Housing Needs of the Small Community
Small municipalities, villages and borough governments, have different fire department housing needs than those of the larger cities. The alarms received are fewer, and the fire house, for economic reasons, must serve other departments as well. It is not uncommon to find that a fire house is being used for a recreation center, town hall, police court, and even for a school house.
At Clarion, Pa., a combined town hall and fire house is being erected. The ideas incorporated in its design may be of value to other sections confronted with similar problems.
The building will cover an area forty feet by seventy feet. The house will be of buff brick with terra cotta and stone trimmings. The front elevation of the building is illustrated.
The large double doors enter directly on the apparatus floor. Entrance to this room may also be gained by either of the side doors. The apparatus doors open by being raised until they are flat underneath the ceiling. This room is thirty-two by fifty-four feet.
The small door at the left opens to a hall leading to the second floor. A toilet is under the stairway. There is an emergency stairway at the rear of the apparatus floor. The entire first floor is to be finished with light yellow brick. The radiators are to be set in the wall to conserve space. The first floor ceiling height is twelve feet.
The building will stand twenty-one feet back from the sidewalk.
On the second floor is to be the office of the council, eighteen by twenty-four feet; a firemen’s club room, sixteen by thirty-two feet; billiard or game room, twenty-one by twenty-four feet, and back of this room will be a kitchen. On this floor will also be shower and locker rooms, and a drying room. Walls on the second floor are to be plaster, finished with a sand effect.
Photo, Courtesy of the Clarion Democrat.
The roof is pitched at about forty-five degrees and is supported by steel and framework. Specifications call for asbestos shingles. Near the front of the roof will be the belfry, in which will be mounted an electric siren. The fire bell may also be mounted here to serve as an auxiliary means for sounding an alarm.
At the back of the station will be the town jail, and next to this will be the hose drying tower, capable of holding 1,500 feet of hose.
The Clarion, Pa., department was organized fifty-three years ago. A party was held this year to observe its anniversary.
Up until 1919, hand hose carts and other light equipment were used. The company was reorganized, and with the aid of both council and public, two motor-driven pieces of apparatus were purchased. The department has adopted the phrase, “the livest organization of strictly volunteer firemen in western Pennsylvania.” It is mainly through the efforts of the firemen that this pew building is to be erected.