36 Circle Avenue
Chronological Listing of Events and Apparatus at Circle Avenue
January 10, 1913: The 36 Circle Avenue firehouse at the intersection of North 3rd and Clinton Streets was opened. It was built on the side of a cliff and has five stories, with level 3 being the floor on which the apparatus exited the firehouse. This bizarre occurrence was featured in Ripley's "Believe it or Not" book.
On the side of the firehouse were a series of steep stone steps to connect upper and lower Clinton street
March 11, 1911: Mayor McBride reveals location of new firehouse revealed and states it will have an auto-engine capable of climbing the hills.
May 11, 1911: Water Street Firehouse to be moved
February 27, 1912: Plans for the unusual architecture of Circle Avenue Firehouse approved
April 5, 1912: At request of Mayor McBride the American LaFrance Fire Engine Company brought an apparatus for Paterson fire Department (stops at City Hall and the new central headquarters) to examine - potentially for use at the new Engine 12. Note - the contract did not go to ALF
September 6, 1912: New apparatus called "Jumbo" being delivered
September 18, 1912: New apparatus tested
December 12, 1912: Circle Avenue Firehouse ready to open and Engine 12, which had been temporarily located on Water Street will move in. Excellent description of the 5 story firehouse, in which 3 floors are located beneath the apparatus floor. The photo that accompanied this article is posted near top of this page
January 10, 1913: Opening of new firehouse
January 12, 1913: Engine Company 12 relocates from the Water Street Firehouse to 36 Circle Avenue. Official opening was at 8:15 PM
January 10, 1913; First Size Robinson Combination Motor Hose and Pumping Engine ("Jumbo") pictured below was acquired in September 1912 when Engine 12 was operating out of the Water Street Firehouse. Fore more details regarding this apparatus CLICK HERE and scroll down to September 1912
Robinson Pumper in bay at firehouse
June 1, 1913: The Chronicle Series on PFD Companies - Engine No. 12
Left to right: Lieutenant Thomas Halliwell, Peter Sanford, and Captain John McGuirk. Second row: William McKelevry, Peter Ihrman, William Shane, and Aaron Kamerling. In rear is the Robinson apparatus.
June 15, 1913: Engine 12 responded to the West Paterson (then Totowa) High Bridge fire over the Passaic river and broke a shaft drafting water and had to go out of service for 2 weeks. See Notable Fires: 1913
1918 Ball Book Roster
Captain John McGurk
Lieutenant Peter J. Breen
Carl Rose (in Armed Forces)
July 1, 1916: Two Platoon System begins: (Day and Night Shifts)
Captain John McGuirk
Lieutenant Peter Breen
1923: First Size American LaFrance Triple Combination Hose Chemical and Pumping Engine (Serial # 4415) with booster pump pictured below at a 1928 parade on Broadway (note solid rubber tires). Driver is William "Big Bill" McKelvey.
1923 ALF on apron at Circle Avenue, now with pneumatic tires.
1930 Company Roster
Captain Joseph Mariani
Captain Peter Breen
1935: Men of Engine Company 12 A Shift: Engine 12 crew: (L to R) Captain Joseph Mariani, George Probert, Ray Thompson, William McKelvey, Herb Dodds and Watson Lauder
1935: Men of Engine Company 12 B Shift: Captain Peter J. Breen, James W. Sturrock, H Donaldson, Nicholas Attema, George A. Walls, Peter Ihrman
Front view, apparatus was housed on the 3rd floor, as the firehouse was built into the cliff
1940 Paterson Evening News Golden Jubilee - Engine Company 12 Roster
Circa mid 1940s: Left to right: Firemen Bill McKelvey, Ernie Wildermuth, Edward Westhoven and Howard Probert.
1946: Ernie Wildermuth (appointed 1927) next to fence at 36 Circle Avenue (retired 1953)
October 4, 1948: Engine Company 12 receives a new 1000 GPM Mack Model 95 pumper
Engine Company 5 is in background and grill of Engine Company 12 is at right. L-R are Meyer Jaffe (clerk Board Police & Fire Commissioners), Harry B Haines (publisher Paterson Evening News), Jack Stern (Fire Commissioner), Mayor Michael Devita, ?, Chief James Troy and ? The drive in E5 is William Comer (a future Chief)
1949 Ball book photo of Engine Company 12 "A Shift" Captain Nicholas Attema, William McKelvey, Robert Marion, Paul Horomanski and Ernest Wildermuth
1949 Ball book photo of Engine Company 12 "B Shift" Captain Thomas Scholfield, Edward Peters, Henry Borgman and Albert Horomanski. Mack pumper is behind the doors
1950: Crew of E12 B-shift in front of Mack pumper at 36 Circle Ave quarters: Top L-R is Robert Marion, Captain Thomas Schofield, Patsy Fusaro and Henry Borgman. In front L-R are Ernie Wildermuth, Al Horomanski and Ed Peters.
