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- DIVISION OF THE CITY INTO FIRE DISTRICTS - REAPPORTIONMENTS IN JULY 1892 - OLD DISTRICTS OUTGROWING OLD FACILITIES - NEW DISTRICTS, DISTRICT E ENGINEERS, AND COMPANIES - THE DISTRICT LIMITS - THE FIRST DISTRICT COMMISSIONER ENNIS' plans for extending the facilities of the Fire Department and increasing its efficiency, took what will be their final shape for some time to come in July, 1892 when he announced the newly apportioned fire districts and appointed five new District Engineers to fill existing vacancies and assume the new commands. The growing density of population in the built-up portion of the city, and the constant extension of the house-covered area in the outlying portions, had for a long time past given the companies guarding the immense interests at stake an undue amount of work. The District Engineers found their duties growing more and more pressing, as the city grew and even with the increase already made in the number of new companies there was still the need of others to divide the work with them. Besides two new companies organized daring the early part of the year plans were laid for the organization of four others as soon as accommodations could be gotten ready for them-two engine-companies, one truck-company and a second fire-boat, for which houses and apparatus were at once put under construction, and the city was re-districted for fire purposes, making ten districts in place of eight. By this apportionment, the districts may be said, generally, to cover the city as follows : the First District includes South Brooklyn south of Harrison and Butler Streets; the Second District protects the Heights and the shopping centre, as far up as Sixth Avenue; the Third surrounds the Navy Yard, as far as Cumberland Street; the Fourth continues on from the border of the Third as far as Throop avenue ; the Fifth and Sixth cover the most populous portion of the Eastern District of Brooklyn and its water-front; the Seventh adjoins them, toward the east; the Eighth and Ninth protect the great territory within the city line at its easterly boundary, not covered by the other districts ; and the Tenth lies between the city line and Gowanus Bay. To particularize regarding the First District, which will now be described, with its District Engineer and its constituent companies, this district takes in all of South Brooklyn below the line of Harrison and Butler Streets, the northerly boundary; the Gowanus Canal describing the easterly limits, while Gowanus Bay and the waters of New York Bay surround it elsewhere. It is a very important water-front that is entrusted to the companies of this district, the great Atlantic and Erie Basins occupying a large part of the shore line; and an extensive residential district lies within. - DISTRICT ENGINEER DOYLE, HIS WAR AND FIRE SERVICE
District Engineer James DOYLE, in command of the First District, was born in Brooklyn on March 14, 1842, and received his education at the parochial and public schools. In Oct., 1862, he enlisted in Company G. 9th Reg't, N. Y. Vols., (Hawkins Zouaves,) which took part in all the principal engagements in the early days of the struggle between the North and the South, and whose ranks were so depleted by killed and wounded as to necessitate its consolidation later in the conflict with the 3d Regiment. New York Vols. At the battle of Pleasant Hill, N. C., in 1864, Private DOYLE was severely wounded in the left shoulder. While lying in the Lincoln General Hospital in Washington he was promoted to the rank of corporal. Having recovered from his wound he rejoined his regiment just as they were setting out for the second attack upon Fort Fisher. After this engagement. Corporal DOYLE was advanced to the rank of sergeant for meritorious conduct on the field. In June, 1865, he was honorably discharged from the army, and returned to his home in Brooklyn. He joined Hope Hose Company No. 9, then located in Van Brunt Street, near Carroll. which later was furnished with a steam fire-engine, and had its name changed to Hope Engine Company No. 8. The present Chief Engineer of the Department was made Foreman of the new company, and Mr. DOYLE continued to do duty under him until the new Fire Department came into existence. Mr. DOYLE was one of the first Foremen appointed, and he was put in command of Engine Company No. 2. He continued in command of the company up to 1877 when the first "Three-headed" Commission was appointed, and he with other members of the force was discharged. When the Commission of 1879 came into power, Mr. DOYLE was reinstated and placed in command of his old company. In 1884, when Commissioner Richard H. POILLON created two new districts. Foreman DOYLE became a candidate for District Engineer of one of them, and on July 1, 1885, Commissioner POILLON promoted him to that office and assigned him to the First District, which then comprised that portion of the city extending from Union Street south to the city line, and from Prospect Park to the East River. In this District were located Engine Companies Nos. 1, 2, 20 and 28, and Hook and Ladders Nos. 1 and 9. The action of Commissioner POILLON in making this promotion met with favor from the residents of the district, in which Mr. DOYLE had long been a popular resident. In Fire Department and Grand Army circles he is held in the highest regard. As a soldier he proved himself worthy of promotion, and as a fireman he has been advanced on his merits. As a District Engineer, in the early morning hours of June 28. 