Los Angeles Fire Department
Historical Archive

Engine Company No. 3

The Companies

The Fire Houses

  Engine Co. No. 3

  Truck Co. A  ( Ladder 1 redesignated T-A)
                        (T-A transferred to E4) 

        *H E A D Q U A R T E R S  L A F D*

  Truck Co. B (transferred in from E8)
  Truck Co. 2 (T-B redesignated as T-2)
                        (T-2 transferred to E4)

         *H E A D Q U A R T E R S  L A F D*
  Truck Co. 2 (T-2 transferred from E4)

  Truck Co, 3 (T-2 redesignated as T-3)
  Salvage 3 (x Salvage 1)
  Salvage 3 disbanded

  Salvage 3 reorganized
  Salvage 3 disbanded (to reorg. Squad 4)


  Heavy Duty Task Force 3 (T3, E3, E203)
  (HEADQUARTERS moved to City Hall East)
  Task Force 3 (E203 closed)
 TASK FORCE 3, RA 3, RA 803, DIV 1 HQ










6 S. Main St
114 West Third St.   (x Eng 7 Qtrs.)
410-412 N. Main St. (x Eng 2 Qtrs.)

346-348 S. Hill St.    (x Eng 8 Qtrs.)

217 S. Hill St.

217 S. Hill St. (New Bld.)

(Annex - office building & garage)

108 N. Fremont Ave.







Engine Company No. 3
114 West Third Street
1887 to 1893

Source: LAFD Photo Album Collection

Engine Company No.3
114 West Third Street

Circa 1890

Source: Bruce Norman Collection

Engine Company No. 3

Jim Simmons -Foreman
Morris Moriarty -Driver
Billy Banning -Hoseman
Walter Lips -Hoseman
Dutch "Fritz: -Hoseman
Michael Lynch -Engineer
Ed Kinney -Driver

Hook and Ladder Company No. 1

Walter Price -Tillerman

Frank LaBarre "Foreman"
(standing on Truck)

John Garvey -Driver
(standing l-r)
Tony O'Donnell
Teto Johnson
Geo. H. O'Donnell
Frank Levia
John Mitchell
Andy Springer

Source: Bruce Norman Collection

Engine Company No. 3
346-348 South Hill Street

Source: LAFD Illustrated 1900
Engine Company No. 3
346-348 South Hill Street


(Note: Building used as Engine 8 from 1896 to 1900)

Source: LAFD Illustrated 1900
Engine Company 3
November 1900

Source: LAFD Illustrated 1900
Truck Company B
November 1900

Source: LAFD Illustrated 1900

Chiefs Strohm with driver
and Chief Fuselehr 
in their Buggies



Engine Company No. 3
217 South Hill Street
1901 to 1924


  Date Opened December 16, 1901
  Land Cost $ 15,000.
  Building Cost
$ 30,000.

R O W D Y    K R U G E R    B I LL

Engine 3 running out of the Third Street Tunnel.  The Driver is Miller
and the horses are named Rowdy, Kruger and Bill.

Source: Rodger Embury Collection

Circa 1908

Source: LAFD Photo Album Collection
Fred Allen Collection


May 1, 1916


"S E A R C H L I G H T"

Source: LAFD Photo Album Collection

Chief Lips and Searchlight
Circa 1905

The Los Angeles Record, November 1, 1905


Source: Photo by Turk & Haelsig
Engine Company 3    Truck Company 2

Source: LAFD Photo Album Collection
Courtesy Herman Walker

Bunking Out

E. E. Rhoads standing by pillar.


Source: LAFD Photo Album Collection

Circa 1910

Smith, Day, --?, ---?, Leach, Vaught, Coy, Cocheane, Guy McKenzie, Carroll, Capt. ?

Caro, Fernandez, Willies, Capt. Lennon, Bill Tebbetts, Martin O'Malley, Moreno

Source: LAFD Photo Album Collection
Courtesy Herman Walker, Eng Co. 95

Backyard Engine Co. 3


Source: LAFD Photo Album Collection
Courtesy Mrs. Hendricks


Circa 1910

Front Row:
Bill Tebbetts, John Roeder, Watson, Guy McKenzie, Martin O'Malley, Capt. Sammy Lennon, Heiny Hendricks, --?, --?, Geo. Lobel

Back Row:
Bill Phillips, --?, --?, Charley Polman, Slats Foster, Tim Walker

Source: LAFD Photo Album Collection
Courtesy Herman Walker. Eng Co. 95

"The Old Timers"



Source: Rodger Embury Collection

Aerial Operations
Circa 1911

Fire Nags Are Gentlemen and Heroes
The Los Angeles Record Editorial Page
Circa 1911

New Seagrave Truck

    At the headquarters house on Hill street near Second, will be placed in service the new Seagrave truck which is considered the best of its kind.  It is build by the Seagrave Company of Columbus, Ohio, and was delivered a few days ago.  The aerial ladder has no equal in the world in simplicity, or speed in operating.  The 85-foot ladder is a mere toy in the hands of the operator, the instant the horses are stopped at the burning building the operator is at his post on the platform raising the ladder by simply turning the crank with one hand, and while elevating, an assistant is running out the extension, and the whole ladder is being turned on its turn-table and tipped against the building at its extreme height of 85 feet.  The whole operation consuming twenty seconds.  