December 26, 1951: Arrival of new FWD pumper - at 115 Van Houten Street headquarters. Shown in bay with FF William Comer in driver seat and Chief Strathearn and BC Joe Bray
January 1952: 1951 FWD Waukesha, Model 145 GKB, 6 Cylinder, 1000 GPM pumper: shown blow at 115 Van Houten Street when brand new. Company number not yet affixed in photo below. Fore more information visit the FWD page
March 9, 1952: Engine 12 at intersection of Union and Redwood Avenues (3rd Alarm)
August 1953: FF Henry Borgman sliding pole and driving, Captain Thomas Schofield climbing into cab and FF on rear step (Staged photos)
September 18, 1953: ENGINE COMPANY 12 - From the Morning Call Series of PFD Companies.
L-R: Captain Nicholas Attema, Captain Thomas Scholfield, FF Pelligrino Vitale, Edwards Peters, Albert Horomanski, William Gallagher, Robert Marion and William "Big Bill" McKelvey (in his 42nd year of service). FWD pumper (parked on FH apron) in rear. Photo also in 1954 Ball Book.
June 14, 1954: Engine Company 12 and Truck Company 2 were both damaged in a collision at Main Street and Broadway at 12:54 AM. Photo below shows the accident (as they were returning to quarters from a car fire at Cross and Passaic Streets). Fireman William Gallagher was sent to St. Joseph's Hospital and Captain Joseph Nardella treated at scene. In the columns below there is a typo (misprint) - Deputy Chief Day is actually Chief Joseph Bray
Here is the official, very detailed report from Chief Hobart Strathearn
June 22, 1958: Captain Nicholas Attema of Engine Company 12, appointed June 1, 1928 died while on duty in firehouse
January 1959: a second alarm at 2:40 PM for a dwelling fire at 144 East Main Street
December 16, 1959: 9 year old lawsuit against Robert Marion of PFD Engine 12 dismissed by court
1967: Men of Engine 12 in quarters with FWD pumper: Front row L-R: Michael Fleming, Joseph Ozene, Leonard Bremus, Captain George Kilgour, and Captain Donald Salmanowitz. On apparatus L-R: Edward R. Kane, William Rasp, John A, Cichon, Anthony Lott.
1967: Men of Engine 12 in quarters with FWD pumper: Front L-R: Kenneth Doland, Captain Henry Borgmann, Captain Anthony Corbo, Albert Roth; at top Harold T. Morcom, William C. Filipelli, Harold Nicholas, Theodore C. Galus.
1968: Plywood riot roofs installed: cropped and full views below
Out of service photos
After being junked
May 2, 1970: Apparatus stoned while responding to Bergen Street fire
June 22, 1971: 1971 Hahn 1250 GPM pumper (Serial HC523127121)
Charlie Gorla, Bob Woodruff, Craig Christen at Circle Avenue
November 5, 1979: 1979 American LaFrance Model 1250 Century pumper painted yellow (Serial CE6621). Detroit in-line 6, Allison Transmission HT-740D
September 3, 1982: Engine Company 12 put out of service and renumbered as Engine Company 9
Drilling along Passaic River (River & Bridge Streets)
December 4, 1984: Because of structural issues the large pumper had to vacate 36 Circle Avenue and Engine Company 9 relocated to 77 Highland Street and the Satellite Company was created.
December 4, 1984: Satellite 9 ran out of 36 Circle Avenue using 1976 Ford Crewcab (formerly used by Squad 1) with two 1200 gallon deluge guns and hose. Two men manned the Satellite while the Captain and two firefighters were assigned to the actual pumper on Highland St. Circle ave was not the best of areas...It could somewhat unnerving with only 2 firefighters in that house in a high crime area.
While the actual Engine engine was located on Highland St, quite a distance away, if the squad pulled up first due, they stretched the line and waited for the first arriving Engine to pull up and hooked into them....Other than that they connected with the "Mothership" at a fire scene.
January 13, 1985 at 39 Lafayette Street fire
August 15, 1988: Circle Ave Firehouse to become Women's Shelter