1886, at a fire in the three-story brick building. No. 464 Fifth Avenue, he assisted in saving the lives of Elizabeth HAWES and her three children, who lived on the top floor, and had been overcome by the smoke and badly burned. - ENGINE COMPANY NO. 2, OF RED HOOK POINT ENGINE COMPANY NO. 2. Engine Company No. 2. located at Van Brunt and Seabring Streets, adjoining the house of Truck No. I. was organized when the Paid Department was created. The two-story, brick double house is familiar to thousands of people who have occasion to traverse Red Hook Point. There, for nearly a quarter of a century, the two companies, lying side by side, have protected millions of dollars worth of property. The history of Engine No. 2 is the history of the early days of the Department. It is also closely identified with the history of the Twelfth Ward. The residents of that section have long looked upon it as one of their institutions, and without it Red Hook Point would not appear like itself. When the company was first located there, that section was sparsely settled, but it offered admirable facilities for manufacturing purposes. One of the finest water-fronts in the world was the inducement that attracted many large manufacturing firms in New York, and in fact from all over the country, to locate there. Besides that it was within five minutes' walk of Hamilton Ferry. In a short time immense factories and warehouses grew up with surprising rapidity. Now it is by far the greatest manufacturing centre in the city. Among the large industries that give employment to hundreds, who live in, and go to make up the large resident population of the region, are the stove works of the Richardson & Boynton Company, the factory of the Chesboro Vaseline Manufacturing Company, Worthington's Hydraulic Pump Works, the Pioneer Iron Works, the Lidgerwood Iron Works, the South Brooklyn Machine Company, the India Wharf Brewing Company. J. M. William- son's Drop Forging Works, P. H. Gill's Elevator Works, Casey's Rosin Works, the South Brooklyn Fire Brick Manufactory, and many other large concerns. Besides these are the immense storehouses that line the water-front, including those of the Beard estate, the Robinson estate, the Atlantic Dock Company, the Erie Basin Stores, Findlay's Stores, and the Long Dock Stores. Added to these are the large ship-building concerns located along the bay, and thousands of vessels, large and small, that are continually loading and unloading their cargoes there. It is estimated that more goods are handled at the Atlantic Dock and Erie Basin than at any other similar places in the country. Recently the Inman and White Star Steamship Companies have pur- chased property in the district, and before long it will be the headquarters of these and other large lines of transatlantic steamship companies. When the company was started fourteen reliable and experienced men who had served in the Volunteer Fire Department made up the membership. The present District Engineer of that section, James DOYLE, was placed in charge of the company. He was one of the first Foremen appointed and was known as a fire fighter from the top of his head to the soles of his feet. And what a company it was! Every man was an athlete, fearless and enthusiastic in his new and novel calling. From the old system of the Volunteers to the new system, provided with every improved appliance and contrivance for suppressing fire, was a great change, bid timers tell of the valiant deeds of the original members of Engine No. 2. " No fire," say they, " could get beyond the control of the boys." The small number of fires, and the comparatively small losses, certainly bear testimony to their efficiency. Under the old regime the company had a large district to cover. Not only was it obliged to cover the Twelfth and Sixth Wards, but its territory included all Gowanus as far as Bay Ridge. Until less than two years ago, when Engines Nos. 1 and 28 were placed in the lower end of the Eighth Ward, the company was compelled to do a great amount of duty. Since then it does not go over the Gowanus Creek unless a second alarm calls, and to a few special boxes. Its district now is bounded by Atlantic Avenue, the water-front, and Gowanus Creek. Altogether the company responds to 44 first alarm calls. Foreman DOYLE continued in command of the company until his appointment as District Engineer in 1885. The company was known throughout the Department for its skill, and was many times complimented for good work performed at fires; and from this it has in no way retrograded. It still maintains the high standard set years ago, and is improving with the times. Better facilities are provided now than when the Paid Department came into existence. When District Engineer DOYLE assumed his new duties, the command of Engine 2 was transferred to Foreman Platt VAN COTT a veteran grown gray in the service. He had served in many companies, and had organized several. He was born at Rockaway, L. I.. April 6, 1846, coming of the old Long Island family of his name. Before he attained his majority he came to Brooklyn, and during the war he served in the navy for fifteenth months. At the organization of the Department he was appointed a fireman and assigned to the company in Greenpoint, for three years, after which he was intrusted with the duty of organizing Engine Company No. 15. He started that with all new men and was the acting Foreman of it for seventeen months. On May 10, 1873, he was appointed Foreman, and continued in command of Engine No. 15. Then he was sent to Truck No. 4, for a year, and from there he went to Truck No. 6, and spent about the same length of time. He was in command of Engine No. 13, for six years, until he was called to Engine No. 2, on Feb. 11, 1886. At the special desire of Commissioner Partridge he organized Engine Company No. 18. He has attended all the big fires and has never met with an accident. Foreman VAN COTT is of medium height, well built, with an intelligent face and white hair. He is regarded as a strict disciplinarian, but is never harsh. He has in his command a fine lot of men, many of whom, like himself, have served since the Department was organized. Assistant Foreman JAMES CULLEN is a fine specimen of a fireman. He was born in New York just half a. century ago, but looks much younger. At an early age he moved to this city and settled in the Twelfth Ward. On June 1, 1872, he was made a fireman, but had previously served in the Volunteer Department. His first duty was with his present company, and with the exception of three months he spent as a member of Engine No. 1, he has been a fixture in Engine No. 2 ; as a fireman he ranks with the best. He has had several narrow escapes from death from falling walls, but shows no marks as evidence. Engineer FRANCIS CURRAN has served in that capacity since the company was organized. Before that he was an Engineer in the old Department. He is regarded as one of the best engineers that ever ran a machine, and can get as much service out of it as any man living. He was born in New York in 1844, but from early childhood has lived in the Twelfth Ward of this city. In stature he is below the average. His dean-shaven, thoughtful face is familiar to every one in the ward, and there is no one more popular. JOHN DWYER, the