth Alarm 4-4-Box 44; Engines16-11 Ladder 11, Battalion Chief W. P. Barker, 2nd Battalion 19:55 General Alarm: Engines 7-9-12-13-14-15-17-18-19-20; Ladders 710-12-16; Third Battalion Chief W.A. Fain; Second Battalion Chief C.C. Styron, and Assistant Chief William Butler. The Fort McPherson Fire Department sent an engine and crew to fill in at No. 1 with Ladder No. 5 to protect the rest of the city. THE TURNIPSEED BUILDING FIRE – Mutual Aid to Jonesboro, Georgia Saturday, 11 April 1938 at 03:05 AM In 1938 only the small cities in Clayton County had volunteer fire departments. The three-story Turnipseed Building in downtown Jonesboro, Georgia housed a billiard parlor and a bowling alley and was fully involved on arrival of the Jonesboro vollies. The JVFD immediately began to request assistance and Hapeville and East Point sent equipment down to help the volunteer fire department. Atlanta sent Engine 20 and Ladder 5, under the command of Battalion Chief W.P. Barker. Unfortunately, Engine 20 broke down at Jester’s Old Mill while responding under emergency conditions and was unable to go on to the fire. The large structure was completely destroyed 142

and damage was done to the corner of Central of Georgia Railroad Depot. The depot building remains today on South Main Street and the Heritage Bank occupies the site of the fire building in 2012. Cause of the fire was unknown. The Loss was $5,000. THE SOUTH CONVICT CAMP FIRE (Outside the city) Sunday, 17 April 1938 The South Convict Camp fire took place on Cleveland Avenue SW, between Stewart Avenue, (now Metropolitan Parkway SW) and Sylvan Road. Flames spread to involve the entire installation. Apparatus was sent from Hapeville, East Point, and Atlanta. The AFD responded Engines 14 and 20 and Battalion Chief C.C. Styron. Pumpers were set up to relay pump water obtained from the hydrant at the corner of Cleveland Avenue and Sylvan Road SW. Even with the long lays and marginal fire stream capability, crews were successful in saving the camp’s gasoline station. A large number of the convicts help to drag the hose lines into position and assisted the firefighters of the three departments before transportation could be made for 131 of them to be sent to the Fulton County Jail on Butler Street SE for the night. Sixteen trustees remained on duty at the camp. Cause of the fire was undetermined. Loss was about $24,000. THE TERMINAL HOTEL FIRE Monday, 16 May 1938 at 03:15 AM

The predawn fire turned the 30-year old five-story brick, ordinaryjoist constructed Terminal Hotel into a flaming horror that in ten minutes killed 35 persons and left a score more missing or injured. The hotel register was lost in the fire. The Terminal Hotel was situated at the northeast corner of Spring Street SW and Mitchell Street SW, adjacent to the Terminal Railroad Station. Many of the guests were railroad men who used the $1 and up a day hotel since it was so close to terminal station in downtown Atlanta. The Terminal Hotel was a five-story, ordinary constructed building with masonry walls and wood joisted floors and roof deck which was covered with tar and gravel. The building fronted 114 feet on Spring Street SW and 50 feet on Mitchell Street. The property belonged to Mrs. Nellie Inman Cooper, daughter of Samuel M. Inman. The hotel had been erected on the same site of the original hotel which had been destroyed in the 8 May 1908 Terminal District conflagration. The original Terminal Hotel was erected by Atlanta businessman Mr. Samuel M. Inman in 1906.

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The first companies to arrive on the scene abandoned all efforts to fight the fire which had gained complete control of the building and concentrated their efforts in saving the lives of guests who had not already leaped to their death from the blazing structure. Many daring and spectacular rescues were performed by the firefighters from ladders erected against the building and from adjacent structures. Some of the guests even jumped to the ladders before they were actually in place thereby endangering the lives of their rescuers attempting to take them off window ledges. The fire resulted in a general-alarm being sounded and the entire department was called out with the exception of Atlanta Engine No. 6 and Atlanta Ladder No. 12 relocated to Station No. 1. Fulton County Engine No. 21 from Buckhead was assigned to fill in at Atlanta Station No. 4 on North Pryor Street NE. The working companies employed 32 hose streams, including those from the water tower and Ladder No. 4’s ladder pipe. Shortly before dawn, the weakened floors collapsed sending all crashing through to the basement. The walls, however, were left fairly intact. When the terrible holocaust was over, 35 people were dead and 25 were injured. One odd quirk of fate resulted in the rescue of a woman from the interior of the building after the fire had been brought under control. She was found under a bed in the only portion of the room left hanging after the other floors had collapsed. Some were burned to death and others suffocated. Many of the bodies were horribly mangled in the collapse of floors and steel work. The fire had originated in the basement and flashed upward through the elevator shafts and open stairwells before it mushroomed out across the top floors. Cause of the fire was believed to have been from a ventilating fan in a grease vent. The loss was $105,000. Chronology of alarms was as follows: 03:15 Box No. 51: Engines 5-1-4-8; Ladders 8-I-4; Rescue 1; Water Tower; Second Assistant Chief C.C. Styron and Chief O.J. Parker 03:21 Second Alarm: Engine 7-3; Ladder 8 03:24 Third Alarm: Engine 9-17; Ladder 7; Second Battalion Chief P.V Netherland 03:49 General Alarm: Engines 10-11-12-13-14-15-18-19-20; Ladders 10-11-16-19; Second Battalion Chief W.P. Barker; both Third Battalion Chiefs: W.A. Fain and P.S. Fleming and Assistant Chief W.B. Fanning. THE LARKIN REFRIGERATOR COMPANY FIRE Tuesday, 17 May 1938 at 20: 41 PM The city’s Bravest would get little rest after the massive Terminal Hotel fire when an alarm came in for the Larkin Refrigerator Company located at 519 East Fair Street, (now Memorial Drive SE) near Loomis Avenue across from Oakland Cemetery. The plant was badly damaged along with six wooden garages at the rear of dwellings on Woodward Avenue SE. The dwellings at 306 & 312 Loomis Avenue were also badly damaged and demolished after the fire. This was a three-alarm fire with seven hose streams placed in use. Origin or the fire was in an outbuilding barn type structure of the company. Cause of the fire was not known. Loss was $15,000. By 2012 no houses remain on Loomis Avenue on the north side of Woodward where this fire occurred.

THE SOUTHERN SPRING BED COMPANY FIRE Thursday, 18 August 1938 at 08:55 AM The Southern Spring Bed Company had a mattress and bed manufacturing plant at 290 Hunter Street SE, (now Martin L King Jr. Drive SE), just west of Grant Street near Oakland Cemetery. The alarm was activated through the operation of the automatic sprinkler system that was tied into through “Master Box” 793. Engines 6 and 10, and Ladder 10, responded under the command of Acting 2nd Battalion Chief, L.A Davis. Chief Davis sounded a Second Alarm at 09:03 bringing Engines 5 and 1, Ladder 5 and First Assistant Chief W.B. Fanning to the scene. The fire was in the bed frame finishing room and was feeding on large quantities of highly flammable paint, naphtha and varnish. Very quickly, the flames completely engulfed the building, and Chief Fanning called for the “big foam” generator from No. 4. When it went in operation, within minutes the supply of 600 pounds of foam powder was exhausted. More of the chemical was rushed to the scene, supplied by the Standard Oil Company. For the first time in the history of the fire department a new type nozzle (fog) was used with a great degree of success on the fire. These devices were being carried in the chief ’s cars at No. 1, 5 and 11. A total of 11 streams of water were used to prevent the extension of the flames to the second floor where a huge tank of gasoline was stored. Cause of the fire was from careless “hot work” when a welder’s torch ignited a vat of solvent. Loss was $18,000. THE REFINERS OIL CORPORATION EXPLOSION & FIRE Friday, 28 October 1938 at 9:06 AM The Refiners Oil Corporation was located at 627 Meldrum Street NW near Vine Street. The company received petroleum products by rail, located adjacent to the plant, and would store them, shipping to customers by truck as needed. The fire was started when a 12,000 bulk gasoline tank exploded. Two plant workmen were slightly injured in the explosion, but were able to escape the fire which followed. This was a two-alarm fire. Eight hose streams were used on the fire. Battalion Chief P.S. Fleming, with a fog stream raining over him, personally entered the burning area and successfully shut off the valve to the endangered gasoline tanks. This brave action prevented the fire from spreading to 13 similar tanks in the yard. Fireman Carl C. Felder, of Engine 8, suffered an eye injury from a piece of flying metal. The fire had resulted when the truck, which was being unloaded, caught fire and the flames spread from the loading rack to the big storage tank. One end of this tank was blown high into the air and landed more than 100 feet away. Loss in the fire was $10,000. By 2012 Refiners is long gone as is the railroad that passed their plant. All that remains is a few foundations in a large open lot. TRINITY METHODIST CHURCH FIRE Sunday, 11 December 1938 at 01:15 AM Trinity Methodist Church still occupies the southwest corner of Trinity Avenue SW and Washington Street SW in downtown Atlanta. The fire in December 1938 was a three-alarm incident and seven

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hose streams were placed in operation. The fire was confined to the educational building and firefighters stood fast in their determination that at no time were they going to allow the fire to communicate to the main church sanctuary section. Origin and cause of the fire was undetermined. Loss was $15,000. THE BOBO HOTEL FIRE Monday, 9 January 1939 at 03:23 AM This hotel was on the corner of Luckie Street and Bartow Street NW. This was a three-alarm fire in which quick work by Atlanta’s Bravest rescued ten people by way of fire ladders. Mr. Lyman C. Davis, 50, a private detective and a brother to Fire Captain L.A. Davis, was killed when he jumped to his death from the third floor. Lieutenant C.V. Stewart of Company No. 8 was injured when struck on the head by a suit case some guest had thrown out of an upper floor window of the building. Six hose lines were used. Cause of the fire was carelessness with smoking. Loss was $1,000. THE MUTUAL FURNITURE COMPANY FIRE Saturday, 28 January 1939 Mutual Furniture Company occupied a two-story retail store at 155 Edgewood Avenue NE near Coca-Cola Place. This became a twoalarm fire and some aggressive firefighting prevented fire damage to the remainder of the block which included the old Lyceum Theater building, next door, at the corner or Piedmont Avenue. (The Lyceum Theater building had been the scene of another three-alarm fire. That one had occurred on 6 November 1901). A total or 13 hose lines and the old water tower were used on the fire. The cause of the fire was not determined but was the result of a violent explosion in the rear of the building near the elevator shaft. Loss was $60,000. THE PETERS STREET GROCERY COMPANY; Box 511 (Peters Street SW & Walker St SW) Tuesday, 21 March 1939 at 10:30 AM Just as Department Chief O.J. Parker was making his retirement farewell address to the Board of Fire Masters, Gamewell Alarm Box 511 (located at the corner of Peters and Walker Streets SW) came in. A telephone call followed shortly, reporting a fire in the Peters Street Grocery Company, located at 283 Peters Street SW at Joiner Street in Castleberry Hill.

The fire had involved the entire third floor of a three-story brick building, measuring 200 by 400 feet, that was used as a meat processing and packing house with large areas of refrigerated storage and freezers. An explosion of a large anhydrous ammonia tank had occurred and the severe concentration of Ammonia prevented the firefighters from entering the building until they could be equipped with gas masks. The safety of a large number of livestock in the adjacent stockyards was threatened. The barns of the J.W. Patterson Commission Company, which housed 250 mules and horses and located next door to the burning packing plant, was in immediate danger. The livestock were led from the building to safety by a joint team of firefighters and spectators. Water from eight hose lines were directed into the burning plant. Many of the hoses being laid-out over the tracks causing stoppage of rail traffic on the adjacent Southern Railroad. The fire had originated on the third floor in the meat dressing room from some unknown cause. Loss was set at $50,000. Chief Styron, who had planned to leave for San Francisco that morning to attend the International Association of Fire chief ’s convention, had to defer his plans until that afternoon due to this fire. THE WYNNE ADVERTISING COMPANY FIRE Wednesday, 29 November 1939 at 01:50 AM Wynne Advertising Company occupied a building at 268 Marietta Street NW, near Foundry Street in Brooklyn. The building was a three-story brick structure which housed the firms of the Knox Neon Sign Company, and the Neon Advertising Company. This incident became a five-alarm fire. Twelve hose lines were used on the fire to keep it from spreading to adjacent mercantile occupancies on either side. Several times, drums of paint and amyl acetate exploded increasing the intensity of the flames which had open fire that leaped hundreds of feet into the air. The Graham Paper Company, at 264 Marietta Street NW, was damaged by water, as was the General Warehouse & Storage Company, at 272274 Marietta Street NW. All of these addresses are basically where the open parking lots just northwest of the Omni Hotel sit today.

Before the first companies arrived on the scene, the flames had spread to, and were involving, the adjoining building, occupied by the Campbell Hardware and Grocery Company. This rapidly became a three-alarm fire. Captain C.W. Dunbar and Firefighters E.J. Baker and W.J. Redwine narrowly escaped death when the second floor collapsed without warning. There is a vacant lot at this address in 2012.

Second Battalion Chief P.V. Netherland was overcome by the fumes from the burning chemicals and was taken to Grady Hospital where he was treated and later released. Cause of the fire was not known. The loss was $36,000.

THE UPCHURCH PACKING COMPANY FIRE Sunday, 10 September 1939 at 02:30 AM

The Toggery Clothing Store occupied a one-story taxpayer type building at 195 Mitchell Street SW between Forsyth Street SW and Broad Street SW. The fire had originated in the ceiling and in a short time communicated to the roof and ceiling of the Citizens & Southern Loan Association building next door at 197 Mitchell Street SW. This now is a two-story building that is occupied by a Metro PCS cellular phone office. The fire necessitated two alarms and the firefighters deployed six hose streams to bring the fire under control. Cause of the fire was undetermined. Loss to both firms was $50,000. By 2012 the address of 195 Mitchell Street SW is being used as a

This large fire would occur in one of the many companies surrounding the Union Stockyards located on Brady Avenue NW, west of Howell Mill Road NW. This is where the large MARTA Transit System bus maintenance facility is today. At the time of the fire this area was still outside the city limits. Third Battalion Chief P.S. Fleming would request a Second Alarm as soon as he arrived on the scene. 144

THE TOGGERY CLOTHING STORE FIRE Tuesday, 16 January 1940 at 05:30 AM

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parking lot. THE TERMINAL (or VIADUCT) BLOCK FIRE (Alarm Box 51) Saturday, 20 January 1940 at 09:23 AM The Terminal Block occupied the southeast corner of Mitchell and Spring Streets SW. This fire would go to six-alarms in extremely cold temperatures. The building was a three-story structure with a tar and gravel on wood deck roof. The block was cut into two sections by thick brick fire walls. The temperature at the time of the fire was seven degrees above zero but bitter cold with a stiff wind was blowing out of the northwest. Commercial occupancies that were burned out included: The Julius R. Watts Jewelry Company, 220 Mitchell Street SW; Fuller’s Barber Shop, 218 Mitchell Street SW; the Atlanta Grinding Company, on the second floor, at 212 Mitchell Street SW; the offices of J.T. Baker, a brokerage firm, at the same address. The George T. Smith Sales Company, the Bostian-Blessing Company, and the Knight Soda Sales Company, who had joint offices in the building; the National Leather & Findings Company, 222 Mitchell Street SW; the Music Shop, 212 Mitchell Street SW; Spring & Company, 214 Mitchell Street SW, and the offices of Marvin Dodson, at the same address, were all heavily damaged by water and smoke. The fire’s origin was low in the structure and had been caused by a gas explosion between the walls of the building, from a leaking radiant gas heater in the Fuller Barber Shop but had quickly communicated from the first floor by way of an elevator shaft to involve the upper floors and roof. The fire department responded with 14 engines and five ladder trucks employing 14 streams of water to bring the dangerous fire under control. The fire loss was set at $35,000. Chronological order of alarms transmitted was as follows: 09:23 Box 51: (Spring & Mitchell) Engines 1-3-4-8; Ladders 1-4; Rescue & Second Battalion Chief W.P. Barker, 09:27 2-2-Box 51 Second Alarm Engines 9-7; Ladder 7 and Chief C.C. Styron 09:33 3-3-Box 51 Third Alarm Engines 5-20; Ladder 5 09:41 4-4-Box 51 Fourth Alarm Engines 11-17; Ladder 8 09:43 5-5-Box 51 Fifth Alarm Engines 14-12; Ladder 10 09:54 6-6-Box 51 Sixth Alarm Engines 15-16; Ladder 12 The two-platoon system was suspended on the receipt of the fifth alarm and all off-duty firefighters were recalled and returned to duty. The cause was from a defective gas heater. The loss was $20,000. THE STANDARD MILLING COMPANY FIRE Saturday, 16 March 1940 at 19:45 PM The building involved was the long freight depot occupied by the N.C. & St. L. Railway, the Seaboard Air Line Railway, and the Standard Milling Company. The fire originated in the latter section numbered 8 Fairlie Street NW, at the eastern end of the building. By the time someone discovered the fire, and ran directly to fire headquarters on Alabama Street SW to give the alarm, the flames had burst through the roof and were leaping high into the air. The resulting glare could be seen for a distance of 12 miles. The firefighters forced their way into the N.C. & St. L. section of the

warehouse and used hose streams to prevent extension of the flames in that direction. Water curtains were thrown against the walls of the huge Beck & Gregg Hardware warehouse across Fairlie Street to prevent extension of fire to that building; it was also prevented from extending to the following adjacent structures: the Ten Forsyth Street building, the Western Union building, the old Georgian Newspaper building and the offices of the Seaboard Air Line Railway. Fourteen engines, eight ladder trucks, and 125 firefighters battled the serious fire with 22 hose streams. Captain Dolph Herrington, Engine 22, was cut on the hand and Firefighter R.M. King, No. 16, was injured by stepping on a nail. Cause of the fire was not known. The loss was $125,000. The sequence of alarms was as follows: Verbal Alarm: 19:45 Engines 1-3-4-8; Ladders 1-4-8; Rescue; Assistant Chief W.P. Barker and Chief C.C. Styron 19:49 Second Alarm: Engines 5-16; Ladder 5 19:54 Third Alarm: Engines 6-7; Ladder 7 20:03 Fourth Alarm: Engines 11-9; Ladder 16 20:06 Fifth Alarm: Engines 22-10; Ladder 10 20:09 Sixth Alarm: Engines 15-12; Ladder 12 THE CARROLL FURNITURE COMPANY FIRE Tuesday, 19 March 1940 at 12:58 PM The Carroll Furniture Company fire occurred in their facility at 151 Whitehall Street SW between Mitchell Street SW and Trinity Avenue SW. This was a four-alarm fire having originated on the mezzanine and spread upward to involve the second and third floors of the four-story building. Ten fire streams were used to bring the fire under control. Six persons, three of them firefighters, were slightly injured in the fire. The chronologies of alarms transmitted were as follows: 12:58 Telephone Alarm: Engines 1-4-5-6 Ladders 1-4-5 Rescue 1 13:02 Second Alarm Engines 7-8 Ladder 8 13:04 Third Alarm Engines 3-6 Ladder 7 13:06 Fourth Alarm Engines 2-10-17 Ladder 19 The cause of this fire was identical to the multi alarm fire in this plant on 2 November 1937. A tipped over alcohol fueled lamp ignited flammable liquid vapors released by spraying operations in the Finishing Room. The loss was estimated to be $60,000. By 2012 this location is an open, ground level, parking lot. THE KROGER GROCERY COMPANY FIRE Saturday, 21 June 1940 at 19:32 PM The building involved was a five-story brick structure located at 1100 Murphy Avenue SE, right at the railroad connection known as “Oakland Junction”. The first, second, and third floors were occupied as a warehouse of the Piggly Wiggly Grocery Company, a subsidiary of the Kroger Baking Company. The fourth and fifth floors were used by the Henry Channin Corporation for the storage of over 3000 bales of cotton. On arrival of the first-alarm companies, the two top floors were fully involved. As soon as Second Battalion Chief H.G. Pierce arrived, he immediately ordered a second alarm struck. Before the fire could be brought under control, a total of eight alarms had been sounded with

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16 engines and seven ladder trucks operating 28 hose streams which were able to halt the fire’s downward spread; but the tons of water ruined the entire stock of foods of the grocery firm. The fire department’s old hydraulically elevated water tower played its last role in the extinguishment of this fire. Shortly after this fire it was removed from service, dismantled and the parts and hardware soon fell into decay at the rear of the fire department shop on Oak Street SW, despite the pleas from Chief Styron for the purchase of a new one, or the rebuilding of the old one. It eventually was sold for surplus and was scrapped. Captain F J. Bowen, Ladder No. 1, was cut on the hand and M.L. Pickett, Ladder No. 7, received a sprained back. Cause of the fire was undetermined. The loss was $200,000. The building was rebuilt as a four-story structure and is now occupied (along with the former Mead Paper Company building next door to the north), by the Cut Rate Box Company. The multiple alarms sounded were in the following order. 19:32 Box No. 355 (Lee & Dimmock) Engines 14-17, Ladder 7; 2nd Battalion Chief H.G. Pierce 19:37 2-2-Box 355 Second Alarm: Engines 20-7; Ladder 5; Rescue and Chief C.C. Styron 19:42 3-3-Box 355 Third Alarm: Engines 5-9; Ladder 1; Assistant Chief W.B. Fanning 19:45 4-4-Box 355 Fourth Alarm: Engines 1-2; Ladder 4; Water Tower 19:53 5-5-Boc 355 Fifth Alarm: Engines 4-10; Ladder 10 20:01 6-6-Box 355 Sixth Alarm: Engines 3-6; Ladder 16 20:08 7-7-Box 355 Seventh Alarm: Engines 16-22; Ladder 19 20:12 8-8-Box 355 Eighth Alarm: Engines 15-19 THE AUDITORIUM-ARMORY FIRE Monday, Veterans Day, 11 November 1940 at 23:30 PM

The fire had been discovered by Burt Wellburn, superintendent of the building. He promptly called in the alarm then notified 300 celebrants at a Veterans Day Dance being held in the main auditorium. They were made to understand that there was great danger unless they left the building at once. They filed out onto Courtland Street NE without disorder or a single accident. A staccato of explosions slit the night air as ammunition stored in the guard headquarters went off in the great heat. Fortunately, no large shells were stored there. The flames gutted the four-story front section and the roof caved in. The inferno sent great sheets of flames high into the air. The fire was prevented from communicating to the main auditorium by a thick fire wall. The heat scorched recently transplanted trees in the new Hurt Park across Courtland Street. Cause of the fire was from carelessness with a cigarette. The loss was $200,000. The front section of the building was rebuilt and remains in use as part of Georgia State University. The auditorium section, that survived this fire, was demolished in the late 1970’s THE PARCEL DELIVERY COMPANY FIRE Friday, 15 December 1940 The Parcel Delivery Company occupied a facility at 70 - 74 Hunter Street SE (now Martin Luther King Jr. Drive SE), at Jesse Hill Junior Drive SE which at the time of the fire was originally called Butler Street SE. This building was a one-story wood frame building covering the entire lot at the rear of the Fulton County Jail and behind the S.S.S. Company, The company delivered packages with a business plan similar to United Parcel Service or FedEx that we have today. In the rambling structure were many light panel or delivery trucks loaded with Christmas packages and both the vehicles and the soon to be gifts were all were destroyed. The fire resulted in three alarms being sounded, bringing to the scene seven engines and three ladder trucks. The men were able to bring 11 hose streams to bear on the fire and the flames were never allowed to communicate to the jail or the S.S.S. building. Cause of the fire was not known. Loss was $35,000. CLOSE CALL AT THE HENRY GRADY HOTEL Friday, 9 January 1942 Six firefighters narrowly escaped death when they became exposed to chlorine gas while fighting a small blaze in the basement of the Henry Grady Hotel located at 210 Peachtree Street NW on the corner of what at that time was Cain Street NW. This street name was first changed from Cain to International Boulevard and later Andrew Young International Boulevard NW became the long official name.

The fire originated on the fourth floor of the Atlanta Municipal Auditorium at Courtland and Gilmer Streets SE. That floor was being used by the 179th Field Artillery. Upon the arrival of the first-in fire units under the command of Chief of Department C.C. Styron, the front section of the sprawling building was fully involved. The chief quickly sounded additional alarms until a total of five had been rung and 14 engine and ladder companies were working a total of 24 hose streams from ladder pipes, hand lines, and the old Joyner Pipe.

