Engine Company 218 Brooklyn

ORG.	112 Seigel St.		(Nov. 30, 1877)
NQTRS.	650 Hart St.		(Dec.  1, 1887)
CHANGE	To Engine 18, FDNY	(Jan. 28, 1898)
CHANGE	To Engine 118		(Oct.  1, 1899)
RQTRS.	650 Hart St.		(Nov. 22, 1904)
CHANGE	To Engine 218		(Jan.  1, 1913)
DISB.				(Jul.  2, 1975)
REORG.	650 Hart St.		(Jul.  4, 1975)


There are no life-savers in Engine Company No. 18, and the reason is that the cry for " help " from a human being, hemmed in by smoke and flame, has never yet reached their ears. But there is not a man in the company who will shirk from his duty when that heart-rending appeal rings out upon the night air. Nevertheless, every man of the company has been where the flames were the hottest, and the smoke densest, and not a few of them will carry scars to their graves of injuries received while in discharge of duty. The company was organized and went into active service Nov. 30, 1887. Its home is on Hart Street, a few doors from Central Avenue, and a very comfortable and attractive place it is. The district in which the company is located is bounded on the north by the city line, on the east by Bushwick Avenue and Siegel Street, on the south by Ralph Avenue and Halsey Street, and on the west by Bushwick Avenue and Boerurn Street.

On a first-alarm the men respond to calls from 56 boxes, the farthest being two miles and a-half away. Within this territory are the " Berlin " and Cutter's large dry goods houses, Lesslan's, Traurn's and John Schwartz's furniture warehouses, the Iron Clad tin factory, Castle Braid Company, Wall's rope walk, Liska's varnish works, Bonner's cradle manufactory, Rueger's moulding mills, George Och's and Meyer's mould g rg ing mills, Sprower's brush factory, DeKalb Avenue car stables, three large stables of the Brooklyn City Railroad Company, Labor Lyceum, Home of the Little Sisters of the Poor, St. John's College, St. Leonard's Hall, the new building of the Bushwick Democratic Club, the National Athletic Club-house, the Fourteenth and Twentieth Precinct policestation houses, Ryan's paint, wallpaper and carpet storehouses, Renwick Hall, fourteen large breweries, ten churches and four public schools.


Assistant Foreman JOHN FRANCIS WELTON was born in New York City, Dec. 17, 1856. His connection with the Brooklyn Fire Department dates from Feb. 14, 1887. Mr. Welton was promoted to the rank of Assistant Foreman June 1, 1891, and the chances are ten to one that before his career terminates he will be advanced to a higher grade.

Engineer WILLIAM CUNNINGHAM is a native of Scotland, and was born on Sept. IS, 1842. During the Civil War he was a private in the 3d Regiment, N. Y. Volunteers, and from 1867 to 1869 was a member of Atlantic Hose Company No. 2 of the Volunteer Department. He was appointed a member of the Paid Department, March 26, 1871, and in 1876 was promoted to the grade of engineer, and assigned to Engine No. 16. It is only necessary to look at Engine No. 18 to be convinced that he is an expert at his business.

Assistant Engineer JOHN POHLMAN was born in Brooklyn, Nov. 14, 1845. He was made a fireman and assigned to Engine No. 17 on June 2, 1880, and promoted April 13, 1882.

THOMAS D. DORAN handles the ribbons over " Tom " and " Billy," the two bandsome grays who draw the engine. He was born in Brooklyn, Feb. 24, 1848. He was appointed to the uniformed force, Sept. 1, 1870 and assigned to Truck No. 5. On Sept. 18, 1872 he was transferred to Engine Company No. 16, and on April 22, 1878 was promoted to the grade of driver.

CHARLES FREUDEL occupies the driver's seat of the four-wheel hose-cart, and , Pilots " Ginger" and " Pete," the two fine-looking bay horses attached to it. Mr. Freudcl was born in Brooklyn on June 21, 1862, and became a fireman Jan. 2, 1889. The first service performed by him was with Engine No. 16, and covered a period of sixteen days. He was then found to be an expert driver and was transferred to the company to which he is now attached.

Of Fireman THOMAS MCKEEVER it may be said " no better man ever wore a firecoat." There was no place at a fire that he would hesitate an instant about going into, and it is said of him that he is the last man to leave a burning building when it becomes unsafe to remain in it longer. Mr. McKeever was born in Ireland, Jan. 22, 1842. In the days of the Volunteer Department, he was an active member of Metamora Hose No. 5, and at one time Assistant Foreman. He became a member of the present Fire Department on the day it went into active operation, and since that time has been con nected with Engines Nos. 13, 16, and 18, and Truck No. 5. During his twenty-three. years of service he has many times been seriously but fortunately not fatally injured.

CHARLES PRICE is a native of Brooklyn and was born Aug. 6, 1845. He was appointed to the uniformed force, Aug. 1, 1870, and has been a valuable man to the Department.

HERMAN WEIGEL was born in New York City, Jan. 7, I871, and has been a seaman in the United States Navy. He was made a fireman Aug. 24, 1890, and though young in years and experience, has in him the right kind of stuff to make a first-class fireman.

PETER J. REILLY was born March 25, 1862 in Brooklyn. Although lie has only worn the uniform since Dec. 10 1891, his work shows him to be a valuable acquisition to the force.

LOUIS T. HAUCK is also young at the business, he having been appointed on Aug. 11, 1891. He was born in New York City on Sept. 24, 1864. Mr. Hauck possesses. all the requirements necessary for making a good fireman.

JAMES McARDLE has been on the force since March 21, 1888, and has made his mark as a faithful, earnest worker. He was born in Brooklyn, Jan. 19, 1856.

PATRICK LAVIN began his career as a fireman on Jan. 2, 1889 and has been attached to Engine Company No. 18 since that time. He was born in Ireland on March 15, 1856. Although but two years in the business his record has been a good one.

There is another member of the company not on the pay roll but who must not be: forgotten, and that is " Nell," a handsome greyhound. She has been in the service but a few months but has learned considerable. The company has been called out to some big fires in its day. Among them may be mentioned the fires at Pratt's oil works, Heckler's iron works, Church's soda works, Wiedman's cooperage, Dick & Meyer's sugar refinery, Nostrand Avenue flats, American cocoa-matting works, Och's flat-houses on DeKalb, Avenue, Huwer's glass works, Waterbury Rope-walk, Stern's cow stables, Harbeck's stores, Smith, Gray & Company's building, Stover's dry goods' house, and the Zoellner Mannerchor Hall.

by: DONALD VAN HOLT (Ladder 103 / Engine 216 / Ladder 108 Retired, 1983)

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