Our History

The Fanwood Volunteer Fire Company was organized in 1890 to protect homes in the Fanwood Park area around the railroad station. This was five years before the borough of Fanwood was incorporated. There were 12 charter members who believed a fire company was necessary “in case of conflagration or otherwise.”

Fire equipment was initially stored in private sheds. In 1897 the original fire house was built on Watson Road across the street from the current fire headquarters. The building was was torn down in 1939.

The original fire house’s bell tower was 50 feet high, but had to be lowered to 25 feet when it began to decay. It now resides at the Fanwood Presbyterian Church.

The current fire house is located behind the borough’s municipal complex at 75 North Martine Avenue and is attached to the municipal court and police headquarters. It was built in 1983 after a 10-year struggle for new facilities. It has bays for three apparatus, a large meeting room, a kitchen, a chief’s office, bathrooms and a gym.


The first fire company wagon and original volunteers, circa late 1890’s.  The horses were borrowed.  This wagon was in service for over 30 years.  Before the horse wagon, there was only a hand-pulled hose cart.  It was restored and remains stored in our building today.

Engine 1, Fanwood’s first motor driven fire engine, was a 1923 REO Speedwagon purchased for $4,469.  Only six members of the Fire Company had driver’s licenses.

Engine 2, a Mack Type 75 quadruple combination truck, was purchased in 1936 for $12,500.  It was the Fire Company’s first hook-and-ladder. Having a second fire engine greatly reduced the borough’s fire insurance premiums.

Engine 3, a 1947 Mack Type 45 triple combination truck, replaced the REO Speedwagon.  It cost $8,486.  You can still see Engine 3 driving down North Martine Avenue during our annual Memorial Day Parade.

Engine 4, a 1960 Great Eastern, replaced Engine 2.  It boasted aluminum ladders and a generator.

Engine 5 was a 1965 Great Eastern triple combination. It was too big for the fire building at the time, so the floor was lowered by removing 12 inches of concrete.

Engine 6 served us for 23 years before being retired in December of 2006. It was replaced by Ladder 1, Fanwood’s first aerial apparatus, a 2006 model, 75 foot Smeal. The decision to buy a ladder came because the renovation of downtown Fanwood and the Chelsea Assisted Living facility raised the skyline. Ladder 1 was inaugurated into the firefighting community on August 4, 2007, with a traditional wetdown celebration.

Engine 7, A 2017 KME 1,500 gallon-per-minute pumper was put in service on September 9th 2017 and currently serves as the departments first-due engine. Engine 7 was purchased by the Borough of Fanwood at a cost of approximately $460,000.

Engine 8, a 2000 HME / SMEAL 1,500 gallon-per-minute pumper is Fanwood’s second-due and mutual aid engine.

Ladder 1, a 75-foot SMEAL straight-stick quint was put in service on August 4th 2007 and remains Fanwood’s first and only aerial apparatus.