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The gas was generated when water came in contact with a can on calcium hypochlorite, a strong oxidizer that was being used by the hotel for bleaching linens. Calcium hypochlorite is best kept in a cool dry place away from any organic material. It is known to undergo self-heating and rapid decomposition if contaminated. When this happens, as it did at this incident, the fumes released are toxic chlorine gas The alarm was answered by Engines 1-3-4-8, and Ladders 1-4, under the command of Second Assistant Chief W.P. Barker. The crews of No. 4 were the first to enter the fire area with booster lines and were in the process of extinguishing the blaze when a drum of the chemical reacting to the heat of the fire suddenly ruptured, filling the basement with the deadly chlorine fumes. At first the fumes were

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not believed serious to the men until they were seized with violent coughing. They were quickly transferred to Grady Hospital for treatment Firefighter T.H. Poole, of No 4, was the most seriously affected and was admitted to the hospital for further treatment and observation. The other firefighters were treated and released. The injured were: Captain W.F. Brown; Lieutenant W .E. Brooks, and Firefighter J.M. Thompson; all of Company No. 4, and Firefighter E.E. Hogue, of No. 8. THE FIRST WINECOFF HOTEL FIRE Wednesday, 8 February 1942 at 06:12 AM The Winecoff Hotel Fire was located at 176 Peachtree Street NE at the corner of Peachtree Street and Ellis Streets. When first discovered, the flames were issuing from the window of a room on the eleventh floor, and began creating dense smoke which spread through the corridors and made its way upward through the open stairwell that circled the elevator shafts. This dense smoke condition enveloped the top five floors, trapping several people in their rooms in the ill-fated 15-story structure. Only the quick work of the employees of the hotel and the rapid response of the fire department prevented the major catastrophe in 1942. These same open stairs with no fire doors or stops from the ground floor to the top of the building, would lead to disaster on 7 December 1946. One guest, Captain John Ord, of Fort Monmouth, Virginia was forced out on the ledge beside his window where he remained for a considerable amount of time while dozens of other guests were forced to hang halfway out of their windows, or lay flat on the floor to escape the stinging smoke. One ladder crew bridged the 14 foot wide alley between the hotel and the Mortgage-Guarantee Building on the fourteenth floor and brought two occupants back across to safety. Hose crews, utilizing the hotel’s standpipe system, quickly cut off the fire’s spread upward and soon brought it under control Several female guests were hysterical and some fainted from their experience. The fire, itself, was confined to room 1122 and it was completely burned out. The quick work of the fire department was highly praised for their efforts in bringing the trapped occupants safely through the blinding smoke to safety, and the efficient manner in which they quickly brought the blaze under control. Cause of the fire was from carelessness with smoking. THE MADDOX JUNIOR HIGH SCHOOL FIRE Sunday, 19 April 1942 at 19:35 PM The Maddox Junior High School was located at Maddox Park on Bankhead Avenue NW, at the Louisville and Nashville Railroad. The installation was a group of one-story wood frame buildings sitting in four rows typical of the old portable type schools of the day. The buildings were close together and connected to each other by wood frame covered walkways. The entire grouping of structures was considered one fire area. The auditorium was located on one side and the automotive shops on the other. There were 25 classrooms in the group. This was a four-alarm fire. Twelve hose streams were needed to darken down the fire. The only portion of the school that was saved was the automotive

training shop which had a sprinkler system. The sprinkler system operation enabled the firefighters to prevent the loss of several thousand dollars’ worth of equipment. The greatest single loss was the library which contained about 10,000 books. Cause of the fire was from children playing with matches on the school grounds. Loss was $75,000. THE YOUNGE STREET SCHOOL FIRE Wednesday, 29 April 1942 at 06:03 AM The fire in the Younge Street School occurred just before daylight. The school was located at 89 Younge Street SE, just south of Edgewood Ave SE. The school was later renamed the Henry Rutherford Butler School. Henry Rutherford Butler was a respected physician and pharmacist with offices on Auburn Avenue NE. He was a pioneer in medicine and healthcare for African Americans during the late 19th and early 20th centuries. He was married to Selena Sloan Butler, a prominent teacher and education advocate in Atlanta. In addition to establishing the first licensed black-owned pharmacy in Georgia, Butler was a founding member of several African-American physicians’ organizations, as well as a civic leader and prolific writer. For more history on this interesting Atlanta businessman see http://www.georgiaencyclopedia.org/nge/Article.jsp?id=h-3799 The building was a typical two-story brick walled structure with wood floors and roof deck. Company’s found the building well involved on arrival and the incident quickly grew to a four-alarm fire. Thirteen hose streams were used. The building was completely gutted. Cause of the fire was undetermined. Loss was $42,000. The building was rebuilt and served as the elementary school for this part of the city for many years. The building which replaced this destroyed structure would also fall victim to fire on 26 April 1985. THE FAIRMONT APARTMENT FIRE Friday, 19 June 1942 This fire was in a three-story, ordinary constructed apartment building at 13 Peachtree Place NW just west of West Peachtree Street. The building had masonry walls, wooden floors and a board on wood joist roof deck. This fire quick escalated to a three alarm fire due to crews involved with rescue of the residents and fire extinguishment. Firefighters of the first arriving companies raced into the building and brought out badly burned resident, T.L. Gillespie, who had been unable to escape the flames because of burglar bars on the windows, he died of his injuries two days later at a hospital. Two city firefighters were injured at the fire. They were R.B. Beauford, of No. 4, who fell through a vent, and J.L. Estes, of No. 19, who was overcome by smoke and was treated at Grady Hospital. The fire was quickly brought under control, but not before extensive damage had been done to the Gillespie apartment. Cause of the fire was not known. Loss was $1,500. THE HUNT STUDIO FIRE Wednesday, 24 March 1943 at 01:15 PM The building involved was a four-story brick structure at 30 Broad Street, S.W; and 50 years prior had housed The Atlanta Constitution newspaper office. The fire originated on the third floor which was used as a storage room by the H & W Studios. It was feeding on highly flammable cellulose acetate film. The fire spread with a terrific velocity and quickly communicated to the fourth floor. Due to the fast work of the firefighters, a total loss was prevented. Upon arrival

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of the first fire companies, the flames were flashing 15 and 20 feet from the windows on the two upper floors. The firefighters, fought to get heavy hose up the aerial ladders while they themselves were endangered by the flames and blinded by the dense smoke. The fire resulted in three alarms being sounded and 12 hose streams were used to control the fire. Water and smoke damaged the second floor of the building also used by the studio and the Robinson’s Nuttery on the ground floor. Cause of the fire was undetermined. The loss was $35,000. E. R. SQUIBB & SONS FIRE Friday, 9 April 1943 at 13:03 PM The Federal Bureau of Investigation was called in to investigate the possibility of sabotage in a fire which destroyed over 200,000 pounds of drugs and vital war supplies in a building occupied by E.R. Squibb & Sons on the southwest corner of Spring Street and Baltimore Place NW. Today this site is beneath the Spring Street exit ramp from I-75-85 northbound. The fire was discovered shortly after 13:00 in the afternoon and given its size it appeared to have been burning for some period of time before discovery while workers were at lunch. The fire had made such headway that the entire basement of the reinforced concrete non-sprinkled building was totally involved upon arrival and burned so hot that it was impossible to determine the origin of the fire. Chief Styron ruled out the possibility of spontaneous ignition or defective wiring. The nature of the contents in the basement made entry into that area extremely hazardous to the firefighters due to the noxious gasses generated by the burning combustible contents. Firefighters had to rely on the primitive respiratory equipment available at the time and compressed air machines were set up to feed air through hoses to the men in the cellar. The fire never got out of the basement due to the 8-inch thick concrete first floor however heated the thick floor so severely that it melted and blistered the linoleum floor tile on the first floor. At roughly 16:00 crews made a slow decent into the basement and encountered water armpit-deep and in some places over their heads where hose lines had pumped thousands of gallons of water into the below grade basement filling it like a pool. Grady Hospital supplied an ambulance which stood by all afternoon but fortunately there were few injuries. Several firefighters were overcome with smoke and had to be pulled out from the belowgrade battle. Crews noted that Castor Oil was almost two-inches thick floating on the water. Due to the flash point being 445° F, the liquid never did ignite and burn on top of the water. The principle loss was to four or five railcar loads of drugs, particularly war packed cartons of Sulphur based drugs which were 148

in high demand for the battlefields of World War II. At this time this was considered one of the most difficult jobs to ever face the AFD. Witnesses praised the efforts of the department which finally gained control at 04:00 AM. The fire also heavily damaged warehoused stock of the Withers Gem and Mining Company who shared the building. No estimate of the damage was given but the strong building itself suffered little damage and would survive until demolished for one of the many the widening projects of interstate 75-85. BLUE RIBBON HATCHERY FIRE Thursday, 13 May 1943 at 00:30 AM Quite a gap was made in the fried chicken supply of birds in Atlanta when a fast moving fire destroyed the three-story factory of the Blue Ribbon Hatchery at 215 Forsyth Street SW. The incident would kill over 50,000 baby chickens and destroy 350,000 eggs and the valuable incubators and brooder equipment. Company 5 was returning from a false alarm run to their quarters at Trinity and Springs Streets SW roughly a block away when a passerby ran into the firehouse and reported the fire. Before Engine and Ladder 5 could notify the Signal Office and turn out, Box 77 at the corner of Whitehall Street SW (now Peachtree Street SW) and Garnett Street SW tapped in. Gamewell boxes tap in the box number three times and before the final set of 77’s tapped in, Second Battalion Chief H. G. Pierce had transmitted both a Second and Third Alarm by radio with almost all of the three alarms worth of equipment hitting the streets at the same time. This became known as one of the fastest calls for help on record. Chief Pierce and Company 5 arrived and defensive operations began immediately. Flames were showing from all windows on the Forsyth Street side and it took well over an hour to get the massive flame front darkened down. The cause was never determined and the loss set at $65,000. There is a small one-story building occupied by the Quick Pick Grocery on this lot in 2012. Although there is little evidence in 2012, this area of the southwestern central business district at one time housed several chicken hatchery operations. In addition to Blue Ribbon, these included the Schaffner Poultry Farm & Hatchery at 229 Peters Street SW and Southeastern Hatcheries, 139 Forsyth Street SW. THE DOLLY DIMPLE PLANT FIRE Thursday, 8 July 1943 (no time recorded) Alarm Box 313 (Stewart Ave SW & Whitehall Street SW) A flash fire spread with explosive force and speed across the second floor of the Dolly Dimple plant located at 489 Stewart Avenue SW, (now Metropolitan Parkway) and a passerby hooked the box rolling Engines 6, 5, 1 Ladders 5, and the 2nd Battalion. Upon arrival, with the second floor totally involved in fire, a second alarm was immediately struck. The fire was so intense that the radiant heat burned through one hose line in the street and in a matter or minutes the roof of the building collapsed into the inferno causing Chief Styron to immediately call a third alarm. The entire second floor of the two-story, brick walled building was gutted and the offices and warehouse areas on the first floor were severely damaged. Captain Marshall Dooly of Ladder 17 was treated at Grady Hospital for a dislocated shoulder.

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Loss was listed as $25,000 and the cause of the fire was attributed to employees cooking a solution on a seldom used burner at the rear of the company’s laboratory area. THE BOOKER T. WASHINGTON JUNIOR HIGH SCHOOL FIRE Friday, 12 November 1943 at roughly 15:00 PM This fire destroyed five wood frame “portable” buildings containing 12 classrooms which were being used for Junior High School classes. These were located in the rear of the four-story, 1924 vintage Booker T. Washington High School at 45 Whitehouse Drive SW, a structure still in use in 2012. The rapidly spreading fire was discovered shortly after students were dismissed for the day and the weekend. Many of the students were on the nearby athletic fields watching a football game when the fire call came in. Engines 7, 17, Ladder 1 and Second Battalion, Chief H. G. Pierce arrived to find fire threatening the masonry high school structure causing the Chief to strike a second and third alarm simultaneously. The fire had made good headway and the lack of hydrants in the rear of the school necessitated long hose lays to plugs on the adjacent streets. Once a reliable water source was obtained the fire darkened down quickly on what was left of the wood frame classroom buildings. Fire had also gotten into the wood frame cafeteria which served both schools and many windows were broken from radiant heat in the big four-story main building. Designed by Atlanta-born architect Eugene C. Wachendorff, the Washington High School building incorporates medieval and Byzantine elements, including the dramatic main entrance with five arches in two tiers. Six additions have been made to the original 1924 four-story building. The building is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. The High School Educational Complex was named for the famous educator, Booker T. Washington, one of the foremost Black educators of the late nineteenth century and early twentieth century, Booker T. Washington was born into slavery in 1856 on a small farm in Virginia. He went on to found the Tuskegee Institute in Tuskegee Alabama in 1881. Booker T. Washington High School opened in September 1924 under the auspices of the Atlanta Board of Education, with the late Charles Lincoln Harper, for whom Harper High Schools is named), as principal. It was the first public high school for African-Americans in the State of Georgia and the Atlanta School System. Washington High School continues to serve as a beacon in history and now has been transformed into four small schools: Booker T. Washington High School of: • Health Science and Nutrition (Dr. Sam Scavella, Principal) • Banking, Finance, and Investment (Dr. Charcia Nichols, Principal) • Early College (Dr. Vanessa Nason, Principal) • Senior Academy (Ms. Tiauna Crooms, Principal) The cause of the fire was determined to be incendiary. Investigators felt this fire was connected to fires which had been set in two places in these buildings the week before on Friday, 5 November 1943 at roughly the same time. Those fires had been quickly extinguished before doing significant damage. This incident caused over $50,000 in damage and students had to be moved to other educational facilities.

THE PEACOCK ALLEY RESTAURANT FIRE Thursday, 2 March 1944 at 05:04 AM Fire was discovered in this famous Atlanta landmark at 5 AM. Located at Peachtree and Springs Streets NW, the fire had originated in the basement of the building and quickly spread to engulf the entire wood frame structure. Two alarms were quickly struck with five hand lines stretched and operated to bring the fire under control. Following fire fast fire only a section of the front wall remained standing. Fortunately there were no exposures close and this prevented the fire from spreading. The cause was never determined and the loss estimate was $75,000. THE GREYHOUND FIRE AT LAKEWOOD FAIR GROUNDS Sunday, 28 May 1944 at 02:12 AM A fire originated in the “engine room” of the famous Greyhound roller coaster a historic riding device in the Lakewood Amusement Park. Many old time Atlanta residents knew which of the rides at the annual “Southeastern Fair” were permanent rides and which were ones brought in just for the fall event. This fire consumed a large portion of the 1916 vintage concession and the drive mechanism for the roller coaster. The fire was discovered by Willie Morris, the night watchman for the park while making his 02:00 AM rounds. He smelled smoke and spent some time tracing it to the tunnel beneath the Greyhound. Mr. Morris stated as he entered the tunnel he heard an explosion, felt by fire department officials to have been the fuel tank in the engine room lighting up. Mr. and Mrs. Oscar Mills, the veteran concessionaires, were asleep in their small apartment beneath the ride and barely escaped before the structure caved in. They were awakened by Mr. Morris and got out in their night clothes. All three did suffer some burn injuries in their dash to safety. The telephone alarm was answered by Engines 2 and 9, Ladder 5, and the Second Battalion. With the flames fanned by high winds, two more alarms were called in rapid succession. The fire did jump the midway and involved the “Old Mill Building” a structure which itself had suffered fire damage in 1939. With the fire continuing to grow, and now in multiple buildings, a fourth and fifth alarm were struck. Due to the intensity of the fire and lack or hydrants in the Fairgrounds, getting an adequate water supply to the fire was severely delayed which led to the destruction of the three buildings. The “Whip” and the “Merry-go-Round” were saved and likely ridden by many native Atlantans until the fairs stopped being held in 1967. The loss was estimated to be $100,000. THE WALKER ELECTRIC COMPANY FIRE Monday, 29 January 1945 at 20:30 PM This plant was located at 1590 Northside Drive NW near Holmes Street and the Seaboard Airline Railroad overpass. At the time, this address was outside of the city limits. The building consisted of three connected corrugated iron structures running along Northside Drive for 130 feet with a depth of 175 feet. For several years previous to the fire, this company was under contract to manufacture war materials. The fire originated in the paint and lacquer department and caused several strong explosions which shook the plant building and blew out numerous windows in the Berkley Park and Loring Heights

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neighborhoods. The alarm was struck at 20:30 bringing in Fulton County Engine 21 from Buckhead. Once they arrived after their long run they immediately requested mutual aid from the City of Atlanta FD. AFD sent seven pieces of equipment manned by 75 firefighters to the scene under the command of Battalion Chief W.A. Fain. All 100 employees working the night shift escaped without injury, however Firefighter J.T. Mayfield from Company No. 16 sustained a painful shoulder injury when a section of hose burst and hit him. Cause of the fire was not released until agents of the Federal Bureau of Investigation and Army intelligence could review the scene since they were making ordnance, (military materiel, such as weapons, ammunition, combat vehicles, and equipment), for the Army and Navy. The loss was estimated to be $200,000. THE WILLIAM M. McKENZIE BUILDING FIRE (CHAPTER 3) Thursday, 8 March 1945 at 23:15 PM The McKenzie Building technically was numbered 122-124 Peachtree Street NW and 85-89 Forsyth Street NW extending all the way through the block structure along the south side of Williams Street. The 1968 vintage Equitable Building sits on the site of the McKenzie Building and the site of the former Piedmont Hotel in 2012. This building was a three-story brick walled wood joisted structure, so it was built to burn and once on fire, flames spread quickly. The incident quickly rose to a three alarm fire with 11 hose streams stretched and operated. The fire menaced the adjoining Piedmont Hotel and the Ansley Hotel across Forsyth Street NW. Several windows were broken in the Piedmont Coffee Shop, and in the Rhodes-Haverty Building, a structure which had replaced the old 2-story mercantile stores across Williams Street NW to the north. Firefighters quickly threw up water curtains to protect the big hotel and hose lines were taken into that building to guard against extension of the fire through windows of the hotel. The second and third floors of the McKenzie Building were vacant at the time of this fire. On the ground level the Nora Smith’s Dress Shop was destroyed by fire and water as was the Piedmont Hatters, the United Cigar Store, the Krystal Hamburger Shop, the McIntyre’s Market and Tanner’s Restaurant were also severely damaged. The McKenzie Building was originally built by William M. McKenzie, a native of Macon County, Georgia, who had moved to Cobb County at age 21. By 1908, he was living in Atlanta and was president of the Marietta Guano Co. and the Atlanta Oil and Fertilizer Co. The McKenzie Trust, a family-held corporation, was formed in 1912. Among its holdings was the land that would become the Peachtree Highlands neighborhood in Buckhead. He had developed this property as well as the McKenzie Building at Peachtree and Williams Streets NW. By 1945 the building was owned by Asa G. Candler of Coca-Cola fame. Sundays in February became a bad day and month for this building. Originally erected in 1881 this tough old structure had suffered almost the same identical fire back on Sunday, 22 February 1914 and again fell victim of fire on Sunday, 15 February 1922. The 1945 event would again destroy the second and third floors where the fire originated in an area that formerly had been used as the armory of 150

the old Georgia State Guard. Cause of the fire was attributed to a defective exhaust fan. The loss was estimated at about $100,000. Again crews rebuilt the building and it remained in use in downtown Atlanta until finally torn down in the early 1970’s. THE LaSALLE APARTMENTS FIRE Tuesday, 15 November 1945 The LaSalle Apartments were located at 807 Piedmont Avenue NE, near 6th Street NE in Midtown. This was a three-story brick structure with masonry walls and wooden floors and a gabled roof. The building also had a terrace apartment. The building contained 20 units and 16 families were left homeless. This was a four-alarm fire with nine hose streams stretched and operated. The building was extensively damaged with a loss of $28,000. Cause of the fire was from a defective fuse-box in the basement. A two-story shotgun type apartment building is at this location today. THE JACOB J. ROSENTHAL COMPANY FIRE Thursday, 20 December 1945 at 04:15 AM Jacob J. Rosenthal & Company ran a metal fabrication operation on Trinity Avenue SW, between Forsyth and Spring Streets SW. The fivealarm fire was in a two-story brick masonry walled structure which had wood floors and a flat wood roof. The large building was subdivided into several occupancies. Twelve engine and six ladder trucks saw action here. Crews placed 12 hose lines in operation to bring the fire under control in frigid weather with the temperature well below freezing. The fire damaged the second floor metal shop over the Etowah Cabinet Shop and a restaurant on the corner. Cause of the fire was undetermined. The loss was $26,000. THE TALLUAH APARTMENT FIRE Wednesday, 2 January 1946 at 08:55 AM The Tallulah Apartment was located at 255 Washington Street SW near Mitchell Street. Nine engines and six ladder trucks were operating at this four-alarm fire, under the command of Battalion Chief H.G. Pierce and First Assistant Chief W.B. Banning. Nine hose lines were used on the four-story brick wall wood joisted floored building. The origin of the fire was narrowed to an old dumbwaiter shaft which residents were using as a garbage chute. The fire raced up this wood walled shaft to involve the cockloft and the two top floors in a matter of minutes. The fire made over a hundred residents homeless. Firefighter Joe Allen, of Company No .4, was severely cut on the right and by falling glass. All of the aerial ladder trucks of the department were brought into play and shortly before noon the fire was brought under control. Following the rebuild, and later in the life of the structure, it was used as a Churches Home for Girls. Cause of the fire was undetermined but likely due to some burning materials being tossed down the dumbwaiter shaft with garbage. The loss was $56,000. THE GATE CITY GUARD BUILDING FIRE Tuesday, 15 January 1946 The Gate City Guard Building occupied a two-story building at 70 - 72 Houston Street NE just west of Courtland Street in downtown Atlanta. In addition to housing the Gate City Guard, the brick, ordinary-joisted structure was also home to the Chapman Auto Service Company, Modern Neon Sign Company and the Sign Craft

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Company, on the first floor. The second floor had been furnished and was being used by Alcoholics Anonymous. Fire would grow rapidly, escalating to a four-alarm fire with nine engines and five ladder trucks at the scene. Eleven hose streams were used to bring the fire under control. Firefighter L.R. Duke, of Engine No. 6, was temporary overcome by smoke but was revived and returned to duty, only to be sent to Grady Hospital later with an injured hand. Origin of the fire was somewhere on the second floor from some undisclosed source. Loss was $20,000. THE KILGORE MANUFACTURING COMPANY FIRE Wednesday, 16 January 1946 Kilgore was basically a wood worker and manufactured the famous “Bolo Paddles”. These were a wooden paddle and had a red rubber ball, on a rubber string attached, to the paddle. The object was to hit the ball with the paddle as it sprang back on the rubber string and to keep it going; sort of like a one person ping-pong game. This plant was a one-story brick structure at 780 Ponce de Leon Place NE. The plant was completely burned out and the flames spread to the adjoining Mueller Brass Company at 784 Ponce de Leon Place NE and into the Plumbing & Heating Supply Corporation building at 784 Ponce de Leon Place NE. The building was 150 feet along Ponce de Leon Place, with the tracks of the Southern Railway at the rear, and measured 75 feet deep. The fire resulted in the response of eight engines and four ladder trucks on four alarms and required over three hours to bring the flames under control. Those lines were used. Companies were under the command of Battalion Chief P.S. Fleming and First Assistant Chief W.B. Fanning. Cause of the fire was from carelessness with a match. Loss was $75,000. The Highland View Apartment complex is located on this site in 2012. THE DIXIE RUBBER PRODUCTS COMPANY FIRE Monday, 25 February 1946 at 16:30 PM The scene of this fire was along the railroad between Foundry Street NW and Magnolia Streets, just north of the Magnolia Street viaduct, in the plant of the Dixie Rubber Products Company located at 145 Hulsey Street, SW in the Lightning Community. The fire originated from an explosion among barrels of rubber cement and in a short period of time, the fire had gained considerable headway in the four-story brick building which was owned by the Continental Gin Company. They leased a portion of the first floor to the rubber company for reclamation of scrap rubber. The gin company operated repair shops in the warehouse and had quite a large amount of heavy equipment stored on the upper floors. The fire continued to spread at a terrific pace along a concrete loading platform where large quantities of old automobile tires awaiting rubber reclamation were stored. The fire then spread into a pile of roughly one-million tires stored in the adjoining yard. As these became involved, a massive column of dense black smoke filled the sky. The dense smoke also spread across an estimated 50,000 spectators who jammed the Magnolia Street and Spring Street viaducts to view the

big blaze. The fire fighters on nine alarms with 20 engines and four ladder trucks employed 28 fire streams in an effort to bring the flames under control. Six firefighters were slightly injured in the fight. They were; R.T. Pierce, R.L. Ellington, C.T. Ragsdale, H.G. Pierce, J.W. Flynn and H.W. Knight. The fire was prevented from extending to the main plant buildings of the Continental Gin Company by the concentrated efforts of the firefighters. All railroad traffic along the tracks of the Southern Railway and the Louisville & Nashville Railroad were delayed for several hours, and it was not before 19:30 PM that trains were allowed to use the tracks adjacent to the burning property. The cause of the big fire was undetermined and the loss was set at $400,000. Hulsey Street NW no longer exists and the site is beneath the Georgia World Congress Center complex today. THE FARM EQUIPMENT & EXCHANGE COMPANY Wednesday, 27 March 1946 at 03:00 AM The Farm Equipment & Exchange Company had a large facility at 970 Marietta Street NW just south of the intersection of Howell Mill Road NW. The fire was in full control of the one-story brick structure on the arrival of Engines 3 and 16, Ladder 16, and Battalion Chief W.A. Fain. Due to the time of day it had made lots of headway before discovery and had spread to involve the Dutton & Kitchens Machine Works at 972-976 Marietta Street. Chief Fain immediately sent in a combined second and third alarm bringing in four more engines and two more trucks. Chief Styron responded on the help call and he transmitted a fourth and fifth alarm simultaneously on his arrival bringing four more engines and two more trucks to the scene, along with the department’s mobile light unit. The fire by now had communicated to the W.V. Hurt Furniture Company building, at 980 Marietta Street NW, and the Southern States Chemical Company, located to the rear of the farm equipment and implement building. Several women and children in the upstairs apartment at 976½ Marietta Street NW, narrowly escaped the flames as the fire spread to that building, They managed to reach safety just as the outside wooden stairs caught fire which would have cut off their means of egress. The ten engines companies used a total of 14 hose streams to bring the fire under control. Cause of the fire was not known. The loss was set at near $100,000. THE WINECOFF HOTEL FIRE Saturday, 7 December 1946 at 03:42 AM The hotel was situated at the southwest corner of Peachtree Street and Ellis Street NW on the highest eminence of downtown Atlanta. It had been built in 1913 by the William A. Fuller Company of New York. The architect was W.L. Stoddard, also of New York. The cost at the time it was built was in the excess of $350,000 and at the time of the fire it had an estimated value of from $750,000 to $1,000,000. The structure occupied a plot 63 feet by 70 feet at grade, with the

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main entrance and marquee on Peachtree Street. It was 15 stories (about 155 feet) with a full basement and a small sub-basement. The floors were numbered from one to 16 but, as is the case in many hotels, there was no “13th Floor”, it had been omitted from the numbering system out of deference to the superstition. The top floor was known as the 16th. The construction classified at the time as “fireproof ” included a protected steel frame with the roof and floors of concrete on tile filler between protected steel beams and girders. Dividing walls between rooms were of hollow terra-cotta clay tile, plastered on both sides. Exterior walls were 12 inch brick panel type. The elevator shafts were enclosed in tile with openings on each floor protected by metal doors and wired glass panels. The interior stairway was not enclosed, a fact that may have been the primary factor in the spread of the fire. The stairway rose going around and around the elevator shafts to the roof penthouse. The fire was believed to have originated on the third floor from an undetermined cause, and there was quite a bit of confusion over the discovery and the delay in transmitting the alarm. The rapid extension of the fire vertically was mystifying to all the fire experts who conducted the probe and who still express wonderment over the speed with which the fire spread. It may have been the wall coverings which were freshly painted burlap becoming involved and creating combustible gases, significantly increasing the intensity of the flames as they traveled upward through the open stair shaft. Guests simultaneously throwing open their windows upon the arrival of the first fire companies created the necessary draft to speed up the combustion of the flammable gases and rapidly pull the fire upward in the building. In any event the heat reached a high degree of intensity which may have been in excess of 1500 degrees as it melted light bulbs, fused electric ceiling fans, twisted metal doors, and cracked porcelain bowls. The fire department responded on a telephone alarm which was sounded at 3:42 AM under the command of Second Assistant Chief F.J. Bowen and Chief of Department C.C. Styron, Sr. Seeing the extent of the fire, immediate rescue operations were begun and fire extinguishing was started on the interior of the building by way of the stairs, but the flames were roaring up the stairway and stayed ahead of the hose crews. Additional alarms were snapped in rapidly and the final one was the general-alarm which brought out the entire fire department and all members of the off-duty platoon. The fire departments of the entire metropolitan area of Atlanta soon mobilized at the scene. The fire fighters were quick to bring into operation all of the aerial 152

ladders of the department and every life net was employed to catch jumping guests. Guests were endeavoring to escape the searing flames by improvising escapes with knotted bed sheets and other bed clothes but many jumped to their deaths. One struck Firefighter A.J. Burnham, injuring him critically. Several of the life nets were demolished after the initial impact of the bodies. Ladder bridges were erected between the burning structure and the adjacent Mortgage Guarantee Building, a trick they had learned and used at the February 1942 fire in this same building. Of the several hundreds of guests and employees in the building, 119 were killed and over 100 injured. Mr. William Fleming Winecoff, builder and original owner, and his wife Grace, had lived in the hotel’s Penthouse for 31 years. They lost their lives in his rooms of the hotel that bore their name. Another interesting tidbit is that Eleanor Winecoff, granddaughter of William and Grace died on 5 December 2012 as this book goes to press. The fire department used a total of 33 fire streams from surrounding buildings, aerial ladder pipes and deluge sets. Penetration of many of these streams was limited due to the extreme vertical angle necessary from the narrow streets and towering heights. Eight out-of-town engines operated at the fire and three filled in at Atlanta Stations Nos. 1, 5 and 8. The total number of engines at the fire was 32; aerial ladder trucks, five; city service ladder trucks, six; a salvage-rescue truck and the floodlight truck. The total number of pieces of equipment operating at the fire was 49. Departments from out-of-town which responded on the urgent request were Fort McPherson, East Point, College Park, Decatur, Avondale, Druid Hills, Hapeville, Marietta, the Naval Air Base, and Conley Motor Base. Chief Officers in command were Chief of Department C.C. Styron, Sr.; First Assistant Chief W.B. Fanning; Second Assistant Chief E.J. Bowen; Battalion Chiefs W.A. Fain; C.D. Reed; H.G. Pierce and J.G. Webb. Chronology of the alarms transmitted was as follows: 03:42 Telephone Alarm - Engines 8-4-1-3; Ladders 8-4-1; Rescue; Light Truck; Chiefs Styron and Bowen 03:44 Second Alarm: Engines 5-6-11-15; Ladders 5-11-21 03:49 Third Alarm: Engines 9-12; Ladders 7-12 04:02 General Alarm - remainder of department: Engines 2-710-13-14-16-17-18-19-20-21-22-X21, Ladders 10-16-19; Battalion Chiefs Fain and Webb A detailed book was written about this event, The Winecoff Fire: The Untold Story of America’s Deadliest Hotel Fire, by Sam Heys and Allen B. Goodwin. They also maintain an in-depth web site: www.winecoff.org THE REED’S SQUARE DEAL DRUGSTORE FIRE Sunday, 29 December 1946 at 00:02 AM The building involved was a three-story brick structure located at 10 Broad Street NW. It had been erected in 1882 but at the time of this fire only a few offices on the upper floors were occupied. The first arriving fire companies found fire burning in the basement and several crews attempted to gain access to this area with hose lines. Crews were quickly overcome by concentrated carbon monoxide gas

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and others were pressed in to take their places but they too, were overcome.

