• Pasadena Fire Department

Pasadena Fire Department

  • The First Permanent Station

    A tragic fire occurred 8 days after the regulations took effect, taking the lives of three of the Beaton family children and severely injuring Mrs. Beaton during rescue attempts. The Fire Department apparently took sometime to respond, and was severely chastised as a result, although the authors of some of the history books feel this might have been undeserved. In any case, the City decided to put in a more modern fire alarm system, and dispense with the bell on the church. 

    On December 3, 1889 the Department moved into its first permanent station on Dayton St. between Fair Oaks and Delacy. On January 1, 1890, the Fire Department purchased five horses from Mr. Richard Gird, of Chino for a total of $1,235.30. In the new station, stalls were rigged so that the horses, upon hearing the new alarm, would jump forward into the "traces", and the harness would lower onto the horse, being secured with spring-type clamps.

    The monthly salary in August of 1894 is as follows:

    • Fire Chief $15.00
    • Assistant Fire Chief and Secretary $ 8.00
    • Steam Engineer and Electrician $90.00
    • Stoker, Driver of Hose Cart $50.00
    • Driver of Engine $60.00 Foreman of Hose Company $ 5.00
    • Callmen $ 5.00
    • Foreman of Hook and Ladder & Treasurer $ 8.00
    • Driver of Hook and Ladder $60.00

    On Easter Sunday, April 14, 1895, The Royal Raymond, Pasadena's finest hotel (actually in South Pasadena) tested Pasadena's best by burning to the ground in less than two hours. High winds were considered a primary cause for the conflagration. This was one of three major hotel fires prior to 1916 in Pasadena, the other two being the Maryland and the La Pintoresca. The Maryland Hotel fire turned out to be particularly difficult to extinguish, as a large natural gas line under the hotel continued to spew forth flame long after the hotel had, once again, burned to the ground. In spite of all efforts, the valve to shut off the gas could not be located until hours later, when it was found underneath a recently poured cement sidewalk. 

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