South Orange Fire Department - Vertical File 1

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The Fire Department was organized in 1891 after a very disastrous fire in the Mountain House which was situated where Glenside Road is now located. The first equipment was hand drawn reels and hand drawn Hook and Ladder. A few years later the Village purchased a horse and hose wagon and hired a driver. A second horse was then donated by a citizen. A little later a horse drawn Hook and Ladder and a team were purchased. This was in service until the Department was partly motorized in 1914 when a motor Hook and Ladder was purchased. In 1924 a combination pumper, hose and chemical engine of 750 gallons was put in service and in 1926 a second one of this type was purchased. In 1929 a 500 gallon booster tank was purchased to take the place of the Hook and Ladder purchased in 1914.

The present working force and equipment are as follows; 15 permanently employed firemen including a Chief and two Captains divided into two platoons (all under Civil Service); two 750 gallons pumping, hose and chemical engines; one 500 gallon pumping and booster tank engine; one 65 ft. aerial ladder truck with booster pump and 100 gallon water tank and one Chief's car all in good condition. Also included are 3800 ft. of 2 1/2 inch hose in first grade condition, 1250 ft. of 1 inch hose in good condition, and 500 ft. of chemical hose (3/4 inch) in good condition. Five Burrell all service masks, two 1/2 hour oxygen masks, 1 foam hopper, and 500 pounds of foam powder, five salvage covers and one ladder pipe. All apparatus has standard equipment of ladders, axes bars, poles, nozzles, chemicals, tanks, extinguishers and various necessary equipment.


  • The first floor is for the accommodation of the apparatus. Also included on the first floor is a Chief's office and a small tool room.
  • The second floor contains the dormitory, shower and wash rooms, two officers rooms and a recreation room.
  • The third floor has two rooms accommodating the fire alarm system, a meeting room and a store room.
  • The building was built in 1925.

After all calls the apparatus and equipment are thoroughly checked and cleaned. The oil is checked and the gas tanks are filled. Each day at the change of shifts the motors are started. (8:00am and 6:00pm). The spark plugs are cleaned on the first day of each month and the machines receive a coat of wax on the fifteenth of each month. The oil is changed every three months unless a pumping job is done.

The equipment carried to all regular alarms consists of the Hook and ladder manned by a captain and two men, one 750 gallon pumper manned by two men, one 500 gallon pumper manned by one man and teh Chief's car manned by the Chief and driver.


The fire alarm system consists of:
  • One (1) three circuit board (obsolete)
  • Three (3) street alarm boxes.
  • Two (2) steel storage tanks
  • One (1) air whistle
  • One (1) transmitter
  • One (1) bell at police headquarters
  • One (1) bell connected with sprinkler system at the Junior High School.

The system is tested twice a day at 8:00am and 6:00pm. The whistle is sounded to call the men on the off-shift when there is a fire. It is also blown to signify skating at Meadowland Park at 9:00am, 2:00pm and 7:00pm. and is blown two blasts at 11:30am to signify one session at the public schools.


The Chief has no regular working hours.

A platoon consists of a captain and six men. A platoon works two days from 8:00am until 6:00pm. On the third day they work a double shift of 24 hours from 8:00am until 8:00am the following day. They return that night and do a 14 hour tour from 6:00pm until 8:00am the same procedure is followed the following night. At 8:00am the following morning the platoon is off for a 24 hour day. This makes a total of 72 working hours in five days.


  • 1932 there were 158 calls and the fire loss was $12,965
  • 1933 there were 135 calls and the fire loss was $5,805
  • 1934 there were 171 calls and the fire loss was $6,225
  • 1935 there were 188 calls and the fire loss was $4,807
  • 1936 there were 189 calls and the fire loss was $11,267

During the year of 1936 there were 6756 inspections of cellars, back yards, business places, and schools made by members of the Fire Department.

Inventory of Equipment on Stutz #1-2

Right SideBasket
1 pike pole1 2 1/2 nozzle
1 15' roof ladder1 wooden mallet
1 2 1/2 gal. soda acid extinguisher1 2 1/2 siamese gate
1 hard suction strainer1 1" siamese gate
1 soft suction steamer conn.1 jack and handle
1 acid cannister and acid1 motor crank
1 soda cannister and soda1 reel crank handle
1 door opener3 hose clamps
1 axe1 Burrell all service mask
1 lantern, white
1 hard suction steamer conn.Running board rear
2 2 1/2 nozzles
Left Side4 spanners
1 lantern, red1 2 1/2 double male coupling
1 lantern, white1 2 1/2 double female coupling
1 hard suction1 reel 250' 1" hose
1 siamese soft suction1 1" nozzle
2 1/2 gal. soda acid extinguisher
1 axeTool Box
1 crowbar1 set tools
1 qt. Pyrene extinguisher1 small drop light
1 reducing adapter1 gal. oil
1 siren4 spare sparkplugs
30' extension ladder1 adjustable hydrant wrench
1 oil pan drain plug wrench
Top and body1 gasoline funnel
1 35 gal. soda acid tank1 hydrant adapter
1 reel, 250' chemical hose1 can Simpnize wax
1 1000' 2 1/2" hose1 oil can
1 2 gate2 2 1/2 hose washers
1 hydrant wrench1 2 1/2 spanner