driver, is another old-timer. He was born in New York, in 1844, and was made a fireman, July 1, 1872. When the war broke out he entered the navy and served with credit for two years. He has been connected with Engines Nos. 2, 3, and 4, at different times, mostly as driver, and is in every sense a capable one. JAMES KEMP was born in Ireland in 1849, and landed in Brooklyn when a youngster. At the age of twenty-one he was made a fireman, his appointment being dated July 20, 1870. Among his colleagues he is justly popular, and by his superior officers he is esteemed for his faithful services and good deportment. LAWRENCE FAGAN is every inch a fireman. He would rather tackle a burning building than any sort of amusement. Born in this city in 1850, he knows every street and building and is looked upon as a walking encyclopedia. On Feb. 7, 1876, he was appointed a fireman and has done most of his duty with Engine No. 2. FRANCIS H.. MOLLOY was born in this city. Dec. 5, 1850, and was appointed a fireman. Dec. 28, 1876. During his long service he has been in many hot fires and has been complimented several times for heroic service. At a fire in a grain elevator at the Erie Basin in 1879, he had a close call. Just as he with several others, left an adjoining roof, the elevator fell over, striking the spot they had just abandoned. He has assisted in the rescue of several lives, notably among them being the removal of a woman and child from a burning building on Hamilton Avenue. PETER DUNNE was born in Ireland in 1846, but is a thorough American. He was made a fireman on May 27, 1880, and has distinguished himself on several occasions by his coolness and bravery. Most of his service has been performed with the company he now serves so faithfully. THOMAS P. SHEA has been a member of the Department and of Engine No. 2 for three years. He was born in this city on Nov. 29. 1865, and was made a fireman on May 20, 1889. He is spoken of as a good fireman, and he looks it. JOHN MAHONEY is another veteran who has done a good deal of real service and performed it intelligently. He was born in New York City, May 26, 1844, and was made a fireman on June 10. 1870. a few months after the Department was organized. He has served faithfully as a member of several South Brooklyn companies, but for several years has been a fixture in Engine Company No. 2. WILLIAM P. SKIDMORE was born in this city in 1853, and always had a liking for fire duty. On New Year's Day, 1883. he first reported for duty. Since then he has performed some creditable work and is looked upon as one of the best men in No. 2. JOHN B. DONOVAN has been a fireman since Dec. 15, 1885, and is as enthusiastic to-day as he was the first day he wore a uniform. Born in this city on June 26, 1859, he knows the territory thoroughly. There is no fire so hot or smoke so dense as to keep him out of a building. FRANCIS MONNAVILLE was born Jan. 20, 1859, and was appointed a fireman April 1, 1885. He is willing, intelligent and brave, and possesses every requisite necessary in a fireman. Most of his duty has been with Engine No. 2. GEORGE J. RYAN was born in this city. Nov. 27, 1866 and was made a fireman on Dec. 10, 1891. Although young in years he is old in experience and promises to make his mark in the Department. MICHAEL QUINLAN was born in Brooklyn on June 3, 1862, and was appointed to the uniformed force on July 1, 1892. - ENGINE COMPANIES NOS. 3 AND 4 AND THE IMPORTANT DISTRICTS THEY COVER ENGINE COMPANY NO. 3. Engine Company No. 3 also began its existence on Sept. 15, 1869. It occupies a Three-story brick building with brownstone front on Hicks Street, near Degraw which in the days of the Volunteer Department was the quarters of Neptune Engine No. 2. The figure of a "rooster " and the words " Neptune No. 2 " carved in the keystone over the doors are still plainly visible to the passer-by. The first floor of the building as in all other engine-houses, is taken up by the apparatus and horses. On the second floor are the sleeping apartments of the men, and the third floor is fitted up as a gymnasium The company is equipped with a second-class Amoskeag engine, a hose-cart of the old two-wheel style, and three of the finest horses in the Department; -Paddy," a large handsome iron gray horse, is used on the hose-cart, and "Sam." a glossy black, and Pete, a gray, draw the engine. These fine young animals are the best groomed and fleetest-footed in the service. Chief NEVIN's horse, "Jim," a beautiful chestnut sorrel occupies one of the stalls. There are, also, three finely bred dogs, whose superior intelligence entities them to favorable mention in the history of this company. " Bob" a thoroughbred Gordon setter is the exclusive property of chief NEVINs. and "Frank" and "Nell", both English coach-dogs with long pedigrees, are the especial pets of every man in the company. "Nell" is noted for her high-jumping qualities, and her agility in hand-ball playing. She can easily bring down a piece of sugar from the top of an eight-foot fence, and can catch a ball in her mouth as well as the average boy can with his hands. The company is one of the best disciplined in the Department, and every man in it is a worker. They have one of the largest and most important districts in the city to cover and one in which many disastrous fires have occurred. Joralemon Street is the northern boundary; Third Avenue and Twenty-first Street the eastern; Gowanus Bay the southern; and the East River the western boundary. On a first-alarm they respond to calls from eighty-seven boxes, and sixty-five additional on a second-alarm Among the most important buildings in the district are the Harbeck, Pierrepont, Watson, Martin, Columbia, Mediterranean, Dows, Robinson, Baltic and Anchor Line stores which form a continuous chain along the river front south of the Fulton Ferry slips; the India Wharf Brewery, Marks & Rowell's glycerine works. United States Warehousing Company stores, Atlantic Dock Company stores, Dow's, Pinto' s and Lambeer's large grain elevators. Hydraulic Works, Richardson & Boynton's stove works. Pioneer Iron Foundry. Lidgerwood Manufacturing Company, German American stores. New York Warehousing Company, Beard's stores and elevators, Boston Dry Dock Company, J. K Bricks fire-brick yards, Burtiss' ship-yard, Cheeseboro Manufacturing Company, Casey's rosin works, Taylor's saleratus works, Reilly & Crowley's foundry, Williams- Drop Forging