Leadership

Birmingham, Ala.

Issue 10 and Volume 116.

Birmingham, Ala. Photo by Cabe Norris, Jr. —Photo by Cabe Norris, Jr. Incorporated in 1871, Birmingham had its first major fire in 1872. Helpless citizens watched several buildings on Third Avenue and 20th Street burn to the ground without benefit of a fire department. To avoid repetition of such an embarrassing situation, Pioneer Fire Department No. 1 was organized in early 1873 by volunteer citizens who ran a manual pumper under the command of Dr. J. B. Luckie, first fire chief. At this time, the city had all the aspects of a frontier town, but it was sitting on top of one of the richest lodes of iron and limestone in the world. It had such a rapid and phenomena] growth that it became known throughout the world as the Magic City. As it grew the fire department grew with it. By 1884, Birmingham had changed from a volunteer to…

Subscribe to unlock this content

Subscribe Now