The History of the Fire Department in Niles, Ohio

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The new city building was built in 1889 at a cost of $8,500.00.

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The new city building was built in 1889 at a cost of $8,500.00. It was constructed of stone and brick and contained a large room for storage of fire apparatus, box stalls for horses, feed and storage rooms. The doors for the fire department equipment are on the left side of the building on Franklin Alley. In the summer months, an unpleasant odor from the horse stalls often permeated the second floor chambers.

On the second floor were the Council Chambers and the Mayor's office, plus another room for general purposes. In 1928 another city building was constructed on West State Street and the former city building was enlarged for the Police and Fire departments in 1931.


Niles Fire Department horse drawn engine.

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Niles Fire Department horse drawn engine.

The first fire department was a volunteer organization formed in 1870 and served with a second hand fire engine bought from Pittsburgh by James Ward. This fire equipment was purchased in 1875 and replaced in 1898.

Fire apparatus on the run "Going to a fire".

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Fire apparatus on the run "Going to a fire".

View of a horsedrawn fire engine standing on the corner of East Park Avenue and Furnace Street(which later became State Street).

View of a horsedrawn fire engine standing on the corner of East Park Avenue and Furnace Street(which later became State Street). The corner building on the right is Guarnieri's Confectionary Store.

The Verbeck Theatre, in left background, was constructed about 1904 on the west side of Furnace or East State Street near Park Avenue.

Later, the Verbeck Theatre became the Opera House which was managed by Benjamin Warner. The Opera House caught fire in September 1920 when a film cannister ignited.

The Warner Brothers opened their new Warner Theatre in 1921 at this location. P01.1591


A large group of Niles citizens standing outside the fire station on Franklin Alley on a cold wintry day. The horse stalls have been converted to parking areas for the fire truck.

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A large group of Niles citizens standing outside the fire station on Franklin Alley on a cold wintry day. The horse stalls have been converted to parking areas for the fire truck.

The Fire Chief's car and two fire trucks leaving the fire station on a 'call'.

The Fire Chief's car and two fire trucks leaving the fire station on a 'call'.

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Niles Fire engine #1 inside fire station. Note the Dayton Tubeless tires on the front wheels and the tire chains on the outside of the double-tired back wheels. Photos ca 1915.

Niles Fire engine #1 inside fire station.

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Niles Fire engine #1 inside fire station.

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Niles Fire engine #1 inside fire station.

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1916 - Mr. Snelus, who was the mascot in this picture, told us the reason this picture was taken was to show off the new LaFrance Pumper.

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1916 - Mr. Snelus, who was the mascot in this picture, told us the reason this picture was taken was to show off the new LaFrance Pumper. It was the latest in fire equipment, pumping 750 gallons per minute. It had Dayton airless tires and was chain driven.

When this picture was taken there were only two paid men in the department, the captain and the driver.

Photograph taken at Labor Day Parade.

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Photograph taken at Labor Day Parade. Standing on the ground are(l-r): Martin J. Quigley(not a member of Fire Department); Frank Raub, volunteer; Captain John Davis, regular; Elia Williams, volunteer; Joe Gerald, regular; and Ray Applebee, volunteer. On the truck are(l-r): Firechief Lex Orr; Fred Welsh, Safety Director; George Scriven, regular; Charles Raub, volunteer; James Snelus, then a mascot to the firemen and now a captain in the Department; James Holloway, volunteer; Jack Rafferty, volunteer; and Nick Sayers, volunteer. Of those pictured, only Holloway, Scriven, Applebee, and Snelus are still living(1956).


In 1931 the old city building got a new addition on the front and the rest of the building was extensively remodeled for the Police and Fire Departments.

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In 1931 the old city building got a new addition on the front and the rest of the building was extensively remodeled for the Police and Fire Departments.

Seated is Captain J.W. Davis and Joe Gerald (behind the wheel). Standing left to right is Chief James Swager, George Neiss and James Snelus, of Niles Town Hall and Fire Department and apparatus

The Niles Fire Department truck is parked in the driveway on West Park Avenue.

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The Niles Fire Department truck is parked in the driveway on West Park Avenue. The Niles Bank Building, which opened in 1930, is in the background.

L-R: Chief J. Swauger, Captain R. Williams, Cad Tompkinson, Ray Mullen, Al McGowan, Walt Thomas at wheel. Photograph ca 1935.

Photo taken of the Niles Fire Station on West Park Avenue, Niles, Ohio. The Police Department offices were located on the side and second floor.

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Photo taken of the Niles Fire Station on West Park Avenue, Niles, Ohio. The Police Department offices were located on the side and second floor.

One of the early city halls, this building was torn down during urban renewal and the drive through branch of National City Bank was built on this location. Dated September 1975.

 


Early site preparation of the Police-Fire-Court Complex on East State Street.

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Early site preparation of the Police-Fire-Court Complex on East State Street.

Early construction of the Police-Fire-Court Complex shows the second floor reinforced to accomodate the weight of the fire trucks.

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Early construction of the Police-Fire-Court Complex shows the second floor reinforced to accomodate the weight of the fire trucks.

The Safety-Complex as it appears today(2019) on East State Street.

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The Safety-Complex as it appears today(2019) on East State Street.


 
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