Camden Fire Department
Engine Company 2


Engine Company 2 was organized on September 2, 1869 as one of the original units of the paid fire department, and entered service on December 7, 1869  at the old fire headquarters, 29 North 5th Street at Arch Streets, in the heart of Camden's center city district. A new building was erected in 1899 which served as Fire Headquarters and the home of Engine Company 2 until 1961. In that year, Engine Company 2 relocated to a factory building that had previously been occupied by the Camden Courier-Post newspaper, at 3 North 3rd Street.

On November 7, 1978 Engine Company 2 moved once again, to the current Fire Headquarters at 2 North 3rd Street, at Federal Street. After 131 years of service, Engine Company 2 was disbanded on April 13, 1981.


When first organized, Engine Company 2 consisted of an Engineer, a Driver, a Stoker, and ten extra men (call members).

 The first members of Engine Company 2 are as follows.

Position Badge

Name

Engineer E-2

William J. Ross

Driver D-2

George Lieback

Stoker S-2

William T.G. Young Sr.

# 11

Isaac Middleton

# 12

Samuel Patton

# 13

Elwood Cline

# 14

George W. Bates

# 15

Robert Pine

# 16

Richard Githens

# 17

Benjamin H. Connelly

# 18

Richard Houghtaling

# 19

Abraham Bradshaw

# 20

John Graham

Annual salaries for the members of the paid force in  1869 were $600 for the Engineer, $450 for the Driver and the Stoker and $50 for the extra men. All but the extra men were paid monthly. The Chief Marshall received $800, and the Assistant Marshall $200 per year as well.


On May 16, 1870 Camden City Council authorized a contract with builder Abram Lower to build a brick stable adjacent to the Engine Company 1 headquarters at 409 Pine Street. The building cost $1650.


The first major fire that the new paid Camden Fire Department confronted was on December 320, 1869 at the R.M. English & Company oilcloth factory at Cooper's Point. Almost a year later, on Christmas Morning, December 25, 1870 fire destroyed St. John's Episcopal Church at Broadway and Royden street. This had formerly been a floating chapel anchored on the Philadelphia side of the Delaware River. The wooden church burned to the ground in an hour. A second St. John's was built, only to be lost to fire in 1892, and was replaced by the current building. 


Philadelphia Inquirer - October 9, 1872


Leadership in the Fire Department at this time was not subject to Civil Service regulations. When the Democrats gained control of City Council in 1876, future mayor Claudius Bradshaw was elected Chief Engineer for the City of Camden, William H. Bassett was named as foreman of Engine Company 2. James M. Lane succeeded him the following year.

With Republicans regaining control of the city in 1879, Samuel Buzine of Engine 1 was named foreman of Engine Company 2. He remained in this position until March 27, 1882. 

Philadelphia Inquirer - December 19, 1881

William H. Bassett was named foreman once again in 1883, and James Lane again in kind in 1884. Henry Grosscup was named Assistant Engineer at that time. When the fire department was reorganized on July 7, 1885 Henry Grosscup was promoted to foreman.

Less than a month later, on August 4, 1885, a tornado struck Camden. The twister knocked over the firehouse bell tower at Engine Company 2's headquarters. There were also three fires and six deaths as a result of the twister.

Philadelphia Inquirer - September 8, 1885

Frank Turner Amedee Middleton - John Gray
William McKinley

An 1886 account revealed the following about Engine Company 2. The unit was quartered on the northeast corner of Fifth and Arch Street, a location that would house Camden Fire Department units into the early 1960s, The two story brick building at 19 North 5th Street was shared with the Camden Hook and Ladder Company, now known as Ladder Company 1. This building also was the headquarters of the Camden Fire Department.

Engine Company 2 personnel in 1886 are as follows:

Henry C. Grosscup Foreman
William Morris Engineer
C.B. Harvey Driver
Frank Turner Stoker
Charles Robinson Hoseman
Isaac Shreeve Hoseman
Logan Bates Call Man
James Carey Call Man
William Lyons Call Man
Howard H. Currie Call Man

Engine Company 2's apparatus at that time consisted of an Amoskeag second class steamer (makers plate #319), a hose wagon and a supply wagon.



Philadelphia Inquirer - July 2, 1893

Abraham E. Jackson - Abraham Matlack - Charles M. Baldwin 
William Penn Hook and Ladder Company No. 1 - Engine Company 2


Philadelphia Inquirer

May 22, 1897


George B. Wade -
Jacob Kellum
Engine Company 2
Temple College Academy
Penn Street - North 2nd Street
Cooper Street - Cooper Hospital


 

In the foreground, the headquarters of the Camden Fire Department, built in 1899, at 28 North 5th Street. The adjacent building at 31 North 5th Street was built in 1894, and was the home of Ladder Company 1 from 1894 to 1930. 


Engine Company 2
CamdenPostcards/CamdenPostcard79-FireDept-2.jpg

A postcard mailed in 1918, showing the now-motorized Camden Fire Department headquarters.


