Do You Recall? (Part I)

History of the Hampton Fire Department

A tradition of service, courage and pride

Courtesy of Atlantic News & Advertiser

January 10, 1984

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  • When dynamite was used to stop the destruction of the great fire which struck Hampton Beach in the early evening of September 23, 1915. Five acres of property was leveled.
  • January 12, 1917, a hotel owned by O. H. Whittier was almost a total loss. Cause was "rats and matches." A nearby bowling alley was also partially lost.
  • Also on January 12, 1918, a dwelling and farm building was totally destroyed when struck by lighning.
  • A tremendous fire in 1921 left only chimneys standing after destroying the area between A and B Streets at Hampton Beach.
  • Hampton Beach was visited with anothr disastrous fire Sunday morning June 24, 1923. The fire started in a garage when 22 automobiles were destroyed. Two cottages and a hotel were also destroyed.
  • January 26, 1930, Hampton Academy was gutted by a fast moving fire.
  • Box 81 was struck at 3:21 p.m. March 26, 1931 for a fire at the Carroll Stevens' hen house, Exeter Road. The building was a total loss, including 500 2-week old chicks. Cause unknown.
  • September 10, 1934, three 2-story dwellings were heavily damaged by fire at 4:03 a.m. Box 55 was struck for the early morning blaze at Plaice Cove.
  • In 1936 the fire department responded 26 times to Box 312, the Mile Bridge. Each time the cause of the fire was from cigarettes.
  • Hampton was the site for the State Firemen's Convention September 8, 1938. During the convention they responded to 11 consecutive false alarms.
  • September 21, 1938 Hampton was hit by a hurricane. The fire department responded to 12 calls during the storm.
  • A two alarm fire 11:25 a.m. February 14, 1939 damaged two buildings at 5 P Street. Cause of the blaze was gasoline fumes ignited from a stove, while draining gasoline tanks.
  • Box 94 & 95 was sounded September 21, 1939 for a two alarm fire on Winnacunnet Road. Defective wiring was cause for the $9,000 loss.
  • November 24, 1940, at 7:51 p.m., a two alarm fire swept through the Congregational Church on Winnacunnet Road. Caused by incendiary. $10,000 loss.
  • At 8:07 a.m., Box 65 & 66 was sounded for a two alarm fire caused by an oil stove on Mill Road. Both the building and studio was a loss.
  • A $5,000 building fire loss on Mace Road December 20 was caused by a brooder stove.
  • Foley's Restaurant was completely leveled by fire on February 5, 1944 at 10:14 a.m.
  • During 1947, the fire department responded to many fires at the Island Path dump site.
  • October 24, 1947, the fire department responded to Wells, Maine, and to Biddeford, Maine on October 25 for forest fires.
  • On March 19, 1949, the Hampton Town Hall, a landmark, was destroyed by a fire at 5:24 p.m. A faulty furnace was the blame.
  • July 14, 1950, another disasterous fire swept through Hampton Beach. Some 40 buildings were destroyed between Marsh Ave. & Ocean Blvd. and B & C Streets. The fire started in a storage building on C Street.
  • The Hampton and Hampton Beach Firemen's Relief Association was formed November 12, 1958.
  • The Firemen's Relief Auxilliary was formed in 1959.
  • A $100,000 fire hit Merrill Lumber Company on August 4, 1966.
  • When TANK #1 became disabled for the second time during a period of a few weeks when it was involved in an accident on High Street. On Saturday, June 20, 1964 it went out of control as it rounded the curve near Mill Pond Lane and rolled over, while answering a call for assistance at the scene of a plane crash off 15th Street.
  • The compact Gamewell unit for the New Fire Alarm System was installed over a period of several weeks replaced equipment located in three different rooms at the Hampton Beach station. Purchase of the new equipment was approved by precinct voters during a 1964 meeting. Total cost $6,000.
  • National Guardsmen stood by at Hampton Beach Fire Station and patrolled the streets to make sure the rioting didn't break out again. The Guardsmen were called in by Governor John W. King to aid the State Pollice, Hampton Police, and Hampton Fire Department. A 19 year old Hartford, Conn. man was held on a $10,000 bail on a charge of arson during the Labor Day weekend riots in September 1964.
  • A 30 by 30 foot section of the roof of the Hampton Beach Casino collapsed under the weight of tons of snow. The famous ballroom was heavily damaged. The roof section crashed through the dance floor and into the arcade where more damage was done. March 8, 1964.
  • In the summer of 1968, firemen came to the rescue and freed a number of children and parents from the playground on Ocean Boulevard. The emergency arose when children playing near the entry gate, closed and snapped the lock
    (Continued in Part II)
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