At the turn of the century, the Town of Mamaroneck did not have its own fire department. Residents of the newly developing, unincorporated section of the Town were dependent upon the Larchmont Village Fire Department for fire protection. Town residents often complained that the Larchmont fire companies took too long to respond to fires in their neighborhoods.
When the Gallagher House on Edgewood Road (now Edgewood Avenue) burned down in 1906, the Town realized that it needed to organize its own fire department. The Hommocks Fire Company was formed in April 1906 and Weaver Street Fire Company #1 was formed in September 1907. The firehouse was originally located in a shack at the corner of Weaver Street and Ferndale Place and consisted of 35 volunteers and a hand-drawn hose reel with 200 feet of hose. The company was organized by George W. Burton. The fire company was moved in 1909 to a two-story garage-type building on Edgewood Avenue directly behind the present firehouse.
In the rear of Mr. Burton’s home on Edgewood Road - suspended from a tree - was a locomotive rim. This was the first alarm signal that the fire company used to summon its volunteers when there was a fire. Mrs. Burton, upon receiving a call, would rush from her house and, with an iron bar, beat the locomotive rim to sound the alarm.
1912: Weaver Street Fire Company #1
In 1916, the Fire Company requested a new alarm system since the old iron bar beating against the locomotive rim did not carry well and was often confused with the clanging of the New Haven Railroad. Funds were allocated for an electric siren. In 1918, telephone service was installed at the firehouse and new equipment was obtained. In 1919, the Weaver Street Firehouse received a better alarm system, which was similar to those used on U. S. Navy warships.
1922: A New Firehouse
In 1922, architects from the firm of John Russell Pope were selected to design a new firehouse on the corner of Weaver Street and Edgewood Avenue. The new headquarters was completed in June 1923. The cost of the new firehouse was approximately $70,000. (The building also housed the Town Police Department. Later, the Town Police Department moved to 11 Edgewood Avenue - the site of the old Gallagher House that had burned down in 1906.)
The unincorporated area of the Town began to be built up after World War I, and the fire department increased its membership to 100 volunteers and acquired additional fire apparatus and equipment.
Fire District #2, located in the Dillon Park area between Larchmont Village and New Rochelle, had a pumper housed in Hannan’s Garage and was manned by volunteers. In later years, by the late 1920s or early 1930s, District #2 was abandoned, and this area has been covered ever since by firefighters from the Weaver Street Firehouse.
1930's Official Incorporation
In 1933, Weaver Street Fire Company #1 changed its name to The Town of Mamaroneck Fire Department, and on June 1, 1936, New York State Governor Herbert Lehman signed a bill that incorporated the fire department. It was then that the Town of Mamaroneck Fire Department created the first fire codes applicable to the unincorporated area of the Town of Mamaroneck.
The Town of Mamaroneck Fire Department covers an area of 5.17 square miles, an area known as the unincorporated area of The Town of Mamaroneck. This area is also known as the Town of Mamaroneck Fire District #1 and was established by the Town Board of The Town of Mamaroneck and became law on March 21, 1939.
Our members have always given of their time to the community, but two gave their lives in service to our country . They were Harry Dudley in WWI and Edward V. Berggren in World War II.
TMFD has always been a family. Over the years, many generations of the same family - two, three, four and even five generations - have demonstrated their dedication and service to the department and community. Those families should be recognized: the Acocellas, Berggrens, Carpinos, Condros, Deshenskys, Felices, Fortis, Francellas, Garofalos, Giacomos, Johnsons, Kimmeys, Liaconis, Librandis, Murphys, Mellos, Mills, Mirabellas, Mirandes, Mitchells, Paternos, Perciasepes, Porettos, Reynolds, Sorianos, Testas, Torres, Tortorellas and Wilsons.
1990's Modern Days & A Renovated Fire House
In 1994, the Town Board decided that after seventy years, improvements needed to be made to the Town’s firehouse. Renovations were necessary because of the increasing size and weight of fire apparatus and because the sleeping quarters for paid staff and the electrical, heating and plumbing systems were inadequate. During the reconstruction, fire Headquarters was moved to Fifth Avenue (the old Myrtle Garage and now Lesco) until work was completed in June 1996.
2000's Bring Major Emergencies and Major Equipment Upgrades
In 2006, TMFD responded to 914 requests for help including 10 structure fires and 196 emergency medical calls. In 2007, TMFD responded to more than 225 calls during the historic April northeaster. In 2008, TMFD's memorable part of the year occurred during the weekend of November 22nd as 3 structures fires and a dangerous MVA with ejection occured over a 24 hour period. In 2009 TMFD performed its first ever water rescue, pulling a man and his dog to safety after they fell through the ice at the Larchmont reservoir. In addition, over $200,000 in federal grant money was secured allowing much needed upgrades to the department's SCBA's and cascade system.
As we enter 2010, the TMFD continues to grow not only in membership but responsibility and coverage. Currently, TMFD consists of close to 70 volunteer firefighters, 14 career firefighters and a very active Explorer Post for teenagers. TMFD’s apparatus includes an aerial ladder truck (Ladder 19), three engines (Engines 51, 37 & 36), 2 rescue vehicles (Rescues 6 & 46), 3 chief’s cars and an inflatable, gas-powered boat.
The department’s members train and drill throughout the year on such diverse subjects as fire attack techniques, auto accident victim extrications, response to hazardous material and weapons of mass destruction situations, water and ice rescue. Several members are certified in advanced confined space rescue operations. The department’s ongoing commitment to the best in training, equipment and personnel is reflected in the Fire District’s excellent class rating by the Insurance Service Organization.
The types of calls that TMFD responds to run the gamut from the traditional fire calls (structure fires, car fires, automatic alarms, suspicious/burning odors, gas leaks) to auto accidents requiring victim extrication using the “jaws of life,” to EMS calls and downed power lines. The Fire Department also responds to public assistance calls such as flooding conditions or the homeowner locked out of the house (or a child locked in!).
Over the 100 year history of the Department, members have come and gone, but there have been two constants: we are a family of firefighters and we serve our community with great pride. Over the next 100 years, we will continue those grand traditions.