Inventory of Equipment on Chevrolet

Inside of bodyIn the rumble
1 Carpenter searchlight1 set of chains
1 volt cutter1 axe
1 Hilton snap on coupling1 crowbar
1 set tools4 lengths 2 1/2 hose
1 Dugas hand gun1 soda acid extinguisher
1 jack and handle1 Dugas extinguisher
1 spare sparkplug1 Burrell all service mask
1 salvage cover
1 towing cable
1 hydrant wrench

Inventory of Equipment of Seagrave #3

Right sideBody
1 length 2 1/2 soft suction5 brooms
1 axe2 hay forks
1 5 gal. Indian pump tank, water1 large pike pole
1 2 1/2 soda acid extinguisher1 small pike pole
1 qt. Pyrene extinguisher1 pail coal
1 4 x 2 1/2 gate valve1 2 1/2 gate valve
1 dry cell searchlight900' 2 1/2" hose
1 pocket flash light500' 1" hose
2 1" hose spanners2 1" nozzles
1 35' extension ladder1 hydrant wrench
1 15' roof ladder10 equipment straps
1 Grafire gun100 gals. water
1 Burrell all service smoke mask
1 Burrell extra cannisterTool Box
5 lb. can Dugas powder1 set tools
1 5 gal. Pyrene pump tank, water1 rubber mallet
1 white lantern1 male 1 female double end couplings
2 hose spanners1 Hilton hose coupling
1 2 1/2" nozzle1 adapter 2 1/2 x 1
1 siamese 1 1/2 x 1
Left Side1 length garden hose 6'
1 model 10 Fyrefreez, extinguisher1 can Simpnize wax
1 #20 Dugas extinguishers chimney brush
1 2 1/2 gal. Phomene extinguisher1 jack and handle
1 2 1/2 siamese valve1 #2 wire cutter
1 axe1 small bolt cutter
1 strainer for hard suction1 small length rope
2 lengths hard suction4 hose straps
1 4 x 2 1/2 reducer coupling1 can Killsoot
1 5 x 4 reducer coupling1 pump packing wrench
1 5 gal. Pyrene pump tank, water1 hub wrench
1 red lantern1 crankcase wrench
1 2 1/2 nozzle1 spare primer spring
2 hose spanners1 spare Rajah spark plug
1 crow bar1 sparkplug wrench

Inventory of Equipment on Hook and Ladder

2 1/2 hour oxygen masks
4 salvage covers
1 Burrell All Service mask
8 pike poles<(4 ft. to 13 ft.)
2 electric lanterns
2 roof ladders (16 ft. and 12 ft.)
1 50 ft. extension ladder
1 40 ft. extension ladder
1 35 ft. extension ladder
1 28 ft. side ladder
1 25 ft. side ladder
1 20 ft. side ladder
1 12 ft. folding ladder
1665 ft. aerial ladder
(238 ft. of ladders excluding the aerial) 303 ft. of ladders total
2 1 qt Pyrene Extinguisher
1 15 lb Carbon Dioxide extinguisher
1 20 lb. Du-Gas Extinguisher
2 2 1/2 gal. Soda-acid extinguisher
1 Foam extinguisher
2 reed brooms
1 double female and 1 double male couplings
1 2 1/2" nozzle
1 cellar nozzle
1 2 1/2 siamese with 2 1" outlets
1 2 1/2 siamese with 2 2 1/2" outlets4 axes
1 wire cutter2 six prong forks
1 tin roof cutter2 shovels
2 hydrant wrenches1 Carpenter Searchlight(1/2 mile ray)
1 2 ft. ladder hook1 block and fall (175 ft.)
1 pinch bar75 ft. of 1" rope
1 2 ft. Stillson wrench75 ft. of 1/2" rope
1 grub axe27 ft. of 1/4" rope
2 malls1 Copper hose jacket
1 door opener1 #8 scoop
2 crowbars1 Life net
1 long handle spade1 reel
1 hose clamp33 ft. of 1" hose
2 bolt cutters1 first aid kit
1 battering ram1 tool kit
1 100 gal. water tank1 ladder nozzle
1 10 ton hydraulic jack
4 hose straps
8 spanners