Welcome to a page with hand-picked resources about the history of the Raleigh Fire Department. These represent just a few of the many sites and pages about our history. Use this page as starting point on your journey!
- The Fire of 1851 (PDF)
About the city’s great conflagration, the volunteer firemen and their hand engines, and the improvements that resulted. 33 pages.
- Birth of a Fire Department (PDF)
The story of the transition from Raleigh’s volunteer firefighting force to the career fire department in 1912. 37 pages.
- Raleigh Fire Department History – 1792 to 1925 (PDF)
Color chart of the fire department’s history and its milestones, both volunteer and career eras.Two pages.
- Rules and Regulations Booklet (PDF)
Undated booklet of fire department rules and regulations, likely circa 1920s or 1930s. 18 pages.
For more detailed reading, consider our Centennial History (117 pages), Great Fires of Raleigh (61 pages), and Raleigh FD 1880-1899 (PDF, 37 pages).
For stories of famous fires, read about Martin Street in 1915, Dorothea Dix in 1926, The Yarborough House in 1928, The Mangel Building in 1981 (63 pages), IGA Grocery Store in 1992, Pine Knoll Townes in 2007, and the Metropolitan in 2017.
- Photos from the 1800s to the 1990s
Flickr albums with hundreds of historical images, from the North Carolina State Archives, the Raleigh News & Observer, and other sources.
- 100 Years of Fire Apparatus
Flickr album of 120 images, showing Raleigh fire apparatus from the 1900s to the 2010s.
- Faces of the Past
Portraits of hundreds of retired and former members, plus those who died on- and off-duty, through 2012.
- Our Antiques
Flickr album of 111 images, with detailed photos of the antiques owned by the city and the museum.
For more galleries, see our Flickr photo albums.
- Narrated history of the Raleigh Fire Department
Presentation slides and spoken commentary from our historian, recorded in 2016.
- Color film footage, circa 1950
Silent footage of activities and training at various locations, including old Station 1, old Station 2, and the Dorothea Dix campus.
- IGA Grocery fire, 1992
VHS video footage of a three-alarm fire at the IGA Grocery on Person Street on December 20, 1992.
- High-Level Rope Rescue 1995
News video footage of the rescue of two window washers, trapped after their scaffolding collapsed on May 3, 1995.
- Steam engine in action, 2019
Footage of the 1905 steam engine in operation at the South Atlantic FIRE RESCUE Expo.
For more videos, see our YouTube channel.
We recommend these primary resources for researchers:
Last updated July 24, 2022