Lawrence Fire Department (Lawrence, MA)

fire2The Library owns 114 linear feet of LFD material which includes:  volumes called Statistics of Fires includes address of fire, alarms, occupied, and number of residents, cause of fire, dept. under command of, number of men on duty at fire, apparatus responded, equipment used, extinguished by, losses, and remarks; Fire logs; two payroll books;   and records of alarms.

In the mid 1840s the first fire engine house was built in what was to become the City of Lawrence.  This one storey structure was located at the corner of Essex and Turnpike (Broadway) Streets where the Brechin Block (southeast corner) used to be.  A hand engine named “Essex” purchased by the Essex Company was stored there.  This engine was manned by Essex Company employees until it was sold to the town.  The engine was transferred to a wooden structure on Morton Street that eventually became a fire station.  Later this house would be replaced by Engine 4’s house at the corner of Lowell and Oxford Streets.

Lawrence officially became a town in 1847 at which time the town purchased two more hand engines and two small wooden buildings were built for their storage.  One was built on Newbury Street but was removed to Garden Street.  Niagara 2 (originally called “Rough and Ready”) was housed.  This building again was moved to Union Street and sold.  The second fire house was erected on Elm Street between Lawrence and White Streets and held Syphon 3.  The building was late moved to Oak Street.  In 1850 a fourth hand engine was located at Turnpike and Crosby streets in South Lawrence and was known as the Tiger Fire Association.  An act was enacted May 10, 1848 by the Senate and House of Representatives, in general court, to establish a Fire Department for the Town of Lawrence.

The present department headquarters on Lowell Street has been the approximate location of an engine house from before 1853 when Lawrence became a city.  Known as the Central Fire House, it was occupied by the Hook and Ladder, City Hose, and Lawrence Protective Companies.  In 1854 the building was removed to Amesbury Street at the rear of the FirstBaptistChurch until 1864 when the brick fire house was built at Concord and Franklin Streets.

Before 1860 Lawrence had no hose towers.  Some had box stoves and small bell towers.  The first brick fire house was constructed at the corner of Haverhill and White streets in June 1856 into which hand engine 3 moved.  Bonney Light Battery also moved in 1865.  The South Lawrence house on Broadway occupied by Engine 3 was built in 1869 and the Garden Street house holding Engine 2 was built in 1871.  Ladder 4 went into the brick house at the corner of Franklin and Concord Streets built in 1876.  In 1922 the LFD turned the house over to the American Legion.  Later houses were built as follows: Engine 4 Oxford Street 1910; Central Fire Station Lowell Street 1907; Engine 6 Howard Street 1896; Engine 7 Park Street 1896; Engine 8 Ames Street 1900; and Engine 9 Bailey Street 1908.

In 2013 an exhibit about the Lawrence Fire Department was prepared and displayed at the Lawrence Heritage Satae Park.  It is now on display on the 3rd floor of the Lawrence Public Library.

A square near the Park Street Station is named after Capt. Kevin Ord.

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