This 1912 Robinson Combination Chemical and Hose Wagon was assigned to Engine Company 2. It was one of two purchased as the first motorized apparatus in the Department. Pictured in this 1913 photograph are (l to r): Fireman John Lennox, Wagon Chauffer Harry Hankins, Firemen William Elberson, Joseph Ernst, Martin Carrigan, and Captain George Wade. Accompanying them are members of the engine crew: Stoker Arthur Wingate, Driver Joseph Johnson and Engineer John Augustus "Gus" Dold.


The Amoskeag Steamer of Engine Company 2 with Engineer, hooked up and operating in North Camden. Circa 1913.  


The Department's first motorized pumper with driver, Fireman Newt Ash. This 1914 American LaFrance triple combination, 750 gpm, gasoline powered apparatus was delivered on February 10, 1914 and entered service at Engine Company 2 on February 12th.

The Department's first motorized pumper with driver, Fireman Newt Ash. Ladder 1's new apparatus, delivered the same time, can be see at the far left. 



Driver Newton Ash and Lieutenant James White are pictured with the 1916 Boyd 2-in-1, 750 gpm pumper assigned to Engine Company 2.


Camden Courier - May 22, 1925

...continued...

William Chambers - Leonard Megee Thomas J. Nicholas - David Ellis
Dr. Thomas B. Lee - Dr. David F. Bentley -
Engine Company 2 - Ladder Company 1
Click on Images to Enlarge


Camden Courier-Post - February 22, 1928
$225,000 FIRE RUINS 5 UPTOWN PLANTS

HOW FLAMES GUTTED BIG INDUSTRIAL BUILDING

RESIDENTS FLEE AS FLAMES RAGE IN BIG BUILDING
Factory of Evans Leather Co. Saved by Valiant Work of Firemen
APPARATUS IS DISABLED; DEBRIS BURIED FIRE PLUG

Metal Stamping Firm, Textile Concern Heavy Losers; Pattern Shop Saved
...continued...

...continued...
...continued...
...continued...

Thomas Nicholas - James Tatem
Manuel Kane
Harry M. Leigh
- David Ellis
Engine Company 2
Engine Company 4
Engine Company 5
Engine Company 6
Segal Street

Click in Images to Enlarge

Engine Company 2

June 15, 1952
1951 GMC Combination

 At
Camden Fire Department Headquarters
5th & Arch Streets

CamdenPostcards/CamdenPostcard79-FireDept-2.jpg

June 15, 1952
1951 GMC Combination

 At
Camden Fire Department Headquarters
5th & Arch Streets

Camden-Fire/CFD-E2-52GMCcombo-061552-2b.jpg

June 15, 1952
1951 GMC Combination

 At
Camden Fire Department Headquarters
5th & Arch Streets

Camden-Fire/CFD-E2-52GMCcombo-061552-2b.jpg

June 15, 1952
1951 GMC Combination

 At
Camden Fire Department Headquarters
5th & Arch Streets

1954 American LaFrance 1000 gallon per minute pumper, at  Camden Fire Department headquarters, 5th & Arch Streets.

1959 American LaFrance 1000 gallon per minute pumper, at  Camden Fire Department headquarters, 5th & Arch Streets.

CamdenPostcards/CamdenPostcard79-FireDept-2.jpg

1959 American LaFrance 1000 gallon per minute pumper, at  Camden Fire Department headquarters, 5th & Arch Streets.

Camden Courier-Post * July 22, 1941
...continued...
...continued...
George E. Brunner - William C. Schriver - Leo G. Stephans - Sgt. Ray Smith
Fred Vogel - Samuel Shapiro -
James H. O'Brien - Albert C. Becker - Roy C. Adams
Burnell S. Hartman -
Michael Mungioli - Carrie R. Bean - Anne D. Spooner
Engine Company 1 - Engine Company 3 - Engine Company 7 - Engine Company 8
Engine Company 9 - Engine Company 10 - Engine Company 11
Engine Company 2 (Fire Headquarters)

Engine Company 2 with new pumper in front of quarters, 5th & Arch Streets, 1960. 
Bottom row, from left: Fireman
Harrison MacNeir, Chief Edward MacDowell, Fireman James Troutman, Captain Albert Weller, Fireman Charles Devlin, Fireman William Hopkins, Fireman George Hennessey; Top row, left to right: Fireman Francis Stibi, Fireman Robert Briggs, Fireman Bertram Dahl, Fireman Erwin Brennan, Captain Thomas Winstanley, Fireman Anthony Orme..

Roy Moffa

Pat O'Keefe

Ralph Roberts with the Muscular Dystrophy Association Poster Child with Engine Company 2's 1967 American LaFrance pumper. Photo taken summertime in the early 1980s.

Late 70s - Early 80s

American LaFrance Pumper

Be Sure to Click on Images for Enlarged Views

Many of the Fire Department photographs on this website are from the limited edition book "Fire Department Camden NJ 125 Anniversary 1869-1994". Many were shot by Department photographer Bob Bartosz.

Thanks to Joel Bain of the Camden Fire Department for making many of the images on the website available.

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