The History of Engine 2

The Alert Company

On December 31st, 1814 the city began reorganizing the fire companies after the burning of Washington. An appropriation was made in 1815 to replace the Treasury engines; it is presumed that they were destroyed by the British. In 1817, one of the engines was located in a frame house on 13th Street north of Pennsylvania Ave. and was known as the “Star” It was in a few months removed to the corner of 14th & Pennsylvania Ave. N.W. . The other engine was located on 13 ½ Street South of the Avenue. The Alert Company was officially re-organized as of 1821.

 On January 30th, 1827 the Alert Company met and as of February 9th the name was changed to Franklin Fire Company after the adoption of a constitution. 

On May 2, 1828 Congress made an appropriation of $3,000 to erect an engine house and purchase an engine for the Franklin Fire Company. In 1829 the Franklin Fire Company was in its new two-story and basement brick house that was on the northeast corner of 14thand E Streets N.W. in the reservation facing the municipal building.  In 1857, the Franklin Fire Company moved to 1204 D Street N.W. 

Engine 2

On April 25th, 1864, legislation was passed to create a part-time fire department. As of July 1, 1864 the Franklin Fire Company became a part of the paid department. In January 1865 the Volunteers disbanded and Franklin Fire Company became known as Engine Company 2.

Engine Company 2 was equipped with an Amoskeag 600 GPM steam fire engine, a hose reel carriage, and three horses. Two horses were used for the steam fire engine, the other for the hose reel carriage.
On January 5th, 1887 Engine Company 2 moved from 1204 D St N.W. to 15th and D Streets N.W. The quarters at 1204 D St N.W was demolished during the Great Depression. On November 9th, 1910 Engine Company 2 moved again to its new house at 719 12th Street N.W., due to federal development. The firehouse was demolished because of Metro tunneling in 1979. On May 5th, 1979 Engine Company 2 and Truck Company 1 moved to 500 F Street N.W.
As of 1905 Engine Company 2 was listed in the First Battalion, which also consisted of Engines 1,5,9,11; Trucks B, C, E (2, 3, 5) and Chemical No 3. On December 9, 1925, the Central Battalion was organized and placed in service at Engine Company 2 and was equipped with a 1925 Jordan Roadster. July 1, 1931 the Central Battalion was disbanded and formed the Sixth Battalion remaining at Engine Company 2, and was equipped with a 1926 Peerless Roadster. In 1958 Engine Company 2 was listed in the Sixth Battalion, which also consisted of Engines 6,13, 16; Trucks 3,10; Rescue Squad 1 Fireboat; and the Foam Wagon. Finally in 1995 Engine Company 2 was listed in the Sixth Battalion with Engines 1,13,16,23; Trucks 2,3,10; Rescue Squad 1; Fireboat 1 and 2; Foam Unit and Twin Agent Unit; Deputy Fire Chief; and the Command Unit.