South Bend Fire Department

December 6, 1852 a group of unpaid citizens organized to provide fire protection even before South Bend was incorporated. They obtained their first Engine and Hose Cart from a Boston firm for the sum of $1,000.00 These volunteers organized into two companies. In 1868, the department grew into three Engine companies and one Hook and Ladder Company. The first Chief was John Brownfield. In 1887, the department was chartered as a paid, full time Fire Department, and Issaac Hutchins was named Chief. The department reached a peak, with 300 men and 15 stations, during the 1960's. Presently the department employs 248 full-time Firefighters in 4 Divisions.

  

Left: Pictured is the first building which house paid fire company #1. It was located on the north side of LaSalle Avenue, west of Michigan Street. For a while, the downtown South Shore railroad station stood on the location. (South Bend Tribune photo.) Right: Hose Company #2, 1901

 

I would like to express my thanks and appreciation to the Chief Luther Taylor and the members of the South Bend Fire Department for their help and assistance with the information contained on this page. Some original pictures have been used with the permission of the department. Some information also has been obtained through the Local History department of the St. Joseph County Library and old copies of the South Bend Tribune.


Central Fire Station, originally located at Wayne and St. Joseph Street. This image is from a postcard mailed in 1910. Image courtsey of The South Bend Fire Department.

 

South Bend Station Two. This station was built in the 1930's and was located at 817 S. Lafayette. The original Station Two was located at 401 W. Sample (Sample and Lafayette). The St. Joseph County Jail now occupies the location. The station was renovated in 1937 (as pictured). (South Bend Tribune Photo)

Downtown fire, Michigan Street 1926.

 

  

NEW 12-24-2004 Left: South Bend Station 2 as originally constructed. Right: South Bend Station Two/ Four. Located on west Thomas Street. This building was originally constructed in 1894 and was originally Station Two. Later, it was remodled in 1922 and renamed Station Four, where it housed an engine company and snorkle company until it was closed in 1975. The image originally was published in the book Souvenir of South Bend, 1905, L. H. Nelson Co., Portland, Maine. Courtesy of Kevin Byrne, Washington DC Firefighter. Right: Former Station 4, circa 2003.

 

  

Left: South Bend Station Three. This station dates back to 1887 and is located on north Hill Street. It was taken out of service in 1953. NEW 12-24-2004 Right: Pictured is the original Hose Company #3. Not sure of the address of the fire station. If anyone can provide this information, please contact me. The image originally was published in the book Souvenir of South Bend, 1905, L. H. Nelson Co., Portland, Maine. Courtesy of Kevin Byrne, Washington DC Firefighter.

 

  

Left: This vacant lot was once the home to SBFD Station Five. Built in 1895, station five stood at 701 E. Sample until it was removed, when the Sample/ Eddy Street bridge was built, and a new station 5 built on Lincolnway East. Right: South Bend Station 5, exact date unknown. The image originally was published in the book Souvenir of South Bend, 1905, L. H. Nelson Co., Portland, Maine. Courtesy of Kevin Byrne, Washington DC Firefighter.

 

South Bend Station Five/ Tweleve. Located on Lincolnway East, this station served as Station Five until 1967. In 1968 the station was put back in service as station Twelve until 1978.

 

 

 

South Bend Station Six. Opened in 1897, Station Six was located on north Portage Avenue and was decomissioned in 1968.

 

 

 

 

  

NEW 12-24-2004 Left: South Bend Station 7, Date unknown. The image originally was published in the book Souvenir of South Bend, 1905, L. H. Nelson Co., Portland, Maine. Courtesy of Kevin Byrne, Washington DC Firefighter. Right: South Bend Station Seven. Opened in 1904, Station Seven was located on north Notre Dame Avenue and was decomissioned in 1968.

 

South Bend Station Eight. Station Eight was located on south Olive Street.

 

 

 

 

South Bend Station Nine. Opened in 1926, Station Nine is located on Mishawaka Avenue and is still in use in 2003. Photo courtsey of the South Bend Fire Department.

 

 

 

 

 

South Bend Station Ten. Opened in 1908, Station Ten was located at 1820 South Michigan and was first decomissioned in 1945. It was reopened in 1950 and served until 1971.

 

 

 

 

South Bend Station Eleven. Opened in 1930, Station Eleven was located on Lincolway West and was decomissioned in 1975.

 

 

 

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