W.A. Fain and Acting Battalion Chief C.W. Poole, employed 16 fire streams to bring the fire under control. Fourteen engines and seven ladder trucks were at the scene under the command of First Assistant Chief F.J. Bowen and Second Assistant Chief J.W. Carpenter. Eleven firefighters were injured and overcome by the smoke. They were Claude E. King, Boyce E. Thomas, James N. Brown, James S. Pergantis, John R. Smith, Collins H. Hildebrand, V.H. Stanfield, A.R. Valentine, E.C. Roberts, L.R. Duke, and J.P. Buchanan. Cause of the fire was not known. The loss was $200,000. THE HUDSON & VITTUR TRANSFER COMPANY FIRE Wednesday, 26 October 1949 at 16:40 PM

Chief F.J. Bowen hurriedly began calling for help until a total of 12 engines and six ladder trucks had responded on the five alarms sounded. The firefighters were still being affected by the fumes and at one time, 27 men were lined up in a seated position all the way from the fire building to Marietta Street; and ambulances with screaming sirens sped from the scene to Grady Hospital and back in a steady stream reminiscent of the recent Winecoff fire. All of the inhalators and resuscitators of the department were pressed in service to administer oxygen to the affected men. The basement was abandoned and efforts were made to fight the fire by cutting holes in the floor and directing cellar pipes on the flames below. As the floor began to sag, all operations were moved to the outside and the old Joyner Pipe was brought to the scene to flood the structure. In playing this heavy stream, the rear wall of the building collapsed and fell out into an alleyway behind the Atlanta Journal building. In all, 19 fire streams were operated into the structure before it could be brought under control. Cause of the fire was not known and damage to the fire building and adjacent structures was set at $60,000. THE PEASLEE-GAULBERT FIRE Thursday, 11 September 1947 at 18:47 PM The building involved was located at 434 Marietta Street NW It was a five-story fire resistant structure and contained a large inventory of valuable hotel and restaurant supplies. These included thousands of rugs and carpeting, furniture, kitchen equipment, alcohol, paints, sulphur and other chemicals. The warehouse was also occupied by the Wright Company, a distribution subsidiary of a big equipment company. The also housed and were distributors for the Admiral Refrigerator & Radio Corporation. The building faced Marietta Street with the rear on the Seaboard Air Line Railroad tracks. It was owned by the H.G. Hastings Company and still bears the signage of the seed company in 2012. The fire originated somewhere on the ground floor on the railroad level and the firefighters succeeded in confining the fire to that section; but dense smoke traveled up the stairway and elevator shaft and mushroomed on all of the upper floors, giving the appearance that all of the upper floors were involved. Firefighters, operating on seven alarms sent in by Battalion Chief

The building involved was a four-story brick structure and was located at 227 Walton Street, NW, at the intersection of Marietta Street. It was being used for furniture storage. The fire had originated when Clyde Hardin, a truck mechanic, was repairing the gasoline tank on one of the company’s trucks parked on the ground floor. He was not using electrical equipment designed for a flammable vapor environment. When an electric bulb was accidentally shattered it immediately ignited the gasoline vapor on the floor. Vapor flashed into a large fire ball and the resulting flames on the flowing liquid gasoline quickly spread to the structural members of the building. The mechanic barely had time to escape the building, spreading the alarm as he fled. The fire resulted in five alarms being struck when it was feared that the flames might spread to the three-story Southern College of Pharmacy next door, at 223 Walton Street. Twenty-two fire streams were used on the blaze, but they were unable to prevent the structure from being totally burned out. At daybreak on Thursday,14 hours later, the fire was declared under control. The incident resulted in a Line of Duty Death when Firefighter Arthur Lee Almand, age 43, of Ladder 8, was electrocuted when the aerial ladder of No. 8 came in contact with trolley wires. Firefighter Almand stepped from the running board to the ground while touching the metal of the truck. This instantly grounded the heavy current through his body, killing him instantly. Almand had come on the department in 1942. Firefighter Joseph C. Whitley, Engine 1 and Captain Luther Waits Guthrie, Engine 9, were slightly injured. The building was owned by Van C. Sewell and was about 40 years old. The loss was $75,000. THE MASONIC TEMPLE FIRE Thursday, 7 September 1950 at 13:50 PM The huge lodge building was located at the northwest corner of Peachtree Street NW and Cain Street NW (now Andrew Young International Boulevard). It was a six-story granite structure with a basement; of ordinary joist construction on unprotected steel girders. The cornice was non-combustible masonry. The building was not equipped with automatic fire sprinklers. The temple portion housed 15 various Masonic lodges. The stairways were of wood construction, enclosed with wood lath and plaster. The elevator was also enclosed with wood lath and plaster. There were three outside fire escapes, one on Cain Street and two at the rear. The upper portion of the structure was partitioned off with small rooms connecting a large area auditorium with balconies. Byck’s Shoe Company and Joseph’s Dress Shop occupied the ground floor on Peachtree Street. The Atlanta Temple Company owned the building. It had been erected in

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1908 and was dedicated 22 February 1909. The fire had originated at the rear of the sixth floor behind an organ in some stage equipment. It was believed to have been caused by careless “hot work� from an acetylene welding torch being used by some workmen. Thirteen engines brought to bear 36 fire streams on the doomed building. The hose appliances included numerous hand lines, nine Grant Multiversal pipes, two ladder pipes, and eight streams of water from the standpipe system of the Henry Grady Hotel across the street. The building was completely gutted and sustained a loss of $345,000.

The fire had been burning for some time and was not visible upon the arrival of the first fire units. Once forcible entry was made they found the interior a mass of flames. Second Assistant Chief Morris H. Dean was directing fire streams at an opening which had been made in a wall when a section of the roof fell in. The collapsing roof forced one of the thick, brick, gable walls to fall outward burying the hose crew under tons of brick. Chief Dean was killed and the following were injured, some seriously.

The sequence of alarms transmitted was as follows: 13:50 Telephone Alarm Engines 8-4-1-3-6, Ladders 8-4-1, Rescue, Acting 2nd Assistant Chief W.A. Fain, Acting First Assistant Chief M.H. Dean 13:55 Second Alarm: Engines 5-11; Ladder 11 14:00 Third Alarm: Engines 16-9 14:07 Fourth Alarm: Engines 7-15; Acting Chief of Department J.W. Carpenter 13:22 Fifth Alarm: Engines 23-10; Ladders 23-5

Cause of fire was undetermined. The loss was $400,000.

THE SEABOARD AIR LINE DEPOT FIRE Monday, 9 February 1953 at 19:18 PM The building involved was numbered 50 Spring Street NW, although it was situated beneath the bridge at ground level with a stairway to the offices from the viaduct. It was owned by the Seaboard Air Line Railway which leased the involved section to the Acme Fast Freight, Inc. The structure had been erected in 1897 before the Spring Street Viaduct was constructed. The building and the fire were almost an exact duplicate of the one involving the eastern end of the same structure occupied by the Standard Feed Milling Company that was lost to fire on 16 March 1940. 154

Captain Luther Waits Guthrie, Engine 9, a fractured back, injuries to left ankle and foot, crushed knee, multiple fractures and severe internal injuries. Guthrie rose to Department Chief and died on 18 September 1960 after being ill for several months Firefighter J.E. Moore, Engine 9; skull fracture, lacerations to face, back injury and a broken ankle. Firefighter B.W. Sockwell, Engine 9; lacerations to head, injuries to left arm and hip. Firefighter W.D. Findley, Engine 9; injuries to lower back. Lieutenant M.L. Grubbs, Engine 16; fractured collar bone, lacerations of face, possible internal injuries. Firefighter J.M. Barnwell, Engine 16; lacerations to face and skull fracture. Firefighter Y.K. Hughes, Engine 16; fracture of right arm, laceration of left eye, and possible internal injuries. Firefighter O.M. Carr, Engine 16; abrasions to neck, arm, legs and back. Firefighter K.G. Davis, Engine 8; back and left arm injuries. Firefighter L.G. Hood, Engine 8; injury to right knee, laceration of thumb and palm of left hand. Firefighter R.E. Byrd, Engine 8; injured back. Firefighter J.P. Garrett, Engine 25; a fractured left arm.

The alarm response was as follows: 19:18 Telephone Alarm: Engines 8-3-1-5-4; Ladders 8-1-4; Rescue, Light Truck, Assistant Chief M.H. Dean 19:19 Second Alarm: Engines 16-9; Ladder 5; Department Chief C.C. Styron 19:24 Third Alarm: Engines 7-11; Ladder 7; Battalion Chief W.A. Fain 19:37 Fourth Alarm: Engines 23-17; Ladder 17 19:38 Fifth Alarm: Engines 6-10 19:39 Sixth Alarm: Engines 14-12 19:40 Seventh Alarm: Engines 15-25

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THE BASKETTE PIANO COMPANY FIRE Thursday, 25 March 1954 at 00:02 AM

SW and was occupied by the New York Stock House, Inc., the Leslie Steele Company, and the M. Kutz Company.

This building was a five-story brick structure at 50-56 Pryor Street, NE. The fire was first noted when a terrific explosion blew out the walls above the second floor into Pryor Street and the flames engulfed the entire structure simultaneously. The building was directly across the street from Fire Station 4. The cascading brick and mortar and other debris fell outward covering the street and blocked that company’s response for some time. The fire raged through the wrecked structure and required the response of 13 engines and seven ladder trucks on five alarms, using 39 fire streams to control the fire including one being pumped from the ramp of Station 4 by the engine sitting inside the fire station. The streams of water were played on the fire from all four sides. Fire Chief C.C. Styron, Sr. and Assistant Chief H.G. Pierce directed the firefighting operations and equipment was kept at the scene until late in the day. The structure had been built in 1913 for the offices of the Southeastern Express Company. At the time of the fire it was occupied by the Baskette Piano Company, the Atlanta Book Store and the publishing firms of D.C. Heath & Company and Scott Foresman & Company. The building was owned by Ivan Allen, Sr. and Ivan Allen, Jr. The explosion had been caused by ignition of the gases of combustion from a smoldering fire, the cause of which was not disclosed. The loss was $200,000. THE M. KUTZ BUILDING FIRE Wednesday, 30 November 1955 at 00:24 AM The other end of Pryor Street was the scene of the next major fire to hit the city. The M. Kurtz Building was a five-story brick loft structure, wood joist-constructed and located at 149-151 Pryor Street

The first alarm was sent in at 12:24 AM and before the fire could be controlled, four additional alarms had been sounded. Thirteen companies employed 21 fire streams to bring about control. Pryor Street, in front of the burning building, was covered with a maze of fire hose running in every direction as the firefighters trained high pressure deluge sets and ladder pipe streams into the windows of the burning building from all four sides. As more and more water was directed into the building, the spray began to freeze on everything that it touched. Icicles, some of them more than two feet in length, hung in long rows in fantastic patterns along the sides of the fire apparatus and from utility wires. Sheets of ice, several inches thick, formed over the apparatus and on several ladders erected about the building. No. 1’s aerial ladder, operating its ladder pipe from directly in front of the building, was still iced-in at 10:30 the following morning. Newspaper photos show the firefighters chipping away the ice with the handles of hooks and axes before it could be driven back to the fire station. Ice also formed on the firefighter’s helmets and coats and hindered their movements around the fire area. The firefighting operations were directed by Chief of Department C.C. Styron, Sr. and Acting Assistant Chief E.W. Poole. Captain Claude E. Lemke of Ladder 5 was cut on his left hand by glass blown out of a door by the force of a backdraft. Lieutenant William E. Turner from Engine 4, slipped on the ice and injured his groin. Lieutenant Roy Parker the department Fire Investigator had arrived early to begin his investigation as to the cause of the blaze and received a severe cut on his hand from a piece of glass. Cause of the fire was not determined. The loss was $250,000.

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THE BENTEEN SCHOOL FIRE Wednesday, 25 January 1956

turn their stream of water on the apparatus to extinguish it.

The Benteen Elementary School, located at 200 Casanova Street SE, was destroyed by fire on a cold Wednesday, afternoon. Fifth Battalion companies found a well advanced fire on arrival and in spite of a fierce battle the building was destroyed with a loss estimated at $300,000. The blaze raged for four hours, late that Wednesday night, and early Thursday morning. The school was composed of nine classrooms, library, auditorium and cafeteria. The heating plant was in the basement of the one-story structure. Five firefighters were slightly injured in battling the blaze, cause of which was never determined. Apparently the only things saved from the Benteen building were a record player and similar small items. Benteen School had been built by the Fulton County Board of Education and had been annexed to Atlanta under the 1951 Plan of Improvement. The school served 248 students. Retired Army Colonel F. W. Benteen of 630 Casanova St., SE, gave Fulton County 400 acres for the school in the early 1920s. The property originally belonged to the colonel’s father, Brigadier General Frederick William Benteen. The general served with the Union forces during the War Between the States, at one time commanding the forces which captured his own father, Confederate Navy Lieutenant Charles Theodore Benteen. The 250 students were immediately put on double session at nearby Guice Elementary School and never missed a day of classes. A new 16-room school was built on the site of the destroyed structure. There is no mention of the disposition of the remainder of the 400 acres but it is assumed some became Benteen Park and some sold by Fulton County. THE ATLAS FEED MILLS FIRE Sunday, 5 March 1956 at 14:15 PM A fire burning in a feed bin at the long rambling plant of the Atlas Feed Mills, located at 285 Mayson Avenue, NE., was discovered at 2:15 in the afternoon by the watchman while making his rounds. He immediately sent in an alarm and then began moving all of the trucks from the building. In less than five minutes the fire had spread to the side walls and roof of the frame structure; and before the first companies arrived, a section of the roof had collapsed. Engines 12, 18 and Ladder 12, answered the first call under the direction of Acting Battalion Chief H.G. Gamel of the First Battalion. Chief Gamel ordered a second alarm upon his arrival. Two more engines and a ladder company arrived along with Fire Chief C.C. Styron, Sr. The Department Chief quickly transmitted a third, fourth, and fifth alarms in rapid succession when it appeared that the flames might spread to the office of the plant and the building housing the C & H Air Conditioning & Fan Company, adjacent to and on either side of the burning mill. Captain J.L. Adams, Ladder 12, moved into the 360 foot structure with a crew of men. They were operating a hose line when a section of the roof caved in causing a surge of flames and smoke toward them. The crew barely made it to safety. Engine 12 had been driven down one of the plant’s driveways and parked at the rear of the mill. When this section began to burn, the engineer was unable to drive it out to safety and the flames fanned out to engulf the machine, badly damaging it. The hose crew had to 156

Firefighter Woodward W. Almand, No. 12, had to undergo treatment at Grady Hospital for an injury to his foot when he stepped on an exposed nail. Several other men were treated at the scene for smoke inhalation and blistered faces. The ten engine companies employed 14 fire streams on the blazing plant to bring about control of the fire. The cause was listed as careless “hot work” and sparks from a welder’s torch was believed to have been the ignition point of the fire as workmen had been welding a new feed bin in the building when the fire occurred. The loss to the plant was $185,000. THE CAROLINA LUMBER COMPANY FIRE Friday, 23 March 1957 at 23:29 PM This building was a one-story structure located on the east side of Moore Street SE, between Decatur Street SE, the Georgia Railroad, and extended through to Bell Street SE. Upon the arrival of the first fire units under the command of Acting Assistant Chief S.B. Campbell, only the front section was burning but fire was beginning to spread toward Bell Street. At the time of this fire other units of the fire department were just completing operations at a four-alarm fire that had initially come in at 23:29 in the stockyards on Brady Avenue NW. That fire had been declared under control at 03:40 AM. As the flames began to progress through the building housing the lumber company, fire alarms were struck in rapid succession until a total of six had been sounded along with four special alarms. Firefighters brought 20 fire streams to bear on the slowly advancing flames in an effort to halt its march through the long, low building, but were unable to prevent the entire structure from being consumed. The entire structure was wrecked but the flames were not allowed to communicate to exposures. Cause of the fire was not determined. The loss was $175,000. The order in which multiple alarms were sounded for both the stockyards fire and the lumber company fire was as follows: 23:29 (22 March 1957) Telephone Alarm, (Stockyard/Brady Avenue) Engine 16-23, Ladder 16, Acting Third Battalion Chief Oscar Morrison 23:36 Second Alarm: Engines 3-11, Ladder 23, Rescue, Assistant Chief C.T. Ragsdale 23:40 Third Alarm: Engines 15-1 23:53 Fourth Alarm: Engines 26-7 -------------- Friday, 23 March 1957 --------00:08 Special Call – Light Unit 1 Tap Out 03:40 AM. 04:31 04:34 04:40 04:50 05:03 05:32 05:38 05:42 06:15

Box 46 (Carolina Lumber Co., Decatur & Bell) Engines 4-6-10, Ladder 10, Acting Assistant Chief, S.B. Campbell Second & Third Alarms: Engines 1-3-8-9, Ladders 1-8, Assistant Chief C.T. Ragsdale Fourth Alarm: Engines 5-11-12, Ladder 4 Fifth Alarm: Engines 2-30, Light Unit 1 (From Brady Avenue Fire) Chief of Department C.C. Styron Special Call: Engine 15, Assistant Chief J.W Carpenter Special Call: Engine 23 Sixth Alarm: Engines 7-20 Special Call: Engine 16 Special Call: Engine 17

130 Years of Historic Fires 1882-2012


Tap Out would be at 12:30 PM on Saturday, 24 March 1957 THE MEANS STREET FIRE Saturday, 19 October 1957 at 02:40 AM The structure involved was located on the south side of the street, just off Bankhead Avenue NW, and was vacant at the time of the fire. It was a four-story brick walled heavy timber floored mill constructed building and was almost a block long. The building originally housed the Fox Manufacturing Company which suffered a major fire on 14 October 1926. After the building had been vacated by the furniture manufacturing company, the building was occupied by a box manufacturing company, and later by the Rushton Doll Company which had also moved out after their plant was damaged by fire. After the removal of the doll factory the old Means Street NW building had been vacant for some time. The entire building was enveloped in flames upon the arrival of the first alarm units under the command of Acting Battalion Chief E.E. Hogue of the Third Battalion. Before the fire could be brought under control, eight alarms had been sounded with 17 engines and five ladder trucks on the scene, using 32 fire streams to bring the stubborn blaze under control. The structure was completely burned out but the flames were prevented from extending to exposures by the streams from heavy stream appliances. Cause of the fire was listed as incendiary. The loss was $100,000. Order of the multiple alarms sounded was as follows: 02:40 Box 247: Engines 3-16, Ladder 16, Acting 3rd Battalion Chief, E.E. Hogue 02:43 2-2-Box 247: Second Alarm: Engine 11-23, Ladder 11, Rescue 1; Assistant Chief C.T. Ragsdale 02:45 3-3-Box 247 Third Alarm: Engine 22-8 02:48 3-3 & 4-4-Box 247 Third & Fourth Alarms: Engines 1-15-7-26, Ladders 1-8-23 03:08 6-6 & 7-7 Box 247 Sixth & Seventh Alarms: Engines 25-4-6-17 03:26 Special Call: Engine 27 03:33 8-8 Box 247 Eighth Alarm: Engines 5-9 THE JACOBS SALES COMPANY FIRE Tuesday, 18 February 1958 at 01:01 AM

by the sales firm which dealt in all kinds of building materials. The building had originally been erected in 1881 by the Young Men’s Library Association, the forerunner of the present Atlanta-Fulton County Public Library. It had been sold in May of 1893 and was divided into various office spaces that were leased to a variety of tenants. The southern branch of Millburn Wagon Company of New York occupied the building in the late 1880’s. This same building had been heavily damaged in a fire on 8 October 1893, which resulted in a general alarm under the command of Department Chief W.R. Joyner. At the time of this incident, the ground floor was occupied by the W.E. Wayne billiard parlor and the offices of the Southern Belting Company. In addition to the 1893 General Alarm, there had been several other fires through the years but this time it was completely involved upon the arrival of the first fire companies under the command of Assistant Chief C.T. Ragsdale and Acting First Battalion Chief C.E. Lemke. Four alarms were sounded in quick secession and engine crews stretched in 48 hose lines to eight deluge sets and three ladder pipes, along with other hand lines used. The temperature at the time of the fire was five degrees above zero and a brisk wind blowing out of the northwest caused the flames to leap high into the air. Ice formed on the burned out walls, on the apparatus and streets, and on the firefighters operating the hose streams. Chronology of alarms sounded: 01:01 Box 43 (Decatur & Ivy): Engines 4-1-8-6-3; Ladders 4-1-8; Rescue, Floodlight, Acting 1st Battalion Chief, C.E. Lemke, Assistant Chief C.T. Ragsdale 01:03 Second & Third Alarms: Engines 9-7-16-17, Ladders 7-16-17 01:20 Fourth Alarm: Engines 10-11-12, - 3rd Battalion Chief, C.H. Hildebrand, Assistant Chief J.W Carpenter During company transfers at 01:05 AM, Ladder 10 collided with a U.S. Mail Truck at Trinity Ave SW and Central Avenue SW. Although there were no injuries, the fire apparatus was severely damage and had to be taken out of service. STAMPS TIRE COMPANY FIRE Thursday, 25 December 1958 at 18:06 PM Stamps Tire company occupied a building on the southwest corner of West Whitehall Street SW and Gordon Street SW (now Ralph David Abernathy Boulevard SW) in West End. In fact, one of the parking lots for the West End MARTA Stations occupies this site in 2012. The building was also used as a Sinclair Service Station. A passerby noticed the fire and gave a verbal alarm to Fire Station No. 7 located two blocks north of the scene at West Whitehall Street SW and Oak Street SW. Fire Alarm was immediately notified and a full box assignment consisting of Engines 7-17-14, Ladders 7-17, and Fourth Battalion Chief A.T. Hornsby, were assigned to the call. Hearing the radio traffic, Department Chief C.C. Styron also headed out from Station 1 on West Alabama Street SW.

The structure involved was a three-story, ordinary joisted floor and roof deck constructed building with a basement located at 45 Decatur Street SE between Kimball Way and Central Avenue. It was occupied

A second alarm was sounded at 18:21 bringing Engines 5-20, Ladder 5, and the AFD Ambulance to the scene. Engine 23 would be special called at 18:26 and a full third alarm struck at 18:33, rolling Engines 16-1, Ladder 16, and the Second Battalion Chief C.H. Ragsdale. Due to the heavy involvement of the large stock of tires, Chief Styron

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requested a Fourth Alarm at 18:42 with Engines 9-3 assigned to the call. Light Unit No. 1 was requested at 20:26 to help light up the scene. The non-sprinkled building was completely destroyed.

THE ZEP MANUFACTURING COMPANY FIRE Friday, 22 May 1959 at 17:42 PM

THE WOODLAND HILLS FIRE Wednesday, 31 December 1958 at 02:44 AM Fifth Battalion Companies arrived to find a row of 1 story, neighborhood stores in a typical “taxpayer” with heavy fire showing. Taxpayer buildings” were typically built as small, inexpensive structures, often intended to be replaced with something bigger and better in the future. They may have contained a business on the first floor and living quarters in the upper floors. Rental fees from the tenants were meant to cover property taxes. Although built as “temporary” structures, many neighborhood “taxpayer” structures stand for years and years. This row of buildings sat at the southwest corner of Woodland Avenue SE and East Confederate Avenue, across the street from the large Confederate Avenue Baptist Church. The initial alarm at 02:44 would roll Engines 13, 10, Ladder 10, and Fifth Battalion Chief Drummond to the scene. Upon the 10-W (working fire) designation by Engine 13, the Chief struck a second alarm at 02:53 which added Engines 2, 5 Ladder 5 and Assistant Chief Ragsdale to the call. With conditions not improving a third alarm was sounded at 03:13, followed by a Fourth Alarm at 03:23. Numerous master streams and hand lines were placed in use but in spite of the AFD’s best effort the structure was gutted. Control was sounded at 06:51 AM. By 2012 the lot where these stores once stood is a parking lot for church parking. THE NASH-RAMBLER MOTOR COMPANY FIRE Tuesday, 3 February 1959 at 01:50 AM The building was a one-story brick structure located at 953 Donnelly Avenue, SW, just off Lee Street and was used by the American Motor Company as a shipping and parts distribution center for six southeastern states for their Nash and Rambler line of vehicles. Following this fire, the building itself was virtually a total loss. The rear one-third of the roof caved in, the entire rear wall crumbled, and the firefighters had to pull down a section of another wall to protect themselves. A fire wall prevented the fire from extending to the front office. The inside of the warehouse was equipped with row upon row of metal bins that held auto parts. A number of bins held tail pipes; others held parts of headlights and other pieces of automobile parts. It required the equipment on five alarms and 24 fire streams to bring the fire under control. Wind whipped flames permeated by muffled explosions and the temperature near freezing hampered the firelighters in their fight to bring about control of the costly fire. The fire originated at the rear of some portion of the warehouse section from an undetermined cause. The loss was $500,000. The order of alarms sounded was: 01:50 Box 3111 (Lee & Donnelly): Engines 14-17; Ladder 17; Fourth Battalion Chief, A.T Hornsby 01:52 Second Alarm: Engines 7-5, Ladder 7 02:01 Third & Fourth Alarms: Engines 1-9-20-25; Ladder 25; Assistant Chief C.T. Ragsdale 02:12 Fifth Alarm: Engines 3-16-22; Ladder 5; Assistant Chief L. Waits Guthrie 158

The building was a one and two-story brick structure located at 560 Edgewood Avenue, NE, near Randolph Street. It formerly had been the Coca-Cola Bottling Company Plant prior to their relocation to 864 Spring Street NW. Zep Manufacturing used the structure as a warehouse and office for the company which manufactured floor waxes, industrial cleaning materials and paper products. The first alarm was called in just as a severe thunderstorm with high wind broke over Atlanta. The wind quickly spread the flames throughout the warehouse section as the firefighters were bringing the first fire streams to bear on the roaring flames. Acting Battalion Chief H.A. Horton, of the Third Battalion, called for a second alarm bringing in more equipment under the command of Acting Assistant Chief S.B. Campbell. Pungent fumes from the various finished products and ingredients hampered the firefighters and prevented them from entering the building. Outside master streams were used from the outside of the plant until the fire was sufficiently controlled to allow the men to safely enter the building and complete extinguishment. Several explosions occurred during the progress of the fire which tended to spread the fire to the second story section of the plant. Three firefighters were injured when a metal ladder they were moving from one section of the two-story portion came in contact with a high voltage overhead wire. The injured men were E.D. Branson, W.H. Richardson, and T.S. Towery. They were treated for shock at Grady Hospital and released. Eighteen fire streams were used; some from deluge sets. The cause was undetermined and the loss was $350,000. 17:42 17:53 17:58 17:59 18:16 18:40 18:50 19:27

Telephone Alarm: Engines 6-12; Ladder 12; Acting 3rd Battalion Chief , H.A. Horton Second Alarm: Engine 4-10; Ladder 4; Rescue 1; Acting Assistant Chief S.B. Campbell Third Alarm: Engines 1-5; Ladder 10 Fourth Alarm: Engines 9-11; Acting Department Chief L. Waits Guthrie Fifth Alarm: Engines 7-3 Sixth Alarm: Engines 25-16 Seventh Alarm: Engines 29-15 Special Call: Floodlight Unit 1 Assistant Chief C.T. Ragsdale

