ENGINE COMPANY NO. 4 CELEBRATES 140 YEARS OF SERVICE TO THE NATIONS CAPITOL
Sunday, February 21, 2010 
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On this date, 140 years ago, the South Washington Fire Company No. 4 was established and housed in the middle of the 400 block of Virginia Avenue, S.W. Within two years time, an all paid firefighting force known as the District of Columbia Fire Department would be formed. On the date of September 23rd, 1871 (The birth of the paid DCFD force), the South Washington Fire Company No. 4 was merged into the District of Columbia Fire Department as Engine Company No. 4. The same designation it carries today. The unit would continue to operate in Southwest Washington, D.C. until 1940 when it was relocated to 931 R Street, N.W. (Box 219). Engine Company No. 4 served out of their home in the Shaw neighborhood until 1976 when they were relocated once again to their current Engine House at 2531 Sherman Avenue, N.W. (Box 8473). Engine Company No. 4 is one of the most history rich companies within the District of Columbia Fire Department. In 1919, just after the completion of World War I, Engine Company No. 4 became the first all African-American staffed unit in the city. At one point during their time on R Street, N.W., the Wagon and Pumper were said to have gotten out the door of their Engine House so fast, that one young rookie at the watch desk was left behind when a run rang in. The watch desk in that house sat between the two bay doors, approx. three feet from the apparatus. The all African-American unit would remain in place until 1962. Over the past 140 years several members assigned to Engine Company No. 4 have been recognized for acts of heroism and bravery. A couple examples would be that of the several people saved from the great Knickerbocker Theater collapse and the rescue of two families from a neighboring R Street row house that was well involved in 1966. Unfortunately, since the inception of the company, three members have been killed in the line of duty. On October 14th, 1911, Captain Timothy J. Brown and Private Michael A. Downs were killed while operating on the roof of 618 Pennsylvania Avenue, N.W. (Box 16). On July 4th, 1944, Private Joseph A. Carter, Jr. succumb to his injuries sustained in the line of duty while operating at 2214 Georgia Avenue, N.W., when he fell from a roof at that location (Box 822). All of these men have been eternally remembered on Engine 4's current rig (S169), the sitting room wall/table and by a restored box and pedestal located at Georgia Avenue and W Street, N.W. (Joseph A. Carter, Jr. - Box 822). Throughout the years, the pride and tradition that was developed in decades past has been passed along from generation to generation. The current members assigned to the Sherman Avenue Engine House, now affectionately known as "The Hornets Nest" take pride in keeping with the traditions put into place by the firefighters before them. In current times the members still pride themselves in delivering the quickest and most efficient Engine Company service to the neighborhoods they serve in the Northwest/Northeast sections of the city. It is very apparent that the mentality displayed by those individuals currently assigned to Engine Company No. 4 will continue to progress and drive the unit well into the future. Developing new traditions along the way and never forgetting about the ones put in place by those that served prior. An official reunion of Engine Company No. 4 and Rescue Squad No. 2 will take place on June 5th, 2010. The location and details will be provided shortly. We hope to see all members past and present in attendance.

 
   
   
SECOND FIRE OF THE NIGHT FOR NUMBER 3 PLATOON, THIS ONE FIRST DUE: 503 COLUMBIA ROAD, NW
   
Sunday, February 21, 2010 
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Just after 0430 hours, Engine Company No. 4 was dispatched, first due on the box alarm. Reports began coming in for a house on fire at 503 Columbia Road, NW. Engine 4 arrived within minutes to find a two-story row house and smoke showing from the first floor. The crew stretched in to the address and upon further investigation reported fire in the basement. The fire was controlled within 15 minutes. Engine 4 operated for just over an hour before returning to the Sherman Avenue Engine House.

 
NUMBER 3 PLATOON WITH FIRE SHOWING FROM AN APARTMENT BUILDING: 5211 4TH STREET, NW
   
Saturday, February 20, 2010 
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At 1902 hours, the box alarm was struck out for an apartment on fire at 5211 4th Street, NW. Engine Company 4 was 4th due on the alarm. They arrived just after the first-in Engine Company and reported fire showing from the third floor in the rear. The crew stretched an attack line to the rear of the building, found no rear entrance and proceeded to the side "A" entrance. Engine 4's lineman assisted with extinguishment and then checked the exposure apartments. No extension was found and the crew stood fast. The fire was under control within 10 minutes and Engine 4 returned to service at 2005 hours.

