Beaufort County NC Beaufort county map

Fire Engines and Fire Trucks

Our generous donor:   Hugh Sterling, Jr.- Retired Fire Chief


    What is the difference between a Fire Engine and a Fire Truck?

    Most people do not know the difference but to a Firefighter there is a big difference. To make it simple, the Fire Engine carries and pumps water, and the Fire Truck has a long ladder or aerial device. The modern equipment of today will do both. Fire Engines have long ladders and Fire Trucks have large fire pumps.

    One of the oldest known piece of firefighting equipment is the “bucket”. In the days of the Roman Empire each home owner was required to provide a bucket hanging on a hook beside the front door for the exclusive use of firefighting.

    Fire Buckets came in all sizes and shapes. Some were made of leather while others were made of wood. There were also those made of metal. Some buckets did not have a bottom. They had a cone shape and could not be set down. They were hung on a peg or set over a post. Two good things about the cone shaped bucket was that it was easy to push down in the water and it was not very comfortable to sit on. It might be noted that the railroad companies had cone shaped buckets on all bridges. These buckets had long chains and all a man had to do was drop the bucket in the water. The point allowed the bucket to go under water thus filling the bucket. The chain was then used to pull the bucket up and the water thrown on the fire.

    Washington had several hand pumps that were used to pump water onto a fire. These pumps were run by man power and required quite a few strong men to work the handles. Hose reels were also used. Each hose reel had a reel of fire hose with a nozzle on one end and the other end was hooked to the hand pump. These reels had tall wheels that made them easy to pull. Each reel would carry around 200 feet of fire hose. In the early eighteen hundreds the hose was made of leather. Leather fire hose leaked very bad and required a lot of maintenance. The hose was put together with copper rivets and was around two inches in diameter.

    In 1898 Washington purchased a steam powered fire pump. The unit was purchased from the Silsby Manufacturing Company of Seneca Falls, NY. The pump was turned by a “Rotary Steam Cylinder” This was a big change from the piston type of steam pumps on the market at that time. The water pump was also a “Rotary Pump”. A rotary gear pump is a positive displacement pump there for it also required a relief valve or “Churn Valve” as they were known in those days.

    The 1898 Silsby was capable of pumping around 500 gallons per minute for a long period of time. When the steam pressure was up and the pump running the unit had a whirling sound. Not like the chug..chug.. sound of some steam pumpers.

    The spent steam was discharged into the draft section of the smoke pipe thus causing a tremendous amount of draft for the fire box located at the bottom of the boiler.

    The Silsby had a foot bell that could be rung by the driver and a steam whistle that was blown by the engineer riding on the rear of the unit. Coming down the road with horses at a full gallop and a full head of steam must have been quite a site.

    Once the fire was lit in the fire box of the Silsby, enough steam pressure could be generated with in five minutes to pump water.

    The large air dome sitting on top of the main fire pump was to reduce the “water hammer” effect on the pump. The air in the dome would cushion the “water hammer” thus preventing damage to other parts of the unit.

    Coal was the main fuel used in the Silsby however anything that would burn was tossed into the fire box.

    A pair of horses was used to pull the Silsby and when the unit arrived on the scene of a fire the horses were unhitched and led away. The last thing the Firefighter wanted to happen was the horses to spook and run away back to the fire house dragging the unit with them. There was also the chance that falling hot cinders from the boiler could burn the horses.

    In 1902 the Silsby steamer was fighting a very large fire on the waterfront. The fire was about to overrun the steamer so the firemen pushed the unit into the river. It stayed on the bottom of the river for a week then it was pulled out and sent back to Seneca Falls, New York and rebuilt. (note when the unit was pushed over board the boiler had a head of steam and the cold water cracked the boiler.) It was quite a job firing and running the Silsby steamer. The fireman’s job was to keep fuel in the fire box and also keep water in the boiler. The engineers job was to adjust the steam pressure on the pump and keep up with the water pump pressure. He also had to adjust the relief valve and open and shut the two control valves supplying water to the fire hoses. An oil can can be found on the side of the steamer. This can was used to oil the many oiling points found on the engine. There is also a coal oil can on the unit. This can held coal oil for starting a fire in the boiler.

    There is also two nozzles mounted on the unit. These nozzles do not have shut off valves. They were known in the fire service as suicide nozzles.

