HISTORY OF BROOKLYN. 609
an explosion of saltpetre. This company could boast a strong exempt association, as well as a full roll of active members; started in Washington street, near Johnson, thence removed to Lawrence street thence to Jay street, near Willoughby; and had the first steam engine in Brooklyn, an Amoskeag, in 1861. William Burrell figures most prominently on its records of 17.
Hose Companies.Atlantic 1 was organized in 1835. J. M. Van Cott was the first assistant foreman, and W. H. Peck, trustee. A painters old cart was the first apparatus of the first hose company. They began life in a shed, until they moved into Firemans hall. Hose 6 was organized in 1853, under Anthony F. Campbell and others. It was located first in a shed on Adelphi street, and thence removed to Carlton avenue.
On the 28th of March, 1855, was enacted a law, changing the name of the corporation to that of The Fire Department of the City of Brooklyn, and empowering a board of trustees of one from each company to manage its affairs and dispose of its funds. A board of representatives of two members from each company was constituted with power to make and prescribe such bye-laws, ordinances and regulations touching the management and disposition of the funds, and the general business and purposes for which the corporation was instituted, as should not conflict with the laws of the state and ordinances of the city. The fund, after deducting necessary expenses, was to be appropriated for the relief of such indigent or disabled firemen or their families, as should be entitled to it under the rules of the corporation, or who might be deemed worthy of assistance.
On the 17th of February, 1857, was passed An Act for the better regulation of the Firemen of the City of Brooklyn, providing for the election, by a convention of two delegates from each fire company, and one delegate from the board of engineers, of a commission of five, to be denominated, The Commissioners of the Fire Department of the Western District of the City of Brooklyn.This commission continued in force until 1869, when the law was passed creating the Metropolitan Paid Fire Department.
The force of the Western District Fire Department at this time consisted of twenty-two engines (of which nine were steamers), seventeen hose companies, and six hook and ladder companies, under chief engineer, John Cunningham, and assistant engineers, William Down, James Gaffney, Charles B. Farley, Peter Fagan, James OConner, Thomas Regan and James W. Dean.
The records of the Williamsburgh Fire Department, previous to the consolidation of that city with Brooklyn in 1855, are so meagre and incomplete that it is with difficulty that anything like a connected history of the same,