Works, Gill's machine shops. Smith & Gray's storage house at foot Hamilton Avenue, Downing & Lawrence ship-yard, POILLON's ship and lumber yards. New York Mica Roofing Works, Bowne's storage and grain elevator, Clombach's boiler shops, Creamer's brass foundry, Hodge's sale stables, Brooklyn City Railroad stables. Swan & Finch's oil works. Nelson Brothers' wood yard, Haggerty's glass works. Roebuck's Planing and Moulding Mills, South Brooklyn Saw Milling Company, John ROGAN & Sons' storage house. Bay State shoe and leather factory, Newmada kid works, New York Color Works, Hobby & Dudy's lumber yard, Fitzsimmon's bird gravel works, Weber & Quinn's coal elevators. Bush's saltpetre works, Buchanan & Lyle's Planet Mills and tobacco factory. New York Tile Works, New York Cream Tartar Works, Gray's Sulphur Mills. Still's Sulphur Mills, Gregory's oil works, Roger's Planing Mills, New York packing box factory, Dykman's packing box factory, Loomis Planing Mills, Kenyon & Newton's sash and blind factory, Watson & Pettinger's lumber sheds, Sylvester & Ross' lumber yard, Hughes' lumber and lime yards, the works of the Citizens' Gas Light Company, Bergen's feed storehouse, Whipple's sash and blind factory, Witte's Weiss beer brewery, Shinnick's pipe works, McCaldin's lumber yard, Jansen & Hamlin Naval Storage Warehouse, the Anglo-American stores, Stein's Sale and Livery Stables, the stables of Wescott's Express Company, O'Brien's dry goods and storage house, Latimer's storage house. Good Care Storage Company, W. H. Mere's wall-paper factory, "Herman Behr's sand-paper factory, F. 0. Pierce's paint works. New York ink works, Brooklyn Button Works, Forsyth Chair Manufactory, Sperry's church furniture and cushion factory, Columbia Chemical Works, Higgins' soap works. New York Oil Pressing Company, Brooklyn Stained Glass Works, Gleason & Howland's coal yard, Casey's wood yards, Klein's coal yards, and the Union Ferry Company repair yards. Among the large flat-houses in the district is the Fougera, the Home and Tower flats at Baltic and Hicks Streets, the Columbia on Union Street, the St. Charles on Sackett Street, and a row of flat-houses on the same street, the Tower flats at Sedgwick and Van Brunt Streets, the Waldo and St. Ann's on Hamilton Avenue, and the Windermere on First Place. Included also in this territory are the Long Island College Hospital, St. Peter's Hospital, St. Joseph's Home, Public School No. 78 on Pacific Street, No. 13 on Degraw Street, and a branch of that school on Union Street, No. 29 on Amity Street, No. 27 on Nelson Street, No. 30 on Walcott Street, No. 31 on Hoyt Street, and a branch on Degraw Street, St. Paul's Roman Catholic church and school, St. Charles Roman Catholic church and school, St. Peter's Roman Catholic church and school, St. Mary's "Star of the Sea" church and school, St. Bernard's church and school, St. Stephen's church and school. Church of the Visitation and school, and St. Agnes church and seminary for young ladies. Among other edifices are the Baptist Tabernacle, the Italian and German Catholic churches, Pilgrims' Chapel, South Congregational. Church of Our Saviour (Norwegian) St. Matthew's Lutheran, St. Paul's Lutheran Trinity Lutheran, Carroll Park Methodist Episcopal, First Place Methodist Episcopal, St. Paul's Methodist Episcopal, Warren Methodist Episcopal, St. Ann's Protestant Episcopal churches, St. Margaret's Protestant Episcopal Chapel, St. Paul's Protestant Episcopal church. Strong Place Baptist and the Tompkins Place Episcopal church. There are men in the company who have been to all the big fires since the Department was organized. The horrible scenes enacted at the burning of the Brooklyn Theatre are vividly impressed on the minds of these men. for they were among the faithful, untiring number who worked for days among the ruins to recover the bodies of the victims of that disaster. Nearly every man in the company has some reason for recollecting the fires which have occurred at Arbuckle's Coffee Mills. Pierrepont stores, Harbeck stores. Standard Oil Works. Richardson's Car Stables, Palmer's Cooperage Havemeyer's Sugar Refinery, Denslow & Bush's oil works, Ridgewood Ice Company's stables, the Paint and Starch Works fire at the foot of Sixth Street, the Columbia Heights flats, the Glass House on State Street at which several of the men were nearly suffocated by smoke or killed by the falling walls, the Planet Mills fire, the Boston Dry Dock, SHAW's grain stores, and the burning of the ship Pythomone, loaded with jute butts, at Pierrepont stores. PETER FAGAN was the first Foreman of Engine Company No. 3. He was succeeded by Samuel Duff, who in turn was succeeded by John Duly. Subsequently Charles D. RUDDY was put in command of the company, where he remained up to March 12, 1892, when he was sent at his own request to take command of the new company No. 31 in East New York. Foreman EDWARD F. CONROY. his successor, has found a warm spot in the hearts of the men who make up a company which has no superiors in the Department as a "working " body. Mr. Conroy was born in Brooklyn. Nov. 7. 1858. He became a fireman, April 22, 1878, and first saw active duty with Engine Company No. 8. From this company he was transferred to Engine No. 5, and later to Engine No. 6. While in this company, on June 29, 1889, he was promoted to the grade of Assistant Foreman. He was advanced to the grade of Foreman, on March 13,1892, and placed in his present command. Assistant Foreman MICHAEL F. JUDGE was born in Brooklyn, Nov. 18, 1861. He was a truck driver when he was made a fireman, June 15, 1887. He was assigned to duty with Engine N0.4. and remained with the company until June i. 1891, when he was promoted to Assistant Foreman and transferred to Engine No. 3. Engineer ROBERT REARDON was born in New York City, in 1857. He is a widower And lives at No. 62 Waverly Avenue. He was appointed a fireman, June 1, 1883, and has done duty since that time with Engines Nos. 7, 10, 24 and 3. MICHAEL F. ROGAN, the driver, was born in Ireland, May 6, 1857. He is married and lives at No. 497 Hamilton Avenue. He was made a fireman, April 4,1885, and saw active service with Engines Nos. 4, 5 and 24, before he became the driver of this company. Mr. ROGAN was a member of No. 4, when the glass house on State Street was burned, May 5, 1885. When the walls fell he had both ankles sprained and his body badly bruised, and was laid up for a long time