    The mechanism by which this ease and speed is accomplished is very simple.  The ladder is raised and lowered by means of a screw and bevel gear wheels turned with cranks.  Two cylinders attached to the turntable, each containing finely-tempered, spiral springs represent the lifting power of several men.  A piston rod with a head rests against each set of springs in the cylinder, and as the ladder is raised the springs expand, helping to raise the ladder.  The ladder's own weight in lowering contracts the springs. The ladder is in two sections;  an automatic lock on the upper section catches any rung of the lower section as the extension is being raised and holds it at the desired height.

    The whole ladder can be tilted to any desired degree.  Besides the aerial ladder there is carried on the truck a complete assortment of portable ladders and a full equipment of fire-fighting tools. The wheels of the truck are roller bearing, reducing the friction to a minimum;  they also have four-inch solid rubber tires.  The color of paint on the wheels and gear is a rich wine, on the frame white, and the ladders finished in natural wood.

Los Angeles Times,  January 1, 1906 

Source: Rodger Embury Collection
Truck Company 2
Driver Big Tim Walker
Charley Gross- left seat
Tillerman unknown
Circa 1911

Source: Captain Duane Warth Collection
Truck Company 2
Circa 1906

Source: Captain Duane Warth Collection
Truck Company 2
Circa 1906

Notes on back of photo:

Fifth St in 1906.
Normal School - Opened Aug 1882, removed in Nov-Dec 1922.

Philharmonic Auditorium built in 1906
Cal Club built in 1905 removed in 1930
Park Hotel removed in ?, now site of Pershing Square Bld. (1924?)
Next bldg being torn down to make way for the F R Stron Bld (Hotel Paxton 323 W. 5th)

Left side. A L Bath Bld 1898

1572 West Pico Street
Phone EX 3132



One is Caught Beneath Wheels
of Truck and Other is Struck
by Iron Pillar


    Truckman W. H. Randall of Engine Company No. 3 sustained painful injuries as the truck was being backed into the engine house at 215 South Hill street after the Fifth street and Los Angeles street fire last evening.  Randall's foot was caught beneath one of the truck's rear wheels and badly crushed.  Several small bones were broken.  The fireman was taken to the receiving hospital.
    An hour later, when making the run out from No. 3 engine house Truckman Joseph Schlanker was struck on the foot by an iron pillar, sustaining bad bruises.  At the receiving hospital Doctors Friedman, Garcelon and Quint attended the two injured firemen.

Calls Fireman for Water.

    When a fire plug in front of Isidor Roth's cigar stand on Main street broke yesterday and flooded his place with water he turned in a fire alarm to get the firemen to turn it off.  The firemen shut off the water quick enough, but when Roth thought his troubles were over they were just beginning.  The Fire Chief had him arrested for tuning in a false alarm.  Roth will be tired by jury April 6.

Los Angeles Times, March 6, 1906

               DO NOT RESPOND

    When one of the young women employed by the Bennet toilet parlors at Fifth and Spring sts., Thursday, took a candle into the basement to pick out a comb from a box of celluloid goods, the paper wrappings caught fire and the celluloid blazed up with a series of miniature explosions.  The young woman screamed and all the other girls in the establishment screamed in sympathy and some of them rushed to rescue their hats.
    There was one heroine, Miss Lottie Loosemore, who ran to a telephone and notified the fire department. An engine was sent, but instead of going to the scene of the fire, it stopped at Second and Spring sts., from which place the firemen telephoned to find the fire and found it was extinguished.
    The screams of the girls had been heard by Leavitt & Bill, the "bicycle boys," as the girls of the next door establishment call then, and they rushed to the rescue, carried out the flaming box of celluloid combs and were hailed by 20 semi-hysterical young women as "heroe's."

Los Angeles Times, March 3, 1906

Los Angeles Record, March 2, 1906


Source: LAFD Photo Album Collection

Courtesy Frank Manwarren


Circa 1910

Engine 3
The man at the reins is 
Joaquin Louis Constantine.
Frank Nelson is standing with the shovel.

