|On November 11, 1901, the Chemical Engine and Hose Company was formed and located on Lewis Street. At the time, the Township of Eatontown covered the present Borough of Eatontown, Borough of Oceanport, and the Borough of West Long Branch. It was decided that three chemical engines were to be purchased, one for each town.
The chemical engine was the first piece of motorized firefighting equipment that Eatontown had. It was a 1912 Locomobile and was considered a tremendous asset to the community. This Locomobile won many hose laying competitions in its day under the direction of Foreman S. T. Emmons.
It cannot be said that the Eatontown Hook and Ladder Company and the Chemical Engine and Hose Company functioned smoothly during the years that there were two companies in the same town. On the contrary, history tells us that one many occasions feuds developed to the point where the "Ladder Boys" would not even let the "Chemical Boys" have use of their ladders with which to take up their hoses to put out the fire. A few years later the Eatontown Hook and Ladder Company purchased an up-to-date, horse drawn, Seagrave Hook and Ladder Truck.
The present day Eatontown Fire Department was formed on February , 1917 and is known as the Eatontown Engine Truck and Hose Company No. 1 It combined the Eatontown Hook and Ladder with the Chemical Engine and Hose Company. At this time, the firefighting equipment consisted of a combination transport truck, a six-cylinder le-Compte hose truck, and a Seagrave hook and ladder truck.
Some of the disastrous fires which severely struck the heart of Eatontown were as follows: The old Crystal Brook Inn blaze during the 1940's, in which five persons perished during the early morning blaze; including the owner, three members of his family, and a crippled musician.
Another spectacular blaze was the Shoe String Stables located on South Street. No one died, but dozens of riding horses had to be shot. One badly burned horse ran all the way to Red Bank before it was caught and destroyed by the State Police.
Around 1946 the fire company purchased a new American La France pumper and in 1952 they purchased a custom-built GMC pumper.
During the year 1957, the Eatontown Fire Department celebrated their 75th Anniversary. They invited many fire companies and first aid squads throughout the state. This was the largest parade in Eatontown's history. An estimated 5,000 spectators watched as 36 fire companies, 9 first aid squads, 850 fireman, 63 pieces of equipment and many area marching bands paraded past them. We also recieved delivery of a 1957 International pumper.
In 1958, the Women's Auxiliary reorganized after a lapse of many years. At this time the Women's Auxiliary started a recruiting drive to boost its membership.
In 1960, Eatontown Fire Department had 85 fireman and 30 Women's Auxiliary members. At this time they had four pieces of firefighting equipment. There was a GMC 750 gpm pumper, an International 750 gpm pumper, an American La France 1000 gpm pumper, and a 1959 Ford utility truck. The Eatontown Fire Department had a very unusual mascot at this time. It was a black cat named "Blackie". Although Blackie never rode the fire apparatus, he did take the place of a dog, temporarily.
In the fall of 1963, the fire department was proud to be moved into their new firehouse, located at its present site on Broad Street. In the Spring of 1964, the building was officially dedicated. At this time the building housed four fire trucks, two ambulances, and a utility truck.
In 1964, Eatontown purchased a Mack 1000 gpm pumper and then a few years later Eatontown purchased a new fire truck which was a 1968 1000 gpm Mack pumper.
During the next few years, Eatontown was rapidly expanding with many new homes, businesses, and people. The Eatontown Fire Department kept up with the growth, when in 1969, we purchased a GMC utility truck which carried rescue equipment, emergency lighting and Scott air packs.
In 1971, a fire which started in an apartment at the Country Club Apartment complex spread throughout the entire block long building. Firefighters battled the blaze and kept it from spreading to other buildings. The fire also displaced many residents from the building.
Once again times required Eatontown Fire Department to purchase firefighting equipment, when in 1976, Eatontown received twin 1250 gpm Mack pumpers.
In the winter of 1978, Eatontown had its largest and most expansive fire in several years. The X.S. Smith Corp. Located on Old Deal Road caught fire. It took many fire companies from the surrounding towns of West Long Branch, Oakhurst, Oceanport, and Shrewsbury to battle the blaze. Lack of water at the fire scene and the extreme cold hampered the firefighting effort.
In 1980, Eatontown was proud to be the owner of a 1980 Pierce LTI 85' ladder tower which enables fireman to reach the tops of larger buildings in Eatontown. Also this truck carries the rescue equipment and breathing apparatus which enables fireman to make rescues in a burning building.
The Eatontown Fire Department celebrated its 100th anniversary on June 21st, 1981. A large parade and celebration, well attended by many area fire departments and first aid squads was viewed by the citizens of Eatontown.
The Borough of Eatontown has continued to grow and along with it, so has the fire Department.