thereafter. GEORGE L. MOLLOY was born in Brooklyn, Aug. 17, 1861, and his career as a fireman began June 15, 1885, when he was assigned to duty with this company. When the paint works on Gowanus Canal were burned, in July, 1890, he stood at his post until his left leg was so severely burned, that it was at first believed amputation would be necessary to save his life. It was several months before he was able to return to duty. In January, 1892, he assisted in the rescue of two children from the third floor of a burning building in First Place near Smith Street. JOSEPH C. RUSSELL was born in Brooklyn, Dec. 23,1858. He resides with his family at No. 595 Clinton Street. He was made a fireman Dec. 15, 1885, and has been attached to Engines Nos. 2,4 and 3. In Feb., 1892, Engine No. 3 was first at the scene of a fire on Warren Street, caused by a lamp explosion, and Russell dashed up the stairway, burst in the door, wrapped his coat about a German woman whose clothes were set on fire by the explosion, and carried her out. She was so badly burned that she died later at St. Peter's hospital. In Sept. 1890 while carrying a hose at midnight into the hold of a burning ship lying at the North Central Pier, Atlantic Basin, he fell through an open hatch, forty feet into the hold, but fortunately struck on a pile of coffee bags, and escaped without having any bones broken. On Dec. 29, 1891, at a fire in the Amalga Soap Works, at Nos. 85 and 87 Sedgwick Street, he fell two stories through a hatchway and dislocated one of his shoulders. JAMES LAWLER is an " old-timer" and has been an active worker at all the great fires since he was appointed to the force, April 28, 1870. He was a member of this company when the Brooklyn Theatre burned, and assisted in taking out the bodies of many who perished in that fire. He was born in Ireland, July 21, 1845, is married and lives at No. 140 Van Brunt Street. He is detailed as an operator at the fire telegraph office in Jay Street. JAMES MCCARTHY was born in New York City, May 20,1848. He resides at No. 505 Hicks Street, and was made a fireman Nov. 20, 1870. In 1880 while with Engine Company No. 4, he with fireman John MULLALY of that company, rescued a man, his wife and three children from the second story of a dwelling on Atlantic Avenue, near Court Street. At a fire on Second Street, in the winter of 1880 -'8l, he with Mr. DOOLEY, now Foreman of Engine No. 26, saved the lives of two women, who lived on the third floor and had been overcome with smoke. He was present and assisted in taking out the bodies of the victims of the Brooklyn Theatre fire. MICHAEL HART was born in Brooklyn, Dec. 19.1861. He became a member of the Paid Department, March 1, 1884 and was assigned to Engine Company No. 5. He is married and lives at No. 459 Sackett Street. THOMAS F. BURNS is a native of Brooklyn, born March 17,1865. He lives with his family at No. 194 Hicks Street, and has been connected with this company since the date of his appointment, Aug. 1, 1889. At the Smith & Gray fire. Feb. 28, 1892 he fell from the roof of a building on Grove Place and received severe injuries to his back and shoulders. JOHN H. GORDON was born in this city Sept. 15, 1853, and since he became a fireman, on March 20, 1888, has been doing duty with this company. He is married and lives at No. 106 Baltic Street. JOHN W. FARRELL first saw the light on May 29, 1852, in New York City. His career as a fireman began Dec. 15. 1885 as a member of Engine Company No 3 While coming down the pole in the engine-house to respond to an alarm of fire on the night of March 5, 1890, he fell and broke his right ankle, and was laid up for four months. In January 1892, he assisted Fireman MOLLOY in rescuing two children from a dwelling-house fire on First Place, near Smith Street. PATRICK HARRIGAN is a native of Ireland, and was born in Jan., 1868. He is a bachelor and lives at No. 76 Mill Street. He has been attached to this company since he was made a fireman, Aug. 11, 1891. ENGINE COMPANY NO. 4. Engine Company No. 4 is located on Degraw Street, near Court. Montauk Hose. No. 4, was its original ancestor, occupying a house opposite the present engine- house, and in 1855-57 was famous in Brooklyn's first Fire Department. In 1857 the hose-company was transformed into Engine Company No. 22 of the Volunteer Department and moved across the street to the site now occupied. When the new Department was established in 1869. No. 4 was organized with Daniel J. GARRITY as Foreman The house was remodelled then, but it is now so old as to furnish but a poor home for such a crack company, which deserves to be better housed. In 1882. James MURRAY succeeded Daniel GARRITY as Foreman and was in turn followed by James S. SMITH the present Foreman. Feb. 1, 1890. The district covered by Engine No. 4 comprises all that section of the city between the lines running along Hamilton Avenue to the river-front and along the water-front all the way around Red Hook Point to Gowanus Canal. Then the boundary goes east to Third Avenue and back to Atlantic Avenue. The most dangerous localities are the warehouse and tenement districts near the river, the shipyards at Red Hook Point and the gas houses, lumber yards, oil works and big factories that line either side of Gowanus Canal. It is in the last district that the most disastrous fires have occurred and at these the work of Engine Company No. 4 has been noticeable for its prompt excellence. During the cyclone of Jan. 9, 1889, both the big retorts of the Citizens' Gas Company, at the corner of Smith and Fourth Streets, exploded, and although the damage by fire was small to the surrounding property, that fact was due principally to prompt and hard work on the firemen' s part. No. 4 reached the scene between the explosions of the first and second retorts and took up her position not a quarter of a block away. Her men were laying the pipe when the second, explosion came. Windows in houses several blocks away were shattered and a volcano of flame rose hundreds of feet in the air as the escaping gas caught fire. Through the falling glass and half-crazed crowd No. 4's pipe was laid with as little hesitation or waste of time as though it had been a practice drill, and her stream was one of the first on the tenement over on Fourth Street that had begun to bum along its entire front. At half-past twelve o'clock on the morning of .April 12, 1889 the Planet Mills on Carroll Street, between