Raleigh and Wake County Firefighting (Images of America)


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The story of firefighting in Raleigh and Wake County is almost as old as the county itself. The terrifying threat to wooden structures with minimal water supplies was well known to the planners who laid out Wake County's first town in 1792. Wide streets were created to prevent fires from spreading between buildings. As early as 1802, citizens contributed to the purchase price of Raleigh's first fire engine. More than 200 years later, the dedicated members of 23 fire departments answer the still-familiar cry of fire!

Raleigh and Wake County Firefighting chronicles over a century of fire protection in North Carolina's capital city and surrounding county. Fire engines, fire stations, and the firefighters themselves are depicted in over 220 images culled from local newspapers, area archives, and personal collections. From Raleigh to Cary and Apex to Zebulon, both municipal and rural fire departments are remembered from their early beginnings. Stories of fires at Raleigh's Yarborough Hotel in 1928, downtown Knightdale in 1940, and Pullen Hall at North Carolina State University in 1965 come alive, as do dramatic photographs from the old Mangel's building fire, the North Raleigh tornado, and the flooding after Hurricane Fran.

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