Centralizing the Department In One Station
All of the Apparatus of Arlington, Mass., Except Those in Two Outlying Companies, Housed in Central Station—Its Handsome Design
THE rather unique idea of centralizing practically all of a city’s fire apparatus under one roof is carried out in the new fire house of Arlington, Mass., one of the handsomest central fire stations ever built in a small city, housing as it does all but three of the fire trucks of the municipality.
It is an imposing brick structure situated on the triangular plot at the junction of Franklin Street, Broadway, and Massachusetts Avenue in Arlington Centre.
Unusual Ideas of Fire House Construction
The plans were drawn by Architect George Robinson, of Boston, and present many unusual ideas in fire department construction. For example there are six large double doors on the apparatus floor so that the machines can be driven in from any side and there is no need of backing up when entering the building.
The fire station is of octagon shape, two stories high, with a tower 83 feet high, and is built of steel and concrete with a brick exterior trimmed with stone.
The basement, with an inclined entrance leading from Franklin Street, is divided into two sections, one half being occupied by the wire division and the other half fitted up for a repair shop. The heating plant is also located in the basement which is lined with concrete and is well lighted. Just outside the basement are two rooms which will be utilized for a public convenience station, one for men and one for women, with direct entrance from the street.
The Apparatus Floor
The apparatus floor is a large open space without pillars or other encumbrances. Room is provided for eight pieces of motor apparatus. On this floor under the tower in front is a stone trimmed watch room opening off the apparatus room. Here is the patrol desk and here are the gongs, push buttons, and mutual aid signal board. This board will eventually be connected with the fire alarm headquarters of six adjoining municipalities. At present it is connected with Belmont, Medford, and Somerville. Later Cambridge, Lexington, and Winchester will be joined to the system. There is an arrangement for mutual aid at alarms near the border lines of the towns and for response and covering-in at general alarms.
The stairs, toilets and hose hoist are also in the space at the base of the tower. The apparatus floor is of concrete, the walls having a seven foot dado of glazed brick above which there is white sanded brick. The ceiling is beamed and paneled with wood in natural finish.
On the Franklin Street side joined to the main building and entered through fire resisting doors in an entirely separate section for the fire alarm equipment. The battery room is on the first floor and on the second floor are the room containing the signal equipment which is of the Gamewell automatic type and bedroom and office for the Superintendent of Fire Alarms, William Mason.
Pleasant Living Quarters for Officers and Men
The second floor of the main structure contains the living quarters for officers and men. Facing the front of the building, and looking out on the park lawn containing the Soldiers’ Monument, is the Common Room which has a large open fireplace of stone, pool table, Yictrola, and radio set. Opening off this room is the private office of Chief Daniel B. Tierney which connects with his bedroom, shower bath and toilet. Grouped around a central patio lighted by a skylight are a series of connecting rooms with two and three beds to a room. Separate rooms are provided for the officers and for two men of the wire division. Shower baths and toilets in white tiled rooms and adequate lockers complete the equipment. In the central patio are a sink, ice-box, small gas range, bubbler drinking fountain, seats and benches.
The tower contains space for drying hose and at the top will be mounted a large bell and a compressed air fire alarm siren.
The Apparatus of Station
The apparatus in this Central Station consists of a 750 gallon Seagrave triple combination motor pupming, engine with booster pump attachment, a Seagrave double banked city service ladder truck equipped with chemical tank, a Knox combination chemical and hose wagon, and the car of Chief Tierney. A reserve Knox combination chemical and hose wagon and police ambulance are also stored in the house. In the basement there is space for light trucks of the wire division and for apparatus undergoing repairs.
A gasoline filling tap is located on the main floor connected with an underground tank outside. Sliding poles and a stairway lead to the second floor. The Common Room before mentioned is very handsomely finished in brown stucco and natural wood and contains a large framed portrait of Ex-Chief Charles Gott.
The Arlington Fire Department
The Arlington Fire Department consists of 21 permanent men and 30 call men. The new Central Station was built by the Beacon Construction Company at a cost of $150,000. There are two other fire stations, one a two story brick structure on Massachusetts Avenue known as the Highland Station equipped with a Robinson hook and ladder truck and a Knox combination chemical and hose wagon, and the other a new bungalow station at Park Circle built of brick with a slate roof. This station was only recently completed and is opposite the handsome water standpipe at the end of Park Avenue on a high hill known as the summit. A 650 gallon Knox triple combination motor pumping engine is stationed in the bungalow.