History of the Bellerose Village Fire Department

Recognizing the need for fire protection, eighteen residents founded the Bellerose Fire Department in 1916.

The first purchases of the newly organized department were a hose, a reel and a nozzle. An iron hoop reputed to be from the wheel of an early railroad train was used for a fire alarm. This iron hoop, which presently stands outside the Fire House, was a gift of Ernest G. Sicard, a director of the United Holding Company (Lachman, Eric. History of the Bellerose Fire Department 16).

One night in 1923, the alarm sounded for the third and most serious fire up to that date. While answering this alarm, a fireman taking a short cut through a backyard was injured when he collided with a clothes line. As a result, a rule was passed compelling residents to remove clothes lines after dark. Two years later during Prohibition, the Fire Department held its first and last stag beefsteak dinner at the newly built Woman's Club. This uproarious event was supposedly immortalized by Westbrook Pegler, a widely syndicated newspaper columnist of the time (Pegler, Westbrook. "Beer Not Near, Town All Upset". United News 19 April 1925: n.pag.).  

Suffice to say that the affair ended with an early morning sing under a certain lady's window. Perhaps the intrepid Helen Marsh did not mind too much since she was one of the few woman members of the early Fire Department. In 1927, just three years before the Fire House was built on a plot adjoining the Long Island Rail Road, the Fire Department was incorporated.

The firemen now work with a 1993 Pierce Lance 1500 gallon pumper (Engine 107) and a 1998 Pierce 1000 pumper (Engine 108) nicknamed "The Little Engine That Could." Currently forty-six firemen are answering alarms.