    The Silsby steamer served Washington well and was last used at the Tayloe Hospital fire in 1937. After that time the Silsby was used to steam oysters at the Fire Department oyster roast. The Silsby now resides in the front window of the Washington Fire Department. She has done her part protecting the City from the ravage of fire and can now rest in piece. If you look really close you can make out several initials scratched on the side of the pump. One of those initials belongs to Captain Ed Pilley. Captain Ed was one of the few firemen that knew how to operate the Silsby Steam engine and did so at many fires.

    The first motorized fire equipment was purchased around 1915. This was an American LaFrance hose truck model 12. Originally this unit was only used to carry hose and other hand equipment. It was also used to pull the Silsby Steamer.

    Around 1919 truck 12 was equipped with a modern fire pump and chemical tank. The chemical tank held a soda-acid solution and when mixed together created pressure and forced the solution out the hose line. This worked very well on small fires. The modern fire pump was a rotary gear, 750 gallon per minute pump. This pump could supply three two and one half hose lines with adequate water at a high pressure. The pump was also supplied with a relief valve very similar to the one installed on the Silsby steamer.

    The engine in the model 12 was a six cylinder gasoline engine. This engine was designed to be started by cranking a handle in the front of the unit. The unit did have a compression relief valve that could be opened to relieve some of the compression of the engine however, there were a few arms broken by firemen trying to start this unit.

    When the pump was installed a electric starter was installed. This was a big relief to those that had to crank this unit.

    One of the many strange things about the model 12 unit was that it was chain driven. The unit also had hard rubber tires and mechanical breaks. Those two things ment to a fireman that the truck was very hard to steer and even harder to stop.

    Other equipment was a hand operated siren. The driver had to reach over and crank this siren by hand. It was quite a job steering the truck, adjusting the spark, checking the choke, shifting the gears, and adjusting the throttle. This guy had his hands full. One of the many stories handed down was that to become a member of the Washington Fire Department you had to be able to hand crank engine model 12. This story may or may not be true but if it was that was quite a job.

    Engine model 12 carried around 1200 feet of two and one half fire hose with an assortment of nozzles. She also carried two sections of suction hose used for drafting water from the river or cistern. The pump did not have a primer pump as it was a positive displacement pump. It had an oilier. Oil was pumped into the pump gears and the pump turned on. This caused a vacuum in the suction hose and water was drawn up into the pump.

    In 1974 the City Council set aside $2,000.00 to refurbish Engine 12. This job was done and American LaFrance Engine Model 12 now resides in the Washington Fire Department. It might be noted that for a 10 year period the Engine was on lone to Kings Mountain Fire Department for display in their fire museum. This was done because there was no place to store the Engine in Washington.

    Around 1924 another American LaFrance Engine was purchased. This was Engine model 75. The 75 came with pump installed but both Model 12 and 75 looked very much alike.

    Both engine 12 and 75 had a bad habit of catching fire around the carburetor. Both units had down draft carburetors and one back fire and the engine was on fire.

    Captain John Croon Whitley once told me that a good Fire Engineer always wore a hat. He used this hat to smother out the fires on the carburetors.

    When Assistant Chief John Rochell died, his casket was placed on the hose bed of Engine 75 for the ride to the cemetery. It was a very solemn moment. Leading the procession was the Department Jeep with chains for towing and five or six large fire extinguishers to put out the fire if the Engine back fired. Engine 75 did the job with out a single back fire.

    In 1972 the City Council voted to sell Engine 75. Engine 75 was sold at public auction to Mr. J.D. McCotter.

    Ladder Truck number 451 was not the first Hook and Ladder truck to be used by the Washington Fire Department. Prior to 1922 a horse drawn Ladder wagon was used with an assortment of wooden ladders. There are no records indicating what type of wagon it was or anything about the Ladder wagon.

    Ladder Truck Number 451 was built by American LaFrance in Elmira, New York and delivered to the Washington Fire Department around 1923. This Truck had a 50 foot wooden ladder that was raised with the help of springs. The ladder was in three sections and had to be cranked out by hand.

    Truck 451 had a six cylinder engine, the same as was in Engine 75 and Engine 12.

    The wooden ladder left a lot to be desired, compared to ladders of today. The old wooden ladder would creek and grown as the Firefighter reached the top. This ladder was best used when supported by a building. There were no rails on this ladder.

    When Ladder 451 was purchased it had a 50 foot ladder but a few years later, in route to a fire, another Fire Engine hit the rear of Ladder 451 and broke about 10 feet off the 50 foot ladder. There for Ladder 451 had a 40 foot ladder.