Source: LAFD Photo Album Collection

Circa 1910

Hose Wagon 3

The Los Angeles Herald, January 7, 1906

The Los Angeles Herald, May 15, 1906

Former Fire Horse Ran When Fire Bell Rang
The Citizen, Tucson, Arizona, February 15, 1906

Courtesy Herman Walker

Driver Huston

Source: Roger Embury Collection
Photo 049

Circa 1910
Engine 3 drilling at 1st & Hill Street

Source: LAFD Photo Album Collection
Source: Porter's Collection

Circa 1910
Engine 3 drilling at 1st & Hill Street

Source: Roger Embury Collection
Photo 051

Circa 1910

Engine 3
On a hydrant, w
orking at a fire.

Bill Tebbetts at Pump.
(Note Water Tower No. 1
in the back ground.)


Engine 3 drilling at 4th & Flower

Supt. Price
Stocker Nelson
Rothermel and Winkler
(brake-in relief engineers)
Engineer Gola


Returning From an Alarm
J. L. (Joaquin Louis) Constantine


Source: Porter's Collection

Engine 3 in quarters.


Kid Williams and Burns Released, at
Police Station.

    Perch (Kid) Williams, an ex-pugilist, who is new a fireman stationed at engine house No. 3, was taken to the police station last night for starting a fight on Spring street near Fourth.

    Williams saw his wife, whom he married recently, with a man named Burns, and several blows were exchanged before a policeman separated the men.  Mrs. Williams disappeared in the crowd during the fight.

    Burns explained at the police station that he did not know that the woman was Williams' wife and both were releases.

Fire Chief Darling Stops Rushing
Horse With His Buggy, Possibly
Saving Lives.

    Fire Chief Lips figured conspicuously in an exciting and dangerous runaway yesterday forenoon.  His presence of mind probably prevented a serious accident and enabled the crossing policeman to stop two frighten horses.

    Lips was driving slowly along Broadway when two frantic horses, attached to a delivery wagon with the neckyoke dangling on the street, came tearing up Third on a wild gallop.  J. C. Way was on the box, but the horses were beyond control and dashed past vehicles and cars on the crowded street.  The Fire Chief saw the danger, and though he could have avoided a collision, he purposely backed his heavy buggy directly in front of the runaway, and jammed the wheel of his cart against the side of the delivery wagon.  The horses were compelled to slow up, and the crossing policeman stopped the team.

    Without waiting for thanks from the frightened driver, who had exhausted himself trying to stop the maddened horses, Lips drove away.  He was not quick enough, however, to avoid the generous thanks of many who had witnessed his brave act.

The Los Angeles Examiner, July 18, 1906

The Los Angeles Times, July 13, 1906

      A BUDGET OF $373,478.

   Walter Lips, chief of the fire department, believes that it will require an appropriation of $373,478 to the fire department in 1906-07.  This is $100,000 in excess of what was asked for  1905-06.
    Councilman Healy, member of the finance committee, intimated that Lips had made his estimate of a sufficient size and had plenty of nerve.
    In his estimates the chief asks, among other things, for the purchase of twenty-five horses at $240 a head, $2,500 for an automobile and $25,000 for new equipment.
    Chief Lips wants to buy a lot in the vicinity of Eighth and Hope streets, build a fireproof structure for an engine company and install a fire alarm system.  He believes this can be done for $55,000.  Then a machine shop is to be built in the corporation yard, which would cost $15,000, and an additional $4,000 is asked for a veterinary hospital.


The Los Angeles Express, 
July 13, 1906



Money, Clothing and Trinkets Being
Taken Constantly by Persons Who
Keep Close Tab on All Responses
to Alarms

    In an attempt to apprehend a thief who for the past two weeks has been looting the lockers of the firemen at the Hill street station local detectives will today be asked to take the case in hand and use every means to stop the mysterious disappearance of valuable articles.

    For more than two weeks the firemen have been missing money and clothing from their lockers.  Occasionally some article of value left in the exercise room as the firemen dashed hurriedly away to a fire would disappear.

    Recently more serious complaints have been made.  Monday night when the firemen returned form a conflagration they found their lockers broken open and the contents rifled.

    R. G. Hammel lost $13.65, which he had left in his trousers' pocket.  C. E. Houston lost $10 and other members of the company suffered losses in clothing and trinkets.

    In the confusion of the alarm on Monday night it is thought the thief sneaked into the building and up to the property room.  It took but a moment to wrench off the locks and rifle the clothing.

    When the firemen returned several hours later their valuables had disappeared and now the police force will ???????

Combination of Numbers Formed by
Incidents Connected with Fire
Tends to Bear Out 
Superstitious Theory

    When fire alarm box 13 was turned in yesterday noon a quick run was made from the Hill street engine house and an incipient blaze that destroyed an awning in front of the office of the Diamond Coal company, 235 West Third street, was quickly extinguished.

    The flames were eating their way to the interior when discovered and the firemen said there would have been a serious blaze if the fire had started in the night.

