By Mike Boucher S.I. CO

Engine 246 and Ladder 169 have been responding to fires in the Sheepshead Bay area of Brooklyn since December 9, 1895. One hundred years ago this area was part of the City of Brooklyn, the fourth largest city in America, and not New York City. The fire trucks were not even painted red but, two tone green. Brooklyn placed Engine 46 and Ladder 17 in service in the former quarters of the Sheepshead Bay Volunteer Fire Department.

The Sheepshead Volunteer Fire Department was organized around February of 1889 with Friendship Ladder 1. Before the volunteers were disbanded on December 9, the Department had grown to one steamer, one hose company, one hand engine, and one ladder companies. All four companies were located at 2728 East 23rd Street, then known as Anthony Place and then renamed to Delamere Street before becoming East 23rd Street.

Engines 44, 45, 46, 54 and Ladders 16 and 17 replaced all of the volunteer companies in the late Town of Gravesend. The towns of New Utrecht, Gravesend, and Flatlands were annexed into the City of Brooklyn on May 3, 1894. This annexation more than double the size of Brooklyn. When annexed, the fire protection would be provided by the volunteers until the City's paid force could be expanded into the newly annexed area. All of the expenses to operate the volunteers would be paid for by the City.

Engine 46 was placed in service with eight men with a used 1893 Silby 4th size (300-200 gpm) steamer and a new P.J. Barrett hose wagon. Ladder 17 received a new Gleason & Baily, 50 foot aerial and was manned by ten men. Members of the Friendship fire companies were given preference in hiring for the new companies. The steamer and hose wagon were both pulled by two horses and came from the town of Gravesend, The ladder was pulled by a three horse hitch and was purchased by the City of Brooklyn. Both companies were located in the former quarters of the Friendship companies on the west side of East 23rd Street. The rent for the two story building was $500.00 a year.

Engine 46 and Ladder 17 would belong to the Brooklyn Fire Department only until January 1, 1898. On that day, the Cities of Brooklyn, New York, and parts of Queens and Bronx Counties, along with Staten Island merged into the Greater City of New York and its five boroughs. On January 28, both Engine 46 and Ladder 17 became part of Brooklyn and Queens Fire Division of the New York City Fire Department.

Ladder 17 was disbanded on April 15, 1898 as a single unit and combined with Engine 46 to form Combination Engine 46. The Captain of the ladder was replaced by a Lieutenant and Engine 46 was painted on the side of the ladder truck. Both companies would respond as Engine 46 on most runs, but the truck could respond as a single unit and would be called Ladder 46. The total number of runs between the two would be reported under Engine 46.

To avoid confusion with the Manhattan and Bronx companies, the Brooklyn and Queens companies were renumber on October 1, 1899. Combination Engine 46 became Combination Engine 146. Combination Engine 146 would be renumber again on January 1, 1913 to Combination Engine 246 due to the increase of new companies being placed into service in Brooklyn and Queens.

When Brooklyn placed these two companies in service it was with the intention of building new quarters for both Engine 46 and Engine 45 at the earliest possible date. Both of these houses were not built with living quarters in them. The Fire Department had to put several thousands of dollars into these houses to fix them for the paid members.

With the merger of New York and Brooklyn, new quarters were put off for the time being. In 1902 money was allotted for the construction of new houses in Brooklyn and plans were drawn up. New quarters were built for Engines 224, 231, 245, 246 and several other houses were remodeled.

Combination Engine 146 moved into a new three bay, two story fire house on December 22, 1904. The house was located at 2731 East 23rd Street. The fire house measured 73 feet in the front and 84' feet deep. The building was built on a lot that was purchased by the late town of Gravesend on August 23, 1878 from James B, and Anna Voorhies for a total of $750.00. The lot measured 75 feet by 196 feet. To build the fire house an old school building was torn down. The house cost $73,072.00 to build.

With the vast area that Engine 146 had to cover, a second section was placed in service on December 22, 1904. The second section would respond with the first section on most call. Other times it would stay in quarters and respond to another fire which wasn't to often. The first year in service all three rigs responded to only thirty four runs.

Motorization came to East 23rd Street in 1920. The second section received a used 1905 W. S. Nott 2nd size (700-900 gpm) steamer with a Christie front end drive. The first section received a new 1921 American LaFrance 700 gpm pumper. In 1921 the ladder received a new Pirsch/White combination chemical & city service

service ladder truck. The hose wagon was replaced with a new 1922 Mack/Boyd hose wagon on December 21, 1922.

