Lafayette was founded in 1825. The fire protection was provided by volunteer fire companies and consisted of bucket brigades that were organized on a whim. Citizens were asked to keep a bucket and a ladder on their front porch in case there was a fire that happened while they were not home.
Wabash Fire Company
On December 30, 1839, the first volunteer fire company was formed in Lafayette and it was called Wabash Fire Company. The 1st engine house was believed to be on the Court House Square. This company would eventually become the Columbia Street engine house when the department became paid.
The steam engine arrived in Lafayette in April of 1864. This was around the same time that the City of Lafayette began paying its firefighters. And this is also when the command structure of the department started to be more of a modern unified command. By the late 1870s the paid Fire Department consisted of:
1 Chief Engineer
1 Assistant Chief Engineer
1 Engineer of the Steamer
5 Regular Hosemen
6 Minute Men
There were also 41 members of the volunteer companies. By the 1890s the volunteer departments had been absorbed into the city and the department became fully paid.
This 93-year-old building is new again as a fire station museum. The building has been restored to its 1937 heyday and will house a 1937 Ahrens-Fox fire truck that made runs from the station for more than 36 years. Inside you'll be able to see what it was like to be a firefighter in the 1930s at the station as well as try on firefighter coats and helmets. There are display rooms dedicated to fire toys, fire tools and extinguishers and nozzles. A remaining room is restored as a bedroom as it looked in the 1930s. For the history buffs, there is a plethora of photos, documents, newspaper clippings,run ledgers and memorabilia on display that tell the history of the fire department in Lafayette. --Home of Purdue Website
After this station's time housing active fire trucks and firefighters ended, it continued as the department's radio center for a number of years.
Lafayette's Five Points Fire Station and Museum
360 Tour of the Five Points Fire Station's Trucks
!! Important !! Click on the three-dimensional shape in the upper left-hand corner for a better view !!
A 3:00 video of why firefighters used dalmatians. Warning: Some extra cute dogs in this.
A 2:00 video from 1936 about the history of fire fighting
A 3:00 video about the history of fire fighting
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Insta360 One X Camera generously provided by Purdue University's Department of Earth, Atmospheric and Planetary Sciences.