    "That box 13 is a hoodoo," remarked a fireman as he stripped off his cumbersome rubber boots.  "Don't tell me there is nothing in the old superstition about that number.  I predict there will be one of the biggest fires ever seen in Los Angeles rung in from that box some day.  I expected to suffer injury this afternoon  but a rabbit's foot sewed to my shirt protected me."

Peculiar Combination

    According to a supposedly truthful patrolman the combination of numbers formed by the fateful "13" was remarkable.

The fire was first seen by a lad 13 years of age, who called to a clerk in Fred Barman's cigar store at Third and Broadway.

    A West Adams car number 313 narrowly escaped collision with apparatus of engine company No. 3.  The fire started at 12:13 o'clock and exactly thirteen firemen responded to the alarm.  It is said the cause of the blaze was a smoking cigar of the brand known as "13-17" being dropped from room 313 in the block at the corner upon the awning beneath.  The damage was estimated to be $113, covered by insurance.

    A property owner who spoke of the curious coincidence in the number 13 figuring so prominently at the fire said it was lucky that engine company 13 did not respond, or surely there would have been a catastrophe.


The Los Angeles Herald, July 5, 1906

Los Angeles Herald, August 6, 1906


Chief's Helper Runs
Down Helpless
Indigent Pedestrians
Rescue Victim From
the Street
Realty Agent Gibbs Sees His Wife
Hurt While Dismounting From
Her Wheel, Though Una-
ware of Her


    "Fire drivers have the right of way and while on one would try to run down persons on the street I didn't see why I should stop after the accident.  I was on my way to get Chief Lips in answer to a call from 316 South Broadway, and the woman came directly in front of the wagon at Second and Broadway.  I thought she would stop in time and when the horse struck her I continued on down Second street."-- E. M. Cox, Engine Company No. 3.


    "It was the most outrageous affair I have ever witnessed.  Mrs. Gibbs was in no way to blame.  She had brought her wheel partly to a stop at the intersection and the driver made no effort to swerve.  The horse struck her on the shoulder and she was throw directly under the cart between the wheels.  The driver continued to dash down Second street and paid no attention to Mrs. Gibbs.  The escape was miraculous, but the action of the driver after running her down was abominable."--Dr. A. J. Berry. 


    "I saw the accident, ran up and was horrified to find that it was my wife.  the driver continued down Second street and made no effort to render any assistance."--C. B. Gibbs.


    A serious but not necessarily fatal accident occurred at Second and Broadway last night at 6:20 o'clock when Mrs. C. B. Gibbs of 619 East Washington street was hurled from her bicycle beneath the wheels of Chief Lips' fire wagon, driven by E. M. Cox of Engine company No. 3

    After running over Mrs. Gibbs, Cox continued down Second street, paying no heed whatever to the injured woman, who was carried to the office of Dr. A. J. Berry in the Copp building suffering from severe body bruises and in a state of nervous collapse.

    A wave of indignation swept over the pedestrians, who rushed to the assistance of Mrs. Gibbs, which was further augmented when her husband, who had witnessed the accident, yet not being aware of the victim's identity, became frantic with grief and excitement as he realized that his wife had been hurt.

Horse Spares Her

    That Mrs. Gibbs sustained no more serious injuries than she did is probably due to the fact that Cox's horse, after colliding with the cyclist, appeared to possess something approaching human intelligence and deliberately jumped across the prostate woman, who was hurled directly between the wheels of the cart.

    Mrs. Gibbs was riding south on Broadway street as the fire wagon dashed down the street from the Hill street station ....

Witnesses Indignant

    Dr. A. J. Berry was a witness of the accident and with the aid of outers carried Mrs. Gibbs to his office.

    At a late hour last night the injured woman was resting easily and no serious complications are anticipated.

    Witnesses of the occurrence were extremely indignant regarding the action of Cox in paying absolutely no attention to his victim, and Dr. Berry, who attended Mrs. Gibbs after assisting her from the street, protested vigorously.

    Speaking of the affair he said.  "There was no call for the accident as the driver might easily have turned to the right and avoided running into Mrs. Gibbs.  She had partially stopped her wheel and had one foot on the pavement when the horse struck her in the shoulder."

    Driver's Defense

    Cox when asked regarding the accident was not inclined to believe that he should be taken to task for not stopping.
    "I was driving after the chief to answer an alarm at Broadway and the woman came directly in my way at the crossing.
    "The fire department has the right of way and although I would not purposely run over a person if there was any way to avoid doing so I don't think I did wrong in driving on."

    C. B. Gibbs, a local real estate dealer, and husband of the injured woman, was coming north on Broadway and witnessed the accident at a distance of about one hundred feet.  He said: "I was amazed when I saw the driver dash on after the accident, and although I did not at that time.......

Los Angeles Herald, September 8, 1906

Copyright 1999 All Rights Reserved.