West Babylon Fire Department Station #2

 

 

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The first Fire House, a small Cape Cod style house with the front rooms turned into bays for two Fire trucks, was built on a piece of property on the south side of Herzel Boulevard midway between 10th Avenue and 11th Avenue. The property cost $1,650.00 and construction and equipment for the Fire House cost $15,000.00. In the rear of the building housed a small kitchen, a boiler room, and a bathroom. The second floor was accessible only from a wooden stairway outside in the rear. The building was so small that the two fire engines stationed there had to be moved outside for the Company to hold a meeting. Throughout the Company minutes of the meetings held when this house was in use, are reports of letters received from various Fire Department units requesting the company remove the engines so that the house can be used for meetings or voting. While Fire District paid for the construction, many of the "luxury" items had to be supplied by the Department or members of the Company. The Department supplied tables, chairs, and kitchen supplies. Even the lettering on the outside of the building was purchased by the Department. The Company members supplied material and built hose drying racks for each side of the house. In 1954, the Company spent $7.50 to have the donated refrigerator fixed. To the East of the Fire House stood a one family house, on the west side woods. For a number of years the members spent time clearing these woods to provide parking next to the house. Finally at a meeting held on August 8, 1954, a letter from the Board of Fire Commissioners was read aloud that stated that "work will begin on parking lot after Highway Dept. men return from vacation." By 1955 the Company had started asking the Commissioners to take care of maintenance on the house. At the January 10, 1955 meeting, the members voted to send a letter to the Commissioners requesting "we be allowed a double door on the Kitchen." At the same meeting, the members began spending Company money to finish the second floor as a recreation room. This room was completed at the Company's expense and equipped with a bar. It was used for a number of years until someone used it for some unauthorized activity and it was closed permanently by the Board of Commissioners.

The location of the Fire House, while more or less centrally located, created an unusual, and possibly unforeseen problem. Herzel Boulevard had a steep drop in elevation at 11th Avenue, This was usually not a problem, but when it rained, the intersection of Herzel and 11th Avenue became so flooded that cars could not get across. Some of the men actually used rowboats to get to the Fire House. This flood also filled half of the parking lot of the Santapogue School and made it difficult for some students to get to the school. In 1955 or 1956 the Town removed the steep hill on the roadway by making the incline a gradual slope extending the entire block. This eliminated most of the flooding, but placed all land on either side of the corner as much as five feet above the street, including the Fire House. This made the ramps in front of the fire engine doors too steep for safe operation