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Hollywood Fire Dept. Photos & History

Hollywood Fire Dept. Photos & History

As a result of the February, 1910 election, the residents of the City of Hollywood voted to annex their small community to the City of Los Angeles.

Vintage Hollywood Photos

The hollywoodphotographs.com website has many vintage and historical photos of Hollywood Fire stations and equipment.  Many show the fire station on Cahuenga Ave., just south of Hollywood Blvd.

Prior to the annexation, all fire fighting had been performed by volunteer firemen who drove and operated horse-drawn fire equipment.  Shortly after the annexation in 1910, the City of Los Angeles established a firehouse known as Hose Company No. 7 at the southeast corner of Cahuenga and Selma Avenues.  Under the command of Chief Jack Atwell, the small station housed the first motorized piece of fire fighting apparatus in the City.

Photo of Hollywood Fire Station

Fire Loss

Of the many fires recorded during that period of history, one was journalized as follows:  Saturday, January 7, 1911, 2:40 p.m. Fire at 324 So. Wilcox.  Outside closet and fence.  Loss $50.00;  cause: unknown.  Extended to 318 S. Wilcox, one-story, frame barn. Loss $250.00.  Extended to 100 Sunset Blvd., one story frame livery stable.  Loss $50.00.  Extended to 319 Townsend Ave., dry cleaning works.  Loss $200 structure, $100 contents.  Extended to 329 Townsend Ave., one-story frame barn.  Loss $35.00 structure, $20.00 contents.  Used 800 ft. of hose.  Worked 2 hours, 50 minutes.  Four call men received $3.00 each.

Another Fire

Another interesting journal entry appeared on February 20, 1911--?While raining this a.m., the men tried to push Hose 4's wagon into Hose 7's house--in doing so they lost control of the pole--the crown of the street being so high the end of the pole nearly dragged it.  The rear wheels struck the corner of the house, knocking out three panes of glass.  (Approximately a month later it was noted that Hose 7 received three panes of glass).  The following day the company responded to a telephone alarm on Gower St., one block north of Franklin.  They used 150 ft. of hose and worked 15 minutes to extinguish a brush fire!  It seems that 27's has always had a brush problem.

1931 Hollywood Fire Dept. Photo

Fire Hydrants

The hydrants had wooden plugs in them in those days, hence the term "plug buggy" was coined.

On Monday, November 20, 1911, a local resident, Mrs. T. A. Livingston, 559 Estelle Ave., was severely burned about the hands, face, and neck trying to save her chickens and rabbits from a fire involving her chicken corral and rabbit house.  The fire was started by a fire in a barn at 562 Estelle Ave.  Loss $5.00 structure and $20.00 contents.  Laid 600 ft. of hose.

First Hollywood Fire Station

In 1913, a modern structure was built at 1625-29 No. Cahuenga Ave., next to the old Police Department bungalow and served both as the Fire and Police Department.  Hose Co. No. 7 moved to the new location and its designation was changed to Engine Co. No. 27.  At the same time, additional fire fighting apparatus was acquired.  Firefighters called this home until 1930, when they and the Police Department moved to new and separate locations.  As mentioned earlier, in 1914, the city built a combination police and fire station located at on N. Cahuenga Ave. When hose Company number 7 move to the new location, its designation was changed to engine Company number 27.

Photo of Hollywood Fire Station

New Modern Fire Station

by the late 1920s, In 1927 the City was given property located at Vine and Lexington.  Chief Engineer R. J. Scott took the opportunity to recommend a new fire station be built at that location.  However, the community leaders sounded a loud protest complaining they didn't want a fire station on Vine Street.  In fact, they went so far as to get a court injunction against the Fire Department and Police Department to prohibit construction of a fire station there.  Subsequently, the property at 6428 DeLongpre was acquired by degree of condemnation on October 24, 1929 for a total cost of $24,321.  Three additional lots were purchased for a grand total of $52,415.  On January 16, 1930, the Fire Commission requested the establishment of a fire station at Wilcox and DeLongpre.  The City was now being charger $500 per month for the building at 1625-29 No. Cahuenga and the tenancy was to expire on June 30, 1930.  As mentioned earlier, it was realized that the Cahuenga Avenue facility could no longer satisfied their needs. At the time, Muller brothers owned a plot of land at the corner of Wilcox Avenue and the long freight Avenue, while the city had some acreage on Sunset Boulevard. Muller desired the sunset land and began to dicker for it. City funds provided enough money for a new police station but not enough to furnish it. Consequently, an agreement was reached whereby the land on Sunset Boulevard went to the Muller brothers, who, in turn, agreed to provide a plot at Wilcox and alone pray and completely furnished the new police station after its construction.

Hollywood Fire & Police Station photo

On Tuesday, July 1, 1930, Engine Co. No. 27, Hose Co. No. 2, Truck Co. No. 9, Rescue Co. No. 2, and Salvage Co. No. 4 moved into the unfinished building.  Although the building was not entirely completed at the time of occupancy, a substantial savings was made in the termination of rental fees.

Today, the old fire station at Cahuenga and DeLongpre Avenues is now the Los Angeles Fire Department’s History Museum.

The largest collection of Hollywood Fire Dept. photos is on the hollywoodphotographs.com website.

 

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