    When Ladder 451 was taken out of service the motor was removed and placed in Engine12. The motor that is in Engine 12 today was once in Ladder 451.

    In 1935 the City purchased yet another American LaFrance fire engine. This engine was called Invader and was the most modern fire fighting equipment on the market at that time. The Invader had a 12 cylinder motor with duel ignition. In other words the motor had 24 spark plugs and over 150 feet of ignition wire. There were two of everything under the hood. There was also an extra large cooling fan and extra large radiator. This would allow the unit to sit and run at a high rate of RPM for a long time with out running hot. However, this truck had the same type of pump that the 12 and 75 had. This pump was a 750 Gallons per minute and was a rotary gear pump. The relief valve on this engine never worked right. This engine also had manual steering and mechanical breaks.

    The Invader had an open cab with no top or windshield wipers. If you drove this Engine in the rain you would have to look over the windshield to see the road. There was also no heater.

    The hose capacity of the Invader was around 2,000 feet of two and one half hose. She also carried an assortment of nozzles and hand equipment.

    Around 1978 the Invader was sold at public auction.

    In 1949 the City of Washington placed yet another order with the American LaFrance Company. This order was for a 65 foot hydraulic aerial truck with a 750 gallons per minute pump. This, again, was top of the line equipment. The best money could buy.

    This Ladder Truck was known as Quint Number 1. The pump on this Ladder Truck was the first centrifugal pump the Washington Fire Department owned. A centrifugal fire pump builds pressure by the centrifugal action of the two large impellers located in the middle of the fire pump. This pump was equipped with a “water governor” that helped control the pump pressure.

    Quint Number 1 also had a ladder pipe installed on the lower fly section of the hydraulic ladder. This ladder pipe could be controlled from the ground with ropes and pulleys. This ladder pipe was capable of flowing around 500 gallons per minute.

    This was the first Truck that came equipped with a generator and search lights mounted on the running boards.

    There was also a full company of ladders ranging from 14 foot to 35 foot. These ladders were wooden and required a lot of maintenance. They were hand sanded and varnished each year.

    Around 1950 the City of Washington asked Beaufort County for support in providing fire protection for county residents. Up to that time the City of Washington had been providing some fire protection to county residents.

    The City purchased a 1949 John Bean High Pressure fog Engine. This Engine was capable of pumping water at a very high pressure (1,000 PSI) but delivering only 25 gallons per minute.

    The theory behind the use of High Pressure was that the water droplets were broken down much smaller thus creating more surface area allowing the water to absorb heat quicker. However, the 25 gallons per minute did not offer much protection for the Firefighter and limited the knock down power on larger blazes. The one and one half hose line with a 95 or 125 gallon per minute nozzle, used today, would knock down most fires within 20 seconds of application.

    The nozzle reaction for the High Pressure Fog was around 75 pounds. This was also a handful for most Firefighters.

    The 1949 John Bean Engine was mounted on a Ford chases and very easy to operate. It was the ideal Fire Engine to be used in the County where there were no Volunteer Firemen. Many fires were fought with this Unit with just one driver operator and two or three Volunteer Firefighters.

    This unit also carried a portable pump. This pump would pump around 250 gallons per minute and was used to fight fire and fill the tank on the Engine. The John Bean Engine carried around 300 gallons of water in her water tank.

    One unique thing about this unit was the windshield on the rear of the unit to protect Firefighters riding on the rear.

    This unit was sold to the Pinetown Volunteer Fire Department around 1968.

    In 1957 the City of Washington purchased a 1957 John Bean Pumper. This unit had a 750 gallon per minute pump along with the High Pressure fog pump. This Engine was called the Combination. The tank capacity of this unit was under 500 gallons. The main fire pump was a FMC and was a two stage centrifugal pump. The two strage set up allowed the pumper to develop higher pressures with less water flow or the unit could pump capacity at a lower pressure. This pump ran off the Engine transmission.

    The High Pressure Pump ran off the power takeoff and was a piston pump. The two pumps could not be operated at the same time.

    This unit was equipped with all types of fire fighting equipment including nozzles both two and one half and one and one half. Later the unit was equipped with three inch hose lines to feed the pump from hydrants.


    Early notification of the outbreak of fire could often lead to the extinguishment of the blaze before great damage could occur. However, in the early days of our country the cry of FIRE had to be shouted from one person to another. There was no way of notifying the Volunteer Firemen of the emergency except by word of mouth.