On October 16, 1929, General Order Number 59 would place Ladder 169 in service with twelve members effective two days later. After thirty-one years of service and no identity, Brooklyn Ladder 17 was given one, Ladder 169. Most of the members that were assigned to the ladder portion of Engine 246 were assigned to Ladder 169. A lieutenant was still in charge of the ladder and not a captain. The company received a used 1924 American LaFrance 75' aerial from Ladder 123.

Engine Company 246 was discontinued as a Double Combination Company and reorganized as a Double Engine Company with two engines and one hose wagon. The second section of 246 was renumber on August 16, 1939 to Engine 327.

Because of World War 2 and the Germans bombing England, five Hose Wagons were placed in service through out the City. Relay Hose Wagon 105 was placed in service at Engine 246's quarters on December 26, 1942 and disbanded on May 15, 1945. These wagons were older aerial ladder trucks that the shops converted by removing the ladders and converting it to carry 3,000 feet of 31/2" hose.

The block of East 23rd Street where the firehouse sat became a dead end street once the Belt Parkway was built in the early 1940's. The response time to Sheepshead Bay was reduced. The company had to travel away from Sheepshead Bay to cross over the Parkway. In the Capital Budget for 1944 Engine 327 and a new ladder company were going to be placed in a new house around 20th Avenue and East 64th Street. The condition of the 1904 fire house was beginning to show its age. These three factors, dead end street, Engine 327 moving and the age of the building sealed the fate of the old fire house.

The Fire Department started looking for a new location as early as November 1943. A lot was picked out on the northwest corner of Neptune Avenue and West 11th Street and given to the Fire Department on October 20, 1955. This location would cut the time responding to Sheepshead Bay and Brighton Beach. Plans for the new house were drawn up in 1950 by the Department of Public Works. The house was going to be two stories with a four story hose tower in the front and to the right of the apparatus door.

Early in 1958 it was learned that Neptune Avenue was going to widen by forty feet on the north side of the street, thus the lot would be to small for the fire house. A smaller lot, owned by the City, on East 11th Street and Banner Avenue was chosen.

Because of the move in location the cost of the house went from $293,057.00 to $360,326.00. Back in 1944 the estimated cost for the building was $115,000.00. Since the lot was smaller the hose tower was cut out of the plans.

On July 16, 1960, twenty three years after starting the process of building a house, Engine 246 and Ladder 169 moved into their new firehouse at 2732 East 11th Street. Engine 327, slated for new quarters in 1944, was disbanded on that day. Since moving here only one other company has responded from these door and that was Battalion 43 from July 24, 1968 until August 7, 1971. The Battalion moved from Engine 245's old quarters when it was torn down for a new station.

Two member of each company have received medals for bravery. The first members to received a medal was Firefighter 1st grade Peter S. Viola of Ladder 169. He was awarded the Steuben medal for rescuing a woman from a fire at 8 Brighton 15th Street on February 23, 1972. The next two members were both from the engine in 1985. The first was Lt. John R. Fullam for rescuing an unconscious firefighter from a 2nd alarm fire at 2335 Coney Island Avenue on January 16, 1985. He received the Lt. Robert R. Dolney Medal. The Uniformed Fire Officers Association Medal was awarded to Captain Patrick J. Boylan of Engine 246 for a rescue at 1816 Voohries Avenue on December 16, 1985. The last member to received a medal was Firefighter Oscar Thomason of Ladder 169. He received the Emerald Society Medal for rescuing a elderly lady from 3130 Brighton 6th Street on March 28, 1988.

One member of Engine 246 has paid the supreme sacrifice by giving his life. Lieutenant Harry M. Maloney was partially paralyzed after the engine backed over him at a grass fire at Ave. "X" and East 23rd Street. The accident happen on March 25, 1940, two months after taking the lieutenants test. On January 1, 1945 Firefighter Maloney was promoted to a lieutenant. He died of complication from his injuries on August 9, 1948. He joined the Fire Department on January 1, 1937. He left a wife and a daughter.

After one hundred years of service, the Brooklyn Fire Department, horses, green rigs, a second section, and three different locations Engine 246 and Ladder 169 have been faithfully serving the people of Sheepshead Bay and Brighton Beach. They have been there for fires, floods and other emergencies and will continue to serve the people of New York City.



Awarded to Fireman 1st Grade Peter S. Viola, Ladder Co. 169, for heroic work, at Unusual Personal Risk, in effecting the rescue of a woman from a fire at premises 8 Brighton 15th Street, Brooklyn, Box 2-2 3685, 0632 hrs., February 23, 1972. Also award $100.00 Saving Bond by the Steuben Association.


