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Fire Department

(973) 593-3021
(973) 301-2352
Madison Public Safety Building
62 Kings Road
Madison, NJ 07940 (map)


Notable Dates:    1881-1939        1940-1979        1980-2009        2010-Present

 It was 9 o’clock on Sunday evening, October 21st, 1877.

Some of the officials of the Town of Morristown were preparing to retire, when a man rode up from Madison, in the midst of a driving storm, with the news that the town was on fire, and requested aid from the Morristown Fire Department.  Morristown Mayor Ayres, Councilman Dalrymple (chairman of the fire department committee) and Chief Engineer alarm was rung and in a few minutes the steamer, the jumper and the truck were on their way, saving a large amount of valuable property. Another fire occurred on October 28th 1875, when Morristown firemen went to Madison in a response to a call transmitted over the telegraph.  Quite a time was had securing horses, and mishaps were experienced enroute, but three pieces of apparatus finally reached the blaze, which was in Van Wagners drug Store (now Waverly Place).  Heroic work kept the fire from spreading to Harmons confectionery store.  Madison at the time had no fire apparatus and the suppression of the flames was accomplished by means of buckets.  The Morristown Fire Department came to the aid the village numerous times and certainly provided the best efforts in protecting life and saving property.  It was undoubtedly these and similar occurrences which resulted in the formation of Madison’s first fire department.

1872 Nov-5:  The stables of James Bryce, a NY cotton broker, were completely destroyed by fire.  The Morristown F.D. aided the city. 

1875 Oct-28:  A call was transmitted over the telegraph to Morristown requesting assistance at a fire at Van Wagners Drug Store on Waverly Place.  Morristown F.D. aided the city saving a great deal of property.

1877 Oct-21:  A severe fire at the Allen Building on Main Street threatened the whole business district.  Three Morristown firemen were rescued from the basement after a 1st floor collapse.

1881 May-23:  The Madison Hook & Ladder Company No. 1 was duly incorporated "for the purpose of protecting life and property from fire"

1882 April-7:  
The first hose cart was purchased.

1882 June-6:  
The first fire headquarters was occupied.



1882 July 31:  
The Firemen's Relief Association of Madison was duly incorporated "for the purpose of relieving disabled or indigent firemen."

1886 May-23:  The Hook & Ladder Company went under the control of the city.

1891 April-1:  A municipal water system was established and a hose cart along with 800 feet of hose was purchased for $700.00.

1891 April-10:  The Borough of Madison is formed taking over control of the Hook & Ladder Company. 

1898 Mar-21:  The old truck was sold to the Afton Fire Company (Florham Park) for $150.00.

1898 June-10:  The old hose "jumper" was sold to the Chatham F.D. for $75.00.


1898 Aug-1:  
A new hook & ladder truck was acquired for the cost of $1,125.





1903 Oct-3:  
A new fire headquarters was built by land donated by the Burnet Family at the North corner of Central & Cook Avenues.




1904 Sept-6:  
A supply wagon was purchased for $650.00.  Later it was mounted on a Pierce Arrow chasis and used as a auxiliary hose truck.

1906 May-17:  The Madison Borough council adopted "an ordinance to establish, regulate, and equip a fire department in the Borough of Madison." (Ordinance #61)

1907 May-13:  A new bell had been purchased for $647.00 and placed in the bell tower next to fire headquarters.  The new bell was used until 1935.  In 1936 the bell was sold to a church in Moorestown NJ. 

1908 Jan-23:  C.F. Force's machine shop, now the site of the Westcoot -Alexander establishment was totally destroyed with a loss of over $30,000.

1909 March:  A Gamewell fire alarm system was installed and adopted. 1910 The council approved a fire siren to be purchased similar to the one in Summit NJ. The siren was located on Convent property and was operated by the steam boilers at the water plant.

1910 July-19:  The Madison Hose Company No. 1 is formed after twice being petitioned and denied by the borough council.

1911 April-11:  A new No. 3 Webb auto pumping engine with (12) 3 gallon chemical tanks was purchased for $6,000.  The truck was sold in 1937 to the Cedar Knolls F.D.

1912 Jan-26:  Adolph DuBarry mansion (now the site of Bayley Ellard High School) was completely destroyed. Described as the most costly blaze in the history of Madison.  Loss $300,000.00.

1913 July-4:  The barns of Aicken Greer, on Central Avenue was destroyed, with five horses, harness, a large moving van, three spring wagons and other equipment.  The most valuable horse was saved.

1914 April-29:  
The Flangan Building, which occupied the site of The Madison Trust Company on Waverly Place was damaged beyond repair.  The fire threatened the whole business district of the city.  The Morristown F.D. sent assistance and eight powerful steamers were in use.  "The firemen were hampered by intruding citizens, who had to be sprayed with water."

1915 April-21:  
Several occupants were trapped in a boarding house fire at the corner of Green & Hillside Avenues.  Occupants were rescued by firemen. At least one victim died due to smoke inhalation.

1916 Nov-12:  It was reported that the home of Henry Feuchtwanger on Loantaka Way was afire.  The department made ready to respond, but were notified that the fire was out.  Shortly afterwards it was discovered that the whole top floors were fully ablaze.  Assistance was provided by the Morristown F.D., Washington Engine Company.

1917 Jan-5:  Webb's barns, situated on Ridgedale Avenue, were completely destroyed by a spectacular fire which destroyed five valuable horses and five cows.

1918 Nov-30:  A fierce blaze was fought for over 24 hours by firemen at the Green and Pierson's lumber yard.  Numerous houses on Main Street were ignited by flying embers.  The ruins were still smoldering two days later.  Assistance was provided by the Morristown F.D..

1920 July-20:  Several barns on the Dodge estate were destroyed by fire resulting from lightening.

1928 Jan-7:  A large mansion on Madison Avenue (now in the area of Shadylawn Drive) owned by H. Brooks Nichols was the victim to a large fire.  The fire which burned for over 24 hours was finally extinguished with assistance from Morristown F.D.

1928 Jan-28:  The same mansion as above burned again.  This time the fire resulted in the demolishing of the residence.

1934:  Reginald P. Lum is appointed chief.

1935 May-30:  The Hartley Marcellus Dodge Memorial building is dedicated and occupied.

1936 Oct-5:  At 12:50a.m. the alarm was sounded for a fire in the Castle Building on Waverly Place.  Although fully involved, the department made a splendid "stop," and saved the structure. This building is reputed to be the "Day and Searing" store building, which was saved in the 1877 fire.

1938:  The State Fire Chiefs Convention convened in Madison, New Jersey.