Placerville Fire Department

A Brief History

The Placerville Fire Department was organized on June 23, 1853 and was known as Neptune Hose Company No. 1 and adopted as their motto: "We're Ready!" The early day By-Laws stated that if anyone was caught smoking in the meeting room, he would be fined $1.00.

The first hose house was situated on Maiden Lane, now Center Street. Prior to 1856 a fire house was built on Main Street, now the location of the Firestone Store. The fire of June 6, 1856 completely wiped out the fire house. For a full year Neptune No. 1 was without a home and then a house and lot on Coloma Street was purchased. In 1858 Neptune No. 1 became known as Neptune Hose Company No. 2. In the fall of 1860 a new fire house was built on the Coloma Street site and was torn down in 1902 to make way for the railroad right of way.

Another engine, also pumped by hand, was purchased in 1857 and was located in Confidence Hall, now our City Hall. This company was known as Confidence Engine Company No 1.

Prior to the purchase of automotive equipment and after the time of hand pumped engines, hose carts were located in various parts of town and were hooked on to delivery wagons when possible and, if not, were drawn by a group of young men over the then muddy streets. A Packard fire truck and a Pierce Arrow Rural truck were the first modern trucks. In the fall of 1932, the trucks were moved to 19 Sacramento Street. The old La France truck purchased in 1931 and now in operation replaced the Pierce Arrow and the Fabco purchased in 1940 replaced the Packard.

On February 28, 1950, a bond issue was approved for a fire truck, purchase of a lot and a new fire house.

On Feb. 19, 1951, the City Council accepted the new concrete fire house at 14 Sacramento Street and on May 11, 1951, the new American La France fire truck arrived.

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