Awarded to Lieutenant John R. Fullam, of Engine 246, for heroic actions at Unusual Personal Risk in effecting the rescue of an unconscious F.D.N.Y. Lieutenant from a Second Alarm fire at 2335 Coney Island Avenue, Brooklyn, on January 16, 1985, Box 3343, at 0854 hours. Also awarded $500, to be presented by Dominick Della Rocca.


Awarded to Captain Patrick J. Boylan of Engine Company 246 for his selfless and heroic actions at Unusual Personnel Risk in the rescue of an unconscious baby boy from an "All Hands" fire at 1816 Voohries Avenue, Brooklyn Box 3287, on December 16, 1985, at 0831 hours. Awarded $350.00 cash.


Awarded to Firefighter 1st grade Oscar C. Thompson of Ladder Company 169 for his great initiative and perseverance in attempting to rescue an elderly woman from a fire at 3130 Brighton 6th Street, Brooklyn, Box 3657, on March 28, 1988, at 2119 hours. Also awarded $400.00 in Savings Bonds from several persons.


Awarded to Lieutenant Lawrence W. Weston of Ladder 169 for operating under extrme personal risk in rescuing a nine year old child and adult male from a fire at 59 Brighton 10 Court, Brooklyn, Box 3651, on August 14, 1994, at 1629

This is the Department Order listing Lt. Harry M. Maloney death. He was injured while operating at a grass fire at Avenue "X" and Coney Island Avenue.






No. 136


I With regret, the death of Lieutenant Harry M. Maloney, of Engine Co. 246, which occurred at 5.30 A. M., August 9, 1948, from injuries sustained in the performance of duty while operating at Signal Station 5-3297-246, Brooklyn, received at 8.42 P. M., March 25, 1940, is hereby announced to the Department.

The heartfelt sympathy of the entire Department goes out to the family, relatives and friends of the deceased in the midst of the great loss which they and the Department have sustained.

The funeral will take place from his late residence, 3617 Glenwood Road, Borough of Brooklyn, at 9.30 A. M., Friday, August 13, 1948. Interment at St. Charles Cemetery, Farmingdale, L.I.


The funeral escort shall consist of a Regiment of two Battalions, two companies each (twenty-four men to a company).

First Deputy and Acting Fire Commissioner

James J. Moran

Deptuy Fire Commissioners

Dr. Harry M. Archer Nathan C. Hoewitz

Secretary to Department

Harvey Rosen


Chief of Staff and Operations

Frank Murphy (2)


Acting Battalion Chief Winford L. Beebe


Chief of Department

Peter Loftus

Acting Assistant Chief of Staff and Operations

Martin Carrig

Deputy Chiefs of Staff and Operation

Edward M. F. Conway Henry C. Wehde David J. Kidney

The General Order placing Engine 46 and Ladder 17 in service with the Brooklyn Fire Department.

Headquarters Department of Fire

365 and 367 JAY STREET,



I. On and after 8 o'clock, A. M., December 9th, 1895, this department will organize and place in service Engine Companies Numbers 44, 45, 46 and 54, and Hook and Ladder Companies Numbers 16 and 17, in the 31st Ward, late Town of Gravesend.

II. The signal 2-4-3 "there is a fire in station No.--- annexed district," preceded by the signal 2-2 and followed by the station number, will be used to notify the department of all first alarm fires in said annexed district. In case of a second or third alarm call, the requisite number of strokes will precede the station number.

III. Company commanders will be guided by the "Second Series" of the running card book, in regard to the station and assignments for duty in the annexed district.

By order of



The Special Order relocated Engine 146 into new quarters and made it a double company.




NO. 133

I) By direction of the Fire Commissioner, Engine Co. No. 145, located in West 8th Street, near Surf Avenue, Borough of Brooklyn, is hereby Re-organized as a double engine company (and will locate in the new quarters adjoining present premises), to take effect from and after 8 o'clock A. M., December 22, 1904.

II) Engine Co. No. 146 at the same time and date will locate in their new quarters on the east side of East 23rd Street, near Voorhees Avenue, Borough of Brooklyn, and to be Re-organized as a double engine company with the addition OF a combination Hook & Ladder truck.

By Order of,



Department Order placing Ladder 169 in service in 1929.




GENERAL ORDER NEW YORK, October 16, 1929

No. 59

I By direction of the Fire Commissioner the following is directed, made and promulgated to take effect at 9 A. M., October 18, 1929:

Hook and Ladder Company 169 organized, located at No 2731 East Twenty-Third Street, Sheepshead Bay, Brooklyn, equipped with a 75 foot American LaFrance Hook and Ladder Truck, and Assigned to the 43rd Battalion, 12th Division.