130 Years of Historic Fires 1882-2012


THE BUCKHEAD FIVE BUSINESS FIRE Wednesday, 1 June 1960 at 02:19 AM This fire came in as a telephone alarm from a passerby and would eventually grow to destroy five businesses in a row of one-story taxpayers at 3135 to 3143 Peachtree Road NE between Boling Way and Mattieson Drive in the heart of Buckhead. Businesses to fall victim included a vacant bowling alley; Johnson’s Gun Shop; Buckhead Printing & Advertising Company; Gladys Ingram Interiors; an upholstery shop an apartment in the rear, and a large Haverty’s Furniture Store. The call was received as a telephone alarm and at 02:19 Engine 21, 26, 27; Ladders 21, 23, and Acting Second Battalion Chief J.H Wright headed out. Company 21 arrived to find heavy fire conditions in the vacant bowling alley with fire moving into the exposures in the block long row of buildings. A second alarm was sounded at 02:35 followed by a third alarm at 02:51. Conditions continued to deteriorate and a Fourth Alarm was sounded at 03:08. Big hand lines; ladder pipes and masters streams were placed in operation before the fire was declared under control at just after 07:00 AM. Following the fire, the row of damaged buildings which had originally been right at the sidewalk was demolished. When the land was redeveloped the buildings were moved to the back of the lots and a parking area placed in front, more like a typical strip shopping center. This row of buildings is what is on this site in 2012. 1961 During 1961 ten major fires occurred within the city that resulted in multiple alarms being sounded. Each of these resulted in losses in excess of $50,000 and accounted for more than 34% of the total fire loss for the year. The grand total loss for these ten fires was $875,599.00 THE ADAMS HAT COMPANY FIRE Date Unknown Alarm Time 18:38 PM The first of these fires occurred at the Adams Hat Store located at 64 Peachtree Street NW between Walton Street NW and Poplar Street NW and north of world famous Five Points. The structure was a two-story building with a full basement having brick load bearing walls, wood floors and a wood roof deck. Seventy Three of Atlanta’s Bravest worked to control this fire expending 25 air cylinders in their efforts. Cause of the fire was never determined even though it was investigated by the Arson Squad. Although the weather was rather cold, it played no major factor in the operation. Eight Firefighters suffered minor injuries at this alarm. 18:38 Box 13 (Peachtree Street NW & Auburn Ave): Engines 4, 8,6, 1; Ladders 4,8 1st Assistant Chief CT. Ragsdale. 18:48 Second & Third Alarms Combined: Engines 3, 11,5,9 Ladders 1, 11,5, Third Battalion Chief W.A. Pope. 19:20 SPECIAL CALL: Rescue 1 & Light Unit 1 The fire was confined to the building of origin and was contained in an amazingly short time. A total of fifteen 2½ inch, six 1½ inch and one booster hand lines were used. Fire had originated in the basement which had become totally involved. It also spread to a photographic studio on the first floor at the Broad Street side of the building. Although a firewall prevented the fire from spreading to the attached exposures, water and smoke damaged

the buildings at 60, 62, 64 and 112 Peachtree St NW. The fire was rung out the next morning and the loss was set at $83,916. The structures were rebuilt and the row of building remain in use across from Woodruff Park in 2012. THE PEACHTREE ROAD APARTMENT EXPLOSION & FIRE Sunday, 8 January 1961 at 18:30 PM On Sunday evening, 8 January 1961 a telephone alarm was received for a fire at 2420 Peachtree Road NW in the Peachtree Battle section of the city. 18:30 Engines 21, 29 Ladders 21, 23 2nd Battalion Chief Steve B. Campbell. 18:38 Second Alarm: Engines 15, 23 Ladder 11 & Atlanta Gas Company. 18:44 Third Alarm: Engines 11, 19; Ladder 19; Acting Assistant Chief Claude Lemke 19:44 Fourth & Fifth Alarms: Engines 5,16,8,6 Ladders 1, 16 1st Assistant Chief CT. Ragsdale & Department Chief CH. Hildebrand Arriving companies found a well involved fire in the basement of a two-story brick walled, joisted apartment building. Heat and heavy smoke was rapidly communicating to the upper floors and the structure was ordered evacuated. Ladder 21 successfully removed two trapped residents from a second floor window. Truck Company 23 was ordered to ladder the north side of the structure and perform a primary search from that side. All engine operations were using 2½ inch hose lines and selfcontained breathing apparatus. Captain S.H. Coxton of Engine 15 reported that the fire was being fed by burning natural gas from meters in the basement. The gas company had trouble locating the street cut off valves and a buildup of gas lead to an explosion. Gas meters in the basements were common in both commercial and residential structures throughout Atlanta. The inability to quickly turn off gas at the meter would lead to another explosion with tragic results for the AFD at the Davis Brothers restaurant on Luckie Street NW in May 1971. The blast momentarily trapped several firefighters including 2nd Battalion Chief S.B. Campbell. No serious injuries resulted from the close call. Cause of the fire was undetermined. The spread was attributed to the explosion of the trapped unburned natural gas in the walls of the building. Nine 2½ inch, two 1½ inch hand lines and one booster were placed in operations. The loss was estimated at $70,000. THE SPERRY SHOSE COMPANY FIRE Monday, 6 February 1961 at 18:46 PM The most spectacular fire of the year occurred on a Monday, evening just at the end of rush hour when flames destroyed the three-story, ordinary constructed building at 16 – 18 Broad Street NW that housed the Sperry Shose Company and offices of the Walton Loan Company. The structure was on the east side of Broad, just south of Marietta Street NW. Atlanta Fire Department Fire Investigators would pin-point the origin to an area on the second floor. The fire rapidly grew and resulted in four alarms before darkening down. Firefighter John C. Pope of Engine 6 was injured as the result of a

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fall from the 3rd floor but managed to stay on the scene. Firefighter James P. Ewing of Engine 1 also received a slight injury. Loss was estimated at $81,887.00 THE CHATTAHOOCHEE ELEMENTARY SCHOOL FIRE Saturday, 9 September 1961 at 21:46 PM A roaring fire virtually destroyed the school, located at 2715 Peyton Road NW in Riverside. The initial alarm was sounded at 9:46 PM and required three alarms to extinguish. 21:46 Engines 28, 22, 23 Ladders 23, 17 Acting 2nd Battalion Chief J.T. Anderson, & 1st Assistant Chief CT. Ragsdale. 21:57 Second Alarm: Engines 16, 17; Ladder 16 22:15 Third Alarm: Eng. 15, 17 Ladder 7 Light Unit 1 The fire was caused by a ceramic kiln being left on in the science room of a one-story, wood frame with brick veneer and wooden roof deck building. Constructed in a “U” shape, the science room was the first to the east of the main entrance or right at the bottom of the “U” Shape. Fire rapidly spread in both directions, including into the attic and into the basement. Six 2 1/2 inch and Two 1 1/2 inch hand lines were placed in operations assisted by cellar pipes and a ladder pipe. Sixty-one firefighters worked at this alarm. Firefighter Ed Norris of Company 23 received a cut to the arm as the only injury noted. The loss was listed as $55,000 and the school was rebuilt with the same construction and shape. Interestingly, by the 1980’s, population shift had caused the Atlanta Board of Education to close the Chattahoochee Elementary School. Although they retained ownership, this building was vacant until 28 February 1987. On that date, the Margaret Fain Elementary School in Adamsville was leveled by fire. The Fain building was also a wood frame, brick veneer building constructed about the same time as the Chattahoochee facility. Classes from Margaret Fain were moved into the Chattahoochee school until the Fain facility could be reconstructed. THE PONCE DE LEON APARTMENTS FIRE Monday, 28 May 1962 at 21:29 PM

Engines 19, 6, 4 Ladders 4, 5 and Assistant Chief D.W Garrett. Chief Garrett was determined not to lose any lives in the fire and sounded a Third Alarm three minutes later at 21:29 PM. This call brought in Engines 3, 5 and Department Chief Hildebrand. Eight minutes later, the situation still out of control, a combination of the Fourth and Fifth Alarms were sounded at 21:37 PM. Engines 1,7, 16, 29 and Ladders 1, & 7 were assigned. At 21:45 PM, Chief Hildebrand ordered a Sixth and Seventh Alarm which responded Engines 12, 22, 23, 26, Ladders 12, 23, Rescue 1, 2nd Battalion Chief P.O. Williams and recalled Assistant Chief C.T. Ragsdale Jr., who was off duty at the time. An interior air and light shaft in the center of the crescent shaped structure funneled the fire rapidly toward the upper floor. The heat in this shaft blistered paint and melted metal frame windows. Firefighters applied water from the roof top of an adjacent office tower and from street level in addition to the interior attack. Many spectacular rescues were made at this fire which probably had the most ground and aerial ladders against a structure as any in the history of the Atlanta Fire Department even through 2012. Scores of occupants were saved from the burning building assisted out by the firefighters by way of interior stairs, and over exterior ladders. Nine civilians received minor injuries during the rescues. Mayor Ivan Allen Jr. sped to the scene from his home and immediately complimented the Fire Department for preventing a major tragedy. The fire was declared under control at 02:53 AM the next morning but Company 11 remained on the scene for the remainder of the night. The loss was recorded at $62,000. The Ponce de Leon Apartment fire may have been the most dramatic and dangerous to life however it was not the largest loss for the year. On 13 April 1962 the Fabco Company of Georgia, located on Hills Avenue NW was destroyed by fire with a loss exceeding $150,000. This alarm went to four alarms. A serious fire in Anthony’s Men’s Shop on 21 May 1962 gutted the upscale facility. This fire resulted in damages estimated at $103,500. Several alarms were struck for this blaze.

The most dangerous fire of 1962 occurred on the evening of 28 May when a fast spreading fire attacked the 11 story Ponce de Leon Apartments. This building is located at 75 Ponce de Leon Avenue NE at the corner of Peachtree Street NE. Erected in 1911 as was the neighboring Georgian Terrace Hotel across the street, the *Ponce* was home to some of Atlanta’s finest citizens. Although the building is now over 101 years old, it remains a residential housing unit of some very expensive condominiums.

1963

The original call came in about 21:20 PM, from a passing motorist as a “verbal alarm* to Fire Station 11, located around the corner on North Avenue, one block southwest of the structure. The Fire Communications office was alerted and Engines 11, 15, 8, Ladders 11, 19, 8 dispatched under the command of Third Battalion Chief Claude E. Lemke.

THE MARK PALMER JR. APARTMENTS FIRE Thursday, 24 January 1963 at 06:43 AM

As Company 11 turned the corner out of the station, they observed fire blowing out a 6th floor window and rapidly extending toward the 7th floor. With the horror of the Winecoff Hotel in mind, Chief Lemke sounded a Second Alarm at 21:26 PM. This brought in 160

Thirteen fires occurred in Atlanta during 1963 which resulted in fire losses greater than $50,000. This does not seem like a large number by 2012 standard, but in 1963 when gasoline was about $0.25 cents per gallon, $50,000 was a significant number and was used by the department to specify a large loss fire. Overall fire loss for the year was estimated at $3,907,520. The principal fires were:

With temperatures recorded at minus 30 degrees farenheit, the early morning of January 24, 1963 was not a time to be fighting fire and flowing water. Unfortunately, this was not to be a quiet morning for the AFD, due to an alarm at 430 Lindbergh Drive NE in the Broadview/Rock Springs neighborhood. 06:43 Engines 21, 29 Ladder 21 Acting Third Battalion Chief, Captain Frank J. Cooper Sr. 06:51 Engines 15, 19 Ladder 19 Assistant Chief Steve B. Campbell

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07:10

Engines 26, 11 L 11 Rescue 1 Acting 1st Assistant Chief

On his arrival, Captain Cooper reported a Working Fire in a threestory brick, ordinary joisted apartment structure. Wind was blowing from the northwest at 8 MPH making the chill factor even colder than the minus 3 it was. With reports of residents still in the building, a Second and Third Alarms were requested. The dollar loss was set at $90,000 and no cause was determined. No injuries were reported at this incident. THE SHRINE TEMPLE FIRE Thursday, 21 February 1963 at 22:32 PM A Five Alarm fire destroyed the Shrine Temple at 400 Ponce de Leon Ave NE, between Durant Place and Charles Allen Drive in Midtown. Fourteen Engine and five ladder companies battled in sub-freezing temperatures to bring the blaze under control. A telephone alarm was received at 22:32 PM which responded Engines 11, 6, 19 Ladders 11, 19 and the Third Battalion Chief. Arriving companies reported a two-story with basement brick wall structure fully involved in fire with ‘’All Hands” working. A combined Second and Third Alarm was sounded at 10:35 PM bringing Engines 4, 8, 15, 10 Ladders 4, 8 and the Assistant Chief. Eight minutes would pass before the Fourth Alarm was sounded for Engines 3, 16, 5 Ladder 16, Rescue 1 and the First Assistant Chief. At 23:15 PM a Fifth Alarm was sounded for Engines 29, 21, 1, and Department Chief Hildebrand. A Special Call was made at 23:35 PM for Engine 17. At the time of the 4th Alarm, communications was ordered to begin recalling the off duty shift. As these men arrived at their stations, they manned reserve equipment throughout the city. The Shrine building was completely gutted with structural damage estimated at $381,000. Content loss was noted to be another $32,000 for a total loss of $413,530. The cause was attributed to a defective heating unit in a room which at one time had been home to the Standard Club before they moved to Brookhaven. The Shrine Temple was rebuilt on the same site and the building which replaced the structure destroyed in February 1963 remains in use today. THE SHAMROCK APARTMENT COMPLEX FIRE Wednesday, 21 August 1963 at 23:40 PM This rapidly moving fire completely destroyed a two-story apartment building that was under construction at 1988 Plaza Lane SW just off Campbellton Road, in Southwest Atlanta. The loss was $107,000.00. What is interesting about this garden apartment complex is the number of multi alarm fires that have occurred here over the years including this one when under construction. The most recent multi alarm to be battled by Atlanta’s Bravest occurred in November 2011 where one firefighter was seriously injured. THE CAPITOL FISH COMPANY WAREHOUSE FIRE Sunday, 15 September 1963 at 01:30 AM Another multiple-alarm fire to hit the city in 1963 occurred at the Capitol Fish Company’s warehouse at 777 West Whitehall Street S.W. and did $259,351.00 damage, despite the efforts of the Atlanta Fire Department. This building was demolished and the site is part of the parking lot for the West End MARTA rail station in 2012.

THE J .M. BATARIS FURNITURE COMPANY FIRE Thursday, 24 October 1963 at 04:27 AM Three alarms were struck for a dangerous fire in the retail furniture company of J. M. Bataris, at 152 Whitehall Street S.W., now known as Peachtree St SW, between Mitchell and Trinity. The fire occurred early on a Thursday, morning and all of the contents were destroyed and severe damage was also done to the building, resulting in a loss of $77,500. 04:27 AM Telephone alarm E.I-4-5-8-9 L. 1-4-5 Rescue 1; Light Unit 1 and Battalion 5, Chief Eugene E. Everett and Assistant Chief, Steve B. Campbell. 04:36 AM Second Alarm E. 3-10 L. 10 04:47 AM Third Alarm E. 6-7 L. 8 Arson Squad. Department Chief C.H. Hildebrand The fire was “Rung-out” at 8:30 AM The structure was a three-story brick, joist-constructed with a tar & gravel on wood deck roof, but no basement. The firefighters employed seventeen 2½ inch hand lines and flowed four ladder pipes. Rescue one was used as the Fire Ground communications point and Light Unit 1, lit the area until dawn. THE ATLANTIC STEEL COMPANY FIRE Friday, 1 November 1963 at 06:25 AM The most spectacular and certainly the most expensive fire to occur during 1963 occurred at the Atlantic Steel Company complex at 1300 Mecaslin Street NW on November 1st. This is now the area occupied by the Atlantic Station retail, office and residential complex just west of I-75 at 17th Street NW The blaze, although a relatively brief one, destroyed this companies wire and nail mill located in a building which had been erected in 1905. The structure was made from materials reportedly salvaged from the International Exposition of 1895 held in Piedmont Park. The wood frame with metal covering structure was 1,500 feet in length. First in companies found the structure heavily involved and soon had the mill yard laced with hose, some of which stretched out to Northside Drive on the west and 16th Street on the south. Several large Sulphuric Acid tanks were threatened for a time, but were saved, 06:25 06:31 06:45 07:00

Engines 11, 15, Ladder 11 Acting Battalion 3 Engines 23, 3, 29 Ladder 23 Battalion 2 Engines 4, 8, 26, 28 & Assistant Chief. Engines 1, 5, 7, 6, 16 First Assistant Chief

Since the department was working the 10 hour day, 14 hour night shifts, the night shift was held over by Assistant Chief Steve B. Campbell until 10:46 AM when enough equipment returned to service to adequately protect the city. The Steel Company fire was rung out at 16:29 with losses exceeding $2,300,000. This was one of the largest dollar loss fires to occur in Atlanta up till that time THE MAYFAIR CLUB FIRE Wednesday, 4 December 1963 at 15:11 PM Fire attacked and destroyed the fashionable Mayfair Club at 1456 Spring Street, NW near 19th Street NW. The structure was built

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in the early 1930’s and damage was estimated at $355,577. The fire began in one of the basement storerooms and resulted in six alarms being sounded. The head waiter, Charles Frey, 37, was killed in the incident. It is suspected he was trying to fight the fire in its initial stages and was overcome. The initial alarm was at 15:11 in the afternoon and was answered by Engines 11, 15 Ladder 11 and Battalion 3. Second and Third Alarms were combined bringing Engines 8,19, 23, 29 Ladders 8, 23 and the Assistant Chief at 15:20 PM. At 15:27 PM, a Special Call went out for Rescue 1 followed by a Fourth Alarm at 3:31 PM. This responded Engines 1, 5, Ladder 29 and the First Assistant Chief. A Fifth Alarm at 15:40 PM brought Engines 4, 26, Ladder 1 and Department Chief Hildebrand, who sounded the Sixth Alarm at 16:12 PM bringing Engines 3 and 16. In addition to the fatality, one of 32 civilians killed by fire in 1963, several firelighters were also hurt at this incident. 1964 During 1964 there were eleven fires where the losses exceed the $50,000 large fire threshold. These resulted in losses of $2,571,165 out of the total loss noted for the entire year of all fires which was $4,738,760. The first of these larger fires destroyed the U.S. Post Office on the Georgia School of Technology Campus on 21 January shortly after classes resumed for the winter session. The building was at Cherry Street NW and Uncle Heini Way NW and required several alarms for control. Damage was estimated at $134,000. THE C & H FAN COMPANY FIRE Wednesday, 13 May 1964 A large fire destroyed the C & H Fan Company facilities at 1603 DeKalb Avenue, N.E. in the Edgewood area of the city. Two firefighters were injured in the alarm and one, Herbie Bruce Boy, age 20, had to retire as a result of the injury damage to his hands. Lack of sufficient water mains in the complex, located on the south side of the Georgia Railroad, (now CSX), track was an attributing factor in the rapid spread of the fire. The origin was listed as ignition of accumulated overspray in an automatic paint spray booth. An explosion during the suppression operation was caused by either a buildup of natural gas or sudden ignition of unburned gases of combustion reaching their ignition temperatures. This loss was the largest for the year and totaled an estimated $1,139,837. MARTA closed many crossings and built underpasses along the former Georgia Railroad and the large Edwards Baking Division of Minnesota-based Schwan Food Company occupies this location in 2012 with the property now numbered and all access off LaFrance Street NE in the Edgewood neighborhood, THE COMPLETE AUTO TRANSIT COMPANY FIRE Monday, 29 June 1964 Fire destroyed the maintenance garage and office building of Complete Auto Transit Company at 465 Sawtell Ave SW just south of the Southern Railroad. This company was the contract auto carrier for delivery of automobiles produced at the Fisher Body and Chevrolet Motor Company’s Lakewood Assembly Plant just across the railroad. Fleet maintenance was shifted to other location and deliveries of the new automobiles never stopped. The loss was estimated at $141,000. 162

THE THOBEN ELROD STORAGE COMPANY FIRE Wednesday, 22 July 1964 at 17:37 PM One hundred years to the date, after the Battle of Atlanta took place in the Inman Park neighborhood, a different type of battle would take place and destroy a building standing on ground where Federal Troops were known to have passed along Clear Creek moving from the Battle of Peachtree Creek, which occurred a few days before. Fire struck the Thoben Elrod Company complex located at 500 Amsterdam Avenue NE, west of Monroe Drive NE. This industrial area is located on a dead end street, backed up to the Norfolk Southern RR and Piedmont Park. By 2012 the former railroad ROW is becoming part of the Beltline multi use bicycle and walk trails. Even to this day there is only one hydrant on a dead end six inch water main at the entrance to the complex and no hydrants are inside the fence. Water was and again could become a critical factor in the event of a fire. The structures had originally been a warehouse and distribution center for the Campbell Coal Company years before in the days of bulk goods being moved by rail. Thoben Elrod was a distributor for appliances and occupied most of the non-sprinkled one-story brick walled wood roof deck joisted building. Several long hose lays were required to get to hydrants on Monroe Drive. The main on Monroe is also a 6 inch so water problems severely hampered the suppression effort. Total loss was estimated to be $646,000 for building and contents. THE FIRST JENNINGS ROSE ROOM FIRE Friday, 11 September 1964 at 02:43 AM Engine 19, first to arrive at the Thoben Elrod fire would be first due at another multiple alarm fire on 11 September of the same year. They responded along with Engines 11 and 15 Ladders 11, 29 and the Third Battalion to 611 Monroe Drive NE just south of Virginia Avenue and across the street from the stadium at Grady High School. Upon arrival, they found the Jennings Rose Room, a very popular and large nightclub heavily involved. Master streams and hand lines could not save the large open one-story brick building. This loss was calculated at $111,000. Other major fires occurring in 1964 included a portion of the Confederate Ave Baptist Church at 704 Ormewood Ave SE at East Confederate Ave. This fire was at 00:52 AM on March 25th with damaged estimated at $64,500. The J.F. Glenn residence at 8 Cherokee Road NW in Buckhead was severely damaged by fire called in at 02:36 AM on April 8. This residential loss totaled $65,156. 1965 Only five multiple alarm fires occurred in all of 1965 where losses totaled more than $50,000. The overall loss total from these five alarms was $706,337 of an overall fire loss estimated to be $3,244,028. There were 30 people killed by fire in 1965, up from 22 who perished in 1964. The residential population within the city was estimated to be 510,500 people. Total alarms were 9,112 of which 5,509 were fires. False alarms accounted for just over 10% of the total calls.

130 Years of Historic Fires 1882-2012


THE GLENN’S FURNITURE COMPANY FIRE Friday, 8 January 1965 at 12:02 PM An outside rubbish fire soon involved a small outbuilding in the rear alley of the 30 x 125 foot taxpayer at 765 Marietta Street NW just north of Means Street in Bellwood. The small shed was almost attached to the main building and fire quickly ran up the wall and got into ceiling of the main structure of Glenn’s Furniture Company. Fire was found in the cockloft of the store and shortly became a defensive operation that eventually would destroy the store. The Second Alarm was sounded by Assistant Chief Steve Campbell at 12:11 shortly after arrival and the Third Alarm was struck at 12:25. Numerous master streams would take over when the interior attack had to be abandoned. The building had load bearing brick walls with joisted floors and roof deck. Fire quickly went through the roof, burning away most of the top of the building. The company was run by E. Glenn,; Roy M. and Edward E. Beavers. By 2012 the entire block has been replaced by buildings that are part of the Georgia Tech campus. THE TOOLY MYRON STUDIO FIRE & EXPLOSION Wednesday, 10 February 1965 at 20:08 PM A backdraft explosion ripped through a multiple occupancy building at 117 Peachtree Street NE on the evening of February 10, 1965. What was originally thought to be a routine fire then grew to five alarms and resulted in 46 people being injured. The initial alarm was received by telephone at 8:08 PM. 20:08 20:21 20:21 20:41 20:55

Engines 1, 3, 4, 6, 8 Ladders 1, 4, 8 Rescue 1 Acting Chief A.T. Hornsby. Chief Hornsby noted an All Hands working Acting 3rd Battalion Chief].H Anderson responded. Second & Third Alarms: E 11, 9,5,7 Ladders 11,5. Fourth & Fifth Alarm: E 16, 15, 23, 29 L 7, 23 First Assistant Chief and Department Chief Hildebrand.

