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LOOK BACK: Port Alberni’s first fire department

Fire department was made up of volunteer crews
This photo shows the Port Alberni Fire Department in 1932. The photo was taken to mark the department’s 20th anniversary. From left to right, people are identified as H.J. Walker, C. Fawcitt, S. Toms, F.J. Harrison, Chief H.S. Fowlie, A.T. Walker, F.W. Carson, D.T. Jones and H.A. Hanson. To view more than 24,000 historical Port Alberni photos, visit the Alberni Valley Museum’s online photo archives at (PHOTO PN00390 COURTESY ALBERNI VALLEY MUSEUM)

Port Alberni’s first fire department, formed more than a century ago, was made up of a group of dedicated volunteers.

According to the book The Albernis: Then & Now, 1912-2012, the first practice of the Port Alberni Volunteer Fire Department was held during the week of June 26, 1912.

The department’s first fire apparatus—which consisted of a 50-gallon horse-drawn engine, fire buckets, a hose reel and hand-drawn ladder truck—was housed on Second Avenue (now the 3100 block) in Sam Roseborough’s Livery Barn.

After amalgamation in 1967, the new City of Port Alberni hired fulltime fire crews. A new fire hall was constructed at 10th Avenue and Bute Street, where it still stands today.

About the Author: Alberni Valley News Staff

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