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Fire Department History

The Town of Plymouth Fire Department was first incorporated on July 1, 1831.  Prior to that, privately organized firefighting units existed throughout the town.  Among those companies was The Pemigewasset Hose Company No. 1.  During the 1800’s this company was located on Main St. where the Pemi Youth Center is currently located.  In 1916 a fire at the hospital on Highland St. promoted the town to acquire a house and barn on Highland St. at the site of the current station.  Plymouth Hose Co.1 and Hook and Ladder Co. 1 both operated out of that location.  In 1969, the existing structure was replaced with the current 4-bay brick station.  As time has passed, the size of the modern-day fire trucks has increased along with the demands of the department.  A major improvement came in 2014 when the town purchased the adjacent property at 46 Highland St.  The two buildings were attached and renovations were made allowing for better storage and access of equipment and gear, increased space for training and office space, as well as, improved living quarters for the firefighters. 

The Town of Plymouth and The Plymouth Fire Department through the years have seen numerous devastating fires and dramatic rescues that have challenged and shaped the town and department itself.  The Pemigewasset House, a popular stop in Plymouth for tourists, first burned and was destroyed by fire in 1862 and a second time in 1909.  A third fire in 1934 was stopped by the fire department and allowed the Pemigewasset Hotel to stay in business until 1958.  On December 2, 1930, the Tuft’s Building on the corner of Main St. and Highland Ave., one of the biggest buildings in the town at the time, and the Fox Block burned to the ground.  At the time the damage was estimated at $300,000.   It was feared that the entire town would be lost during the blaze.  Firefighters from Plymouth and surrounding towns were praised for their efforts to contain the conflagration.  Another major fire struck early morning on January 5, 1943.  The Kidder Block and the Methodist Church were both destroyed by the fire causing $500,000 in damages at the time.  A well-documented rescue by the Plymouth Fire Department occurred in March of 1936.  The Boston-Montreal Express ‘Alouette’ became stranded by the floodwaters of the Pemigewasset River just south of downtown.  Twenty-two passengers were eventually rescued and evacuated from the train by members of the Plymouth Fire Department in boats.  The heroic tale was published in the April 1936 edition of Fire Fighting magazine.