First Fire Companies in Norwalk

A New Engine
At the borough meeting on December 2, 1858, the Board of Burgesses for the Borough of Norwalk voted to appropriate monies for a fire engine. A committee recommended purchasing a crane-neck piano engine from J.J. Sickles Company for $1,000. The engine would be delivered with a hose cart and 500 feet of hose.

A meeting was scheduled for the following week at Phoenix Hall on Wall Street for the purpose of organizing a company to take charge of the engine. On December 15, 1858, an organizing meeting was held, and it was voted to adopt the name "Phoenix Hose No. 1." In April 1859, the new hand-pump engine arrived, and volunteers began training with it. Norwalk now had an organized firefighting force.

The Hook & Ladder Truck
In January 1861, the Board of Burgesses purchased a hook and ladder truck and authorized the formation of a company to man it. The Pioneer Hook and Ladder Company was thus organized. At that time, both Phoenix and Pioneer occupied a building Commerce Street.

The Steam Fire Engine
Soon after the end of the Civil War, Norwalk purchased a steam fire engine to replace the hand-pumped engine. Phoenix then changed its name to Phoenix Engine.

Some of the Phoenix volunteers decided to branch off into a separate company using the old hand pumper and hose cart. This new company voted to call itself “Hope Hose No. 2.”

By this time, Norwalk had opened a new fire station at 40 Main Street. Phoenix and Pioneer moved into that station, while Hope remained on Commerce Street.

South Norwalk Volunteers