 
ENGINE COMPANY 4 ON A METRO SUBWAY TRAIN DERAILMENT
Friday, February 12, 2010 
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Just before the lunch hour, a Metro Station Box Alarm was struck out for a train derailment with injuries at the Farragut North Station (17th Street and K Street, NW). Engine 4 was due on the initial alarm and responded to the intersection of 17th and K Streets. The crew was assigned to the platform of the reporting station. It was found that a metro train had derailed in a crossover area prior to the station. Upon transporting the passengers to the station area, three were found to be injured. The derailed train was carrying approx. 300 people when the accident occurred. Engine Company 4 returned to service at 1230 hours.

 
   
   
FIRE SHOWING FROM A SEMI-DETACHED HOME: 724 ROXBORO PLACE, NW
   
Saturday, January 30, 2010 
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At 0643 hours, the box alarm was transmitted for "the house" at 724 Roxboro Place, NW. Engine Company 22 arrived within minutes to find fire showing from the first floor and extension to the second. Engine Company 4, fifth due, laid a supply line into the front, stretched a line and was given RIT duties. Companies battled fire throughout the dwelling and brought it under control within 35 minutes with an interior attack. Later into the incident, Chief 4 assigned the crew was assigned to check all floors for extension. Engine Company 4 returned to service at 1152 hours.


 
ENGINE COMPANY NO. 4 SECOND DUE ON THE COMMERCIAL BUILDING WITH FIRE IN THE DUCT WORK: 1220 19TH STREET, NW
Friday, January 22, 2010 
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At 1240 hours, a box alarm was stuck for the building on fire at 1220 19th Street, NW. Engine Company No. 4 was second due on the alarm. The crew laid into the rear alley and pulled both 100-foot standpipe racks to investigate. Once inside, it was found that fire was traveling the duct work of a restaurant. The crew stretched in from a connection and began to extinguish all visible fire. Additional crews checked the exposure area for extension and found none. Engine Company No. 4 operated for approx. one hour.


 
SMOKE SHOWING FROM A ROW HOUSE: 518 JEFFERSON STREET, NW
Tuesday, January 19, 2010 
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As number three platoon was coming in for the shift, a box alarm was struck for "the house" at 518 Jefferson Street, NW. Additional reports were also stating that one person was possibly trapped inside the address. The alarm consisted of Engine Companies 24, 22, 14, 11 and 4, Truck Companies 11, 6 and Rescue Squad 2. Rescue Squad 2 arrived quickly to find a two-story, middle of the group, row house and smoke showing. As other companies were responding in, Engine Company 4 laid a supply line from the intersection of 5th and Jefferson Streets and positioned on side"A". The crew was assigned RIT duties and various other tasks. Fire was found in the rear porch area and extinguished quickly. Engine Company 4 returned to service at approx. 0630 hours.


 
SMOKE SHOWING FROM AN APARTMENT HOUSE: 427 KENNEDY STREET, NW
Monday, January 18, 2010 
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At 0820 hours, 9-1-1 calls began to come in, reporting an apartment fire at 427 Kennedy Street, NW. The box alarm consisted of Engines 22, 24, 14, 11 and 4, Trucks 11, 6 and Rescue Squad 2. First arriving companies reported a two-story apartment house with smoke showing from the first floor. Engine Company 4 arrived, laid a supply line to side "A" and was assigned RIT duties. The crew fulfilled this and performed various tasks. Fire was found in a first floor unit and extinguished with minimal extension. Engine Company 4 returned to service at 0907 hours.


 
NUMBER FOUR PLATOON WITH A SMALL BASEMENT FIRE: 1410 11TH STREET, NW
Saturday, January 16, 2010 
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At 2255 hours, the box alarm was struck for "the house" at 1410 11th Street, NW. Engine Company 4 responded as the fourth due Engine on the alarm. Engine Company 6 arrived within minutes and reported smoke showing. Engine Company 4 arrived, secured the second due Engines water supply and stretched a line to the fire area. A small fire was quickly extinguished and Engine Company 4 checked the exposure areas. Units operated for approx. 30 before picking up.