The explosion occurred at 20:58 and resulted in a call for three ambulances as well as the Arson Squad. Off duty firefighters were recalled at 21:12. A Special call was also made near 22:00 for fuel and oil to be brought to the scene by the Fire Department Mechanical staff. Some of the apparatus acted as a shield from the glass blown out by the backdraft saving many firefighters from injury. Multiple master streams and hand lines brought the situation under control at 01:43. The fire originated in the basement of the Tooly Myron Studio in a one-story building immediately south of the 15-Story Candler Building. Occupancies at 113, 115 and 117 Peachtree also suffered damage from the fire or explosion. This small building still survives in 2012 adjacent to the north end of the Robert Woodruff Central City Park. Total damage to the fire buildings and the Piedmont Hotel across the street totaled at $225,270. The Piedmont Hotel sat where the Equitable Building is today. THE PENRAE 5 & 10 CENT VARIETY STORE FIRE Tuesday, 2 March 1965 at 06:34 AM Dill Avenue SW and Sylvan Road SW is about the meeting point when responding from Stations 14 and 20 and this early alarm would find a 1 story brick walled, wood floored and roof deck taxpayer well involved at 891 - 893 Dill Avenue SW just east of Sylvan Road in Sylvan Hills. Companies arrived at 06:34 and upon the arrival of

Battalion Chief T.H. Roberts a Second Alarm would be sounded at 06:36 due to severe exposures on both sides. This was followed by a Third Alarm at 06:55 which put seven engines; two truck companies and a variety of other support equipment working this call. Control was given at 09:41. The building was rebuilt and by 1975 was occupied by Mechanical Fabricators Company according to an ad in the Sylvan High School annual. In 2012 the structure is still there but currently vacant. THE 468 BOULEVARD NE FIRE Wednesday, 17 March 1965 at 23:33 Third Battalion companies arrived to find a well advanced fire in a two-story multi family apartment building at 468 Boulevard NE near Pine Street in the Bedford Pine neighborhood. Engines 4, 6, 11 Trucks 11, 19 and Assistant Chief Claude Lemke would soon decide help was needed due to fire volume and resident rescue. This caused a Second Alarm to be sounded at 23:38. This brought Engine 8, 10, 19, Ladder 4 and Capt Ross Venable riding as Battalion 3 to the scene. A Third Alarm was struck at 23:49 and a Fourth Alarm at 00:23 with numerous master streams and hand lines being place in operation. These apartment buildings are close on the “B” and “D” exposure sides in an area very familiar to huge fires. These multi family structures all up and down Boulevard north of the Atlanta Medical Center (formerly Georgia Baptist Hospital) were built to replace the wood dwellings that were destroyed in the May 1917 Great Northside Conflagration. Nine engines and five truck companies operated at this fire. THE LENA H. COX ELEMENTARY SCHOOL FIRE Saturday, 8 May 1965 at 17:04 PM Atlanta Fire communications transmitted a full box alarm assignment at 17:04 PM for an alarm of fire at the Lena Cox Elementary School, located at 20 Evelyn Way NW in the Grove Park neighborhood. This blaze would damage the building to the tune of $295,564. The fire originated in one of the classrooms from an undetermined cause. Five alarms were struck by the AFD before the fire was “Tapped Out” on the Gamewell Alarm system at 01:53 May 9th. The school building was a typical 1930’s WPA style and vintage structure which had had an addition at some later time so that the building formed a “U” shape. It all was a one-story brick structure with wood stud interior walls, wooden floors and a board on wood joisted roof deck. Only one leg of the “U” was damaged in this fire however classes were disrupted for the 1,300 student for several weeks. No civilian and only minor firefighter injuries were reported. Now for the rest of the story:… Dr. Edwin. W. Grove was the founder of Atlanta’s Grove Park neighborhood. He built a one room school in 1904 where the Bethany Methodist Church once stood. It was soon out grown and he had a stone building named The Grove School, built at the end of North Elizabeth Place NW and dedicated in 1906. Mrs. Lena H. Cox took over the one room, all grades school in 1909 and stayed until 1937. The new school, erected at 20 Evelyn Way NW was named for this dedicated lady. The older 1937 WPA style part of the building would survive the fire of 1965 but was eventually also torn down. By 2012 the old building has been replaced by a modern fully sprinkled and air conditioned building that is now known as the Grove Park Elementary School. Doctor Grove was the president of the Grove Park Development

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Company. The neighborhood was developed in the 1920’s & 1930’s by various developers, but primarily by the Grove Park Development Company. The community was initially known as Fortified Hills, a name stemming from the areas usage during the War Between the States. Grove named the streets for his wife, Gertrude, his daughter Evelyn, and his son, Edwin junior. Other street names are believed to have been inspired by his grandchildren: Matilda, Hortense, Emily, Elizabeth, Francis, Eleanor, Florence, Margaret, and Eugenia. Many of these side streets were created in the ‘30s, ‘40s and ‘50s and remain wide, tree-lined avenues with well-tended frame cottages, brick tudor and ranch style houses. THE C.D. HUBERT ELEMENTARY SCHOOL FIRE Thursday, 25 November 1965 at 16:12 PM on Alarm Box 421 (Memorial Dr SE & Stovall St SE) For the second time in a year fire was to do serious damage to a facility owned by the Atlanta Board of Education. This time it was the former John F. Faith Elementary at 1043 Memorial Drive SE in East Atlanta. The school had been renamed to C.D. Hubert in 1963 in honor of Dr. Charles Dubois Hubert, director of the School of Religion and professor of church history at Morehouse College. On the retirement of Morehouse President Samuel H. Archer,(for whom Archer High School was named), in 1937, Dr. Charles Hubert was named acting president of Morehouse College. He would serve in this capacity until the election of Benjamin E. Mays, as the Morehouse President three years later. Dr Hubert passed away on January 26, 1944. A street and an Atlanta High School are also named in honor of Dr. Mays. The Faith / Hubert building was in use until July 2012 when the Atlanta Technical Charter High School was ordered closed due to budget issues within the Atlanta Board of Education. The future of the building now becomes very uncertain. At the time of its closing, the school, had 200 students in the 9th through 12th grades with the curriculum focused on science, technology, mathematics, engineering and robotics. 16:12 16:14 16:22 16:25 16:27 16:52 17:05 17:28

Box 421 Memorial Drive SE & Stovall St SE Engine 13, 12 Ladder 12 Battalion 5; (Acting Chief Capt. J.I. Gibson) Special Call: Engine 10 Ladder 10; Assistant Chief D.W. Garrett Second Alarm: Engine 5, 6. 9, Ladders 4, 5, Rescue 1 Special Call: Arson Investigators to Scene (Lt. Sullivan) Co 7 to Station 10; Engine 29 to Station 6; Engine 14 to Station 7 Third Alarm: Engine 29, 1, 4 Salvage 1 Deputy Chief Ragsdale Eng 2 to Station 5; Battalion 2 to Station 4; Battalion 4 to Station 5 Special Call: Search Light 1 to scene Tap Out: 00:53

Squad. The Lieutenant noted that in addition’ to the fires in Atlanta schools, there were 13 other school damaged by fire. There were seven alarms in Cobb County, five alarms in Fulton County and one fire in Clayton County’s schools during 1965. The fire was “Tapped Out” at 00:53 on 26 November 1965. 1966 This would be the first year in the history of the City of Atlanta that the number of runs handled by the Fire Department would total more than 10,000 alarms. This would also be the first year a piece of equipment would total respond to over 1,000 alarms in a year. This honor was shared by Battalion Car 903, which had 1006 runs and Battalion Car 905 which ran 1107 alarms. Official records show that there were 5,672 fire calls of all types and 4,460 other types of alarm for a grand total of 10,445 including the 313 Out of City calls under the contracts with Fulton County for Sandy Springs and the Fulton Industrial District. False alarms began to creep up and now ran at 13%. There were 10 fires during the year where loss total exceeded $50,000. These fires accounted for $1,190,564 of a total annual loss of $3,747,265. SEXTON BROTHERS TIRE CO. September 7, 1966 at roughly 20:00 Five buildings of the Sexton Brothers Tire Company, Inc. in Bellwood, were all but destroyed at 717 Ashby Street N.W. just north of Wheeler Street on 7 September 1966. This two alarm incident was one of the few large fires that occurred during the strike by Atlanta Firefighters and resulted in a loss of $140,498.00. The complex consisted of several attached one and two-story buildings with concrete block, and or load bearing brick walls and peaked joisted roofs. There were also was some wood frame construction. The fire had originated in the center of the group of buildings of the occupancy and a tough fight occurred to stop the fire from destroying the entire complex. The weather was rather warm with the temperature at 76 degrees. The area where the fire was remains an open lot in 2012 with the buildings that were saved and across a single track rail siding are still being used to the east.

THE FIRE IN THE RICH’S DOWNTOWN “STORE FOR HOMES” Tuesday, 4 October 1966 at 23:57 PM Smoke has always been the killer in fire situations in retail stores and this was one of the smallest fires of any year but resulted in the largest dollar loss for the year of 1966.

An aggressive attack by the AFD held damage to this fire to only $75,000. The structure is a three-story brick building with joisted constructed walls, floors and roof deck. The neighborhood east of the former Atlanta & West Point Railroad and north of Memorial Drive was originally called “Faith”. Modern expansion of the name and original area of the small African-American community of Reynoldstown has pretty well obliterated folks knowing this neighborhood as Faith.

A telephone alarm was called in for the main Rich’s Department Store on Broad Street SW in the “Store for Homes” building, (which was actually on Forsyth Street at Martin Luther King Jr Drive SW). A small fire had been discovered on a conveyor belt in the stock area at the fourth floor level of an eight story, fire resistive building that also had two basement levels. The fire was being held in check by the automatic sprinkler system but the smoke and water damage pushed the loss to $300,000. Fire had consumed some imported goods waiting to go on the shelves for the coming Christmas season.

The cause was ruled incendiary by Lt. Marion Sullivan of the Arson

Once again careless “hot work” was the cause of the fire which

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resulted from worker carelessness with a welding torch being used to repair the conveyor system. A total of 14 salvage covers were spread by the truck companies on each of the floors from the fourth, down to the basements. The situation was logged as under control at 03:04 on October 5.

Medical Examiner 01:50 Fire Under Control 03:10 Fire Tapped Out”

THE COLONIAL STORES SUPERMARKET FIRE Monday, 17 October 1966

The cause of the fire was never officially determined but Georgia State Fire Marshall James L. Bentley stated on 1 March 1966, that the building did not meet the fire alarm and exit requirements of the State. He also ruled that the likely cause was careless smoking in the basement of the structure. This fire became the first multiple fatality fire in a hotel since the Winecoff Hotel fire of 7 December 1946. The City of Atlanta ordered the old building demolished following the fire due to the unstable conditions of the ruins. The owners agreed and the structure was razed. No dollar loss was listed. The spot remains an open parking lot as of the summer of 2012.

This fire was in a free standing supermarket building at 2125 Cheshire Bridge Road NE and went to three alarms. The building was gutted and Colonial chose not to rebuild on this site. They moved to the new Tara Shopping center at Cheshire Bridge Road NE and LaVista Road NE following this $278,706 loss. Ironically that store building in Tara would eventually burn and what had been a long strip type shopping center now has a parking area between two sections, that at one time had been the new store. 1967 As with 1966, there were ten alarms in “67” where losses exceeded the $50,000 loss mark.

Four guests were killed and seven others injured in the rapidly moving fire. Two firefighters were also injured in the operation.

THE TRUST COMPANY OF GEORGIA BANK BUILDING FIRE Monday, 24 July 1967 at 21:50 PM

THE SPRING STREET FIRE Sunday, 19 February 1967 at 18:34 PM Late on a Sunday evening a multiple alarm fire destroyed the business at 319 Spring Street NW and also damaged the occupancies at 313 and 315 Spring Street between Baker Street NW and Simpson Street NW. The original fire building was a vacant two-story structure with basement brick wall - joisted constructed building. An open ground level parking lot occupies this location in 2012. The fire originated in the basement and spread upward throughout the building. Winds were out of the northwest at 12 to 15 MPH causing some problems in the suppression efforts. One firefighter was slightly injured as 54 of the AFD members battled to control the fire. Fourteen 2½ and six 1½ inch hand lines were placed in operation supplementing one ladder pipe and Snorkel 4. 18:34 18:41 18:48 19:50 21:39

Engines 8, 11, 3; Ladder 8 Battalion 3 Engines 4, 1; Ladders 4, 11 Rescue 1 Engines 5, 16; Ladder 16, Assistant Chief Controlling Signal 30 sounded. Fire Tapped Out.

THE IVY STREET HOTEL FIRE Thursday, 23 February 1967 at 00:39 AM The first fire of 1967 which attracted considerable attention was the tragic fire of 23 February which struck the old Ivy Street Hotel at the corner of what is now known as Peachtree Center Avenue NE and Andrew Young International Boulevard NE. At that time of this event, this would have been listed as 195 Ivy St. NE, at the corner of Cain Street. 00:39 Engines 4, 8, 6 Ladders 4, 8 Rescue 1 Assistant Chief Steve B. Campbell. 00:41 Second Alarm: Engines 11, 1 Ladder 1 00:45 Third Alarm: Engines 5, 10 Battalion 3, Light Unit 1 01:00 Fourth Alarm: Engines 3 & 23 01:28 Fifth Alarm: E 7, 15 1st Deputy Chief & Fulton County

When Street Box 419 rang in responding companies assumed it would be yet another false alarm on a box that was becoming a “frequent flyer”, especially for Engine 13 whose quarters were one block to the north on Flat Shoals. This time things were different and as 13 turned out of the Fire Station a working fire was called for the Trust Company of Georgia bank building at 514 Flat Shoals Avenue SE, on the corner of Glenwood Avenue SE in “downtown” East Atlanta. Investigation ruled the cause to be careless smoking. The fire gutted the second floor of the bank and burned away a good bit of the wooden roof deck. Smoke and water damaged the ground floor and basement but the bank’s safety-deposit boxes and currency in their banking room remained intact and was not hurt. The overall loss was $180,438. Three of Atlanta’s Bravest were injured in the three alarm fire. In 2012 the structure is still in use and occupied as a Sun Trust branch bank. THE OWENS – ILLINOIS COMPANY WAREHOUSE FIRE Tuesday, 22 August 1967 about 10:00 AM The Empire Industrial Area has become a popular warehouse and manufacturing section on Southeast Atlanta and until this date, had escaped any major fires. That changed on the morning of 22 August when fire ripped through the warehouse section of the inadequately sprinkled Owens Illinois plastic plant at 3940 Hamilton Boulevard SE off Browns Mill Road. Before the three alarm fire was under control,

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the entire Class II steel deck on steel bar joists roof was laying in the floor and the warehouse gutted. Twenty-Seven employees narrowly escaped as the roof began to collapse in a domino fashion shortly after the fire was discovered. The fire caused a loss of $440,000. The operations were under the command of Department Chief C.H. Hildebrand. Through some tough firefighting, the destruction was stopped at a masonry wall separating the warehouse section from the manufacturing portions of the building. THE MYERS-DICKSON FURNITURE COMPANY FIRE (Date and alarm time unknown) Perhaps the most spectacular fire of 1967 demolished the remains of a two and three-story brick walled wood floor and roof decked building which had been vacated by this retail furniture company. The structures were on Whitehall Street (Now Peachtree St. SW) near Mitchell St SW in the old Garment District. 18:53 Fire Alarm Box 31 (Mitchell & Whitehall St) Engines 1,5, 4, 8, Ladders 1, 5 Rescue 1 Assistant Chief Steve B. Campbell. 18:55 Engines 3, 6, 7 Ladder 7 Battalion 4, Chief A.T. Hornsby. 18:56 Engine 10, Ladder 4, Battalion 3, Joe Anderson 19:05 Engines 16, 17 L 16, Arson Squad 19:10 Engines 14, 15, Ladder 4 Battalion 5, Chief Marion McGill 19:19 Engine 4 19:55 Light Unit 1 21:00 Controlling Signal 30 sounded

the 20th claimed three lives in an apartment at 513 Amal Drive SW and two days later three were killed in a residential fire at 807 Monroe Drive NE THE EQUITABLE BUILDING FIRE Wednesday, 27 March 1968 at 23:34 PM One of the most visible fires ever to occur in Atlanta came in at 23:34 on March 27, 1968 and due to its height could be seen for many miles in all directions. . The fire virtually destroyed the uncompleted upper floors of the Equitable Insurance Building that was under construction at 100 Peachtree St NW at the corner of Luckie Street NW. The structure stands in 2012 and is a modern high-rise which, at the time was replacing the demolished Piedmont Hotel and the McKenzie Buildings. 23:34 23:37 23:53 00:30 01:20 01:25 06:00

Engines 5, 11, 6, 10 Ladders 5, 11, 10 Battalion 5 Chief J.I. “Hoot” Gibson. Engines 8,1,3,4, Ladders 4, 8, 1, Rescue 1st Deputy Chief P.O. Williams and Battalion 3. Engines 15, 16 Ladders 12, 16 Engines 7, 21 Ladders 7, 21 Battalion 2 Special Alarm: 1st Deputy Chief C.T. Ragsdale Special Alarm: Department Chief C.H. Hildebrand Fire Tapped Out.

The cause was listed as careless “hot work” with a cutting torch during the demolition work on the old building. The exact point of origin was never determined nor could it be confirmed if the workers had attempted to fight the fire themselves before someone pulled the nearby street box alerting the Atlanta Fire Department. Of the 106 firefighters working at this incident, four received minor injuries. Thirty three 2½ inch and two 1½ inch hand lines were placed in operation along with four deluge guns and six Ladder Pipes. Six aerials and 23 ground ladders were used to “ladder” the structure for access. Since the building was being razed at the time of the fire, no dollar loss was recorded. 1968 Eighteen fires were recorded in 1968 which resulted in losses greater than $50,000. These added up to $3,765,379 in a year when the total fire losses were $7,702,317. There were 39 fire deaths in the city that year, up dramatically from 21 recorded in 1967. The department responded to a total of 13,557 alarms and ended the year with a roster of 911 personnel. Although the 1,000 runs in a year had been totaled by the Battalion Cars for two years, 1968 would be the first year Engines would hit this mark. Engine 5 took top honors with 1266 alarms followed by the neighbor to the west, Engine 7 at 1161. Engine 16 came in at 1138 and Engine 10 hit the even 1000 run mark. On the other end of the scale, Engine 34 a contract company in the Fulton Industrial District responded only 101 times the entire year. Multiple fire deaths occurred on April 18th, when four were killed at 955 Hill St SE in a house and again on 5 December when a flash fire killed four construction workers refinishing a floor in the Atlanta Gas Light Tower. December 1968 would be a bad month as a fire on 166

The fire rapidly fed on the wooden construction tool shacks, material storage rooms, break rooms and forms commonly called “False Work” which are all the wooden braces used to hold the metal pans and forms that are needed when pouring the concrete floors. It apparently originated from an unknown origin on the 10th floor of the “to be” 30 story building and rapidly raced upward. Wind fanned the flames in the open steel framework and almost all of the combustible materials were consumed doing extensive damage to the steel work. Debris showered down on adjacent roof tops and apparatus on the street creating a severe hazard for the operating AFD crews. A photo taken by Metropolitan Fire Association member Hugh Brannon made from the hill at Cain Street NE and Jackson Street is inside the front cover of the 1975 “PROMPT TO ACTION”. This photo dramatically shows this fire at the top of the city’s skyline. The loss totaled $1,600,000.

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THE GEORGIA STATE HEALTH BUILDING FIRE Wednesday, 10 April 1968 at 22:15 PM An arson suspected fire raked the top floors of the Georgia State Health Building, at 47 Trinity Avenue S.W., on Wednesday, night 10 April 1968. This resulted in a series of multiple alarms being sounded before the dangerous fire could be brought under control. The blaze had originated in a storage room, on the seventh floor and in minutes broke out into the open shortly after a telephone caller stated that one of the state offices was going to be blown up, or burned down, the State Fire Marshal’s office reported. An Atlanta Fire Department investigator said that there was a heavy odor similar to that of gunpowder at the scene. The loss was set at $125,000.00. 22:15 PM Telephone alarm, E. 5-1-10 L. 5 -1 Deputy Chief (Dudley Garrett) 22:20 PM 2nd Alarm E. 4-8 L. 4-8. 22:25 PM Special Alarm Arson Squad 22:29 PM Special Alarm Battalion 5 22:34 PM Special Alarm Light Unit One, Rescue One. 01:15 AM 11 April 1968. Fire “Tapped Out.” THE HAPEVILLE DAY NURSERY EXPLOSION & FIRE – HAPEVILLE GA Wednesday, 29 May 1968 about 13:00 PM An explosion against the front foundation and walls of a wooden house being used as a nursery sent sheets of flame through the entire building and killed seven children and two adults out of 37 children and four adults that were in the Hapeville Day Nursery when a tractor ruptured a gas main less than a foot from the front wall of the house. Nine persons also were injured in the blast, three seriously. Fulton County Medical Examiner Tom Dillon told the media that many of the victims were so badly burned that identification was difficult.. A bulldozer was clearing land outside the day care center for a building expansion when it caught and pulled loose a buried 1-inch natural gas pipeline. The escaping gas went under the house and against the front wall allowing gas to seep into the building before it ignited. Investigators said the tragedy could easily have been prevented: A simple device known as an excess flow valve, priced today at less than $20, could have cut off the escaping gas and saved those lives, federal investigators concluded.When it ignited the fire ball and explosion force totally involved and collapsed the house killing nine people, including seven children. The explosion blew in the front part of the house and flames instantaneously engulfed the remaining part of the building. The blast was so strong only the back wall and part of another wall of the house, were left standing. The children had just finished lunch. Once they were fed lunch workers moved the children to the rear of the house and put most of them in cribs for their naps. The location of the children likely saved many lives. The two surviving adults reported they “just started picking children up off the floor and throwing them out the back door,” The nursery manager, returned into the building several time to help evacuate children. She and another nursery employee were killed. Their efforts, along with those of other employees who returned to the building several times, kept the death toll from going higher. The survivors were taken into a house behind the shattered nursery. Parents rushed to the scene, drenched by a heavy rain and were taken to the house in hopes of finding their children unharmed.

The Hapeville Fire Department was immediately overwhelmed and called for help. Atlanta Fire Department started a full alarm assignment consisting of Engines 30, 2 Truck 7 and Battalion 5. AFD members worked alongside crews from Hapeville, East Point, College Park & Mountain View Fire Departments. As crews continued to search the debris field, the media reported firefighters, “had soot on their faces streaked from tears continued to poke through the rubble with long hooks”. THE GEORGIA COATED FABRICS COMPANY FIRE Saturday, 27 July 1968 at 15:05 PM A fast moving fire virtually destroyed the manufacturing portions of this fabric coating company at their 1400 English Street NW plant just north of Huff Road in Blandtown. The initial call at 15:05 brought in Engines 23, 15, 26 Ladder 23 and Battalion 2. Upon arrival Engine 23 immediately asked for a second alarm at 15:06 bringing Engine 28, 16 Ladder 16 and Assistant Chief S.B. Campbell to the scene. The third alarm was struck at 15:11. The fire at the 40,000 square foot one-story brick walled, steel deck roofs was tapped out at 18:59 with the loss estimated at $600,000. THE ATLANTA GAS LIGHT TOWER EXPLOSION & FLASH FIRE Thursday, 5 December 1968 at 14:08 A telephone alarm was received for a fire on the 20th floor of the modem hi-rise in the Peachtree Center Complex known as the Gas Light Tower at the corner of Peachtree Street NE and what at the time was known as Harris Street NE in the Peachtree Center complex. Chief Steve B. Campbell observed heavy black smoke issuing from the building just as he pulled away from Station 4 on Ellis Street NE and ordered a Second Alarm at 14:12, while still several blocks from the building. Although the actual fire was over within minutes, four workers had perished in a flash of flames. Construction workers installing a wooden parquet floor were using a solvent based glue that was creating significant flammable vapors inside the closed building with very little venting of the vapors. Suddenly the volatile mixture found a source of ignition burst into a massive fireball. The rapid consumption of the flammable gas cause a huge pressure wave that not only had flames instantly surround the workers but it also blew out several windows on the 22nd floor. Two workers were found dead in the room under renovation and two other were killed from being blown out of the 22nd floor windows. With little to burn in the room once the flammable vapor cloud was consumed the fire basically self-extinguished. The entire incident was Tapped Out* at 15:59, less than two hours after the call came in. Fire loss was listed at $110,000. 1969 As inflation began to work on the value of the dollar there was a notable increase in the total number of fires with losses over $50,000. During 1969 there were 30 multiple alarm fires totaling $5,941,174 in damages. Overall fire loss for the year was $8,767,887 with alarms totaling 14,284. On the positive side, only 29 fire fatalities were recorded, down 10 from the previous year. THE CLARK HOWELL SCHOOL FIRE Wednesday, 1 January 1969 at 04:52 AM

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The new year of 1969 was less than 5 hours old on a very cold 1 January 1969 when a telephone alarm was received reporting fire through the roof of the Clark Howell Elementary school at 170 Tenth Street NE between Piedmont and Juniper. 04:52 04:57 05:06 05:11 05:26 05:27 05:44 06:33

Engine 15, 29, 8 Ladder 8, 29 Acting Battalion Chief 3 and Acting Deputy Chief Garrett. Engines 3, 23, Ladder 23 Special Call: Snorkel 4 Engines 1, 16 Ladder 16 Deputy Chief Steve B. Campbell (who was off duty at the time) Engines 5, 19 Rescue 1 Special Call: Light Unit 1, 1st Assistant Chief Ragsdale. Engines 4, 7, 22 Engines 6, 26

(ADT), water flow alarm at 17:29 PM for the Mead Packaging Company complex at 950 thru 1010 West Marietta Street NW in Bellwood. Mead had been the outgrowth and combination of several paper bag and box manufacturing firms, most notably had been the Atlanta Paper Company which had previously occupied a plant on Moore Street SE near the Georgia RR and adjacent to the former site of Capitol Homes.

Originally constructed as the Tenth Street School the building was a two-story and basement brick structure with wood joisted floors, walls and roof decking. A two-story Annex had been added to the west end of the structure and this section at one time housed a Planetarium and the Audio Visual Departments for the entire school system, the facility had been renamed for Clark Howell at a later date. Clark Howell was a prominent state politician and, for 53 years, an editorial executive and owner of The Atlanta Constitution A drop in the neighborhood’s population had caused the elementary school to close in 1962. The Audio Visual Department had recently relocated following the establishment of a warehouse and service center for the school system on Arizona Avenue NE The complex had just been renovated for $100,000 in September 1969 and was being used as the Adult Education Center by the Atlanta Board of Education. The fire ultimately destroyed the school systems Braille library and textbooks. Arriving companies went to work with master streams and within minutes the near zero temperatures caused the entire area to be sheathed in ice. Crews from the City Street Department responded to apply sand to the surrounding streets and fire ground, giving the cold firefighters better footing. Chief Garrett stated that within 30 to 40 minutes after a back draft explosion rocked the scene the entire roof of the original building and the two-story Annex were completely involved and collapsed. The force within the main building caused the second floor to also fail. At the time of the back draft explosion the Chief had been ordering his Fourth Alarm. The 14 engine and six truck companies assigned to the fire operated twenty-nine 2½ inch and four 1½ inch hand lines assisting four ladder pipes and some deluge guns. Ninety of Atlanta’s Bravest endured the bitter morning cold at this fire. The dollar loss was estimated at $397,728. The fire was officially “Tapped Out” at 18:25 New Years night. Ironically, AFD Station No. 15 sits on a portion of this lot today. The fire resulted in six alarms before it could be brought under control. THE MEAD PAPER COMPANY LONG DURATION FIRE Monday, 25 August 1969 at 17:29 PM This fire would become known as the Great Mead Paper Company Fire. It became the longest duration Atlanta Fire Department operation until the Atlanta Federal Prison Riots and takeover by the Cuban Detainees in November 1987. Fire Communications received an American District Telegraph, 168

17:29 Engines 16, 22, 23; Ladders 16, 23; Battalion 2, Chief Pittman. 17:43 Special Call: Engine 3 17:55 Special Call: Deputy Chief Claude Lemke. 17:56 Notified Chief Dispatcher McEver to stand-by for multiple alarms 18:02 E & L 7 transfer to Station 16 18:03 Department Chief P.O. Williams notified. 18:03 Special Call: Ladder 11 18:05 Special Call: Engine 4 Ladder 4 18:06 E 14 transfer to Station 7 18:07 Chief Mechanic Cannon of the shops notified. 18:09 E & L 26 transfer to Station 23 & E 27 to Station 26 18:10 First Deputy Chief J.I. Gibson notified. 18:14 Special Call: Arson Squad - Lt. Richard Waits 18:30 Special Call: Engine 7 Ladder 7 (acting Co. 16) & all foam from Station 1. 18:33 Engine 17 to Station 16 to cover 18:35 Superintendent of Alarms T.H. Cobb notified 18:40 Special Call: Rescue 1 18:47 Special Call: Engine 26 Ladder 26 (acting Company 23) 18:50 Battalion 5 to Station 5 18:51 Engine 19 to Station 15 18:54 Second Alarm: Engines 15, from quarters17 (from 16), 8 Ladder 8 19:05 Engine 6 to Station 11 19:09 Engine 14 to Station 16; Engine 20 to Station 7 19:11 Engine 10 to Station 6; Engine 2 to Station 10 19:26 Special Call: Engine 24 (Red 1) from the Atlanta Airport with 200 gallons of Foam. 19:29 Third Alarm: Engines 1, 6 (Acting 11), 19 (Acting 15) 19:33 Special Call: Engine 28 to bring 30 gallons of foam from the Parrott Ave Tank farm supply. 19:35 Mutual Aid: Lockheed Georgia Company Foam Unit. 19:36 Special Call: Deputy Chief Campbell to Communications at 46 Courtland St SE as O.I.C.. 20:15 Fourth Alarm: Engines 5, 29 & Light Unit 1

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20:20 20:25 20:30 23:00

Engine 20 to Station 1 Engine 13 to Station 10; Engine 2 to Station 5 (from Station 10) Special Alarm: Deputy Chief A.P. Black on Car 912 to Cover city from Station 3 Mutual Aid: Dobbins Air Force Base FD Foam Truck.

