Engine 45, Ladder 14
Engine 45 was organized January 23, 1895 at 2543 W. York Street. The company relocation survey of 1959 noted Engine 45 was perfectly placed to provide coverage in their local alarm district. The survey did recommend the relocation of Ladder 14 to a new station with Engine 45 to centralize them in their primary service area. During June 1961, Engine 45 moved to Ladder 14’s house at 2936 Ridge Avenue. The old station at 2543 W. York Street was razed so the new station could be built at the same location. Engine 45 and Ladder 14 moved to the new firehouse located on the northeast corner of 26th and York Streets on May 23, 1962.
Rescue 22 was placed in service at Engine 45’s station on February 20, 1984. They were moved to Engine 50’s station on April 23, 1984. On March 20, 1989 Rescue 25 was placed in service at Engine 45.
The Strawberry Mansion section of Philadelphia continues to be served by Engine 45, Ladder 14, and Medic 25 from this location.
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2543 W. York Street
Another view of 2543 W. York Street.
Ladder 14's house at 2936 Ridge Avenue.
Ladder 14's current apparatus 2016 KME
Engine 45's current apparatus 2017 Spartan
Ladder 14, 2016 KME, Engine 45 2012 KME
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Jack Wright (April 11, 1963-April 6, 2021) was a lifelong resident of Philadelphia, PA. As a child he was fascinated with fire engines in general and those of the Philadelphia Fire Department in particular. He chased them his entire life. From his early days of grammar school, he watched Engine 53 and Ladder 27 responding to alarms in his South Philadelphia neighborhood. Those scenes made an indelible impression on him. It was at that time that he began collecting photographs relating to the Philadelphia Fire Department.
With his interest in the Philadelphia Fire Department and its history, it was only natural that he found himself at the Fireman’s Hall Museum. In May of 1988 he began working as a museum volunteer. While working there he became involved in researching the department’s history, as well as documenting it. Some of his research has been used by the Philadelphia Fire Department to evaluate their operations and procedures and make changes where necessary. On October 14, 2007 Jack was named the official Philadelphia Fire Department Historian by Fire Commissioner Lloyd Ayers.
Jack served on the Board of Directors of Fireman’s Hall. He also was a contributing editor for Fire Apparatus Journal. Jack co-authored Hike Out, the only written history of the Philadelphia Fire department ever published. In addition, he published Philadelphia Fire Apparatus Volume 4. He wrote a number of articles relating to the department’s history that have been published in various magazines and newsletters and posts a history blog on the internet. Jack provided presentations to various historical societies in the Philadelphia area regarding the Philadelphia Fire Department.
On June 24, 2016, I went to Engine 45’s station for the dedication of a plaque honoring James Magee of Engine 45 for his ultimate sacrifice fighting a fire at 2nd & Venango Sts. on this date in 1898. The original plaque had been stolen from the site of the fire. Hoseman Magee was the grandfather of my friend, Harry Magee, former curator of Fireman’s Hall Museum.
As I was walking around the station, I noticed the name LeTourneau on a Lieutenant’s shirt. I said to him, “You must be Anne’s husband”. I had trained Anne LeTourrneau for a field rep position at ISO where I worked. We talked a little bit about his career with the PFD, and that he was very happy with his spot at Engine 45, and serving well the residents of the area who really needed the services of a proficient fire station.
It was a little over a year and a half later when Matt LeTourneau would also make the ultimate sacrifice serving the citizens of his area fighting a row house fire on January 6, 2018. I know there is a bench dedicated to him at the station. It is kind of ironic that I came to know, indirectly and directly, 2 men memoralised at Engine 45.