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Our History

On November 18, 1877 a very destructive fire consumed the Broadalbin Baptist Church, its horse sheds, four barns, three houses, one cow and other miscellaneous items. At that time Broadalbin was without any organized means of combating the flames!

The severity of this conflagration stirred the local citizens into joining together to investigate the need, and process, of forming a fire company.

On June 8, 1878 the citizens of Broadalbin and Vail Mills met in the upper room of W. H. Halliday’s harness shop for the purpose of organizing a fire company. One month later they took delivery of a “Little Giant” fire engine. It used a “chemical fluid” and it cost $500.00.

The equipment was stored in rented barns until October 1886 when a new frame structure firehouse was built on School Street, to provide the first firehouse for Broadalbin. The cost was $419.04. Our company was incorporated following a meeting on October 2, 1886.

Broadalbin was the third community in Fulton County to have a fire company, having been preceded by the villages of Gloversville and Johnstown (now cities).

Our first motorized fire fighting unit was a 1924 Reo Speedwagon truck, outfitted by the Foamite–Childs Corporation of Utica, NY as a fire truck.

A big step forward in the combating of village fires came when a municipal water system was installed in 1928.

When you see the equipment available to the firefighters of today and compare it to the very limited tools and machines of the early twentieth century it is easy to understand why there were so many large and serious fires in earlier days.

Written by: Gordon Cornell ( Former BKFC Historian)


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