Fenton Fire Department Facts

Our fact sheet highlights the biggest fires in Fenton history and one of the most serious injuries a firefighter has suffered.

Fenton Fire Department and his wife, Vicki, compiled a book covering the history of the department for its 125th anniversary.

Here are some of the facts the couple uncovered:

  • Founded: March 9, 1875, when a total of 37 men volunteered for the Fenton Hook and Ladder Company led by President E.M. Hovey. It is the second-oldest fire department in the county behind Flint's. 
  • Jan. 1, 1876: American flag raised to the top of the new engine house for the first time.
  • May 1879: City purchases a Silsby steam fire engine for $3,200.
  • 1938: The original engine house was torn down to make room for the Fenton Community & Cultural Center. The new structure (now known as the old fire hall) was built at 201 S. LeRoy St.
  • Feb. 11, 1968: A fire at Pellet's Department Store, 111 S. LeRoy St., left just the shell of the building.
  • Oct. 22, 1975: The Fenton Fire Department was no longer responsible for Fenton Township as township officials planned to have their own department.
  • Big fires in Fenton history—Jan. 17, 1987: Giles Restaurant, 911 N. LeRoy St., burns nearly to the ground. May 1, 1996: Sandy's Stitchin Coop, 619 N. LeRoy St., burns down. July 17, 1997: A blaze burns through Fenton Radiator, 315 N. Walnut St. Other major blazes include Fenton Lumber Yard on Main Street east of LeRoy Street in 1953, which was ruled an arson, and Universal Tool, on South LeRoy Street, across from the fire hall, in 1956.
  • Bruce Dorland, who served with the Fenton Fire Department from 1952 to 1989, said the most serious injury he witnessed was when Mike Bogasky fell through a cement slab into a burning basement, suffering third-degree burns and a fractured hip.
  • The longest currently serving member of the Fire Department is Assistant Chief Charles Koan with 41 years of service.
  • The Fire Department has the capability to flow water through trucks at more than 5,000 gallons per minute.
  • To become a firefighter, you need more than 300 hours of basic fire training.


* All facts obtained from City of Fenton Fire Department 1875-2000: 125 Years of Dedication by Ed and Vicki Hadfield and the city of Fenton website.


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