A brief history of how it all started and how it is today.
On February 15, 1859 the paid Baltimore City Fire Department was organized under Chief Engineer Mr. Charles T. Holloway. The new department was to consist of 2 Asst. Chief Engineers, 1 Fire Inspector, and 7 companies. Each company consisted of 1 Foreman, 1 Engineer, 1 Firefighter, and 9 Callmen operating 1 Steam Fire Engine, 1 Hose Carriage w/ 1000' ft. of hose, 1 Truck w/hook's and ladder's, and 27 horse's. Initially only 4 engine companies and 1 Hook & Ladder company were in service, with Co.'s 5, 6, 7 added later in the year. The new department recorded it's first fire on February 23, 1859 at 12:15am at the Hughe's Cabinet makers on Broadway south of Pratt St. After 2 hours of hard work by the entire department the fire was extinguished.
On March 8, 1871 Engine Company No. 8 was organized and placed in service in a new station located on the south side on Mulberry St. between Schroeder and Oregon St. (now Arlington Ave.). The new station was a 2 story, 1 bay brick building built on a lot 120 ft. deep by 23 ft. wide for a total cost of $12,350. They operated the used steam engine "Alpha" (ex. Engine Co. 1) under the watchful eye of Capt. George W. Kroger. The "Alpha" would not serve this engine company long though. On May 22, 1871 Box Alarm No.7 was transmitted for the Brown Bros. Drug Warehouse on Sharp St. Engine Co. No. 8 with the "Alpha" was working from a hydrant on the northeast corner of Howard and German St.'s when the engine suddenly exploded, severely scalding Acting Engineman Charles King. Pieces of the boiler flew through the air and struck City Councilman Harry Weaver who was walking by, killing him on the spot.
On March 1, 1895 Hook & Ladder Co. 10 was organized and placed inservice in a brand new station located on the south side of Lafayette Ave. between Stricker and Gilmor St.'s. The new station was a 2 story 2 bay brick building built on a lot 145 ft. deep by 50 ft wide for a total cost of $19,000. They were assigned the used 1888 Hayes Aerial Ladder (ex Hook & Ladder Co. 6) and worked under the watchful eye of Capt. Thomas Montgomery. Hook & Ladder Co. No. 10 later re designated Truck Co. 10 would operate out of this station with the horse hospital until Dec. 5 1912 when Engine Co. 8 moved in during beginning of the complete motorization of the fire department.
Both companies operated out of this house for 55 years until 1967 when the house was torn down and a new one built in it's place. The new station is a 1 story 4 bay station built for $250,000 and was ultra modern for it's era. Both companies still operate out of this house today and barring some changes made by the member's over the years it still looks as it did in 1967. In addition to Engine 8 and Truck 10, Medic 15 and Battalion Chief 3 now occupy the house.
As of now the Baltimore City Fire Department consists of over 1700 uniformed personnel operating out of 35 stations that house 55 Suppression (Engine and Truck Co.'s) and 22 Medic units. The department takes in about 250,000 calls for service per year and we operate with a budget of around $150,000,000. During the 70's, 80's and 90's Engine 8 and Truck 10 were consistently some of the busiest companies in the city. We may not be number 1 in the stats race anymore, but the fire still comes in steady.