 
ENGINE 4, FIRST DUE ON THE VACANT ROWHOUSE: 1018 W STREET, N.W.
Thursday, January 7, 2010 
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At 2357 hours, as number 3 platoon was wrapping-up their night, headquarters transmitted the box alarm for the vacant house at 1020 W Street, N.W. The alarm consisted of Engine Companies 4, 9, 74, 6 and 66, Truck Companies 4 and 9, Rescue Squad 1, Chief 4 and the Special Ops. BFC. Engine 4 arrived within minutes, laid out from 10th and W Streets and found a two-story vacant row at 1018 (W) with fire on the first floor. The crew stretched the 200-foot crosslay, forced entry and extinguished all fire. Truck Company 4 ventilated and opened-up the involved area. Engine Company 9 and Truck Company 9 checked the basement and rear of the home. Rescue Squad 1 performed a quick search that proved negative. Command quickly scaled the assignment back to Engine 4 and both Truck Companies. Engine 4 returned to service within one-hour.

 
   
   
FOURTH DUE ON A MOUNT PLEASANT HOME: 1614 KILBORNE PLACE, N.W.
   
Tuesday, January 5, 2010 
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After the lunch hour, number one platoon was alerted on the box alarm for a house at 1614 Kilborne Place in Northwest. Due to the amount of extra personnel in the city for the day, Engine Company 4 was fourth due as Engine No. 74 (extra engine) took the box in from 9 Engine and was assigned second due. Engine 4 arrived as other units were responding in and secured a hydrant for the second due Engine Company and stretched an attack line to rear. As this was being done, Engine Company 11 reported smoke showing from the second floor and a room off. Engine 4 radioed a side "C" and basement report to the Chief and reported to the exposure area to check for extension. Engine Company No. 4 operated for approx. 30 minutes before returning to service.

 
WORKING FIRE DISPATCH: 823 SOMERSET PLACE, N.W.
Friday, January 1, 2010 
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As number one platoon began their first shift of 2010, a box alarm was transmitted for the house fire at 823 Somerset Place, N.W. First due Engine 22 reported fire showing from the second floor of the address. Chief 4 immediately requested the working fire dispatch, bringing Engine Company 4 to the scene. Upon arrival, Engine Company 4 laid a supply line to side "A" of the building and performed misc. duties. Engine Company 4 returned to service within 30 minutes.

 
SECOND FIRE IN 12-HOURS, FOURTH DUE TO 212 RANDOLPH PLACE, N.E.
   
Tuesday, December 29, 2009 
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Just after 2200 hours, the box alarm was sounded for "the house" at 212 Randolph Place, N.E. This alarm brought Engine Company No. 4 as the fourth due Engine Company. First arriving Engine 12 reported a two-story row with smoke showing in the front. Engine 10, second due, reported fire on the first floor and dropping into the basement in the rear. Engine 4 picked up 10 Engines supply line and stretched the 350-foot line with a "rack" (additional 100' of hose). The crew backed-up Engine 10 and assisted with pulling the ceiling area in the basement. Units had the fire under control within 15 minutes and Engine 4 returned to service within 40 minutes. This was the second fire of the day for number two platoon. Photo courtesy www.dcfd.com and Vito Maggiolo.

 
4 ENGINE, FIFTH DUE ON THE BASEMENT FIRE: 56 LONGFELLOW STREET, N.W.
   
Tuesday, December 29, 2009 
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Just before lunch time at "The Hornets Nest", a box alarm was transmitted across the vocal alarm, reporting a house on fire at #56 Longfellow Street, N.W. This alarm brought Engine Company No. 4 as the fifth due Engine Company. Engine Company 22 arrived in the front to find smoke showing as Engine Company 24 reported fire showing from the basement in the rear. Engine Company No. 4 laid a supply line in from North Capitol and Kennedy Streets and assumed the rapid intervention duties on side "A". The crew performed misc. tasks. Engine 4 was returned within an hour. Photo courtesy www.dcfd.com.

 
KITCHEN OFF ON THE SEVENTH FLOOR: 1815 17TH STREET, N.W.
Monday, December 28, 2009 
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At 0626 hours, Engine Company No. 4 responded fourth due on the box alarm at 1815 17th Street, N.W. for the apartment on fire. Engine Company No. 4 arrived quickly and advanced both 100-foot standpipe racks to the reporting seventh floor. Engine Company 9 (first due) forced entry into an apartment and had black smoke issue from the threshold. Companies began to mask-up and pushed in with attack lines, finding a kitchen off. The fire was quickly contained and units ventilated. Engine Company No. 4 returned to service within 35 minutes.

 
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