Hoyt and Bond Streets, took fire, and for more than six hours the Fire Department worked hard to save the thousands of dollars worth of jute and bagging material with which the big building was stored. No. 4 was the first on the scene and did splendid work. It was impossible to save anything in the factory and most of the work was devoted to saving the adjoining property that was constantly endangered by the big masses of burning jute that were whirled up into the air and scattered over housetops, some two blocks away. It was not until late in the morning that it was learned that the watchman of the mills had been unable to escape and was burned to death. The damage at this fire was estimated at nearly $200,000. The burning of the Watson & Pettinger lumber yard at the Carroll Street bridge over Gowanus Canal, on March 9, 1890, was another of the big fires at which Engine No. 4 did excellent work. Again, on the night of Dec. 22, 1891, when the five-story brick flat house. No. 394 Smith Street, caught fire. Engine No. 4, by prompt work, practically gained control of the fire, thus aiding in the rescue of the little children that were taken down the fire escape, the interior of the house being filled with smoke. On the night of May 9, 1800, Engineer William SHAW and Assistant Engineer James GERAGHTY particularly distinguished themselves at the burning of the paint works at Sixth Street and Gowanus Canal. Engine No. 4 was drawn up at the curb next the burning building, but most of the fire seemed on the other side of the building. Suddenly the fire broke through the side next the engine that was working at full speed. The flames rushing out enveloped the engine and the two engineers, and in less than a minute the woodwork of the engine was on fire. Engineer SHAW never stopped his machine, but fought hard to save m his engine from burning up. Finally the hose burst and as there was no use in pumping until reconnected, the engine was drawn out of reach of the flames. Both Engineer SHAW and Assistant Engineer GERAGHTY were badly burned about the face and hands in their attempt to save their engine and hold their position at the same time. On Nov. 23, 1891, during the drought due to the break in the aqueduct. No. 4 had a hard day's work. There were three alarms that day calling on No. 4 for services and there was not enough water in the hydrants to enable an engine to throw a stream across the street. About eleven o'clock in the morning fire was discovered in the top of the four-story brownstone building. No. 234 Carroll Street. The row extends nearly the entire block from Court to Smith Streets, and as there was no water it seemed as if in the strong wind the whole row and possibly the block would go. Fortunately the firemen remembered that Messrs. BUCHANAN & LYALL, the owners of the Planet Mills, had an artesian well on the premises nearly four long blocks away. Engine No. 4 sent a hose down there with a rush and Engineer SHAW "shook her up," for all the three-year-old Amoskeag engine was worth. The water came slowly at first but later with a rush, and the building was saved with but little injury, and No. 4 did the saving. The same night fire broke out in the top floor of No. 262 and 264 Court Street, in the three-story brick building used as a furniture storehouse. There was no water at hand and the firemen as began to tear down the burning portions that were within reach of their hooks. At last the fire-boat, " Seth Low," reached the foot of Harrison Street, but could not pump the water through the streets as it was up hill. Engine No. 4 got out all her reserve hose and soon had nearly 2000 feet stretched down toward the fire-boat. Other engines aided until there was nearly 4000 feet connecting the fire-boat with the engines and two streams were brought into play. It was this that saved the north half of the block that, before the water was obtained from the river, had practically been abandoned. It is for similar prompt work that Engine No. 4 has gained its name as one of the most efficient in the service of the city of Brooklyn. Foreman JAMES S. SMITH was born in Brooklyn. May 11, 1855, and on Aug. 6, I877, was first appointed to the Fire Department. He showed the mettle of which he is made at a fire in the tenement house. No. 66 Columbia Street, on April 12,1885. The flames were found in the rear of the second floor and the interior of the building was filled with smoke. There was a cry from the third story window where a woman stood begging to be saved. Smith, who was then a private in the fire ranks, dashed up-stairs through the smoke, and succeeded in rescuing Mrs. Julia FLORINE, whom he brought down safely. On Aug. 6, 1877, he was promoted to Assistant Foreman and did his work so well that on Feb. 1, 1890, he was made Foreman, which position he now holds to the satisfaction of not only the men under him but the officers above him. Assistant Foreman JOHN JOSEPH LEO has distinguished himself several times by his cool bravery; most noticeably at the flat house fire at No. 394 Smith Street, on the night of Dec. 22, 1891, when he gallantly aided in passing down the little children that were rescued by means of the fire-escape from the upper floors. Leo was born in Brooklyn, Julyl6, 1855 and on Jan. 31, 1882, was appointed to Engine No. 4. On Feb. 11, 1890, he was promoted to be Assistant Foreman, in which capacity he has done splendid service. He served two years and eight months in the United States Navy and got a training there that has stood him in good stead in his career as a fireman. Engineer WILLIAM HENRY SHAW was born in Hudson, N. Y. Nov. 15, 1845, and served as an engineer in the old Volunteer Department with Engine No. 22. When the Department was reorganized Mr. SHAW was appointed to No. 4, the successor of No. 22 and he has been with it ever since. He is one of the oldest engineers in the service and has an exceptionally fine record. His gallant work when his engine was on fire has been mentioned heretofore. Assistant Engineer JAMES T. GERAGHTY was born in Brooklyn, Feb. 4. 