    One early device that was used to notify people of a fire was a “rattle”. This device was vigorously shaken to make a noise to alert the people and make them aware of a blaze. Bells were also used. One of the most famous fire bells is the Liberty Bell. The Liberty Bell was once used as a fire bell and would ring out the alarm.

    In 1855 the ladies of Washington presented to the Volunteer Firemen a bell to be used as a fire alarm. This bell was to be rung when there was a fire to summon the firefighters. Where this bell was first mounted is not known but in 1884 the bell was mounted over the New City Hall building. This building also housed pieces of firefighting equipment such as a ladder wagon, hose reels, hose wagons, hand pumps and other fire equipment.

    To sound the fire alarm all one had to do was to enter into the stairway of City Hall and pull the bell rope.

    During the turning of the last century there were many bells in Washington. Almost every church had a bell and the clock on the Courthouse had a bell. Firemen had to become familiar with the tone of the fire bell.

    Sometime during the mid twenties or early thirties the City of Washington had a Gamewell Fire Alarm system installed. This system was the latest and most modern in fire alarm equipment. The southern office of the Gamewell Fire Alarm Company was located in Atlanta, GA.

    The Gamewell system consisted of Fire Alarm Pull boxes to be located around the City and mounted on electrical poles.

    These boxes were made of cast iron and were painted bright red. To activate the box all you had to do was pull down the lever and the box would tap out a special code for that exact location.

    Master boxes were also installed. A master box would be hooked up to a school or large business that would have smaller pull stations located on premises. Washington High School, P.S. Jones School, and John Small School all had pull stations located in their halls. If any one of these pull stations were pulled it would trip the master box on the pole out in front of the school.

    Large industries had master boxes installed that were hooked up to their internal alarm system. Some master boxes were hooked into the stand-pipe or sprinkler system. If the sprinkler system activated the alarm would be sounded.

    The system was quite simple. There was a wire that came from the Fire Station and went from block to block making a circuit when it came back into the Fire Station. The circuit was then energized with 24 volts of DC current. When a box was pulled the “Code Wheel” turned and broke the circuit a given number of times. For example if box 16 was pulled the “Code Wheel” would break the circuit, once for 1 and six times for 6, thus the code 16.

    The original Gamewell System consisted of only three circuits and around 50 pull boxes. Later a fourth circuit was added and an additional 25 boxes were installed.

    The system had an elaborate battery back-up. In the rear of the Fire Station there was a bank of glass jars containing acid. In these glass jars were inserted zinc strips and each glass jar generated a small amount of electricity. There were many glass jars. During a lightning storm the battery room would sometimes light up like “Frankenstein’s laboratory”.

    Lightning was a big problem with the Gamewell System. Lightning arresters were placed within the circuit but they did not always work. If the wire broke or went to ground the system would not work. Someone would have to walk the circuit and find the break and make repairs.

    In the Fire Station there were large bells mounted on the wall. Every time the circuit was broke the bells rang. A Box Line Recorder was also mounted in the Station. This punched a hole in a strip of paper every time the circuit was broken. If Box 16 was pulled the tape would show one hole and a space then six holes.

    A Transmitter box was located at the Fire Station. This was used to transmit a coded location in case the fire was reported by telephone. The Transmitter box worked like a fire alarm pull box; however, the “Code Wheel” could be changed. If a fire alarm was phoned in the on-duty Fireman would look up the location and then find the “Code Wheel” that would transmit that location.

    To notify the Volunteer Firemen, the Fire Bell mounted over City Hall was equipped with a striking device that would ring out the code location. If box 16 was pulled the bell striking device would hit the bell once, then pause, and then hit six times in a row. This would indicate box 16 had been pulled.

    As the City grew it was hard to hear the fire bell. The power plant that had been built at the end of west Third Street had a steam whistle. This Steam Whistle was equipped with a device that would blow the whistle and signal the code location to the Firemen. This whistle was very loud and could be heard miles from the City.

    In the late 1940s, an air horn was installed on top of the Fire Station. This horn also had a device that would blow a code location as the circuit was broken. This was quite a system.

    When an alarm was sounded, the on-duty Fireman would count the hole puncher to establish which box had been pulled. He would also check the Alarm Indicator that would give him the number of the box pulled. Checking both hole puncher and Alarm Indicator was a way of double checking the box number. Most veteran firemen would count the blast of the horn or count the rings of the fire bell and know before checking the hole puncher or the Alarm Indicator the exact location of the pulled box.

