Sunday, July 5, 1998

Mitchell Fire Company #4

Federal and Mitchell Streets
Burlington, New Jersey 08016
(609) 386-0433

In 1870's Burlington, Federal Street was home to many shoemakers and shoe factories. Feeling the need for fire protection, they accepted a hose carriage as a gift from the Young America Fire Company, and housed it in a blacksmith's shop, but did not organize an official fire company. In 1874, though, a fire struck the home and shop of a grocer, and though the shoemakers brought their hose carriage into action, the pressure of the city's water system was not sufficient to extinguish the flames.

The shoemakers decided that an organized fire company would be in their best interest, and formed the Mitchell Fire Company. Initially, the "Shoemakers' Company," as it was called, had only hand-pumped Franklin engines, but steam-powered LaFrance pumping engines were later brought into service. Mitchell's original firehouse, built in 1875 and used for more than 100 years, still stands at the corner of Lawrence and Federal Streets, but the company is now located in more modern quarters at Mitchell and Federal Streets. The Mitchell company currently operates a 1978 Hahn 1000 GPM pumper, and also owns a 750 GPM 1959 GMC pumper.

The Mitchell Ladies Auxiliary, founded in 1923 with a membership of 15, is the oldest auxiliary in the City. During the floods of 1955, the auxiliary provided food and beverages to all the city's firemen for four consecutive days and nights, earning a commendation from the Red Cross.

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