About

President: Malacy Tracey

Vice President: Shaun Volin

Treasurer: Maria Bajnoczi

Financial Secretary: Kristy Mastropietro

Recording Secretary: Alex Bell

NOROTON HEIGHTS FIRE DEPARTMENT HISTORY

The Noroton Heights Fire Department celebrated its 100th anniversary in 2003. The department has grown from quarters in back of a blacksmith shop with thirteen men and one hand-drawn engine to a two-story brick building with 100 men and women and six pieces of emergency fire apparatus.

The very first fire department in Darien was started in January of 1895, what is now the Darien Fire Department. Shortly after the Noroton Fire Department was started on April 24, 1896. These two departments handled all calls for fires within the Town of Darien. Although the Town had two fire departments, there were areas where coverage was poor due to the time it would take for firefighters to arrive. By the time these departments could arrive the building was usually totally destroyed. One of these areas of slow response was the Noroton Heights section of Darien.

Chief: Ron Riolo

1st Assistant Chief: Shaun Volin

2nd Assistant Chief: Jamie McEwan

Captain: Matt Deorio

Truck 20: John DiPietro

Engine 21: Mike Tracey

Tanker 22: Eric Barret

Engine 23: Zach McEwan

Rescue 25: Andrew Pidgeon

The Waterbury Farm fire was a fire which caused much damage because of the long response time. The farm was later owned by Patrick Darly. After that fire, Mr. Darley, William Dugdale, the Bennett and Dolan families, and a few other concerned citizens joined together and formed a fire department of their own that would cover the section of Darien that lacked adequate fire coverage. On May 12th, 1903, the Noroton Heights Fire Engine Company Number 1 was formed with thirteen men under the direction of William Dugdale.

NOROTON HEIGHTS FIRE DEPARTMENT HISTORY

The first firehouse was located in a blacksmith’s shop behind Mr. Dugdale’s new store. Later it moved to what was a one-room school house located on Linden Avenue. The department’s main concern was the business area that it covered with coverage extending to the Town of New Canaan. William Dugdale loaned the company nine hundred dollars to purchase its first piece of equipment. The “gig” was purchased on June 24th 1903 and was one of the first in the State of Connecticut. It was well christened at the Stamford Town Hall fire which destroyed the building on February 4, 1904.

At 10:30 PM on November 25, 1903, the Noroton Heights Fire Department received its first fire call at the railroad freight house. The fire was under control in ten minutes and was completely extinguished by 11:15 PM. One of the firemen at the scene said that the building would have burned completely to the ground if it weren’t for the good work of the engine and the prompt response to the alarm. The railroad sent a check for fifty dollars and a thank you note to the department for what they had done. There were approximately eleven members at that fire.

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To endeavor to provide adequate protection against the loss by fire of the lives and property of the residents and taxpayers of the noroton heights section of the town of darien or of any fire district of the town of darien which may at any time be designated by the selectman of said darien, in accordance with the statute in such case made and provided.

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To obtain by purchase or otherwise adequate fire fighting apparatus and equipment necessary and proper to furnish such protection.

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To promote the social welfare of its members and to establish and maintain a spirit of good fellowship.

He second fire was on February 4,1904 at the Stamford Town Hall.

Mayor Leeds of the City of Stamford called for outside assistance. The Noroton Heights Fire Department was the first out of town department to arrive, followed by Greenwich, Port Chester, and Bridgeport. The Noroton Heights firemen ran with the gig until a man with a horse caught up with them. The men hooked the gig to the back of the man’s wagon and the firemen road in the wagon. Due to the very extremely cold weather and the faulty charging of the gig’s system after the railroad freight- house, water in the gig’s system froze in the pipe connections and valves. The Noroton Heights firemen could only assist Stamford firefighters with the equipment that was already there, the gig was out of service. After the fire, the Noroton Heights firemen brought the gig back on William Dugdale’s sleigh. The supplies arrived back at the station around 1:30 the next morning.

Noroton Heights Fire Department

As the Noroton Heights Fire Department acquired new equipment and men it was necessary to find a new place to house this equipment. Land for a new firehouse was bought in 1916. It was on Hecker Avenue in the area of what is now called Ledge Road. The members of the fire department at that time purchased the lumber and materials and built the firehouse themselves. When the building was done in 1917, the department purchased its first gas-powered vehicle. The firemen assembled the vehicle themselves in their new firehouse. During the next 56 years the Noroton Heights Fire Department continued to grow. It gained many new members and more and more equipment. Fund raising events were held to acquire new trucks and equipment and to improve the firehouse. In 1921 the firehouse had electric lights installed. At this time there were twenty-two fire hydrants installed the the Noroton Heights fire district. In 1922 the department purchased its first pumper, a 350 gallon Packard, which was in service for fifteen years. A small Reo house truck in doubtful condition was purchased in 1925. Sometime that year the fire department also purchased more land next to the firehouse. A Reo ladder truck and an AM radio for the firemen’s’ enjoyment was also purchased. In 1933 the department bought a new Reo hose truck with a Pirsch pump.