Engine Company No. 24 was Leader in Modern Fire Service

Image from the Washington Times, June 11, 1912

Engine Company No. 24, built in 1911 at the intersection of Rock Creek Church Road and Georgia Avenue, was an excellent example of early twentieth century suburban firehouse design in Washington, D.C.  As the first fully motorized fire company in D.C., Engine Company No. 24 was also associated with technological advancements that would change fire fighting and firehouse design forever.

It abandoned the use of horses for automotive power in July and August 1912 for an automobile piston pumping engine and a combination chemical and hose truck . The switch to up-to-date equipment was heralded by the District of Columbia and seen as an achievement in attaining the first-rank status that other major American cities were achieving.

The images above and below show the automobile pumping engine that was located at Engine No. 24. It was the second piece of automotive fire equipment purchased by the District.

Due to the novelty of the technology, prior to placing the engine in service it was subjected to endurance tests. It was first tested at a cistern where it passed the requirement of displacing 900 gallons of water a minute. This was followed by the engine being kept in continual operation for a period of six hours.

The engine was built by the Ahrens-Fox Fire Engine Company of Cincinnati and cost the District $8,500.

Image from the Library of Congress

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2 Comments on “Engine Company No. 24 was Leader in Modern Fire Service”


  1. […] Road/Georgia Avenue/New Hampshire Avenue. Among the items that the sign could include are Engine Co. 24, the Little Tavern Shops, York Auto (introduction of car culture to society), and Peoples Drug […]


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