Engine 7 was organized on March 15, 1871 at 22 East Church Street in the station of the Decatur Fire Company. For that year they paid $583.33 to Decatur for rent.

The original company roster was as follows:

  • Thomas E. Castor, Foreman
  • Hugh Hatten, Engineer
  • George Best, driver
  • William McNamara, Fireman
  • Henry Foster, Hoseman
  • Theodore F. Castor, Hoseman
  • Frank Wardell, Hoseman
  • Jere S. Battersby, Hoseman
  • Hiram Schlafer, Hoseman
  • Joseph Freas, Hoseman
  • Daniel F. Worrell, Hoseman
  • William Bromiley, Hoseman

The matron was Mrs. Getty.

Engine 7 moved from 22 E. Church Street to a new station at 4253 Frankford Avenue on June 26, 1907. Assistant Engineer 10 moved into this house during 1908. The title of Assistant Engineer was changed to Battalion Chief on July 1, 1912. The battalion consisted of Engines 7, 14, 33, 36, 38, and 52 Trucks 10, 15 and Chemicals 5 and 6. Chemicals 5 and 6 would later be organized as Engines 56 and 62. From this station, the chief covered everything north to the city limits. There were no Battalions 12 and 13. Of course, the Northeast was very sparsely populated at that time.

On Friday July 14, 1911 Assistant Engineer Hugh Colgan was notified at 1:00PM that he was transferred from Assistant Engineer 5, at Engine 1, to Assistant Engineer 10, at Engine 7. He was in service in the 10th at 3:00PM the same day.

Here are some excerpts from the chief’s run book:

July 9, 1912 – Traded horse with Engine 36 extra horse. Traded iron gray horse for white horse with flea bitten ears.

December 24, 1912 – Responded to Box 1992 Byberry Poor House – 58 cows killed in a barn fire – response time 1 hour 10 minutes due to snow storm. The barn was burned to the ground by the time I arrived – no water available.

Monday June 23, 1913 – Reported to Headquarters at 9:00AM. Received orders for the driver to stay until 1:00PM to receive instruction on the use of the new Cole automobile. The car arrived at the firehouse at 4:40PM that day and was sent into service at 4:50PM – ten minutes later.

This car was one of several Cole autos purchased during 1913. They were equipped with a 35 gallon chemical system, very similar to today’s booster systems. The chief could place the line in service to extinguish a small fire while awaiting the arrival of the horse-drawn engines.

On June 21, 1956, Engine 7 moved to a new station at Kensington & Castor Avenues which also housed Ladder 10, Battalion 10 and Rescue 2.

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