The Secaucus Fire Department was formed in 1891. The 1st company was Washington Hook & Ladder. Located at 272 Country & Lincoln Avenue, one ladder truck, one engine, one tanker and two marine units are housed at this location.
The 2nd company, Engine Company #1, was formed in 1900. Located at 150 Plaza Centre Road, one engine, one squad and one marine unit are housed at this location.
The 3rd company, Hose Company #2, was formed in 1907. Located at 746 7th Street, one tower ladder is housed at this location.
The 4th company, Hose Company #1/Engine 2, Rescue, Marine Rescue, was formed in 1911. Located at 1561 Paterson Plank Road, one rescue truck, one engine and one marine unit are housed at this location.
The 5th company, Engine Company #3, was formed in 1922. Located at 146 Centre, one engine is housed at this location.
An In-Depth Look at the S.F.D.
The first firehouse in Secaucus was located across County Avenue from Zirk's farm where the County Institution farm ends. Before 1900 this was part of the North Bergen fire department. In 1889 a hand drawn hook and ladder were purchased from the Washington Street, Hoboken, firehouse. It was stored in a barn on Secaucus Road until the firehouse could be made big enough to hold the equipment. A short time later the firehouse burned down and the apparatus was moved to a spot behind Feitner's across County Avenue from Schuele's. Later it moved again to a spot on Washington Avenue, the street taking it's name from the firehouse.
Meeting in Tammany Hall in 1891, George B. Bergkamp and several other men organized the first Secaucus fire department and named it Washington Hook and Ladder No. 1. Previously members of the fire company were considered part of the North Bergen fire department and had to respond to North Bergen alarms. When Secaucus became a borough in 1900 this was the fire department.
In 1902 the company moved into its present location at the corner of Lincoln and County Avenues.
Engine Company No. 1, formerly Secaucus Hose Company No. 1, was at first located in the Plaza where the bakery is today, in a garage owned by Mr. Zitzman. On January 20, 1903, the borough council approved this as the second company in the Secaucus fire department and paid for the hose and carriage which the company had previously purchased. It moved into its present quarters shortly after the Borough Hall was completed in 1909.
Hose Company No. 2 was organized when a firehouse was built at the corner of Fifth and Front Streets around 1900. It was known as Clarendon Hose and Hook and Ladder Co. and became a part of the Secaucus fire department on April 19, 1910 as Clarendon Hose and Hook and Ladder Co. No. 2
Hose Company No. 1, formerly Luhrman Hose Company No. 3, was an independent company until around 1920 when it became a part of the town's fire department.
In May, 1920, a group of men met in Fox's Garage on the Paterson Plank Road and started a fund raising campaign for Chicora Park Chemical Co. No. 1. In 1921 the unit was incorporated and a truck was purchased. At first it was stored in the Brockman garage on Chestnut Street, later in Sturm's garage on Centre Avenue. It moved to its present quarters on New Year's Day, 1922. Larry Harkins was the first fore man. It is still an independent company.
The biggest fires in Secaucus have been among the soap and grease plants and the hog farmers. A spectacular blaze in 1906 started at Stearn's plant and burned out four of these farmers, two Eisings, Tishman and Sturm. During World War 1 and after several big fires ruined more pig farms as Redfern and Altman. Another big fire was the burning of the Riverview in the 1920's.
Want to Learn More?
Still curious about how the Secaucus Fire Department became what it is today? We suggest visiting the Secaucus Town Museum. The museum is located right next to Engine 1 at 150 Plaza Center, Secaucus NJ, 07094. The museum's winter season hours are every Saturday from 11 am - 3 pm and every Wednesday from 11 am - 1 pm. For private appointments or tours please call
551-257-7205. Additional donations of memorabilia is most welcome.