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Sparky, the Tacoma Fire Department mascot, posed with (l to r) Ernest Brais, Kenneth Call and O. A. Keene in this photograph from December 1956. The Fire Department was kicking off its campaign to raise money for the March of Dimes. Continuing a 15 year tradition, the Tacoma Fire Department distributed nearly 1000 small coin banks in the shape of iron lungs to collect money to help fight polio. "Sparky" and his friends were photographed at Fire Station #6 on South 9th and A Street. Photograph ordered by the March of Dimes. (TNT 12-30-56, C-10)

March of Dimes (Tacoma); Charitable organizations--Tacoma--1950-1960; Fund raising--Tacoma--1950-1960; Tacoma Fire Department (Tacoma); Brais, Ernest; Call, Kenneth; Keene, O.A.;


  • 4 images. Engine House No. 6 / Fire Station No. 6 Hatherton & McIntosh, arch. James H. Berry, contr.
  • TDL 8/7/1890 p.3 New fire engine houses
  • TDL 6/4/1903 p.5 Working plans complete (remodeling by E.P. Babcock, arch.)
  • TDL 5/28/1905 p.25 (il)
  • TDL 10/16/1921 p.A12 (il)
  • TNT 10/14/1941 p.1 May raze fire hall for soldiers' center
  • TNT 7/20/1949 p.15 Repairing fire station (earthquake damage) (il)
  • TNT 7/24/1949 p.C16 Battalion chief takes figurehead for marker (il of carved tile fireman's head removed from bldg.)
  • TNT 4/7/1953 p.C14 Firemen's history recalled
  • TNT 3/8/1963 p.A1 Brass pole ride much faster than a street
  • TNT 1/11/1967 p.D11 Art Museum desires old fire building
  • TNT 2/28/1967 p.A1 Fire house urged as art museum
  • TNT 6/23/1968 Magazine p.1,6,7 Home for many a fireman (il)
  • TNT 2/21/1969 p.A19 Union Station, fire station next in line for debate on future
  • TNT 3/25/1969 p.12 Fire station bid renewed by promoters
  • TNT 6/18/1969 p.D13 City to negotiate fire station lease T.Review 3/20/1974 Group hopes to save Tacoma's oldest public building (il)
  • TNT 3/22/1974 p.A3 Wrecking ball hangs over old fire station
  • TNT 3/23/1974 p.A7 Old Station 6 goes way of fire horse; 11th hour reprieve attempts fail (il)
  • TNT 3/31/1974 Tacoma's heritage: We must preserve it 352.3 G42S p.21 (il) (SEE: neg. #TPL 3743) 363.37 T142O p.19 979.7788 G1351D p.110(il) Downtown Tacoma Images of America. Gallacci, Caroline Denyer.
  • Year Built: 1890
  • Decade Built: 1890s
  • Demolished: 1974


Ivy covered Fire Station #6 located at 823 A St. before being destroyed by a fire in 1974.


ca. 1899. Engine Co. No. 6 opened on 9th & A Street in 1891. The station also housed Chemical Engine Co. No. 1. The headquarters station cost approximately $24,400. Captain William J. Chisholm led his company of five men; he may have been one of the men standing next to the horse-drawn engines in this sepia photograph. View of flower bedecked wagons and engines outside the two-story brick station; this is probably the 4th of July celebratory parade. (100 Years of Firefighting in the City of Destiny Tacoma, Washington, p. 22)

Tacoma Fire Department (Tacoma); Fire engines & equipment--Tacoma; Fire fighters--Tacoma--1890-1900; Parades & processions--Tacoma--1890-1900;


ca. 1915. Signage decorate the motorized fleet of the Tacoma Fire Department parked outside Station No. 6. Residents are warned not to issue false alarms and to turn off electrical equipment when not used. Another helpful hint provided by the Fire Department was to clean the moss off roofs before dry weather. Regarding the hazards of smoking: thousands of dollars of damage was caused by a lighted cigarette thrown in a pile of oily rags. The vehicles may have been prepped for use in a parade as several flags are mounted on both front and rear fenders.

