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Belle Vernon Volunteer Fire Company #2

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HISTORY OF THE
BELLE VERNON FIRE COMPANY
 
The BelleVernon Fire Company #2 was organized on October 28 1940 at a meeting held in the borough council chambers with eight members ( that were appointed by borough council)present.  Nine more members were accepted on the night.  Ernest Reese was named president and Taylor Hogg became the first Fire Chief .
The community was not without fire protection before then as the first organized unit goes back to 1895.  Charles Eggers was elected Captain and first President was N.B.Lowman.  Equipment at the time consisted of a hand drawn hose cart and a ladder wagon. In the following year, Esa Morrison became the first Fire Chief.
Members that signed the first Charter were H.B.Dunn, H.F.Yeaton, Ellsworth Ream, Raymond Cain, Carlyle Beatty, Raymond Meehem, Carles Bradley, Henry Ream, Harry Molter, Charles Breakwell, Forrest Moreland, Mike Bertel, H.M Beazell, J.W Moran and J.R.Hassen.  On October 31 1941 the fire company decided that it was time to replace the 1921 Seagrave truck that had been in service for 20 years.  A group of town ladies approached the fire company asked for and received permission to form an auxiliary to help pay for the new 750-gallon pumper that was ordered.  The new truck arrived on March 30 1942 and was put in to service.  The old truck was sold to Braeburn Fire Company of Westmoreland County.
On December 31 1941 a charter was granted to the fire company.  Charter signers Ray Cain, Kenneth Beazell, Fred Yeaton, John Province and Ernest Reese. 
The Company's first two way radio was installed in the Seagrave pumper in July 1953 operating on the Mon Valley police frequency. A base monitor was then installed on the fire station on Water Street. 
In October 1954 a GMC truck was purchased and converted in to a utility truck.  In June of the following year the truck was equipped with a two way radio. A base station on the Fayette-Westmoreland Civil Defense frequency was purchased in May 1957. Also two walkie talkies were bought.  With this system in opertions our alarm could be activated by the Uniontown Central Control Center. 
In May 1958, a special meeting of the fire company was called for the purpose of discussing the need for a high pressure fog truck.  On January 2 1959, the new John Beam High Pressure Fog Truck built on a Ford chassis arrived. 
In April 1959, committees from the borough council Municipal Authority and fire company met jointly to dicuss the possibilities of a new headquartes.  Miss Rose Mazza donated a lot on Lower Main Street to the Fire Company.
In June 1959, our new fire alarm system with the Bell Telephone cut over to a dial system in the Belle Vernon Area.
The Vernon Volunteers marching unit (BV. & NBV.) was organized in April 1960.  On June 20 1961, ground broken for the new muicipal building.  In October 1962, the Fire Company officially began operations from the new Main Street station, having moved from Water Street.
The first meeting in the new building was held on October 31 1962.  The official dedication of the new building was held on June 16 1963. 
In May 1965 the fire company ordered a Squad Truck from O"Leary's in Monessen.  It was delivered in February of 1966, and was used as our Air and Rescue Truck.
 
HISTORICAL DATA
 
October 29, 1820 - The first recorded fire in Belle Vernon occured on this day at Granny Taggart's home, Locust and Long Alley.
1856 - The Apollo Speers Cabinet Shop burned
1875 - Fire consumed the Henry Haler residence, Cunningham and Craft store, and Odd Fellows Hall. 
1880 - The square bounded by Main, Third, Water, and Strawberry Alley was destroyed by fire.
1886 - Fire gutted the Henry Lange Drug Store and residence located on State Street near Main.
1893 - The Valley Laundry burned.
1894 - The biggest fire of the time occured...it damaged or destroyed 17 structure on Main Street and on the hill.  Total damage was estimated at $25,000 at that time.
1895 - Belle Vernon Volunteer Fire Department was organized with N.B Lowman elected President and C.F. Eggers as Captain.  Fire equipment was a ladder wagon and a hand drawn cart.
1896 - Esa Morrison was elected Belle Vernon's fire fire Chief.
1914 - Dr. G.E. Nickel reorganized the Fire Department.
1914 - World War I.
1921 - Fire motorized equipment purchased for $13,000, a combination chemical, hose, and pump truck.
1924 - Belle Vernon Volunteer Fire Department No. 1 reorganized and chartered.
1929 - Lillian Reeves elected President of Ladies Auxiliary to the Fire Department.
1934 - Big fire at 615 Hill Street - chicken coop burns to the ground.
1939 - Fire convention of Fayette County Firemen's Association held on July 14 and 15 at Dawson.
October 1940 - Belle Vernon Volunteer Fire Co. No. 2 organized.
April 1941 - Fire major tragedy for new fire company...3 persons die in Belle Vernon jail fire.
January 1942 - North Belle Vernon High School fire.
April 1946 - Monessen High School fire - janitor dies.
July 1948 - 10th annual Fayette Co. Firemen's Convention in Belle Vernon.
March 1949 - 19 Belle Vernon Firemen overcome at American Window Glass Co. fire.
May 1951 - 1 person dies in jail fire.
December 1953 - Corning Glass warehouse fire in Belle Vernon - lasted 27 hours
June 20 1959 - Ground broken for new Municipal building.
September 1961 - Marion Elementary School fire.
April 1964 - 5 hour hot gas well fire in Rostraver - 1 death.
May 1964 - Train derailment - 1 death.
October 1964 - LaGrange Elementary School Fire.
August 1972 - Engine 75 arrives - base price 52,000.  Still in service today.
November 5 1986 - Fire at Untied Methodist Church
July 1987 - 49th annual Fayette County Firemen's Convention.
1992 - New Seagrave Pumper arrives, cost over 210,000.  Still in service today.
 
 
 
Our history is one of great firemen and of a great community.  It is also riddled with tragedy which we will never forget.  Our history page ends here but the history of the Belle Vernon Volunteer Fire Department will never be finished.
 
 

  

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