1853. and was appointed to No. 4 Jan. 30, 1882. He is always careful and painstaking in his work and is known as one of the best men in the service. He and his immediate chief, Mr. SHAW, work in perfect harmony, and there is little that can be done with a fire- engine that these two men will not and cannot do. Among the best men in the company is BARTLEY FLANAGAN, who was born in Ireland, March 12, 1847, and was appointed to No. 4 March 30, 1870. Among Mr. FLANAGAN'S treasures is the following letter bearing the endorsement of the Chief of the Fire Department at that time: COL. J. N. PARTRIDGE, Fire Commissioner; DEAR SIR:"In all cases where bravery is shown I deem it fitting that just mention should be made. I wish to express my gratitude to Mr. Hartley FLANAGAN of Engine No 4, who at the risk of his life put out a fire in my residence on April n, 1882, which, but for his heroic conduct and promptness, would, undoubtedly have resulted in a loss of life as well as property. Trusting that you will accord this brave fireman full merit, I am, Yours Respectfully, DAVID MCGONIGAL. No. 146 Schermerhorn Street, April 14,1884. BERNARD GRAY was born in New York State, July 9. 1842 and was appointed to Engine No. 4 July 1. 1874. He had then served one year in the regular army and has never forgotten his military habits and training. THOMAS J. MALONE was born in Ireland, Dec. 18, 1843, and came to America when a young man. In 1863 he entered the army and served with credit during the war. Sept. 27, 1872, he joined the Fire Department and was assigned to No. 4. where he has made a good record. GEORGE F. HARRIGAN was born in Brooklyn, July 10, 1868, and from boyhood had an ambition to be a fireman. He was appointed Aug. n, 1891, and although he has not served very long has a promising future. WAYLAND A. ESTES was born in Brooklyn, June 29, 1860; Dec. 15, 1885 he was appointed to No. 4 and is popular as a capable and efficient fireman. PATRICK H. LOWERY was born in Brooklyn, March 17, 1863, and was appointed to No. 4 on Oct. 15, 1890. JOHN FRANCIS SPAULDING was born in Brooklyn, Nov. 10, 1863 and was assigned to duty with No. 4 on Sept. 3, 1888. JOHN SMITH was born in Ireland, Jan. 2, 1858, and came to America shortly after the war. He was appointed to the Fire Department Aug. 1, 1889, and was detailed to No. 4, where he has already done good work. JAMES DONOHUE was born in Brooklyn, March 26, 1852, and was appointed to No. 4 on April 7, 1885. TIMOTHY F. CONLON was born in Brooklyn, in 1864, and received his appointment to the Department on July 1, 1892. He is a blacksmith by trade. WILLIAM HENRY TIERNEY was born in Brooklyn on Aug. 28. 1867 and was appointed on July 1, 1892. - HOOK AND LADDER COMPANY NO 1, THE FIRST TRUCK COMPANY ORGANIZED. HOOK AND LADDER COMPANY NO I. Truck No. 1. located at Van Brunt and Seabring Streets, adjoining the house of Engine No. 2, was the first Hook and Ladder Company organized in the Paid Department. It has a record for efficiency unexcelled by any other company, and the officers and men have had encomiums heaped upon them time and again for yeoman service rendered in time of peril Until a year ago the company covered all the South Brooklyn District and responded to more first-alarm calls than any other truck-company iii the city. Its territory included all that section bounded by Atlantic and Fifth Avenues, and the bay from Wall Street Ferry down to Bay Ridge. Until Trucks Nos. 9 and 10 were put in service, at Fourth Avenue and Nineteenth Street and on State Street near Smith Street, respectively it was one of the hardest worked companies in the Department. Truck No. 9 has relieved it of the Gowanus District, and Truck No. 10 of a large part of the Third. Sixth and Tenth Wards. Before the change in the boundary lines. Truck No. I was frequently obliged to respond to two and three alarms in one day,, often going nearly to the extreme end of the Eighth Ward, a distance of nearly two and a-half miles. This played havoc with the horses and severely taxed the physical endurance of the men, . Although the district covered by the company now is considerably smaller than formerly, it still has a very important territory, and responds to forty-six first-alarm calls. There are several large manufactories and warehouses within its precincts, besides hundreds of vessels with valuable cargoes always at the Atlantic Dock and Erie Basin. Among the large industries are the hydraulic pump works of Worthington & Co.. the Chesebrough vaseline works, Richardson & Boynton's stove works, the Lidgerwood Iron works' the South Brooklyn Engine Company J. M. Williamson & Co.'s drop forging works, Casey's rosin works and other large concerns. The mammoth warehouses of Beard & Co., Jeremiah Robinson, the Atlantic Dock Company, the Erie Basin Storage Company and Findlay-s stores line the water-front. It will be seen, therefore, that the district covered by Truck No 1 is an important one, and requires great vigilance on the part of the men. Whenever fires have occurred there, excellent time has been made by the company, and with one or two exceptions they have been gotten under control with comparatively little loss The company as now organized is an excellent one. The men are willing, daring and intelligent. They like nothing better than fighting a good fire and have repeatedly demonstrated their ability to cope with one of any dimensions, even when the chances seemed entirely against them. All the latest appliances for rescuing lives and saving property are in possession of the company. A large extension ladder that can be raised to the top of the highest building in the neighborhood has been provided thus, reducing the danger of loss of life to a minimum. When the company was first organized it was located on Fourth Avenue near Ninteenth Street, where Truck No. 9 is now stationed. In 1872 it was transferred to its present quarters on Red Hook Point, where it has long been looked upon as one of the institutions of that primitive district. The first Foreman was TIMOTHY NOLAN who served only for a short time when he resigned, and shortly after died. He was succeeded by MICHAEL QUINN the present Foreman of Truck No. 9, who remained in charge for nearly ten years and was superseded by JAMES SMITH of Engine No 6 The latter was in turn succeeded by Foreman Quinn, who was again placed in charge but the last tune only remained for a few months when he was transferred to Engine No. 1. On Oct. 25, 1889 the present Foreman took command. Foreman DANIEL J. GARRITY has the distinction of being the first Foreman appointed in the Paid Fire Department. On the day that the law abolishing the old system and creating the new went into effect, he, with the other appointees was summoned before the new Board of Fire Commissioners, and