New York Fire Patrol House Number 2
Last week, Fire Patrol House number 2 at 84 West Third had its doors open to the street. The garage was completely empty, so we had an unobstructed view of the interior. A pair of fire poles and an ironwork spiral staircase in the rear.
Built in 1906, this elegant structure was part of the under-the-radar, but extremely significant, New York Fire Patrol. The organization itself was a “salvage corps,” founded in 1839 by the Board of Fire Underwriters with the express purpose of discovering fires and preventing damage to insured properties. This entailed everything from hanging canvas tarps in broken windows to covering and removing electronic equipment, retail merchandise, and art.
According to Citynoise, the Patrol had, at its peak, seven companies and three salvage units. But, in the late 20th century, the city began to scale back, leaving three main houses. This one on West Third Street, house #1 in Midtown, and house #3 in Cobble Hill. Despite appeals to the City Council, the Patrol was shut down for good at 0800 hours on October 15, 2006. The “ratchets rang for the last time.”
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