Engine Company No. 246 is discontinued as a Double Combination Company and reorganized as a Double Engine Company, equipped with two 2nd Size American LaFrance Gasoline Propelled and Pumping Engine Hose Wagons (single units), and a Mack Auto Chemical and Hose Wagon, and Assigned as at present.

By Order of the Fire Commissioner,

Joseph B. Martin,

Assistant Chief of Department.

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

The first members assigned to Ladder 169.


Lieutenant Joseph A. Morrissey, Engine 246

" James A. Molloy, Engine 246

Firemen 1st grade

Peter J. Groom, (Chauffeur) Engine 246

Edward G. Gilcher, " Engine 246

Francis J. Dowling, " H.&L. 105

Thomas H. McQuillan, " " 109

Joseph E. Flatley, Engine 246 William M. Walsh, Engine 246

Thomas S. Curley, " 246 Frank Gallagher (2), " 246

Marion McGibney, " 246 William Klinck, H.& L. 102

Department Order disbanding Engine 327 and moving Engine 246 and Ladder 169 into new quarters.





ORDER NO. 128 July 7, 1960


Effective 9 A. M. on July 16, 1960, the operations of Engine Co. 327, located at 2731 East 23rd Street, Brooklyn, shall be discounted as a fire fighting unit. The following procedures shall govern such discontinuance:

(a) The transfer of officers and fireman presently assigned to Engine Co. 327, shall be promulgated on Department order.

(b) The disposition of apparatus and equipment assigned to Engine Co. 327 shall be under the direction and control of the officer in command of the Division of Repairs and Transportation.

(c) The necessary changes of administrative districts and assignments shall be promulgated on Department Order Supplement.

(d) The packaging, marking, storage and/or redistribution of all records of Engine Co. 327, shall be under the direction and control of the Division Commander, 12th Division.

(e) The disposition of department property, other than apparatus and fire fighting equipment, assigned to Engine 327, shall be under the direction and control of Bureau of Accounts and Procurement.


Effective 9 A. M. on July 16, 1960, the operational and administrave activities of Engine Co. 246 and Ladder Co.169, shall be transferred from 2731 East 23rd Street, Brooklyn, to 2732 East 11th Street, Brooklyn


DECEMBER 9, 1895

It is Monday. The first snow storm of the 1895 winter season started falling last night and is continuing today.

Diphtheria outbreak in Brooklyn. One hundred and eighty-four people are affected since the outbreak started nine days ago. Forty six have died from it.

The Insurance Underwriters of Brooklyn announces, starting a week from today a fire insurance patrol will start in Brooklyn. The quarters will be at 172 Pacific Street, have 350 rubber covers and manned by ten men. It still active today and located at 12 Dean Street.

The passing of Perrins Comet can be seen with the naked eye at the Lick Observatory in California.

The City's trolley car companies are willing to paid three percent on the gross revenues to the City as long as the City doesn't put the franchises up for bid. One company, Brooklyn Heights & Nassau Electric Company wants the auction.

Sauerkraut smells!!! Herr Holstein of Holstein, runs a sauerkraut and pickle factory at 198 16th Street and the aristocratic noses of his neighbors are turned up in disgust, carbolic acid will be in great demand if the smells continues. Ten families have moved from the neighborhood in the last three months. Health Department will hold a hearing on December 12th.

The Atchison, Topeka & Santa Fe Railway is up for sale in an auction. All 10,000 miles of track, 2,000 locomotives, thousands of railroad cars and all the buildings to the highest bidder tomorrow. Worth $350,000,000.00.

The Hyde & Behman's Theater presents Weber & Field's own company in the "Ideal Vaudeville Show, featuring Weber & Field as the German Senators, Lottie Gilson as "The Little Magnet", Billy Emerson as "The Operatic Minstrel Comedian", Jas. H. Hoey "Young Mule, Brother of Old Hoss", Garnellas Acme Four, Acrobats, Drummond Staley & Belle Birbeck "The Musical Blacksmiths", and Marietta & Belloni with their troupe of Trained cockatoos. Matinee every day.

A Christmas present that will last a life time, Turkish Rugs, priced at $6.50 and $8.50. At William Berri's & Sons, the leading Carpet & Upholstery house of Brooklyn, 522-528 Fulton Street.

Christmas toys can be bought at Edward Ridley & Sons at 309-321 Grand Street in New York. Boys velocipedes $1.25 & up (tricycle), train sets $3.98, rugby footballs $2.50 - $5.00 and hundreds of dolls from five cents to $25.00.

