The Beginning of the Alameda Fire Department

The Alameda Fire Department was organized on August 29, 1876 as a volunteer agency. In 1880 the Board of Trustees for the City officially recognized the Alameda Fire Department and placed it under the command of Chief Engineer Fred Krauth.

By 1881 the City had four fire houses:

  1. Citizen's Hook and Ladder Company, No. 1 and Thompson Hose Company, No. 1 on Webb Avenue just off Park Street;
  2. Whidden Hose Company, No. 2 (the former West End Engine Company, No. 1 on Webster);
  3. Central (Sherman) Hose Company, No. 3, on Sherman Street between Central and Santa Clara avenues; and
  4. Pacific Hose Company, No. 4, on Chestnut Street between Pacific and Railroad avenues.

By the end of the 19th century the Alameda boasted one steam fire engine, two chemical engines on wheels, six chemical extinguishers, two hook-and-ladder trucks, a pair of two-wheeled hose carriages, one hose wagon and four Johnson hand pumps. The appraised value of on the Fire Department's seven horses was $1,400 dollars and the value of all Department equipment was $12,000; the engine houses, $15,000.