The fire was in the plants roll paper warehouse and was rapidly moving throughout the building. Even with all the equipment, and the buildings sprinkler system flowing, the warehouse was lost. Following this and a catastrophic fire at the Saint Regis Paper Mill in Cantonment, Florida, Factory Mutual Engineering and Research did extensive full scale fire testing on roll paper. From these tests the sprinkler density requirements for roll paper warehouses was dramatically changed and increased how much water the individual sprinkler heads must put out per square foot to control a fire in roll paper stored on end. THE DUKE TIRE COMPANY FIRE Monday, 29 December 1969 at 14:57 PM The last major and very spectacular fire of the decade occurred on Monday, 29 December when the former and abandoned Duke Tire Company building at Elliott Street and Hunter Street NW went up in flames. This location is now covered over by a viaduct and the street renamed to Martin Luther King Jr. Drive. The old building had been constructed in the Railroad gulch in the 1800’s and was first occupied by the Frank E. Block Cracker and Candy Company. It later became home to the National Biscuit Company before Nabisco moved to their current location at 1400 Murphy Avenue SW near Fort McPherson. Davison’s - Paxon Company then used the structure as a warehouse for a while to support their department stores but the final occupant was the Duke Tire and Rubber Company. They used this as both a manufacturing and warehousing / distribution facility. Duke had moved their operations to a more efficient facility on Brady Avenue NW and left this structure vacant. This building had many additions over the years and at the time of the fire consisted of a complex of one, two, three and four-story buildings, with load bearing brick walls and heavy plank on timber “Mill Construction” floors and roof decks. The initial alarm came in at 14:57 in the afternoon but even with the December date, the temperature was a balmy 63 degrees with winds from the southwest at 11 MPH. Operations were strictly defensive with many master stream appliances and over twenty 2½-inch hand lines were placed in operation to control the huge fire. The incident went to six alarms before being declared under control at 21:03 PM. The loss on the vacant complex was logged in at $151,000 1970 As the city entered a new decade there were 985 personnel on the AFD at the end of 1970. This was an increase of 116 over the December 1960 total. Battalion Cars 3 and 5 were now consistently running over 1000 alarms a year. So far, no Ladder had gone that high. Top running honors for ‘70 went to Ladder 11 with 822. Engines 5, 6, 7 and 10 were all over the 1000 alarm mark with Engine 5 leading at 1274.

There were 26 multiple alarms where dollar loss exceeded the $50,000 mark. The most notable were: THE FIRST SPRING STREET SW FIRE Tuesday, 12 May 1970 at 01:19 AM The second Tuesday, of May 1970 would be a busy time for the AFD on Spring Street SW between Garnett Street SW and Packard Street SW. A fire originated in the rear of 189 Spring Street SW where the buildings backed up to the railroads. Before it could be brought under control the blaze had grown and also destroyed 181-187 and 195 Spring Street. All of these buildings were two-story brick joisted structures. The initial alarm was from some of the firefighters at Station 1, several blocks to the northwest seeing the fire and smoke. 01:19 Engines 1,5,7, Ladders 1,5; Deputy Chief Steve B. Campbell 01:25 Second Alarm: Engines 3, 4; Ladder 4 01:27 Third Alarm: Engines 6, 17; Battalion 4 A.T. Hornsby 01:29 Fourth Alarm: Engines 20,2; Ladder 7; Battalion, 5, Chief McGill & 1st Assistant Chief J.I. Gibson. 01:36 Fifth Alarm: Engines 10, 11; Department Chief P.O. Williams 01:41 Sixth Alarm: Engines 12, 15; Light Unit 1 01:44 Special Call: Ladder 16 01:46 Seventh Alarm: Engines 8, 22; Ladder 25 01:50 Special Call: Arson Squad, Lt. JA. Byrd. Temperature was shown as 70 degrees with a 5 MPH wind from the west as 107 firefighters battled to control the rapidly moving fire. Twenty-five 2 ½ inch and three 1½ inch hand lines were placed in operation and worked closely with several deluge guns and ladder pipes. At one point about 01:20 the fire was so intense it threatened to jump Spring Street and had it done so, it would have involved the huge Georgia Art Supply Company plant to the east. Aggressive “we’re not giving up” and “take a beating” style firefighting prevented the extension across the street. Control was obtained at 04:30 AM and officially “Tapped Out” at 06:51 AM, with crews remaining on overhaul detail for most of the day. THE GEORGIA ART SUPPLY CO (a/k/a the second Spring Street) FIRE Thursday, 21 May 1970 at 00:03 AM Nine days later and very early on a Thursday, the same area would be the scene of another major fire that would complete the destruction of the buildings saved less than two weeks before. Companies arrived to find two and three-story brick–joisted buildings at 207,211,215,217 and 219 Spring Street SW well involved. The initial fire was a telephone alarm received at 00:03. Three full alarms and several “Special Calls” were needed to again stop the “red devil” in a battle fought throughout the night. The total dollar loss between these two fires was $328,125. Southern Railroad would eventually build a modern red brick multi office building and parking deck where the lower number structures had stood and the southern end of the area remains an open ground level parking lot. Captain Charles Thomas Ragsdale III of Ladder 1 (son of AFD’s Assistant Chief Charles Thomas Ragsdale, Jr.) donned his air pack and went back inside the building to see what was still smoldering. The fumes were coming from plastic around the elevator wires. Evidently his air pack quit working during his search and he removed it, leaving him exposed to the plastic’s fumes. When their crew returned to the

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station, the captain began a cycle of throwing up continually. He was taken to Grady Hospital where he remained in ICU for a week. From then on Ragsdale had severe pain everywhere. Eventually, he was given several tests which showed his liver had been damaged. The cause was determined to be toxic poisoning from the plastic fumes, which slowly, ultimately proved fatal. He died on 20 December 1978 .at age 41 after an eight-year battle, 1971 The month of May has always been a “Jonah” month in the minds of Atlanta’s Bravest and 1971 was no exception. Not since 6 May 1925 had the Atlanta Fire Department experienced any multiple Line of Duty Death loss of life but this ended on May 29th on of all places, Luckie Street NW. Four firefighters were killed when an explosion ripped through the Davis Brothers Restaurant dropping the men working on the first floor into the inferno of rolling fire in the basement. Alarm details of this fire are listed below. Eleven fires originated this year that would require multiple alarm responses for total losses of $1,684,800. Two of the largest losses were in mansion size residential houses in Buckhead. Fire damaged a large dwelling at 65 Valley Road NW north of Habersham Road on 26 April. There is a creek that runs along Valley and presents a serious issue for firefighters trying to get access to these huge houses. These bridges cannot support regular apparatus and hose lines have to be “hand jacked” from the street to the buildings, usually several hundred yards off the street. This of course drastically delays getting the wet stuff on the red stuff and in this case the loss was listed at $270,000. This alarm was struck at 14:12 in the afternoon. Hose Tender 27, a small stake body truck loaded with lots of 3-inch line to go from the street to the dwelling throughout the mansion district of northwest Atlanta was put in service when this access problem was finally properly addressed. The largest dollar loss during 1971 occurred at a house at 1984 River Forest Road NW off Paces Ferry Road near the Chattahoochee River and Lovett School. This 27 July alarm on came in at 17:34 and took three alarms to control. Engine 21, in route on the second alarm ran off the road and into some trees. Luckily, none of the firefighters were seriously injured. THE CENTRAL OF GEORGIA RAILROAD WAREHOUSE FIRE Tuesday, 26 May 1971 at 16:35 PM The old Central of Georgia RR Freight Warehouse stood at 181 Alabama Street SW and stretched from Hunter, (now M.L. King), to the old three-story office portion which by this point was beneath the Spring Street Viaduct. The building had been constructed in the early 1900’s and quietly stood there for years without experiencing any major fires. That all changed in late May1971. The building had gone through a number of leasers over the years since the “Less than Car Load” rail business had mostly gone to the trucks and the Central of Georgia stopped loading box cars here in a cross dock operation. At the time of this incident, it was leased to the adjacent main downtown Rich’s Department Store. The fire apparently originated near the Lower Hunter Street end of 170

the building and for a time threatened to gut the entire complex. The portion that burned was cut off from the remainder of the structure by a 24 inch brick, properly designed fire wall. The viaduct which went over the top of the building was damaged by the extensive heat when fire broke through the roof and heated the steel beams on the bottom of the bridge deck. The Spring Street Viaduct was closed north of Martin Luther King Jr. Drive SW for several months until it could be repaired. Two firefighters were injured in the three alarm operation. THE TRAGIC DAVIS BROTHERS RESTAURANT FIRE & EXPLOSION Saturday, 29 May 1971 at 22:23 Luckie Street did not live up to its name on a Saturday, evening as four of Atlanta’s Bravest perished in a fire at 104 Luckie Street NW between Cone Street NW and Fairlie Street NW in the Central Business District of the city. Captain Lewis Bartow Grady and Firefighter Verlon James Crider of Engine Company 15 and Firefighters Charles Douglas Fernander and Howard Haley Beck of Ladder Company 11 were killed when an explosion ripped through a building used as a typical cafeteria style restaurant where patrons went down a long serving line. Twenty-three other members of the department were injured and had to be transported from the scene. Those who were treated and released from Grady Memorial Hospital were: Ladder Driver Ralph W. Allison, Acting Lieutenant Danny D. Bowman, Hoseman Garey E. Camp, Frank N. Cooper, Jr., Larry E. Cumming, Captain Max K. Edens, Charles R. Guyton, Ray Steve Leavell, John G. McCarthy, Walter K. Perry, Lt. Howard O. Phillips, J.A. Prince, Captain Charles T. Ragsdale III, Joseph Donald Roberts, and Henry C. Scales. Those who were admitted to Grady were FAO David Chamberlin, Jimmy F. Duncan, Ladder Driver Curtis C. Holland, Captain Wyatt Hudson, T.L. Kitchens, Gilbert A. Maner, Edwin O. Warren, and Lieutenant O.E. Zachery. This fire marked the second largest loss of life for the Atlanta Fire Department, as well as the first rime time in the paid or volunteer history of the department that a black firefighter had been killed in the Line of Duty. Charles Fernander, affectionately known as “Bo Daddy”, would sadly become the first African-American to die in the line of duty in Atlanta Fire Department’s history. Even though it was classified as a typical basement fire, the incident drew national media coverage due to the large and tragic loss of life for the AFD. Saturday, 29 May 1971 at 22:23 22:23 Engines 3, 4, 1, 6 Ladders 4, 1 Deputy Chief Steve B. Campbell 22:36 Special Call: Salvage Unit 1 22:34 E & L 5 to Station 4; E & L 7 to Station 1 22:40 Special Call: Light Unit 1 22:41 Second Alarm: Engines 5, 10, Ladder 10; Battalion 5 Chief M.F. McGill and Department Chief P.O. Williams 22:45 E 10 to Station 5 22:49 E & L 12 to Station 6 22:51 Third Alarm: Engines 15 (Crider and Grady), 7 (acting 1) Ladder 11 (Beck and Fernander) 23:52 E & L 23 to Station 11; E & L 26 to Station 23 23:55 E 16 to Station 1; Battalion 4 to Station 6; Battalion 2 to Station 4; Engine 14 to Station 7 23:10 Massive explosion occurs. Firefighters down, missing and

130 Years of Historic Fires 1882-2012


many seriously injured 23:10 Atlanta Fire Radio ordered to send All Available Ambulances to the scene!! 23:12 Fourth Alarm: Engines 16, (1) ;23, (11); 10 (5); Ladders 7 (1); 23, (11); 16 (1) 23:12 E & L 29 to Station 11; E 14 (7) to Station 1 E & L 25 to Station 7 23:15 E 22 to Station 16; E 2 to Station 5 23:17 Special Alarm: Battalion 4, Chief Hornsby to fire 23:18 Battalion 6 to Station 11 23:24 Special Alarm: Deputy Chief Lemke from home 23:30 Arson Squad - Lt. J.A. Byrd ---- Sunday, 30 May 1971 00:40 Gas cut off to building 03:27 Control sounded 05:54 Fire officially tapped out The structure was a typical two-story brick-walled building with a full basement having a wood joisted floor covered with ceramic tile. The second floor and the roof deck were board on wood joist. It sat on the south side of Luckie Street, between Cone and Fairlie Streets. It was adjacent to the nine-story masonry Georgia Hotel which was being vacated at the time. The electric and natural gas meters were inside the basement, something that was typical in “downtown” buildings. The only shut off for the gas was an external valve beneath a small plate under the sidewalk. Many times these valves had been covered over if the small screwed down plate had been damaged over the years. Very shortly these cellar utilities would lead to a catastrophic explosion and a very tragic event in the history of the AFD. This valve controlling the gas line into the building would not get secured until well after the ill-fated explosion. Several other factors came into play including the fact the building was not sprinkled. The basement storage area was accessed along the east wall by one stairway near the front of the building, and another stairway near the back of the building. Upon arrival, Engine 3 discovered heavy smoke throughout and a severe fire in the basement. Captain Max Edens of Engine 3 ordered two 1½ inch hand lines stretched into the building and down the front set of basement stairs. They encountered extreme heat but hung in there attempting to get water on the fire which was rolling in the basement forward of their position and close to the Luckie Street end. Crews actually had to go over the seat of the fire to get access to the rear set of stairs. This also meant their hose lines were sitting on the floor above the fire. Firefighter Don Gossett had “plugged” that night and had assisted the engineer on Engine 3 take a plug at Fairlie & Luckie. As he got back to the fire building he noted the service elevator was coming up out of the sidewalk. Apparently the heat or a short had made it rise. Firefighters were now playing a 2½ -inch hand line down the elevator shaft into the fire. Companies were taking a tremendous beating at the bottom of both sets of basement stairs. Captain C.T. Ragsdale of Company 1 ordered everyone out as conditions deteriorated and one line was abandoned at the bottom of the stairs. Companies got fresh air tanks and again fought back to the bottom of the stairs. Conditions were worse than before and this second offensive attack also had to be abandoned. This time all lines were removed to the street. Glass windows on the front of the building were now ordered broken out to vent heat and smoke; at the same time holes were

being cut in the floor. Remember this was a masonry tile over a thick wood floor, so punching these holes was not a quickly accomplished task. A Cellar pipe, supplied from a 2½ inch line was placed through the broken-out window, went into the first hole. The height of the window sill made the hose sit at an angle so that the feet of the cellar pipe would not sit flat against the floor. Even so, when water was supplied, the fire in that room the cellar pipe was in immediately went out. The angle of the pipe was bad and crews worked to correct the issue. When the firefighters attempted to back the cellar pipe out of the hole in the floor, something in the basement had entangled the tube to a point it could not be efficient moved and turned nor retracted. Even so, when water was supplied the fire in that section of the basement immediately went out verified by what operating members could see around the pipe through the hole in the floor. They then advanced about 25 feet further into the building from the front wall and proceeded to cut another hole in the floor. Within seconds, a tremendous explosion rocked the building! Virtually everyone on the fire scene was thrown to the ground or against walls and equipment. Firefighters had their helmets blown off and were now grabbing the closest one to them. Lt. George Villano (Aide to Chief Campbell), ordered a short ladder and Firefighter Don Gossett (Engine 3), went searching for one. As he returned he saw his Captain Max Edens and several other firefighters lying in the street, seriously injured. Within seconds the entire front of the building was fully involved and a heavy-flame front was rolling out the broken windows. All regulators on the gas meter assembly had been compromised by the blast and the open broken line was now feeding full street pressurized natural gas into the base of the fire. Atlanta Gas Company crews were trying to locate the cap over the cut off valve in the sidewalk. They were afraid to go in front of the building with the fire now rolling out the window and all along the front of the damaged structure. Firefighter Gossett took their tools and after a short search, found the valve cap. So much water was flowing out of the building he had to sit down on the sidewalk, backed up to the building so his bottom and legs would deflect enough water so he could see and work on removing the cap. Once the cap was off the Atlanta Gas Company emergency crews came over and secured the flow of gas pouring uncontrolled into the basement of the building. Companies hit the fire with several big hand lines and additional Cellar pipes and Bresnan Distributors were now working as cellar pipes were working on the flames beneath the collapse sections of what had been the first floor. After the fire darkened down, First Deputy Chief J.I. Gibson ordered all hose lines and master streams turned off. A ladder was placed into the basement and he descended the ladder followed by Lt. Lake Hearn, (Engine 5). They were trying to see if they could find the four missing firefighters. Water in the basement was now about 3 feet deep. . The bodies of the four firefighters were located. The explosion had lifted the floor, and when it collapsed, eating booths and the heavy steam serving counter slid off the first floor into the cellar. The now deceased firefighters were trapped beneath the booths and the steam serving counter which had come down on top of them. Twenty-three firefighters were sent to Grady Memorial Hospital, including four who would end up in intensive care. Following the explosion, Department Chief Dudley Martin and Fire

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Marshall Eugene Guerry of the DeKalb County Fire Department (D.C.F.D.) responded to the scene, offering the assistance of the D.C.F.D. to help man vacated Atlanta stations or provided help at the scene. Mayor Sam Massell and Fire Department Chaplain Repass also responded to the scene. Control was sounded at 03:27 and the fire was officially tapped out at 05:54 on 30 May, the Sunday morning of Memorial Day weekend.

“fire brands” spreading the blaze everywhere.

During the overhaul, the initial Cellar Pipe was found sticking through the floor less than six feet from the gas meter in the basement. In the opinion of some of the firefighters, the gas meter was on fire in the basement upon arrival. The flames were extinguished by the first Cellar Pipe thus allowing unburned natural gas build-up. When this accumulation of gas finally reached flames on the other side of the basement, the gas ignited, exploding into a massive fire ball with enough force to lift up the floor which then fell into the basement taking eight firefighters and all of the furniture down with it.

Master stream appliances were set up on all sides and the huge fire was contained to the Mill Building complex. Control was sounded at 20:00 with companies remaining on the scene throughout the night.

Davis Brothers Management Company, along with many concerned citizens and business, contributed to a fund for the fallen firefighters. Coordination and distribution of this fund was handled by the Metropolitan Fire Association, the Atlanta area fire buff club, at the request of Department Chief P.O. Williams. Mr. Stanley Davis, who had been on the scene that tragic night, personally visited many of the firefighters in the hospital and the families of their comrades who were killed in action. Origin and cause of the fire was not determined. The dollar loss at this incident totaled only $60,000. Mrs. Donna H. Bowman, wife of Forsyth County Department Chief and EMA Director Danny D. Bowman—who at the time was an Atlanta Firefighter was on the scene and injured that night She has written a very detailed book on this event. Your interest in the Atlanta Fire Rescue Department is shown by your time to read this book so we suggest you obtain a copy of Tragedy on Luckie Street; True stories of the second worst loss of life suffered by the Atlanta Fire Department. These may be ordered at: www.TragedyOnLuckieStreet.com THE J.P. STEVENS COMPANY “EXPOSITION COTTON MILL” FIRE Tuesday, 6 July 1971 ay 17:52 PM

This fire resulted from yet another case of carelessness with “hot work”, as demolition workers used cutting torches to dismantle the former cotton mill. When the old, plank-on-wood-timber, multistory structure caught fire, the wrecking crew tried to fight the flames themselves for an extended period of time before calling the AFD. This let the fire get to a well advanced stage before the alarm was sounded. Arriving companies got to the scene at Jefferson and Ashby Streets NW and found the four story main building with heavy fire blowing out every window, brick walls already coming down, and 172

17:52 Engines 8, 16, 23 Ladders 23, 16, Battalion Car 902, Chief F.J. Bowen 17:56 Second Alarm: E 3, 11, L 11 Acting Deputy Chief Dan D. Spurlin 18:03 Third & Fourth Alarms: E 7, 15, 6, 22, 28 and & Arson

1972 As 1972 started, the AFD had 986 personnel. They would handle 27 multiple alarms during the year where losses were above $50,000. Fourteen were in Mercantile or Manufacturing; one night club; one amusement building; 2 single family dwellings and the remainder were apartment buildings. Total dollar loss for the year was $10,858,701 marking the first time fire losses would exceed ten million dollars. Thirty-seven people lost their lives in fires this year. Even though the dollar loss broke a new barrier, an interesting fact is that NO piece of equipment would break 1,000 alarms in 1972! THE PENN AVENUE SKATING RINK FIRE Saturday, 19 August 1972 at 05:21 AM

Third Battalion companies were rung out early on a Saturday, morning for a fire in the vicinity of North Avenue and Argonne St. NE in the Bedford Pine area of the city. A Telephone caller had advised extremely heavy smoke in this area but they did not see where or what was on fire. After searching a couple of blocks Company 4 found the vacant Skating Rink building at 634 Penn Avenue NE, between North and Ponce de Leon Avenues fully charged with heavy smoke. The building was a 100 x 180 masonry wall structure with a bowtruss roof design of wood decking and truss beams. The floor also was hardwood due to the occupancy. A flash over occurred as some of the first due companies were getting to the correct location. Seven minutes into the incident the second alarm was sounded. An interior attack was attempted but soon abandoned due to intense heat and dense smoke. Very shortly after crews started their interior attack portions of the wooden roof began to fail and all members were ordered out of the unstable structure. At the height of the fire, two ladder pipes, Snorkel 4, several deluge guns and numerous big hand lines were played into the inferNo. These efforts kept the fire out of an apartment building to the rear and an A & P Grocery Store to the north. For many years, this former grocery store building was used as the Old Spaghetti Factory Restaurant. Three firefighters were injured in the operation and the loss was noted to be $250,000. The fire was placed under control at 10:12 AM.

130 Years of Historic Fires 1882-2012


THE ATLANTA WOOLEN MILLS OR THE WELLS STREET FIRE Sunday, 27 August 1972 at 01:40 AM In the seventies all of the Atlanta Fire Stations continued to have “Watchmen” who sat listening to the fire radios and joker systems for alarms during the overnight. As the duty watchman at Company 7 was upstairs to wake his relief man a tremendous explosion shook the fire station. He looked to the southeast, out the front windows of the station, and saw a flash in the vicinity of the old Atlanta Woolen Mills building located at 598 Wells Street SW in the north end of Pittsburgh.

roof mounted cooling tower of the Swift & Company building across the railroad. An additional or Eighth Alarm was transmitted to contain this new outbreak. Hand lines were advanced to the roof and the fire brought under control. THE DEADLY FIRE AT THE BAPTIST TOWERS HOME FOR THE AGED Thursday, 30 November 1972 at 02:19 AM On the early winter’s night of 30 November 1972 a fire occurred that would again have national media coverage, and would also assist in changing the fire codes not only in Atlanta but throughout the country.

The three-story, 200 x 250 foot, brick wall with plank on timber floored building had been vacated by the textile industry years before. The Quality Tire Company was the primary tenant among several to lease space in the huge old building. They used the structure to store both new and used tires in large quantities. The sprinkler system, originally designed for a textile plant, was no match for the severe fire being generated by burning tires and the structure was doomed. Ladder 7 advised Communications of their observation and headed that way at 01:40. As they turned onto Georgia Avenue off West Whitehall they saw the big building was well involved. The Officer gave the dreaded “Signal 18”, alerting communications to Standby for Multiple Alarms! The initial alarm, sounded at 01:43, brought Engine 5 and 1, Ladder 5 and an Acting Battalion Chief on Car 904 to the scene. As soon as 904 arrived, he sounded the Second Alarm. With the Second Alarm, Acting Deputy Chief A.T. Hornsby responded. He found the main building fully involved and an extremely critical situation as exposures on three sides were in danger of catching fire. Chief Hornsby immediately called for four additional engines and Snorkel 4. Hand lines and Deluge guns were positioned to protect the properties of Southern Mills, Swift and Company, and Atlanta Casket Company. The tremendous volume of radiated heat could not be overcome and fire began to extend into the Swift and Company building across the Norfolk-Southern RR tracks to the east of the fire. Southern Mills to the north was also severely threatened but saved by the “Exposure Sprinklers” on the face of the building and by some gutsy firefighters staying between the buildings with big hand lines. Ladder 1 put up the stick at the rear corner of the Swift & Company building and had the apparatus over 75 feet from the fire building on the Railroad tracks. The heat was increasing so amazingly fast that the plastic lens on the dome light melted and the paint on the cab was blistering with windshield glass cracking. The truck crew saved the apparatus by driving it out of danger with the aerial extended up over the bed and the outriggers still extended, dragging hose lines as it went. Three of the men who moved the rig collapsed as soon as they got it to safety and had to be transported by Rescue 1 to Grady Memorial Hospital where they were examined and released back to the scene. By 02:00 the alarms were coming in but the fire was also still growing. Companies from every battalion in the city would be part of the 15 engine and four aerial companies who worked the alarm. Control was finally gained at 05:17 after much of the main building had collapsed. Suddenly at 06:14 AM flames leaped 100 feet into the air from the

Flames broke out in an 8th floor apartment and spread into the hallway through the units’ open door. Automatic closers were not required on the individual apartment unit’s doors at the time. As neighbors tried to exit, they encountered the hallway filled with deadly smoke and flames and quickly there were catastrophic results. The structure involved was the 11-story Baptist Towers elderly high-rise of fire resistive construction located at 1881 Myrtle Drive SW south of Campbellton Road. At the time of this fire, sprinkler protection was not required by code and had not been provided when the facility was constructed. The building did have standpipes in the stairwells. Nine engine and eight ladder companies along with several pieces of support equipment scrambled to extinguish a fire which spread throughout the hall and created smoke problems that would take the lives of nine occupants. Thirty additional elderly residents were injured. Many were evacuated from upper floors down the stairs and over aerial equipment. The fire occurred on a cold rainy night with temperatures logged in at 41 degrees. The fire damage was listed at $250,000. Laws were changed following the fire to require smoke detection in the apartments and also to require automatic closing devices on hallway doors. If sprinkler protection had been provided, this tragedy could have been avoided. Although this fire occurred in 1972, it would take the multiple loss-of-life fire that occurred in the Peachtree 25th Street Building 17 years later in June of 1989 before the Atlanta City Council finally passed requirements to retrofit sprinklers in all highrise buildings within the city. THE REGENCY HOTEL – THE PRESSURIZED WATER CAN FIRE Monday, 11 December 1972 at 09:44 AM On 11 December a two alarm fire broke out on the 16th floor of the plush Regency Hotel at 265 Peachtree Street NE just north of Harris Street NE, (now John Portman Ave NE). Arriving companies had nothing showing from the outside but once in the building things were quite different. Heavy smoke and heat was found on the 16th floor of the “round tower” where one entire suite was

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found fully involved. About the time companies got lines on the standpipe and ready for an aggressive attack, they discovered that the standpipe system feeding the upper floors was out of service by hotel maintenance for some repair work. This lack of water availability seriously hampered prompt extinguishment of the fire and required a lot more effort than should have been needed to put the fire out. Crews were forced to quickly improvise before the fire got out of the suite and began rolling down the hallway where it could have involved the entire 16th floor. The initial attack was made using two 2½ gallon pressurized water can type extinguishers from the cabinets on that floor. When the initial water was applied, the steam expansion caused the windows to blow out creating a spectacular site with lots of fire showing for those looking from the street below. Eventually 30 of these 2½-gallon extinguishers were used having been rounded up from throughout the building hose / extinguisher cabinets by firefighters and maintenance crews. Using two at a time the fire was “blacked out” with very aggressive firefighting. Lines were eventually hand stretched from the lower floor level where the standpipe still had water. 1973 After the record fire loss year of 1972, the AFD had hoped for some relief with the coming of the New Year. Within the first two months, 14 multiple alarms struck the city and in one five day period the AFD fought two 3 alarm; one 5 alarm and one 2 alarm fire. Finally, in March, business slowed and the year ended with 30 fires which had total losses over $50,000. Total dollar losses for 1973 were $10,164,113, which was actually almost $700,000 lower than the “to then” record year of 1972. Twenty-nine people were killed by fire, down from the 37 listed in 1972. In the first two months of the year there were 14 multiple alarms. In one five day period, there were one 2nd alarm; two Third Alarms and one Fifth Alarm incidents. Even with the increase in multiple alarms early in the year, no piece of city apparatus responded over 1,000 times during 1973 for the second year in a row.. Total alarms were 15,848 making this the first year since 1970 where the AFD topped the 15,000 alarm mark. THE 2219 PEACHTREE ROAD APARTMENTS FIRE Tuesday, 23 January 1973 at 02:47 AM This early morning fire caused arriving companies at 2219 Peachtree Road NE at Biscayne to concentrate on making rescues of escaping residents and delayed suppression efforts for numerous minutes. As Battalion 6 arrived people were jumping from upper floor windows. This gave fire a strong headway in the three-story brick walled building which had wood floors and roof deck. Fire quickly destroyed the wood stairwells and all attacks had to be over ladders from the exterior. It took four alarms and lots of tough firefighting to get control of this alarm. THE ATLANTA CASKET COMPANY FIRE Monday, 5 February 1973 at 19:30 PM The most spectacular fire of the year occurred on a Monday, night in early February when the vacant Atlanta Casket Company buildings on Elliott Street SW at Nelson Street SW burned. The three-story, brick – joisted building was almost 200 feet long. Companies arrived to find most if this fully involved on all three floors. Exposures were a serious problem including an adjacent warehouse which housed over a million dollar inventory. A strong stand by the AFD prevented all but minor damage to this facility. A vacant exposure on the north 174

side also became involved but companies rallied to make a stand and succeeded in obtaining a “good stop” which prevented several other structures from becoming involved. At the height of the fire flames were leaping well over 100 feet into the air. The radiant heat was almost unbearable. Several pieces of apparatus and fire company positions had to be abandoned under emergency conditions to prevent damage to equipment of injury to personnel. THE ATLANTA WASTE PAPER COMPANY (A/K/A THE GRANT STREET) FIRE Tuesday, 27 February 1973 @ 14:55 PM The Atlanta Waste Paper company had operated a newspaper and cardboard recycling operation at 229 Grant, SE for many years. Loose paper and cardboard would be brought in, sorted, graded and baled with storage piled in all areas until it could be sold to the paper industry as raw materials. The building was an old three-story brick - joisted structure measuring roughly 100 x 200 feet that sat between a mattress company and the Georgia Railroad. Although sprinkled, the protection was on an “old style” ordinary hazard pipe schedule system which was never designed to suppress a fire in baled waste paper. On the afternoon of 27 February 1973 companies responded and found heavy fire conditions deep in the old building. Exposure 1 was Grant Street. Exposure 2 was an “L” shaped structure housing a cotton waste reclaiming operations in the former Southern Cross Mattress Factory. This “L” building also extended to the exposure 3 side of the fire building. There was a small yard also piled full of scrap paper and cardboard and up an embankment was the Hulsey Yard of the Georgia RR making up exposure 4. Battalion 5 ordered a Second Alarm upon arrival. Deputy Chief A.P. Black responded to take command and bumping the alarm up to a Fifth Alarm. He noted interior conditions rapidly deteriorating and ordered all companies pulled out of the building. Master stream attacks were made from all sides with some flowing for almost 48 straight hours. Crews battled the fire throughout the night and Engines 6 and 10 would pump at full volume for over 48 straight hours. They were refueled several times during the two days. Over a week later and after bulldozers had been brought in to move the debris around and around, Engine 10 was still returning to the scene several times a day to extinguish hot spots.