    The Fire Equipment would take the quickest route to the box location. Arriving at the box location the Firemen would look for the fire or whoever pulled the alarm. If they could see the fire and the fire was big the alarm box would be pulled again.

    After the fire was out, the Chief Officer would go to the Fire Alarm box and rewind the box’s coil spring. This spring is what makes the “Code Wheel” go around. He would also, using a small telegraph key, tap a code “2”. This would indicate that the fire was out and all equipment was returning to the Station.

    People living in Washington, on hearing a fire alarm, would count the code number and race to their telephone book and look up the box location. For many years the telephone company published the Fire Alarm Box Codes in the yellow pages.

    As well as this system worked there were still some drawbacks. False alarms were a very big problem. It was quite easy for someone to run up and pull a Fire Alarm box and run off. When the Firemen arrived there would be no fire.

    Sometimes the false alarm problem would become a very big nuisance. At this time Firemen would sit all night behind bushes or shrubs at the box location waiting for someone to come along and pull a false alarm. In some cases the Fire Department would announce that the Fire Alarm Box was going to be removed because of excessive false alarms. Many times this would solve the problem of the false alarm. To my knowledge the Fire Department never removed a Fire Alarm box due to false alarms.

    In the mid 1980s the Gamewell Fire Alarm system was completely removed. No longer the blast from the old fire whistles or clang of the house bells. The need for Fire Alarm pull boxes is no more. The telephone is much quicker and the Enhanced 911 calling is the state of the art Fire Alarm. Firemen no longer listen out for the Fire Whistle or the Clang from a Fire Bell but instead listen or, in some cases, feel their pagers.