Needham Pianos are on sale for $250.00 ($7.00 a month) or $225.00, cash with free delivery within 40 miles of New York City at Needham Piano & Organ Company, 86 E. 14th Street New York.

The Brooklyn Citizens newspaper cost two cents daily while the New York Times is three cents or $10.00 for the whole year.


*1893 Silsby 4th size (300-500 gpm) steamer #2243 from the Town of Gravesend

*1899 LaFrance 3rd size (500-700 gpm) steamer #415

*1883 Amoskeag 2nd size (700-800 gpm) steamer #585 received 1909 after rebuilt

*1891 Amoskeag 2nd size (700-800 gpm) steamer #669 received 1910 rebuilt in 1899

1921 American LaFrance 700 gpm #3571

1938 Ahrens Fox 1000 gpm #3441 went to Engine 253

1951 Ward LaFrance 750 gpm #2602 went to Eng. 32 as hose wagon

1958 Mack 750 gpm #1059 from Eng. 327 7-16-1960

1969 Mack 1000 gpm #MP6902 from Eng. 222 in 1972

1970 Mack 1000 gpm #MP7009 from Eng. 23 in 1976

1979 Mack 1000 gpm #MP7950

1987 Mack 1000 gpm #MP8717

ENGINE 246 2nd section

*1893 LaFrance 2nd size (700-800 gpm) steamer #277 to Eng. 253

1905 W S Nott/Christie 2nd size (700-800 gpm) steamer #616 front drive tractor in 1920

1920 American LaFrance 700 gpm #2991 from Eng. 76 in 1925

1931 American LaFrance 700 gpm #7341 received 12-26-1930


1931 American LaFrance 700 gpm #7341 from Eng. 246 (2)

1938 Aheren Fox 1000 gpm #3424 from Eng. 23 8-21-48

1958 Mack 750 gpm #1059 to Eng. 246 7-16-1960


*1895 P. J. Barrett 2nd size

*1892 P. J. Barrett 1st size assigned to 2nd section in 1905

1922 Mack/Boyd 12-16-1922 - 10-11-1930

1928 FWD/Pirsch from Eng. 19


(Units assigned to (in order) Ladder 17, Engine 46, Engine 146, Engine 246)

*1896 Gleason & Bailey 50' aerial #5B

*1910 Seagrave 50' aerial w/ Chemical tank #4229

1921 Pirsch/White combination Chemical & City Service #202

(Units assigned to Ladder 169)

1924 American LaFrance 75' aerial #227 from Lad. 123 10-18-1929

1928 American LaFrance 75' aerial #273 used

1938 FWD 85' aerial #329 from Lad. 16 went to Lad. 174 with 1948 Ward LaFrance tractor

1940 Ahrens Fox 85' aerial #342 from Lad. 125 with 1948 Ward LaFrance tractor pulling it

1955 FWD 75' aerial #393 from Lad. 166 in 5-1968

1972 Seagrave 100' rear mount #SL7216

1980 Seagrave 100' rear mount #SL8017 in 1981

1988 Seagrave 100' rear mount #SL8801

* horse drawn units


2728 E. 23rd Street

Between: Shore Parkway & Voorhies Avenue

Faces: East



ENGINE 1 1889 - December 9, 1895

LADDER 1 Feb. 1889 - December 9, 1895

HOSE 1 1889 - December 9, 1895

HAND ENGINE 1 1889 - December 9, 1895


ENGINE 46 December 9, 1895 - January 28, 1898

LADDER 17 December 9, 1895 - January 28, 1898


ENGINE 46 January 28, 1898 - April 15, 1898

LADDER 17 January 28, 1898 - April 15, 1898

COMB. ENGINE 46 April 15, 1898 - October 1, 1899

COMB. ENGINE 146 Oct. 1, 1899 - December 22, 1904

2731 E. 23rd STREET

Between: Shore Parkway & Voorhies Avenue

Faces: West


COMB. ENGINE 146 December 22, 1904 - January 1, 1913

ENGINE 146 (2) December 22, 1904 - January 1, 1913

COMB. ENGINE 246 January 1, 1913 - October 18, 1929

ENGINE 246 (2) January 1, 1913 - August 16, 1939

ENGINE 246 October 18, 1929 - July 16, 1960

ENGINE 327 August 16, 1939 - July 16, 1960

LADDER 169 October 18, 1929 - July 16, 1960

RELAY HOSE WAGON 105 December 26, 1942 - May 15, 1945

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