130 Years of Historic Fires 1882-2012


THE SECOND ATLANTA WASTE PAPER COMPANT (GRANT STREET) FIRE Monday, 3 December 1973 at 04:45 AM The waste paper company barely slowed down after the February fire and continued to operate in the yard and what was left of the old building at 229 Grant Street SE. Early on the morning of 3 December 3, 1973, an alarm was received from the Fire Alarm Box at Hunter, (now M.L. King), and Grant Streets. First Alarm units found fire blowing out every window along the front of the structure and immediately called for a Second Alarm. The situation rapidly escalated to a Four Alarm Fire. Due to a weakened front wall and because the master streams were making little headway in darkening down the fire, Ladders 10 and 5 were relocated from their positions at the front comers of the building. Moments after they got underway, the entire front wall fell, showering bricks across the width of Grant Street SE. Master streams pounded the fire for several hours before it was brought under control. For the second time in less than a year AFD crews had prevented spread into the adjacent Southern Cross Complex. THE MT. OLIVE BAPTIST CHURCH FIRE Sunday, 9 December 1973 at 11:45 AM

work of this alarm and it went no higher than a Second Alarm. 1974 There were 1,029 personnel on the payroll of the AFD as of January 1, 1974. Within the next 365 days there will have been 14,691 alarms of which 6,629 are fires of various types. None of the 36 Engine, 17 Ladder Companies or any of the 7 Battalion Cars will respond to more than 1,000 alarms. Engine 11 will have 940 and Battalion 5 totaled 949 alarms. Total dollar loss for the year will add up to $8,980,968. Well down from previous years, only 18 people will perish in fire incidents in 1974. There were a total of 24 alarms where dollar loss exceeded $50,000. THE MONARCH WINE COMPANY OF GEORGIA FIRE Tuesday, 12 February 1974 at 20:14 PM A major multi alarm fire struck this wine bottling plant at 451 Sawtell Ave. SE across and down the street for the site of the former Lakewood General Motors or as it was locally known, the Chevrolet Assembly Plant. Monarch produced the King Cotton Wine brand, a favorite with the “cheap wine” crowd. The Monarch buildings sit almost 700 feet east of Sawtell and are adjacent to what used to be a railroad loading yard for automobiles produced at the “Chevy Plant”. Although no immediate exposures were a problem, getting water into the scene was. Multiple alarms were called for extended hose lays out to Sawtell and Richmond Avenues. Master streams, backed up by numerous hand lines were needed to control the fire in a masonry walled - joisted, three-story building. The loss was listed as $812,000 of which over $600,000 were stored product and other contents. This fire was the largest single dollar loss for the year. Monarch rebuilt after this fire and continued to use this as a manufacturing complex for several years. By 2012 the facility is yet another vacant manufacturing facility with future fate unknown. THE 383 SIXTH ST NE APARTMENT FIRE Sunday, 17 February 1974 at 03:18 AM

The initial caller reported fire in a paper drive store room in the Sunday school and recreation building attached to the rear of the Sanctuary on this large church at 1631 Westhaven Drive SW just west of Cascade Road. Engines 25, 7, 14, Ladder 7,25 and Battalion 4, Chief Marion Callaway were dispatched at 11:45 AM, during church services on Sunday morning. An interior attack was begun and the building evacuated. Fire had rapidly gotten into the walls and was moving with extreme speed throughout the building. Additional equipment was called until 13 engines and six aerials were on the scene along with Rescue 1, Mobile air 1, Captain Richard Waits on Arson Car 933, Car 901, Deputy Chief R.B. Sprayberry and Car 908, 1st Assistant Chief J.1. Gibson. Despite a gallant effort by three Ladder pipes, Squirt 5, Snorkel 4 several deluge guns and many hand lines, the Sunday school, Recreation and Sanctuary buildings were destroyed. With companies still spread thin due to the Church fire, Chief Sprayberry quickly upgraded a working fire at 149 Broad Street SW near Trinity Avenue which came in at 18:29 on the same day. A blitz attack made short

An interesting fire in early 1974 included a tough job in an old style apartment house at 383 Sixth Street NE in Midtown. The building was a brick walled structure with wood floors and roof deck. The fire originated in the cellar, and appears to have started around the heating equipment which was working hard on a cold winter night. The blaze was fed by a large burned off natural gas meter which was also in the basement A resident, Judy Cobb was thought to be in the building but luckily she had been out of town. She would show up early Sunday morning while crews were still on the scene. Much to their relief, she was alive, but found her apartment and all others destroyed. This fire went for three alarms. Members of the MFA assisted with salvage and Ms. Cobb stayed in touch with the buffs for several years after she relocated to the Tampa, Florida area. THE PEACHTREE & MUSCOGEE FIRE Tuesday, 5 March 1974 at 13:06 PM One of the larger dollar loss fire and a real stubborn job came in at 13:06 on March 5th. This was an older brick wall with wood floor and roof apartment building located at 2554 Peachtree Road NW on the southwest corner of Muscogee Avenue in Peachtree Heights. The fire spread vertically up an idle dumb-waiter shaft and the pipe chases from its origin near an incinerator in the basement. Fire rapidly

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spread across the third floor and got into the non-sprinkled 2 foot high “cockloft” type attic. Companies fought to pull ceilings and get the fire cut off but it rapidly traveled the entire length of the building. Ladder 29 operating with a new snorkel saw the trucks first action in an alley at this fire. Damage totaled $365,000 in both building and contents. Following the fire the damaged structure was demolished and replaced with a long row of attached townhouse type condos.

company’s, this time back to Sandy Springs. Engines 32, 33 and Ladder 32 were sent to 346 Carpenter Drive for a reported fire in a two-story wood frame with brick veneer apartment building. They arrived to find a “worker” well involving the building and called for assistance. Atlanta Engine 21, Fulton Engine 36 and Atlanta Ladder 21 along with the Sixth Battalion, Chief Dan D. Spurlin were dispatched.

THE COPELAND ROAD NE – SANDY SPRINGS FIRE Saturday, 23 March 1974 at 02:13 AM

One minute later Communications sounded an alarm for 754 Juniper Street NE in Midtown. Engines 11, 15, 4 Ladders 11, 4 Battalion 3, Chief Sprayberry were assigned. They also had a worker and asked for a Second Alarm. This responded Engines 6,29, Ladder 29 and Deputy Car 901.

The Atlanta Fire Department was contracted by Fulton County to provide fire protection in Sandy Springs, North Springs and the Fulton Industrial Fire Protection Districts. Engines 32, 33 and 36 along with Ladder 32 protected the Sandy and North Springs Districts while Engines 34 and 37 covered the Fulton County Industrial area. All calls for assistance in the unincorporated part of Fulton County came into the Atlanta Fire Communications Signal Office and street boxes were even provided in both areas. Although Atlanta could not pull county equipment into the city, the county apparatus could call for help to assist them on fires in the unincorporated areas of their districts. Early on a Saturday, morning, Engines 32, 33 and Ladder 32 responded to a reported apartment fire at 99 Copeland Road NE at 02:13. Due to the volume of calls being received, the signal Office added Engine 36 at 02: 14 but even with the extra engine, this was not going to do the job. The Captain on Ladder 32 asked Atlanta FD for assistance Battalion 6, Chief Ross Venable, and Atlanta Engines 26, 27 and Ladder 26 responded and crews worked numerous hand lines to gain control of the fire. The fire was in a two-story wood frame, brick veneer garden apartment building found well involved on arrival. One resident perished despite the efforts of all on the scene. By 2012 the street name has been changed to Northwoods Drive near Kingsport Drive NE and it is within the City of Sandy Springs. THE UTOY SPRINGS ROAD SW FIRE IN SANDTOWN Saturday, 23 March 1974 at 16:56 PM Some 14 hours and a few minutes later, the other end of Fulton County under contract to Atlanta FD would go to work and need help. Engines 34 and 37 were sent to a reported apartment fire at 1212 Utoy Springs Road SW. This multi building complex is located roughly two blocks from the city limits in the unincorporated sections of the county. Engine 37 arrived and reported a working fire in a three-story wood frame garden apartment building. Since there was not a Ladder Company on the south end, 4th Battalion Chief AT. Hornsby ordered Mutual Aid from Atlanta so that a truck company would be available to assist the two engines on this working fire. This started Atlanta Ladder 31 at 17:08. Chief Hornsby also responded and based upon the condition description by Engine 37, ordered a full Second Alarm at 17:15. Engines 9, 25 and 31 Ladder 25 and Car 901, Deputy Chief Steve B. Campbell responded. At 17:26, Rescue 1 was sent to standby the scene. Dollar losses were not added to the 1974 Annual Report on the AFD since these were “county alarms”. FROM SANDY SPRINGS TO MIDTOWN… A BUSY DAY Saturday, 27 April 1974 at 02:32 AM The next multi alarm fire was again to assist the Fulton County 176

THE FRANKLIN’S SUPERMARKET FIRE Saturday, 27 April 1974 at 14:23 PM Eleven hours and nine minutes later a fire was reported in the basement of the Franklin Supermarket at 1460 Boulevard SE just north of McDonough Boulevard near the Federal Penitentiary Engines 2, 10 Ladder 2 and Battalion 5 under the command of Chief Harry Gulley responded. By 14:38 the call went out from Aide Lt. J.J. Thompson to bump this up to a three - two response. Engine 13 and Ladder 30 responded. The Air Truck was requested at 14:54. Arson Car 931, Lt. Don Gossett was requested at 15:14 along with the Medical Examiner. An employee of the store had been in the basement and was trapped by the fire. At 15:22 Engines 5 and 7, Rescue 1 and Deputy Chief Claude Lemke responded as the situation was not improving. Squirt 5 was stuck into the building and when it opened up, things dramatically improved. The entire first floor collapsed into the basement but surprisingly, no walls fell and the roof was not burned off the building. Control was sounded at 19:38. The grocery store was rebuilt and stayed in business for many more years as a Franklin’s store. During the Federal Penitentiary Riots of November 1987, Field Service Unit 880, (now ReHab-880) the Metropolitan Fire Association operated Canteen truck, restocked several times from the Franklin’s store. This fire ended a LONG day in the history of the AFD. Although closed for a while, by June 2012 the building is again in use and is now the El Progresso Grocery Store. THE EDGEWOOD & BOULEVARD SE CONFLAGRATION Saturday, 4 May 1974 at 02:56 AM What had seemed like a typical shift on radio watch at Station 6, at Boulevard and Auburn Avenue, was suddenly changed when the watchman was summoned to the front ramp by a motorist who pulled up in front of the station and started blasting his horn. The man continued to point down the block to the south. Captain George Villano had gotten to the bunkroom windows on the second floor. When he looked where the man was pointing, he could see fire in the sky. Communications was alerted and Engines 6, 10, 12 Ladders 10, 12 and Car 905, Fifth Battalion Chief Harry Gulley responded. Deputy Chief Claude Lemke heard the initial dispatch. He walked to the rear of Station 4, could also see the fire and advised radio he was “taking it in”. At 03:03 a Full Second Alarm was requested bringing in Engines 4,5, 11 and Snorkel 4. Engine 1 was Special Called at 03:09

130 Years of Historic Fires 1882-2012


and Rescue 1 followed at 03: 13. Light Unit 1 responded at 03:35 and Engine 3 was Special Called at 03:48.

THE TENTH STREET STRIP FIRE Monday, 28 October 1974 at 23:19 PM

The fire was in an “L” Shaped three-story brick-joisted retail furniture store at 457 Edgewood Avenue SE, just west of Boulevard. Snorkel 4 and Squirt 5 were both placed in front of the building. Ladder 10 operated a fly and a bed pipe from the rear. Several deluge guns and numerous hand lines were also placed in operation. The fire communicated through the basement into an adjacent attached onestory grocery store at 453 Edgewood Ave SE Very aggressive actions by the AFD prevented the fire from taking the entire block of old brick walled wood joisted floor and roof decked structures. The fire was tapped out at 12:36 with a loss of $160,000. An aerial photo review in 2012 shows that the site remains a big vacant lot with the single building on the Boulevard / Edgewood corner (exposure No. 2) that was in the crook of the ”L” remains standing today.

This fire would involve the taxpayer type buildings from 1013 to 1019 Peachtree Street NE between 10th and 11th streets in Midtown. The alarm came in as Peachtree and 10th Street NE on Alarm Box 1352 generating a 3/2 assignment. Ladder 4 arrived at 23:20 and Captain E.O. McDonnell reported heavy smoke. Company 29 was added at 23:27 and four more engines and one truck would be added by 00:48. Fire was in control of the cockloft and three ladder pipes, one snorkel and several deluge guns were placed in operation. FAO Marshall Williams was slung across the street when the soft suction hose separated from the coupling. Fortunately he came out of the unscheduled flight with only a badly bruised hip.

THE KIMBERLY COURT APARTMENT FIRE Wednesday, 3 July 1974 at 14:44 PM Just before the July 4th Holiday, AFD companies were called to 4159 Cant Street SW in the new Kimberly Road complex operated by the Atlanta Housing Authority. Fire was well advanced and through the roof of a 2 story typical wood frame, brick veneer garden style apartment building as Companies 31 and 9 got to the scene. Several alarms were called but not before $250,000 in building and $50,000 in content damage were done. THE ROBINSON HUMPHREY BUILDING FIRE - BOX 1175 Saturday, 26 October 1974 at 22:03 Located at 2964 Peachtree Road, this non-sprinkled high-rise office building created a severe challenge for AFD crews late on a Saturday, night in the fall of 1974. Firefighters at old Station 21, roughly two blocks away on Buckhead Avenue NE were aware of a pungent smoke smell while standing on the ramp in front of the station just before 10 PM but could not see any visible signs of a fire. They were commenting that “we’re gonna get something shortly” since the smell was definitely not an outside fire type aroma. Someone headed northbound on Peachtree Road did see the fire and pulled a street box at Peachtree Road and Peachtree Avenue NE at 22:03. Company 21 and Battalion arrived to find extremely heavy fire conditions blowing out the windows on the south end of the third floor of a 9 story building. Ladder 26 was raised in the neighboring parking lot, knocking down a big portion of the visible fire with a Ladder Pipe as crews stretched lines from the stairwells. Five members of the Metropolitan Fire Association would assist the Mobile Air truck in filling air bottles and changing 88 Self Contained Breathing Apparatus tanks this night as the AFD made good use of the “Fire Buffs” who were on the scene. Heat damaged had cracked the reinforced concrete floors with losses listed at $160,000. Four firefighters were taken to Grady Hospital for various injuries including a severely cut hand and heat exhaustion. Interestingly, the Atlanta District offices of Factory Mutual, the engineering division of a major insurance company who specializes in writing coverage in Highly Protected sprinkled properties was one of the tenants whose offices were severely damaged by this fire in a non-sprinkled building. Following this fire they relocated to the Perimeter Mall area in a sprinkled facility.

THE BILTMORE HOTEL FIRE Friday, 8 November 1974 at 09:21 AM Fire Alarm Box 133 at West Peachtree and Fifth Street NW was pulled so many times the spring was completely run down and numerous calls were received for this alarm. Fire was found blowing out an 8th floor window of this old Atlanta landmark hotel at 09:21 . First in apparatus discovered two people located outside on a small metal balcony, one of the very few on the entire building. Heavy fire was blowing out the window just over their heads. Additional Ladder companies were called but all were too short to reach the 8th floor. Rescues were made from the inside by some old fashion gutsy firefighting. This incident lead to the purchase of the 150 foot FIREBIRD aerial truck a piece of equipment which never did fulfill its intended duties with the ABFS. THE PEACHTREE & BUCKHEAD AVENUE FIRE Sunday, 24 November 1974 at 04:12 AM The official addresses on this fire were 3031 thru 3033 Peachtree Road NE, just south of Buckhead Avenue. At the time of the fire on 24 November 1974, this was the Left Bank, a popular nightclub and an adjacent clothing store. The one-story “Taxpayer” type structure has brick walls and a wood roof deck. It had been renovated several times and each time, an additional false ceiling was placed below the previous one. Fire originated in between the lower and intermediate ceilings and began a horizontal march between the various ceilings. Companies had to literally chase the fire all over the building, requiring extensive truck company work to pull down the various layers of ceiling so the

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West Point Railroad overpass) on Christmas Eve, 1974 when Chief J.I. Gibson saw smoke and flames while standing on the porch of his home on Shannon Dr SW. They arrived to find a large one-story metal warehouse of rolled paper showing heavy fire throughout the building. Engine 20 pulled one 2½ and gave a Signal 18. Eight engines, two ladders, Light Unit 1, Mobile Air 1, Battalion 4, Capt. Wright and Acting Deputy Chief Joe Anderson would spend the night containing this “outside fire”. Control was sounded at 05:32 after several master streams and ladder pipes were placed in operation. The metal building totally collapsed with loss listed as $180,000. The fire had been set in several areas of the plant and in several box cars of paper on the rail siding from the Atlanta & West Point RR that served the facility. Stewart Avenue was originally named for Andrew Perry Stewart, who served for over 20 years as the Fulton County Tax Collector and was one of the early residents of Capitol View. Due to statistical crime issues associated with stewart Avenue SW, the street name was change and this is now Metropolitan Parkway SW. engine crews could get water on the fire. Before it was over Deputy Chief Claude Lemke had placed three Ladder pipes and Tower Ladder 21 in operation. By 2012 the lot is cleared and a hammerhead crane is visible as construction starts on a new high rise on this corner. THE EXPANDO BONDED WAREHOUSE FIRE Thursday, 27 November 1974 at 10:24 PM Expando Bonded Warehouses suffered a $350,000 loss in their fourstory poured concrete building at 346 Johns Street NW adjacent to the old Southern Railroad Coach Yards. The building was being used by a rag and paper recycling operation. This was not the way crews had planned to spend Thanksgiving Day and on arrival, the fire reminded all AFD members of the two Grant Street Alarms of 1973. Small, dead end water mains and long lays worked against the department in this operation. Several ladder pipes were set up and pounded the fire for before bringing it under control. The fire was finally tapped out 48 hours and 21 minutes after the initial alarm. This location now is the north end of the “marshaling yard” for trucks bringing in displays etc., for major events at the Georgia World congress Center across the street to the south. THE BURGER KING WAREHOUSE FIRE Saturday, 21 December 1974 at 03:11 AM Fulton Industrial Fire District Engines 34 & 37 arrived to find a well involved warehouse at 35 Enterprise Boulevard SW. The building was occupied by Burger King Corporation as a major distribution for dry good stock as well as bulk quantities of cooking oil used in their restaurants. Engine 34 asked for an additional engine and truck at 0318 bringing in Engine 9 Ladder 25 and Battalion 4. With the arrival of Chief Ray Gossett two more engines were requested at 03:27 adding Engines 17 and 25 to the alarm. Things continued to not improve and Chief Gossett struck a full Second Alarm at 03:36 adding Engines 31, 38 and trucks 31, 38. Engine 16 was special called at 03:52. Deputy Chief Lemke took it in at 03:55 and Engine 7 was special called at 04:22. THE INTERCELL PAPER COMPANY FIRE Tuesday, 24 December 1974 at 23:25 PM Engine 20 was dispatched for a rubbish fire at 1240 Stewart Avenue SW (now Metropolitan Parkway SE near the CSX (former Atlanta & 178

1975 Budget cuts of the mid 1970’s would make 1975 the final year for the independent Annual Report to be produced by the Atlanta Bureau of Fire Services as it had been renamed in 1974. During ‘75, there were 25 alarms where damage exceeded $50,000. This would be the final year this statistic would specifically be calculated. The Bureau handled 13,454 alarms during 1975 of which 5,401 were fire calls. Twenty-three people were killed in fires in the city and an additional 91 were injured. Total dollar loss would be 7,296,384. There were 1,030 employees on the ABFS at the beginning of 1975. Fifth Battalion Car 905 would be the only apparatus to top the thousand alarm mark and ended the year with 1,037 alarms. Some of the more interesting fires of ‘75 included: THE HIDDEN OAKS APARTMENTS FIRE Friday, 7 February 1975 at 18:59 PM Engine 30 was initially assigned this call at 2050 Springdale Road SW on a “still” alarm due to vagueness in the original callers’ report of the situation. More calls began coming in and the assignment was filled out at 19:01. Engine 30 gave the all hands at 19:06 and asked for 1/1 extra at 19:06. Engine 2 was special called at 19:09 and a full second alarm was started at 19:12. Fire was well entrenched in the middle of a 2-story wood frame garden apartment building and running both directions. Aggressive firefighting brought the alarm under control at 19:55 . THE ALPHA EPSILON PI FRATERNITY HOUSE FIRE Monday, 3 March 1975 at 00:13 AM This fire was located in a frat house on the Georgia School of Technology campus at 714 Techwood Drive NW at 3rd Street. The house was a two-story with wood frame, floors and roof deck. The building had a full basement divided into rooms which had been made into living quarters. As is typical of all “Greek” houses, various platforms for desks, storage and bunks are frequently added in these rooms. Wiring not meeting the National Electrical Code gets run through the void spaces which also gave fire plenty of places to hide and move in the building. Three full alarms were put to work to dig out all of the hidden fire in the void spaces. The fire did extensive damage to the building. It was later discovered that the “brothers” had tried to fight the fire for an undetermined length of time before calling in the alarm. Control was sounded at 02:29 and the incident

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Tapped Out at 05:21 AM.

NW that if you know where to look even in 2012, you can still see where the path destroyed the old stand trees.