whether by accident or intent, he was the first man to receive an appointment as Foreman. Before that he was an active volunteer, running with Hose No. 9 from the time he was sixteen years of age. As a fireman he is regarded as one of the bravest and best in the entire Department. Perhaps no other member has a larger number of rescues or daring deeds to his credit. Time and again he has been commended for his heroism Among some of the more notable acts were the rescue of Mrs. Thomas HART and her four children from a burning building on Court Street, near Butler, in 1875. At a fire in the dwelling at No. 619 Fifth Avenue, on Feb. 14, 1885 he rescued John ANDERSON and his daughter from the third floor. The occupants were asleep in the house at the time and were nearly suffocated by smoke. On many other occasions he has distinguished himself. But for one act in particular he has endeared himself to the people of the Twelfth Ward. At an entertainment in the hall attached to St. Mary's Star of the Sea School, at the comer of Court and Nelson Streets, in June, 1887, some one raised the cry of fire. Instantly the children became excited and rushed for the doors and windows. Foreman GARRITY happened to be in the audience at the time and by' prompt action averted what otherwise might have been a panic. "Dan," as his friends call him, was born on Sept. 19, 1841. Since he was twenty-one his hair has been gray. When the war broke out he entered the navy and served for three years He is a member of the G. A. R. Before coming to Truck No. I he had been for several years in charge of Engine No. 4 on Degraw Street. The Assistant Foreman, who is frequently called upon to command the company while the Foreman is absent or acting as District Engineer, is DENNIS J. McKINNEY He was born in this city on Feb. 17, 1859, and was made a fireman on June 15 1885 After serving as a private for less than two years, he was in recognition of valuable services promoted to the rank of Assistant Foreman on March I. 1887, and has served with Truck No. 1 since. His name is on the roster of life rescuers. At a fire in Columbia Street he removed a child from the third floor just as the flames entered the apartment. He also assisted in the rescue of others, and is regarded by his superiors as a cool, daring and conscientious fireman. PATRICK HANLEY, the oldest member of the company, and one to whom the younger men look for advice, has grown gray in the service. He was born Jan. 10 1835, in Ireland, but came to this country when a young man. On Oct. 1, 1872 he was appointed a fireman and has done duty with Engines Nos. 2, 3, and 4, and Truck No 1 Recently, however, he was detailed to the Kerosene Oil Bureau, but is still accredited to and connected with Truck No. 1. He has assisted in the rescue of several lives On one occasion he had a narrow escape. At a fire in one of the large storehouses at Erie Basin, the roof fell in just as he and several of his colleagues stepped off. Had they delayed thirty seconds longer they would have been buried under the ruins. JAMES REILLY, the second in point of length of service in the company, was born Oct. 31, 1862, and although a comparatively young man has battled with fires for nearly eight years. During that length of service he has proven himself to be one of the best men in the command and one who promises to be heard from later. He has spent most of the time with Truck No. 1 JOHN J. CALLAGHAN is a Jersey man by birth, but a thorough Brooklynite by adoption, instinct and association. At the age of five, and long before the East River bridge was completed, he made his way to this city. which he says he finds good enough for him. On Dec. 15, 1885, he donned a blue suit, silver buttons, and a fireman's badge and started out to make a record. That he has been successful is attested by his superior officers. He spent a short time as a member of Engines Nos. 3 and 4, and was then transferred to his present company. JAMES J. RYAN was born within a few hundred feet of the house of Truck No i thirty-six years ago, and was made a fireman on March 21, 1888. Before that he was a truck driver and his knowledge of horses made him valuable to the company. He was promptly placed in charge of the splendid team of horses that is the pride of the company, and he treats them with as much consideration as though they were human. RICHMOND J. TRUPP, although in the Department less than three years, is regarded as one of the most valuable members. He is thirty-one years of age, and was appointed on July 15, 1889. By good faithful work he has commended himself to his superior officers, and is personally popular among his colleagues. PATRICK TOMAN was born on Dec. 7, 1866, and long before he attained his majority aspired to be a fireman. His ambition was satisfied on March 12, 1891, when Commissioner ENNIS appointed him and assigned him to Truck No. 1. DANIEL BOYNE is a perfect athlete in appearance. He stands five feet eleven inches and is splendidly developed. On the 10th day of Nov. 1862, he first saw light and on July 17, 1891, he was appointed a fireman. Since then he has performed duty with Truck No. 1, and is spoken of in high terms by his Foreman. SIMON TRACY is one of the oldest members of the company in age, but one of the youngest in point of service. He was born in Pennsylvania, Dec. 4, 1848, and served creditably during the war with the 5th Regiment, Heavy Artillery, Pennsylvania Volunteers. After the war he located in this city and on July 17, 1891. was appointed a fireman. Although past the age of eligibility, the fact that he was a veteran removed that obstacle. Although forty-four years of age, in running, jumping and other athletic contests, he is able to give the young men points. CHARLES H. FUREY is a member of the old family of that name in this city He was born in the Sixth Ward' Brooklyn Dec. 3, I867 and was appointed a fireman and assigned to Truck No. 1 on Nov. 16, 1891. JOHN J. THORNTON was born March 25, 1863, and like his colleague, FUREY was appointed a fireman and assigned to Truck No. 1 on Nov. 16, 1891 and he has proved entirely satisfactory to his superiors. JAMES KERRIGAN was born in Brooklyn on June 20, 1865, and was appointed on July 1, 1892. Transcribed for the Brooklyn Pages by Mimi Stevens BROOKLYN FIRE DEPT. Chapter 9 Back To HISTORY of the BROOKLYN FIRE DEPT. Index Back To FIRE Index Back To CIVIL Index Back To BROOKLYN Main