Engine Company 216 Brooklyn

Engine 216, quartered since Oct. 12,1971 at 187 Union Avenue, Williamsburg, Bklyn., began life on Sept. 15, 1872 as Engine 16 in the old City of Brooklyn Fire Department at the quarters of former Eastern District Volunteer Hose Company 6, built in 1850, and which still stands today at 11 Scholes Street

(Engine 216s old quarters still stands today.)

The old firehouse was mentioned in the best-selling novel, "A Tree Grows in Brooklyn", which was later made into a classic movie. Engine 16 was intergrated into the FDNY on Jan. 1, 1898. On October 1, 1899, Engine 16 was renumbered to Engine 116. Fourteen years later, on January 1,1913, Engine co. 116 was renumbered Engine Co. 216, as it is known today. During the 125 years only one member's life was lost, that of Capt. William Baldwin, the first member of the Brooklyn Fire Department to be killed in the line of duty. Capt. Baldwin was killed by the falling walls of the Otto Huber Brewery on Jan. 14, 1880. A striking monument stands over the grave where Captain Baldwin was laid to rest in Evergreen Cemetary in Bushwick, Brooklyn.

Engine 216s old quarters still stands today.

Captain Baldwin walked the floors of this building, think about that.

Captain Baldwin died January 20, 1880.

William Baldwin Foreman of Engine Co. No. 16 Brooklyn Fire Department.

On or about the year 1856 the Evergreens Cememetery Corp. (718-455-5300)

1629 Bushwick Avenue, Brooklyn, NY 11207

voluntarliy presented to the Williamsburg Fire Department a plot of ground as a gift with a proviso that the fireman construct an enclosure and erect a monument therein.

There are at least 20 firemen buried there in a circle around the monument.

Has anyone been there lately?

The rig will fit in the roadway and the entrance is on Buchwick Avenue at Conway Street.

Photo taken February 18, 1997.

Subject: Engine 216 Date: Thu, 18 Sep 1997 14:29:13 -0400 From: Mighty-Joe@webtv.net (Mighty Joe) To: donfdny@i-2000.com

Just saw your pictures at the FDNY Home Page and thought I drop you a line. I lived on Scholes Street just down the block and accross the street from Engine 216 during the 1950's and early 1960's as a boy. One summer I spent almost every day at the firehouse talking with the firemen and admiring the apparatus. I learned a lot that summer about the engines and the various alarm bells, and I've never forgotten it. I can remember the smell of the house and the smell of the firemen and the engines when they came back from a fire. Sometimes I'd wait there anxiously awaiting their return or until my mother would come looking for me. Oh what great memories they are! I've loved fire apparatus ever since then, and I cherish those warm sunny days around the firehouse with some of the friendliest men I've ever met in my life. Well, I just had to share that with you. I see that you were also with Ladder 108. Was that the Ladder Company on Siegel Street? If so, what a thrill it was to see that Ladder Company in action. My dream as a child was to ride in the tillermans seat and steer that trailer around some tight Brooklyn corners! Take care, sir, and the best of everything in your retirement. And thank you for giving me such wonderful childhood memories! God Bless! Regards, Mighty Joe Renaissance Man Extraordinaire

Subject: Re: Engine 216 Date: Fri, 19 Sep 1997 09:21:15 -0400 From: Mighty-Joe@webtv.net (Mighty Joe) To: donfdny@i-2000.com Hello Don! Yes, you may certainly publish that letter on Engine 216's Home Page! I would consider it an honor to have it made part of it's hisory. It is such a joy to have found you and relive those precious days of my childhood, and share a little of that joy with you and others. The firemen of 216 became my friends for life and I've never forgotten them and their kindness toward me and their words of encouragement. I remember walking with my mother along Lorimer Street, and as the engines from 216 raced past, the firemen on the back of the pumper would wave to me as they sped by. What a thrill that was! Don, my name is Joseph F. Affatato and I'm 45 years old. I currently reside in Prince's Bay, Staten Island with my wife and two wonderful daughters. I am a consultant in the Fiber Optics industry, but have many other interests as well. I lived at 44 Scholes Street from 1952 (I was born there) until 1964, when we moved to Grand Street, just off Leonard Street. I attended St. Mary's School on Ten Eyck Street, and my grandmother lived at 56 Stag Street, between Lorimer and Leonard Streets. I think it was the summer of 1959 that I spent with the good men of engine 216. In 1967 my grandmothers house was severly damaged in a pretty spectacular 3 alarm (I believe) fire which started in a house at 58 Stag Street. It was a Sunday night about 7 PM when it started and it wasn't until about 9PM when it was declared under control. I remember it well because my uncle (my grandmothers son) was a firemen in Engine 211 at the time and was on duty that night. He was there fighting the fire and I remember him in his turnout coat, wet and rife with the smell of smoke about him. After the fire was out (about 11 PM) and the fire danger was over, he allowed me to go up with him into my grandmothers apartment to salvage what we could. I've never forgotten the way that apartment looked and smelled. It was dark, water dripping everywhere, holes in the floors and ceilings, with the damp acrid smell of smoke hanging everywhere. I spent only minutes in that apartment, but I smelled it all night. My uncle's name is Michael Russo, and he, too, is retired now from the FDNY. I remember seeing some of the firemen I knew from Engine 216 that night, and it was so nice to make their acquiantance again. I always enjoyed seeing those two pumpers from 216 in action, and I remember distinctly there sound as they came rumbling down the street, sirens blaring. I believe one pumper was a late 1940's Mack, but I'm unsure about the other. Sometimes, the firemen would let me help them clean the engine, then invite me upstairs for a glass of milk. When I was upstairs, I always dreamed about sliding down those shining poles, just as the firemen did when the alarm came in. What days they were! Well Don, it really is a pleasure to share these memories with you. I have many more, especially of 216 in action around the neighborhood. If you want, I would be glad to share these with you also. Thanks for your interest, Don, and please take care and God Bless! Regards, Mighty Joe Renaissance Man Extraordinaire
  • Go to Engine Company 216 's 125th year celebration
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  • This is our History


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