Firehouse Doors

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Mar 3, 2007
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There are some houses which, when built, had one large apparatus door. Examples are E-59/L-30, E-76/TL-22 (and I think E-209/L-102/BC-34 along with E-58/L-26).
These houses have, over the years, have been modified to have two apparatus doors.
Can anyone advise when these modifications were done and why.

I also note that E-1/L-24 quarters have gone back to the original one door design.

Thanks and regards to all
Jim (aka 1261truckie)
 
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LAD*102..ENG*209 RIP...& BN*34 RIP qtrs....had a small door for the BN & 1 large door for the E&T when the house was built in the '60s ...in a short period of time the big single door proved too heavy for all the constant opening & closing required so the big door was converted into 2.....i imagine this was the case w/ other houses......the one big door does make it easy going in & out.......one of the best innovations i have ever seen is the conversion of 259..128 & the 45 from 2 doors to 3 recently.....i know many years ago when my old BNs qtrs was rehabbed this was a request but they denied it claiming that the front was historical....this was BS. .....they just did not want to pay the extra $ at the time....snaking the Suburban into qtrs & into a small space off to the side  was bad enough....the excursion was tougher ....now the longer  monster truck is even harder....many many times a tour.
 
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When E 248's new (?) quarters opened in 1972, it was built big enough to accomodate a ladder company as well as B 41.  There is a separate door for the Battalion vehicle.  In actuality, the only time the Battalion has ever used that bay and door was when L 113 moved in while their house was being renovated.  At all other times, the Battalion is in the main bay along side the engine.
 
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76 & 22's door was very heavy and slow, the motor burned out under the burden of it.

So It was converted In to two separate ones.
 
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Way back when...4 truck was on the corner of 8th & 48th where the new house is today. Anyway, on the side of the building (W48th At.) there was a separate small door for the 9th Bn. rig.
 
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Engine 71's old house at 3134 Park Ave. had a side door on E. 159th St. side for the Division Chief and it was at the basement level. ;)
 
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I worked in both L26-2 and L22 and so am familiar with the single door concept.  A FD Bldgs. mechanic/engineer once told me that the door at 58 and 26 weighed 2000 pounds and was made of solid wood.  The springs could not support the weight.  They would fail several times each winter necessitating Rescue 3 to jack the door up and place canvas tarps to keep the wind out.  But if the temp. outside was 20 degrees, it was 20 degrees on the apparatus floor.  We would close the kitchen door and turn on the oven and range and be comfortable but the poor guy on housewatch
would rely on an electric space heater.  There had to be someone at the housewatch at all time as anyone could walk right in and help themselves to whatever they could carry.  The door rarely broke in summer because we left it open most days.  In winter it was up and down many times each tour.  FD Bldgs finally replaced the springs with heavy duty ones but I don't recall if there was any improvement.  I was transferred to L22 and they also had a single door but it was lighter, made of metal, and there was never a problem that I can remember.  Guess FD Bldgs got tired of working on the door every winter and  replaced them with the two doors. 



 
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A Retired FDNY Firefighter, a neighbor of mine who graduated the Proby Class of October, 1968 was assigned to that firehouse located at 1472 Bergen St in Brooklyn when it was the quarters of Engine Co 234.

He told me as a new proby, or the junior man of that firehouse, he was in charge of the heat.
It was his job to stoke the coal fired furnace.

He later got promoted to Lt and assigned to Engine Co 210, also then shared with the quarters with Rescue Co 2.
 
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The Tin House in Brooklyn when built in 71 had electric overhead door openers. I would guess probably the Bronx Tin House was similar to Brooklyn with electric openers, other than Housewatch door on the other side. A lot easier than pulling a chain to close doors. Although once door came down before engine was completely out. Truck never had that problem.
 
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