    1    Trouble                              6   House Call
    2    Fire Out                             9   Civil Defense
    3    Test                                66  National Guard
    4    Direct Pressure                     99  Riot Call      
    5    Rescue      
            Box   location                   Box   Location                 
    7       2nd bet, Bonner & Harvey         63    5th & Van Norden
    8       Washington Park                  64    5th & Pierce
    12      Market & Water                   65    2nd & Respess
    13      Main & Bonner                    71    Market & 10th
    14      Water & Harvey                   72    Market & 13th
    15      Main & Academy                   73    Bonner & 12th
    16      Main & Brown                     74    Summit & 15th
    17      McNair & 2nd                     75    Oak Drive & Stewart
    21      Main & Market                   121    2nd & Simmons
    22      Main & Union Alley              122    Hudnell & 6th
    23      Market & 6th                    123    Aycock & 5th
    24      Main & Gladden                  124    Charlotte & 2nd\
    25      Main & Van Norden               125    Charlotte & 4th
    26      Main & Washington               126    Penn ave. & Haven
    27      Main & Hackney                  127    Charlotte & 8th
    31      Harvey & 3rd                    128    Brown & John Small
    32      Bonner & 4th                    129    John Small & 7th
    34      Market & 5th                    131    Nicholson & 10th
    35      5th & Blount Road               132    East 13th
    36      Bonner & 7th                    133    East 12th
    37      Market & 9th                    134    East 11th
    41      Market & 3rd                    135    9th & McNair
    42      Gladden & 3rd                   136    National Spinning
    43      Bridge & 4th                    141    4th & Haven
    45      Respess & 4th                   142    East 14th
    46      Gladden & 7th                   143    5 bet.Respess&Gladden
    47      9th & Van Norden                144    Hackney & 5th
    48      Carolina & Washington           145    Simmons & 4th
    51      Washington & 5th                146     12 bet. Respess&Summit
    52      Washington & 3rd                221    Market & 2nd
    53      2nd & Fleming                   223    Beaufort Co Hospital
    54      3rd & Hackney                   224    5th & Brown
    55      4th & Wilson                    331    4th & Harvey
    56      11th & Pierce                   332    Bridge & 9th 
    57      Pactolus & Plymouth             333    Bridge & 7th
    58      Washington & 13th               334    Main & Respess
    61      Nicholson & 14th                335    High School
    62      Water & McNair                  336    Bridge & 2nd
                                            337    6th & Brown
                             “The last Run”
                  By: Hugh Sterling Jr.  Retired Fire Chief
              There are several events that stick out in my fading memory of 
    the Washington Fire Department.  One such event was the night the County 
    Fire Truck blew up.  Maybe “blew up” is not the proper term to use these 
    days, however, in 1967 it simply meant that the engine had exploded due 
    to old age and hard running.
              I had been with the Department for about a year and like all 
    rookie Firemen I was anxious to make another fire call.  
              That night I was assigned the County Fire Truck.  My job, if the 
    fire call was in the City, was to operate the fire pump.  But, if the fire 
    call was out beyond the City limits, I was to drive the truck, operate the 
    fire pump, and fight the fire, until Volunteer firefighters arrived to help 
    fight the fire. 
              The weather that day had been cold and windy, perfect weather for 
    a fire.  
              The old County Fire Truck had been purchased in 1949 and for the 
    last eighteen years had run on almost every fire alarm both in the City of 
    Washington and the part of Beaufort County not covered by a Fire Department.  
    There were only four Fire Departments in Beaufort County with equipment to 
    fight fire in those days.
              “The County Truck” as it was known, was a 1949 John Bean High 
    Pressure Fog Truck.  High pressure pumps had been used in the apple and 
    orange groves to spray trees with insecticides.  It was thought by some 
    that this would be an innovative way of fighting fires.  The theory behind 
    the high pressure fog was that the high pressure pump would breakdown the 
    water droplets thus causing a larger surface area and allowing the water 
    to absorb heat more rapidly.
              One of the disadvantages was the extreme nozzle reaction.  It 
    would take a strong Firefighter to handle this hose line.  The nozzle 
    reaction was around 75 pounds.
              I can remember when this truck was delivered to the Washington 
    Fire Department.  Shortly after delivery a fire drill was scheduled behind 
    the old Washington High School, located at the corner of Bridge and Second 
    Streets.  Here the firemen became acquainted with the handling of these high 
    pressure hose lines.
              The call came in around 7:30pm.  It was a trailer fire located near 
    the Washington County line some 25 miles away.  Everyone knew that saving the 
    trailer would be impossible but there might be some other exposure that could 
    be saved.
              The shift Captain took the telephone call and then turned to me and 
    gave me directions.  
              John Boyd, a volunteer fireman, was in the Fire Station and was 
    going to go with me on the fire call.  John was a High school classmate of 
    mine; we had been friends for quite some time.  We both suited up and climbed 
    aboard the County Truck. The cab of the truck was very small, only room for two 
    men and not much else.  
              The County Truck had a six volt electric system.  When you rang the 
    siren the head lights would go out.  The truck also had a straight eight engine 
    and was very fast on the open road.  Over the years the floor board in the cab 
    had rusted away and you had to be careful not to drop something on the floor of 
    the truck because it might fall through one of the many holes.
              John and I proceeded down highway 264 and took a left onto highway 32.  
    When I made the turn I noticed several cars of Volunteer Firemen following us.  
    I knew we would have plenty of help when we arrived at the fire.  
              Up ahead we could see the ominous glow of the fire.  We were still 
    about 12 miles away.  
              You could look down through the holes in the floor board and see the 
    red hot tail pipe and the highway racing by.
              We were running between 65 and 70 miles per hour and the truck was 
    running very smooth.  The truck had always been a pleasure to drive with its 
    low center of gravity and its eight cylinder engine.  It would take a curve 
    like it was on rails.
              Shortly we rounded a curve and up ahead was the fire.  Just as we had 
    predicted the trailer was a total loss and luckily there was no exposures. 
              I let off the accelerator and applied the brakes.  Just before the 
    truck stopped I mashed in the clutch.  There was a loud boom and smoke rolled 
    up from under the hood.  A local mechanic had followed us to the fire and he 
    opened the hood. He told me that the engine had “blown up”.  There was nothing 
    we could do but call for a wrecker. 
              The shift Captain told me over the radio that he was sending John 
    Whitley with his wrecker to pull us in. 
              As we waited the neighbors begin to complain about the sorry service 
    the Washington Fire Department was providing for them.  I tried to explain that 
    if you want fast service than you need to move closer to the Fire Station.  
              After about a two hour wait Captain John Whitley showed up with his 
    wrecker and hooked on to the County truck and we started the long trip back to 
              John and I sat in the cab and nearly froze to death. 
              Today a very modern Fire Department is located in the area of the 
    old trailer fire.  This Department is manned with well trained and dedicated 
    Volunteer Firefighters.

Picture-Fire Engine ready for a parade


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