Tacoma Fire Department (Tacoma); Fire stations--Tacoma--1910-1920; Fire engines & equipment--Tacoma; Signs (Notices);


ca. 1895. On Saturday June 20, 1891 the Tacoma Fire Department moved into its newly built Station No. 6 at 823 A St. The two-story brick building, which was built at a cost of $24,400, also became the Headquarters for the Fire Department. Captain J.L. Dietsch was the first officer in charge of Engine Co. No. 6 with Lt. W.E. Borland as his lieutenant. Chemical Engine Co. No. 1 moved in on June 20, 1891. Equipment owned included a second size Clapp & Jones piston steam fire engine and a W.T.Y. Schneck four wheeled hose wagon. Horses were used to pull these apparatus. This photograph shows how the station appeared in the late 1890's with its front on A St. It was torn down in 1974, and part of the land on which it stood is now part of Fireman Park. (100 Years of Firefighting in the City of Destiny Tacoma, Washington, p. 21; T. Times 6/18/1936, pg. 1-picture) Copy made approximately May, 1937. TPL-2525 (cropped version of TPL-397)

Tacoma Fire Department (Tacoma); Fire stations--Tacoma--1890-1900; Fire engines & equipment--Tacoma; Horses--Tacoma;


ca. 1943. In July of 1943, three members of the Red Cross Motor Corp., left to right Etta (Mrs. Allan H.) Moody, Mrs. George Osgood and Marjorie (Mrs. Richard) Boardman, dressed in Red Cross suits stand beside a wood-paneled station wagon. Fire Station No. 6 at 823 A St., fully covered with ivy, in background. Fire Station #6, built in 1890, was razed in 1974.

American Red Cross Pierce County Chapter (Tacoma); World War, 1939-1945--Women--Tacoma; Community service--Tacoma--1940-1950;


Police and Fire Department communication system. Times, Earl Floathe. Tacoma's new, up-to-date, police and fire department radio system linked enforcement and protection agencies into units. Fire chief Charles J. Eisenbacher watches firemen driver Harold Molander speak into the microphone on the new triple combination pumper truck of Engine Company No. 6 while Captain Robert Van Bevers uses a walkie talkie. (T.Times, 3/13/1949, p.20)

Eisenbacher, Charles J.; Molander, Harold; Van Bevers, Robert; Tacoma Fire Department (Tacoma); Communication devices; Fire engines & equipment--Tacoma--1940-1950;


On February 1, 1949, the most comprehensive Tuberculosis X-Ray Program in Tacoma's history got underway. Program organizers hoped to take chest x-rays of 100,000 Tacoma residents over the age of 15 during the following thirty days.The organizers posed with three of the 14 US Public Health Mobile X-Ray Units used during the campaign. During 1948, 38 deaths were attributed to tuberculosis in Tacoma. The group was posed beside the Engine House No. 6, 823 A St., which was demolished in 1974. Photograph ordered by the TB League, Jefferson House, Jean Hallen. (T.Times, 2/1/1949, p.5- names listed in caption)

Tuberculosis--Tacoma--1940-1950; Health--Tacoma--1940-1950; Tuberculosis League of Pierce County (Tacoma); Mobile health units--Tacoma; Radiography;


Firefighters W.C. Harbin (driver) and S.J. Pollard are aboard Engine Company # 6 engine in February of 1924. They staffed the headquarters for the Tacoma Fire Department, located at South 9th & A Streets in downtown Tacoma. Company # 6's pump motor had been built in city shops. In 1924 Tacoma had twelve fire stations and the Fire Department had a staff of 145 employees. (print has been torn) (Tacoma Sunday Ledger, 2-17-24, G-1)

Tacoma Fire Department (Tacoma); Fire stations--Tacoma--1920-1930; Fire engines & equipment--Tacoma; Fire fighters--Tacoma--1920-1930; Pollard, S.J.; Harbin, W.C.;