THE ATLANTA TORNADO OF 1975 Monday, 24 March 1975 at roughly 07:30 AM Just before 07:30 as a strong weather front was moving through the city, a tornado was spawned over the Carey and Almond Park sections of northwest Atlanta. It never did actually touch the ground but ran about 30 feet above the surface doing extensive tree and roof damage. The first area to feel the effect of the storm was the Perry Homes public Housing project adjacent to the Inman Yards of the Southern Railroad. Moving in a northeast direction, the tornado passed over and ripped the roof off Atlanta Fire Station No. 8, devastated the Chattahoochee Industrial Area, passed over the elite Cross Creek Apartment complex and finally picked up off the ground just northeast of the Governor’s Mansion on West Paces Ferry Road in Buckhead. Company 8’s fire department radio microphone was held in the open position by falling ceiling tiles. The entire AFD heard the startled firefighters exclaim there had been a tornado, the roof of the station was gone and they were responding to a collapsed U.S. Post Office bulk mail handling building across the street from the firehouse. Communications suddenly received hundreds of calls for assistance from people all along the five mile path of destruction. Companies were assigned as fast as they could be dispatched. A recall of off duty firelighters was immediately ordered so that reserve equipment could be placed in service. Almost 3/4 of the department would be at various addresses in the tornado damaged over the next 24 hours checking for injured, assisting in digging out the fatalities and trying to provide polyethylene over roofs to keep out additional rain. The twister extensively damaged Georgia’s $2 million governor’s mansion, blowing off the roof and knocking down all the front columns of the elegant structure. The governor’s office reported that Governor George Busbee’s son, Jeff, 14, escaped injury when one of the columns crashed into his bedroom. The governor reportedly was in the shower when the tornado ripped into the mansion, and he shouted a warning to his family. Three people were killed and scores were treated at hospitals and dozens more suffered cuts and bruises when the storm flattened buildings, shattered windows and tumbled cars about like matchsticks. Authorities estimated at least 60 businesses or warehouses were demolished. Hundreds of cars were buried under the rubble or bricks, furniture, goods, roofing and other debris. The Cobb County and the DeKalb County Fire Departments rushed apparatus and ambulances to Atlanta Station 8. They would remain, assisting the AFD until enough of the recalled firefighters arrived to man reserve apparatus. Several other departments called the AFD to offer assistance as needed A Command post was set up in damaged Fire Station 8 and full first alarm assignments were grouped into task forces. The Signal office would advise where the calls for help were coming in from. Then a Task Force, or what ever equipment seemed needed for the problem was dispatched from the Station 8 location. Fire Department personnel were credited with reducing the overall dollar loss in many buildings by their efforts to cover damaged roofs and stabilize structures. There are areas near West Wesley and Howell Mill Road

THE CHATTACHOOCHEE INDUSTRIAL DISTRICT FIRE Thursday, 27 March 1975 at 14:14 PM Devastated by the tornado of 24 March, demolition crews were beginning to clean up the pieces on March 27th. While working with a cutting torch to cut off and remove a steel deck roof, the paper contents of the demolished warehouse at 1119 Logan Circle NW were set on fire. Most of the Steel Deck roof was lying on top of the combustible stock which rapidly began to burn. Engine 8 responded on a “Still Alarm” at 14:14. Needing access, they asked for Ladder 23 at 14:22. Making little progress, Ladder 23 requested a full alarm at 14:26. Eventually seven engines and two truck companies would work for to dig out the area involved in fire. Content damage was listed at $70,000. THE CABARET CLUB FIRE Thursday, 24 April 1975 at 03:41 AM The Jennings Rose Room building at 931 Monroe Drive NE was rebuilt after the fire of September 1964 and opened as the Cabaret Club. At 03:41 on April 24, 1975, Engine 19 was dispatched for a rubbish fire in the rear of the club. When they arrived at 03:45, they found a one-story 100 x 100 foot night club almost fully involved. Communications made the first alarm at 03:46 consisting of Engines 15, 6, 4, 29, Ladders 11, 4 and Car 903 Chief Joe Anderson. At 03:54 Engines 23, 5 Ladder 23 and Deputy Chief A.T. Hornsby responded. Engines 3, 16 & 7 along with Rescue 1 and Light Unit 1 eventually went to the scene. Ladders 11 and 4 used fly and bed pipes and Squirt 5 assisted several deluge guns, placed in operation around the building. The loss listed as $210,000. This time the club did not rebuild and a large one and two-story strip type shopping center occupies the site today. THE PARK AT LAKEWOOD APARTMENT FIRE Tuesday, 29 April 1975 at 02:31 AM Fourth Battalion companies arrived to find a two-story garden apartment building with fire showing on both floors. Acting 4th Battalion Captain McDaniel quickly ordered a Second Alarm due to crews trying to fight the fire and make rescues simultaneously. Crews did an outstanding job on both and there were no injuries reported. THE HOLIDAY INN FIRE Monday, 4 August 1975 at 06:52 AM Engines 34 and 37 were dispatched to a 6 story motel building at 305 Industrial Circle SW off Fulton Industrial Boulevard in the Fulton Industrial Fire Protection District just south of I-20. The two county engines would arrive with smoke showing. Two more alarms of city equipment would be struck to assist the Fulton County companies due to the need for guest evacuation and fire suppression needs. No injuries were reported. THE ATLANTA MERCHANDISE MART FIRE Sunday, 12 October 1975 at 04:29 AM The time of day of this alarm told companies that is would be a

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“smells and bells” nothing to it run or something serious. This would be choice “B” of the equation and heavy smoke and fire were found on the 10th floor of the high rise building. Two different Fire Department Connections were pumped to assist the buildings fire booster pumps due to the demands of six 1½ inch hand line put to work off the structures standpipe system. THE 360 PETERS STREET SW FIRE Tuesday, 21 October 1975 at 19:34 PM Fire was found in a vacant two-story brick walled joisted building at 360 Peters Street SW at the corner of McDaniel St SW in Castleberry Hill. The early 1900 vintage structure was wide open on the inside which had led to massive fire spread. Trucks 7 and 16 would flow fly and bed pipes assisted by numerous hand lines which were stretched and operated. A look at the aerial photo shows this address remains a vacant lot in mid 2012. THE WEST HUNTER CHURCH FIRE Friday, 14 November 1975 at 04:13 AM This incident involved a large church at 858 Hunter Street SW (Now Martin Luther King Jr. Drive) near Mayson Turner Road. The building was well involved on arrival and fourteen 2½ inch hand lines worked in conjunction with three ladder pipes to darken this one down in a three alarm operation. Following the massive fire, the West Hunter Street Baptist Church would soon outgrow the replacement structure and eventually purchase and move their congregation and operations to what had formerly been the Gordon Street Baptist Church on Ralph David Abernathy in west End. The Bethlehem Church of God uses their former building on Martin Luther King Jr. Drive SW by 2012. THE PARADIES TOY COMPANY FIRE Wednesday, 19 November 1975 at 12:18 PM The absolutely worst time to have a fire in a toy warehouse is just before the Christmas season but that is exactly what happened in November 1975. Atlanta Communications received a call reporting a fire in the warehouse section of a large one-story, commercial building at 4970 Fulton Industrial Boulevard SW at the corner of Bakers Ferry Road SW in the Fulton Industrial District. Engines 34 and 37 were dispatched at 12:18 . Due to the volume of calls coming in, the dispatchers called Car 901, Acting Deputy Chief A.T. Hornsby and advised him of a worker before the Fulton County Industrial companies got to the fire. He advised he was responding and ordered a Second Alarm. At 12:21 Engines 25, 38 Ladder 25 were assigned. At 12:27 a Third Alarm brought in Engines 17, 16 Ladder 38 and Fulton County Car 760, Fire Marshall Ralph Emerson. At 12:32 E & L 4 were sent and Rescue 1 was assigned at 12:54. Atlanta Department Chief P.O. Williams responded at 12:59 when Engine 9 was dispatched. Engines 7 and 31 were sent at 13:09 followed by Engines 14,22 and Ladder 7 at 13:30. The non-sprinkled building was virtually destroyed. Due to the big mains in Fulton Industrial Boulevard, water supply was never a problem however, the large quantities of plastics in the building did create a severe extinguishment headache. A division of Paradies is one of the primary vendors at major airports around the country (www.paradiesshops.com) The company moved to 5950 Fulton Industrial Boulevard SW after the fire and operates there today. The 180

former toy warehouse was rebuilt and in 2012 is occupied by the Display Fixture Warehouse Company. 1976 Atlanta entered the Bicentennial year with 1072 personnel. By year end this would drop to 931 as a hiring freeze and continuing retirements began to take effect. Battalion 5 again was the only apparatus to break the one thousand alarm mark and had a total of 1,009 alarms for the year. The AFD ran a total of 15,571 alarms of which 1593 were false alarms. Fire loss would total $7,534,692. Twenty-six people would die in fires this year. THE HANK AND JERRY’S HIDEAWAY FIRE Monday, 2 February 1976 at 03:14 AM Back to the leveling of the former Hippie District in midtown occurred early on a Monday, morning as what was to become the sixth major multi alarm fire to hit the two block business area occurred at Hank & Jerry’s Hideaway. An alarm of fire was sounded for 1002 – 1006 Peachtree St NE between 10th and 11th Streets bringing Engines 15, 11 19 Ladders 11, 20 and Battalion 3 (Chief Frank Cooper Sr). to the scene. They found heavy smoke in the night club famous for big acts. Piano Red and the Show Stoppers had performed here as far back as January 1962 cranking out twist numbers at what also was called Atlanta’s Peppermint Lounge. A Second Alarm was sounded at 03:42 after the initial companies began to have trouble locating all the seat of the fire. They were assigned Engines 23, 4 Ladder 4 and Deputy Chief Claude Lemke on Car 901. At 03:53 Light Unit 1 was special call for illumination on a 20° F cold night. THE A & P GROCERY STORE FIRE Monday, 2 February 1976 at 23:29 PM Right after the AFD had been busy in Midtown, many of the same companies would be back in the street for another all night “job”. A caller advised of a fire in the A & P Grocery Store at 752 North Highland Avenue NE at the corner of St. Charles Ave NE in the Atkins Park Neighborhood. The St. Charles Deli occupied the site in 1990 in a structure which used the remains of this fire building for a foundation. By 2012 the St. Charles Deli has moved and the Hand & Hand pub occupies the space. The initial alarm was at 23:29 for Engines 19, 11 12 Ladders 11, 12 and Car 903, Chief Joe Anderson. He placed a call for help at 23:37 rolling Engines 6, 29 and Rescue l. Engines 15, 4 got dispatched at 23:52 along with Deputy Chief Jack Hood. Snorkel 4 was “Special Called” at 0001. The fire was declared under control at 03:19. The Class II Steel Deck roof fell early in the operation but this was anticipated and no ABFS members were injured. THE SOUTHLAND CASKET COMPANY FIRE Sunday, 29 February 1976 at 11:48 PM Engine 2 was dispatched to 295 Margaret Street SE east of Lakewood Avenue for a grass fire just before lunch on a Sunday morning. What they found was that the grass had been ignited from rubbish around a dumpster located between two buildings at the Southland Casket Company’s manufacturing plant on the dead end street. The severe exposure of the two buildings had let the flames gain entry into both structures. A full assignment was sent at 11:48 adding Engine 30, Ladder 30

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and Fifth Battalion Chief Hugh Anderson to the scene. At 12:02 the Chief asked to make it a 3-2 assignment bringing in Engine and Ladder 5. A full Second Alarm was requested at 12:21 which brought Engines 10, 7 Ladder 7 and Mobile Air 1 to the scene. The cause was never officially determined but interestingly, the company’s owners stood around and ate a pre-prepared picnic lunch on the trunk of their car as firefighters picked up from the fire. Southland Casket Company rebuilt the plant and still occupies the complex in Lakewood Heights in 2012.

THE DISAPPEARING HOUSE FIRE Sunday, 11 July 1976 at 22:55 PM

THE SEYDEL-WOOLEY & COMPANY CHEMICAL FIRE Monday, 1 March 1976

The 1023 dwelling collapsed and was totally destroyed. The fire had made such headway on arrival of the first-in units that most of the supports in the basement were burned off. A quick primary search showed very spongy floors and operations went strictly defensive. Basically the main floor and the entire house was really just hanging in space. At approximately 23:29 there was one sharp crack and the complete structure fell into the deep basement. Personnel sitting on the front walk operating a 2½ inch hand line could barely see the top of the roof when it fell. Lucky for all personnel, no one was operating in the building, and there were no injuries from the collapse.

On Monday, night, 1 March twenty members of Companies 16, 22, 23 and Car 902, Chief Bowen, were all taken to Grady Hospital after being exposed to Methyl Acrylate at this company’s facility at 762 Marietta Street NW in Blandtown. Seydel Chemicals opened in Atlanta in 1907 and had gone through several mergers before acquiring the Seydel –Wooley name. The company made a variety of chemicals including textile warp sizing, textile auxiliary chemicals (oils for Sanforized™ fabrics) and finishing and garment washing, including synthetic detergents. The company produced phosphate and mining chemicals that included defoamers and sulfinated tall oil. The afternoon of the fire, the plants automatic sprinkler Deluge System over the chemical vats had properly operated and quickly extinguished a fire but vapors continued to be released exposing the firefighters during the overhaul process. Methyl Acrylate is an extremely toxic chemical both to touch the skin and in vapor form. Methyl acrylate is used in the production of coatings, elastomers, adhesives, thickeners, amphoteric surfactants, fibers, plastics, textiles and inks among other uses. It also has a flash point of just +27° F so is also extremely flammable and can react very violently with various oxidizers. None of those exposed experienced immediate medical problems and were released back to work later in the night. For additional information on this long time Atlanta based company see http://www.seydel.com/about/history/ THE FIRE AT PEACHTREE STREET SW AND BROTHERTON STREET Monday, 14 June 1976 at 04:07 AM Radio Box 814, located at Memorial Drive SW and Brotherton Street SW rang in at 04:07. This would be logged as Fire Number 7,233 for the year but would grow into a multiple alarm. Engine 5 was dispatched and while in route told to go to Brotherton Street and Peachtree SW, one block northwest of the Box location based on new information received by telephone. Engines 1, 7 Ladders 5,1 and Car 901, Chief W.J. (Bill), Jenkins were assigned at 04:10. Engine 4 and Ladder 7 were added at 04: 16 followed by a Special Call for Snorkel 4 at 04: 17. At 04:20 Engine 10 was requested and 1st Assistant Chief J.I. Gibson was alerted of the fire. Engine 6 was Special Called at 04:37. Fire was found in a two-story brick store building with heavy fire conditions on both the first and second floor. Four Ladder Pipes and Squirt 5 were placed in operation. All operations were conducted from the exterior until dawn due to the weakened conditions of the building. The ruins were demolished and the City of Atlanta PreTrial Detention Center occupies this corner today.

This fire was in a 1 ½ story house with a large foot print at 1023 Juniper St NE between 10th and 11th in Midtown. Due to the terrain there was an exceptionally deep basement estimated to be between 15 and 20 feet deep. The fire had originated in the basement of 1023 and spread to the house to the south involving 1021 Juniper St. The exposure “D” house suffered damage to the rear and attic.

Neighboring residents reported hearing a man yelling and then an explosion before A.B.F.S. personnel arrived. One man to the north said, “The whole building seemed to light up after the blast occurred.” No victim was found. As a point of interest, Arson Chief Investigator Sullivan said he had been to a fire in the same house years ago, and had noted at that time that the building was structurally dangerous if a serious fire would get going in the basement. THE PONCEY-HIGHLANDS FIRES 28 June; 1 July; 19 August; 14 & 23 November 1976 Starting in the spring of 1976, a series of fires rocked the area of Atlanta known as Poncey-Highlands. The neighborhood is basically on both sides of Ponce de Leon Avenue between the former Sears Roebuck complex that for many years was City Hall East and Moreland Avenue NE On 28 June Third Battalion companies under the command of “Big” Joe Anderson fought a fire in an apartment on the third floor rear of a large “U” shaped three-story apartment house at 1013 Ponce de Leon Ave NE near Cleburne Terrace. The crews made a good stop and no help was required. The initial alarm was at 07:50 and the Tap Out came at 10:23. Three days later companies went to 998 Ponce de Leon Avenue NE just east of Frederica Street NE for a working fire in an occupied apartment building. This alarm at 04: 13 resulted in one Atlanta Police Officer having to be treated for smoke inhalation suffered when he ran through the building waking residents. His quick action prevented any civilian injuries. Due to the worker in an occupied building, Third Battalion Chief Frank Cooper Sr. struck a Second Alarm at 04:25. This call was tapped out at 05:51. At 02:56 on 19 August the Fire Alarm Box 154 at Linwood and Ponce de Leon was pulled and Third Battalion Companies hit the street. Engine 19 arrived to find a fire rolling in a two-story, wood frame occupied dwelling. Radio asked E-19 for the correct address. They replied “The responding companies will have no problem seeing the alarm”! Chief Joe Anderson struck a Second Alarm at 03:03 due to heavy fire conditions on the second floor and in a high gabled attic. Four residents were rescued over ground ladders and

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seven others were brought down the interior stairs. The correct address for this fire was 931 Ponce de Leon Avenue NE. Atlanta Fire Communications said the pull of Box 154 was their only notification until a Police unit radioed it in after AFD companies were already in route. No telephone calls were received even though traffic was passing the scene and fire was rolling from the building. Things settled down for a while until 14 November at 01:55. Companies were sent to 1008 Ponce de Leon Ave. NE, again near Frederica St NE, where a garage was found fully involved. The fire in this detached building was tapped out at 02:27. The night of smoke and flames in Poncey-Highlands was not over. At 04:29 companies again were called to the same address but this time the main house had been set on fire. Apparently the owner of Bobo Realty Company had recently died and there was a serious dispute about who was to get the property. One additional engine was added to this assignment at 04:41. Fires were set again on the evening of 23 November at 1002 Ponce de Leon Avenue NE. Arson investigators and undercover police officers had been closely watching this area and arrests were made following this fire. The damaged buildings were razed and the fires suddenly stopped after the November arrests. THE WHITEHALL STOVE COMPANY FIRE Friday, 17 September 1976 at 15:17 PM Atlanta Communications received a call at 15:17 for fire in a structure at 202-204 Peachtree Street SW where the parking deck for the Public Safety Headquarters sits today. Two alarms and several Special calls by Car 901 Capt. Tommy Pate and Car 903, Chief Joe Anderson were sounded to get adequate resources on the scene to put out this fire. The blaze was in a brick - joisted two-story buildings occupied by the Whitehall Stove Company. The fire had originated on the second floor and spread upward into the cockloft and also involved the roof deck. Three ladder pipes, Squirt 5 and several hand lines were flowed on this fire. THE FIRE AT BANKHEAD & MEANS STREET NW Sunday, 7 November 1976 at 09:43 AM Companies were called to an outside fire in a vacant lot on the north side of Bankhead Avenue at the intersection of Means Street NW. Second and Third Battalion companies found that a small one-story building was totally on the ground but the fire had spread to a massive quantity of rolled paper, piles of pallets and other building materials, stored in a hap-hazard fashion outside on the ground. The burning materials stretched under the Bankhead Avenue bridge over the Norfolk-Southern and CSX Railroad Tracks. The heat was rapidly affecting the steel and concrete supports of the old steel truss style bridge. Six additional engine companies were called to supplement the initial 3 in getting a handle on this fire. Squirt 5 was set up on the bridge to provide a water curtain as deluge guns and 2 1/2 inch hand lines were placed in operations at ground level. Long lays and deep seated fire made quick extinguishment impossible. A bulldozer was eventually required to come in a break up the piles of material. Control was obtained at 15:40. Although the old steel bridge still spans the railroads, it never was used after this incident. By 2012 even the eastern approach has been removed and just a parking lot comes up to the support columns.

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THE MORRIS BROWN COLLEGE MIDDLETON DORM FIRE Saturday, 4 December 1976 at 06:34 The John A. Middleton Dorm complex consists of two high rise towers and a common lobby for both. The structure looks like an upright “U” as the two ten story towers stick up above the lobby at 550 Mitchell Street SW, just west of Northside Drive. Companies were dispatched to the Morris Brown College Campus at 06:34 for a fire in a storage room on the second floor. Although the fire was somewhat contained it had spread heavy smoke rapidly upward in both towers. Arriving companies found smoke showing but very little panic among the Male students evacuating the building. Several had fled to the roof and Firebird 5 made its one and only major rescue at this alarm. Two full alarms and a special call for the Firebird brought the situation under control in less than two hours. Sadly by the early fall of 2012 the proud 131-year-old historically black college is deep in debt and has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection while facing foreclosure after investors called $13 million worth of bonds tied to the school. Morris Brown College officials have reported that the school is more than $30 million in debt, forcing them to file for Chapter 11 bankruptcy. That move is a last ditch effort to prevent the school from being foreclosed on and sold at auction. THE LEGAL AID SOCIETY OFFICE BUILDING FIRE Thursday, 30 December 1976 This stubborn alarm at 1070 Washington Street SW just north or Ridge Ave SE in Peoplestown gutted a one-story office building housing many records of the Atlanta Legal Aid society. The owner of The Plating Works next door said he smelled smoke and walked outside his plant to see flames in the basement with heavy smoke showing on this structure. The building housing the Legal Aid office had a series of false ceilings, making it difficult to get to the fire. ‘The blaze communicated through a blocked wooden doorway to the Southside Day Care Center #2, located at 1068 Washington: heavy damage was done there also. The daycare center was a two-story brick structure. A section of wall fell near Ladder 4, but fortunately no injuries occurred. Good salvage-cover work by ladder crews helped limit the damage to The Voice, a local paper published in the basement of these buildings. Water was applied by four ladder pipes four 1½ inch and five 2½ inch hand lines. 1977 Nineteen seventy seven would have Engines 11 and 4 both respond to over one thousand alarms In addition, Rescue 1 assigned within the general city and Echo 1, assigned to Hartsfield International Airport would also break the thousand alarm barrier. Total alarms continue to increase annually and were at 18,774 by the end of the year. Fire loss would total $9,170,082. The year ended with 35 fire deaths. The racial discrimination suits relating to promotions were still in the courts and had been since 1972. In addition to no promotions there also had been no hiring of

130 Years of Historic Fires 1882-2012


additional firefighters in all of these years. Normal attrition of people quitting and retirements had not slowed, leaving the department manpower at only 858 by December 31, 1977. Everyone was working extra or filling in out of grade. Of the 200 vacancies, less than 50 were just “tailboard” firefighters. THE PARK PLACE APARTMENTS FIRE Tuesday, 11 January 1977 at 21:49 PM The Park Place Apartment complex at 3390 Fairburn Road SW at Welcome All Road in Ben Hill at the time of this fire was the last number within the city limits, so not only a long ride for Company 31, but truly a hike for anyone else assigned to calls here. Over the years there have been numerous help call incidents in the two-story, all wood frame multi building garden apartment complex. An alarm was struck at 21:49 after a maintenance worker trying to thaw pipes with a torch set the pipe chase on fire. Flames rapidly spread upward and had a strong head start before Company 31 could arrive. The initial alarm was Engines 31, 25 Truck 31 and Car 904 with acting Battalion 4 Captain Andy Cox. He requested a Second Alarm at 22:01 and a Third Alarm at 22:03. Two ladder pipes and numerous hand lines were stretched and operated as fire raced through the wood structure. No injuries were reported and control was obtained at 00:57. These are now known as the Retreat at Market Place Apartments. THE CHATTACHOOCHEE TANK FARM OVERFLOW Sunday, 13 March 1977 at 06:52 AM Early on a Sunday morning 13 March, Engine 28 was dispatched at 06:52 to check on reports of heavy gasoline fumes in the Whittier Mill neighborhood. The call was made from 2899 Maco Drive NW near the abandoned Whittier Cotton Mill. The mill itself would be a multi alarm incendiary fire nine years later in 1986. Adjacent to this former mill village residential area, Colonial Pipeline Company feeds bulk light oil tank farms operated by Fina Oil Company, Union 76 Oil Company, (now Perimeter Terminals) and Gulf Oil, now known as BP. Twenty-eight advised to make a full alarm as they had found one of the huge bulk gasoline storage tanks severely overflowing. Although the gasoline was being contained by the dike system around the tank, the highly flammable vapor was rapidly filling the valley in the Chattahoochee Community around the old mill and was already so thick it looked like white fog. At 07:49 Chief Bill Jenkins on Battalion 2 advised radio the overflow had stopped but that there was a lot of product on the ground inside the diked area which surrounds the tanks. Engine 38 was advised to shut off the truck but the fumes were so thick the truck “dieseled”. Even with the run switch off and all power killed the motor actually continued to run on just the vapot being pulled in through the air intake! A CO-2 extinguished had to be played into the air intake to stop the runaway diesel engine. Luckily, even with residents evacuating on foot, no spark lit off the vapor cloud which soon dissipated below the explosive limits except right at the diked area. The alarm was officially tapped out at 17:42 after tank farm personnel removed the fuel on the ground. The Chattahoochee community was extremely fortunate to get through this incident without an ignition and fireball which likely would have resulted in a huge loss of civilian and fire personnel life.

THE McADOO TIRE COMPANY FIRE Tuesday, 12 April 1977 at 01:01 AM The alarm came in at 01:11 rolling Engines 15, 23 Ladder 23 and Car 902 with acting Battalion Chief, Capt. Staton to 580 Northside Drive NW at 10th Street NW. The structure was one-story on the Northside Drive side and two-story in the rear and was used as a tire recapping plant as well as a retail tire company. The building has masonry walls and a wood roof deck. Heavy fire was showing from the recap area on the lower level. A Second Alarm was sounded at 01:18 bringing Engines 8, 11 and Ladder 11 to the fight. The Third Alarm went out at 01:28 for Engines 1, 16 and Car 906 Chief Ross Venable. Master Stream devises assisted by six 1½ inch and eight 1½ inch hand lines were placed in operation and the fire was successfully contained to just the recap manufacturing part of the plant with control gained at 03:13. The warehouse of finished tires and the salesroom were saved. THE FIRE ON FAIRVIEW ROAD Sunday, 12 June 1977 at 13:26 PM Engines 19, 12 Ladder 12 and Battalion 3, Chief R.B. Sprayberry were dispatched for a dwelling fire at 1261 Fairview Road NE that had gotten away from a resident who had a grease fire on the stove. He has attempted to pick up and toss the burning skillet out the door, but as happens in most cases where this is attempted…. he missed! The burning flammable liquid was now all over the floor and walls. The ensuing fire rapidly gained headway as he tried to fight it himself before calling the AFD. A Special Call was sounded at 13:29 bringing Company 11 to the scene. Temperatures were 93 degrees and the heat took its toll on the troops as the fire got into a high attic beneath a terracotta tile roof. Falling heavy tile also caused some severe problems. Captain E.O. McDonnell, Fire fighters Jimmy Hildebrand, H.B. Thornton, Marshall Wheeler, R.D. McCrary, R.E. Thaggard and Carlton Addis were all injured to some degree during this operation. The fire was tapped out at 16:45 MUTUAL AID TO THE RAINTREE APARTMENTS – ROSWELL GA Friday, 15 July 1977 at 23:04 PM Three engines of the Roswell Volunteer Fire Department and two engines from the Chattahoochee Volunteer Fire Department were struggling to contain a rapidly moving fire located in the middle of a 24 unit, three-story wood frame apartment building. The alarm was at 1460 Raintree Drive off Holcomb Bridge Road which now is just east of Georgia 400. At the time this was in unincorporated Fulton County. Since the two Volunteer Departments had no aerial equipment and one was needed to help knock down and cut off the fire, a Ladder was requested on Mutual Aid from Atlanta. Ladder 32 was dispatched from quarters in Sandy Springs at 23: 16 and Ladder 26 was transferred to Station 32. Engine 36 was dispatched at 23:32 for additional hose in an attempt to get adequate water from larger mains on Holcomb Bridge Road. Newly Hired Fulton County Fire Chief J.I. Gibson was also dispatched due to a fatality. This was the first time in many years that Mutual Aid had been requested by Atlanta’s neighboring departments north of the river.

130 Years of Historic Fires 1882-2012

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THE TENTH & JUNIPER STREETS FIRE Friday, 28 October 1977 at 18:48 PM

THE LOEW’S GRAND THEATER FIRE Monday, 30 January 1978 at 14:44 PM

The Peachtree - Tenth Street NE commercial district had been having its share of major alarms for several years due to the transient make of population in the “Tenth Street Strip, Hippie District”. Companies were again in for a long October night when fire was found in a building at 120 Tenth Street NE. Engines 11, 15, 4, Ladders 11, 4 and Battalion 3, under the command of Captain George Villano responded at 18:48. Engines 23, 29, Ladder 23, Rescue 1 and Deputy Chief Jack Hood picked up the call at 18:55. By 19:02, Engines 16 & 6 were in route followed by Mobile Air 1 at 19:09 and Engines 5 and 1 at 19:25. Ladder 16 was special called at 21:18 to assist in overhaul. The blaze was in a one-story street level, three-story alley side commercial structure with wood joist construction and brick load bearing walls. Firefighters R.L. Davis, J.L. Clement and S.E. Spence were injured during the operation. The fire also got into 128 Tenth Street despite an estimated 1,000,000 gallons of water having been pumped into the building. The fire was declared under control at 00:57 on 29 October. MUTUAL AID TO BROOKWOOD PARK - DEKALB COUNTY Saturday, 26 November 1977 at 08:51 AM Companies were dispatched at 08:51 for a fire reported in the vicinity of Moreland Avenue and Custer Avenue SE with no specific address given. This is a borderline intersection and Atlanta equipment found the fire was actually at 1382 Custer Avenue SE in an apartment complex in unincorporated DeKalb County, outside the city limits. Without hesitation, AFD Engines 13, 2 Ladder 10 and Battalion 5 under the Command of Chief Harry Gulley went to work as DeKalb Engines 10, 6, 20, Ladder 1 and Battalion 2, Chief Lloyd also arrived. A heavy fire condition was found in a two-story wood frame garden type apartment building which likely would have led either department to call a Second Alarm. Since both departments had a full alarm and were working side by side, no other equipment was required and control was sounded at 09:24. Both Truck Companies operated ladder pipes and four 1 1/2 inch and two 2 1/2 inch hand lines were placed in operation. No injuries were reported. 1978 The Bureau began the year in a serious manpower shortage at 858 personnel. Despite adding a 99 member firefighter recruit class in late 1977, the total number of employees would be down to 756 on December 31, 1978. Of these new firefighters, those assigned to the “C” shift would be welcomed to the AFD in a “Blaze of Glory” on 30 January 1978. Total Alarms for the year would total 17,548 resulting in $12,275,158 in fire losses the highest ever in AFD history to this date. The newly formed Fulton County Fire Department began operation on January 1, 1978 which reduced the number of companies by five engines and one ladder. The county was no longer contracting with the City of Atlanta for operation of the Sandy Springs, North Springs and Fulton Industrial Fire Protection Districts.

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In 1939 the movie version of Atlantan Margaret Mitchell’s novel GONE WITH THE WIND, had premiered at this downtown Atlanta theater with much hoopla and fanfare including visits by the movie stars. By the 1970’s, movie patrons were now going to the malls and central city theaters were rapidly closing. The Loew’s had been vacant for some time except for a few tenants in the seven story 100 x 100 foot office building. This structure was in front of an attached building housing the famous “silver screen”. Reportedly, the preservation group, Atlanta Landmarks Inc., which had recently saved the Fox Theater from demolition by Southern Bell Telephone Company, was to sign papers to purchase the Lowe’s on 1 February 1978. They would never have the opportunity to take ownership. On 30 January at 14:44, Fire Alarm Box 291 at Park Place and Houston Str