Adelphia Fire Co.
& MAINTAINED BY
About the Adelphia Fire Company
Fire Company proudly protects 18,000 people living in an area of 22 square
miles. We operate out of two stations that protects
a primarily residential area. Our department is a private department
whose members are on a volunteer status.
of HOWELL TOWNSHIP FIRE COMPANY No. 1 ADELPHIA, NJ
Fire Company, like many other volunteer fire companies, can trace its
origin back to a fire, or series of fires, which proved the absolute
necessity of a fire company for the safety and protection of the
Township Fire Company No. l,” Adelphia was
organized when a disastrous fire, right in the village, showed the
compelling need for the fire protection.
had been several fires not too far from Adelphia;
notable, the house fire in which Charles Cook and his wife lost their
those days, Adelphia, like many other
communities, depended upon the Freehold Fire Department and Farmingdale
Fire Department for fire protection. It was early in the morning
and on a day in the
latter part of November l926, that a house
belonging to the late Charles H. T. Clayton, caught on fire, directly
across the street from the Knights of Pythias
Hall.Freehold Fire Company was
called immediately, and was on its way with its usual promptness, but due
to a very dense fog, speed was greatly reduced and the blaze could not be
seen.They stopped about one-half
mile from the scene of the fire and woke up Elliot Clayton to phone back
to their headquarters to be sure that they had the right directions.
H. T. Clayton, always interested in every worthwhile project in the
community, was not so much concerned with the loss of his own property as
he was concerned with what could happen to others in the area.For many days, much discussion about
the obvious need for a fire company took place in the local stores, the
Post Office, garage and whenever two or more gathered.Mr. Clayton took it upon himself to
call a community meeting for Feb. 2, 1927, in the Knights of Pythias Hall.This meeting was attended by an enthusiastic group of residents
from the area.
Feb. 9, 1927, just one week later, “Howell Township Fire Company No. l”
was officially organized.Charles
H. T. Clayton was elected president, and he served faithfully until his
death on Oct. l0, l936.Others
elected at this time were Vice-President, William L. Johnson, Secretary,
George N. Irons, Treasurer, Stacey Simpson, Financial Secretary, Arthur
T. Bearmore, Trustees: Charles H. Reynolds for
3 years, Jeremiah Stillwell for 2 years and William F. Madge for l year. Chief was C. Ensley Clayton. Certificate
of Incorporation papers were filed on April 28, 1927, signed by
first piece of apparatus was a hearse donated by the C. H. T. Clayton
Funeral Home.This was converted
into a supply car in which was carried water in milk cans, shovels,
brooms, lanterns, etc.The next
apparatus was a new 1927 G.M.C. fire truck having four (4) 40-gallon soda
and acid tanks and related fire fighting equipment.In 1927, this was the very latest type
of rural fire fighting equipment.The unit was placed in service on July 3, 1927.
Jan. 2l, 1928, the G.M.C. chemical truck and the supply car,
affectionately known as “Aunt Martha”, were housed in the newly
constructed fire house on a lot purchased from the late Jeremiah
Stillwell, who had previously operated a blacksmith shop on the
site.At this time, there were 69
first pumper was a new Model “A” Ford with 300
gallon per minute rotary pump, and a 200 gallon booster tank.It was delivered in March of 1932.The next pumper
was a Mack, with a 500 gallon per minute centrifugal pump and a 400
gallon booster tank.It was put in
service prior to the devastating forest fire in Lakewood in the Spring of l94l.
1946, an American-La FrancePumper, mounted on a Ford
chassis with a 500 gallon per minute pump and 500 gallon booster tank was
purchased from the War Assets Administration.
first tank truck was a borrowed Model “A” Ford, that
had a barrel type tank holding 600 gallons of water. The water was
transferred to pumpers at fires by the use of a
mounted portable, gas driven pump.During the season for spraying potatoes, it was used by the owner,
Lester Barton and Son, who made it readily available in the event of an
new tank truck, mounted on a Ford chassis, with a 200 gallon per minute
pump and an 800 gallon supply of water, was put in service in 1949.
from the old firehouse Click Photo to Enlarge
1958, a Great Eastern Class A 750 gallon per minute pumper,
with a 1000 gallon tank was put into service.
1962, another Great Easter, Class A 750 gallon per minute pumper, and an 800 gallon tank was also put into
service.A new four-bay fire house
was built in 1965 at a cost of $30,000, all of which was financed by the
fire company, with no cost to the tax payers.
New Firehouse circa 1965 Click Photo to Enlarge
Also in 1965, a John Bean high pressure
unit, mounted on a four-wheel drive International chassis, with a 275 gallon
tank, was put into service. In 1967, a G.M.C. tractor with a 500 gallon
per minute pump was purchased to pull a 5500 gallon trailer.In 1972, a new Peter Pirsch 75 foot aerial ladder truck with a750 gallon
per minute pump and a 500 gallon booster tank was put into service.Also, at this time, an addition was
made to the fire house; known as the “Blue Room”,
it was used as a recreation room for the firemen.
calls were received by the Clayton Funeral Home for nearly fifty
years.They then would sound the
siren to summon the firemen.At
that time, the siren, on an electric pole, had to be blown from outside,
regardless of time and weather.At
present, the fire calls are received by the Howell Police
Department.They, in turn,
activate a modern home-alerting system called Plectron,
at the same time activating the siren at the fire house.The call and directions are dispatched
by radio.In the early forties,
the trucks were equipped with two-way radios through Station WAKC, the MonmouthCounty Police Radio, later changed to KEA 317, and now serving on fire band, KAZ 202.
Clayton recorded a grand total of three (3) fire calls for that portion
of l927 remaining after organization.The year, 1976, a total of 108 alarms was
responded to by a membership of fifty (50) active members plus
twenty-three (23) Life Members.A
Life Member is a fireman having served twenty-five (25) years of active
service.The Fire Police was
formed as an integral part of our organization.These men are sworn in by the Township of Howell, and have full police authority at the time of a
fire.Their work has been very
efficient and has aided the company in building a reputation for quick
response to alarms.
Fire Company has always been fortunate in having a goodlynumber of members.The records reveal a generation trend,
which could be due, in part, to the club-like atmosphere that has always
been prevalent in the community.
Ladies Auxiliary has been a steady source of financial help since their
organization on October 25, 1927.The members have always made themselves available for work at
carnivals, minstrels, and other projects, as well as preparing and
delivering food and refreshment to the scene of all major emergencies.
Company property consists of approximately nine (9) acres which is being
used for Little League ball fields, parking areas and facilities for
carnivals.The main source of
revenue over the years was realized from Minstrels, Carnivals and
solicitations.Fire Districts were
established in 1961 and the elected commissioners presently finance all
costs for equipment purchase and maintenance, using monies received from
1927, this Fire Company was the only one in Howell, with the Farmingdale
Borough Department serving a large area as it still does today, under an
agreement between the governing bodies of each municipality.