Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Red Hook Firehouse - Friends of Firefighters Building

Facade of Red Hook Firehouse
Red Hook Firehouse
The Italianate style firehouse on Van Brunt Street at Seabring Street was built in 1872 as a new home for Engine Company 2 and Ladder Company 1 of the Brooklyn Fire Department (B.F.D.). The original quarters that housed the engine and ladder companies were located at Van Brunt Street and Carroll Street.[1]

The first all paid fire companies in Red Hook, Engine Company 2 and Ladder Company 1 were commissioned by the BFD on September 15, 1869. Well known for their firefighting skills, Engine Company 2 originally consisted of 14 men who had served in the volunteer fire department. The fire companies were reorganized twice. The first reorganization came in 1899 when the BFD merged with the FDNY and Engine Company 2 was renumbered to 102. The second reorganization came in 1913 when the companies were renumbered to Engine Company 202 and Ladder Company 101. At the time of reorganization the Brooklyn Fire Department had 13 engine companies and 6 ladder companies.[1]

Two point perspective looking at front and side of Red Hook Firehouse
Red Hook Firehouse
Former hose storage structure on top of Red Hook Firehouse
Red Hook Firehouse - Hose Storage
The miniature house on the roof of the structure was originally used for hose storage.[2]

According to Atlas Obscura, some of the notable calls for the engine and ladder companies at the firehouse included:
  • An exploding schooner carrying munitions and salt.
  • A collapsing tenement building.
  • Cotton bale fires on the New York Dock Company Piers.
  • The Barber Steamship Company Pier Fire of 1934 that destroyed Red Hook’s Pier 38.
  • A warehouse fire that spread to the 7th Avenue subway lines.
Friends of Firefighters sign over roll door
Red Hook Firehouse - Friends of Firefighters Sign
No longer an active firehouse, the building serves as the headquarters for non-profit Friends of Firefighters. Formed in the wake of the September 11th terrorist attacks, the organization provides “independent, confidential and free or low-cost counseling and wellness services to active and retired FDNY firefighters and their family members”.[3]


  1. "Engine Company 202 Brooklyn" www.nyfd.com
  2. Frishberg, Hannah "Van Brunt Street Firehouse CH & L Engine Co. 101, Engine 202" Atlas Obscura
  3. Friends of Firefighters.org

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