Walnut Street Fire Company No. 4
Established in 1873, the Fours have been located on Walnut Street since their inception. The brick firehouse (pictured above left) is located at 808 Walnut Street and was completed in 1875. Madison’s Hook & Ladder Company occupied this building until 1961 when they relocated to Third and Walnut Streets (pictured above right). In 1984 the original building almost became the City Fire Museum, but the plan didn’t materialize. The firehouse is now privately owned by Walnut Street Fire Company No. 4 member Frank Taff whose father was also a WSFC 4 member.
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Robinson Chemical Truck (1916 – 1929)
Walnut Street Fire Company No. 4 members are pictured in 1917 with the Robinson chemical truck. It was their first motorized truck following a hand-drawn and two horse-drawn hose reels. It was also the first motorized fire engine to go into service in Madison although it was not the first to arrive in town. It had solid rubber tires and a pressurized booster tank.
Ahrens-Fox Truck (1929 – 1954)
This is the official 1929 Ahrens-Fox factory photo that was in service until 1954. The truck had a pressurized booster tank, a full ground ladder complement and a large hose compartment, but did not come with a pump. A separate engine-pump system was obtained in 1952 from the Jefferson Proving Ground and placed on the truck requiring replacement of the booster and fuel tanks.
However, the system did not work well and was removed two years later.
Midwest Quint (1954 – 1973)
1953 Midwest Quint built by Boyer in Logansport, Indiana had a Waukasha engine; a 750-gpm, 2-stage Hale pump; and a 3-section, electrically and manually operated Memco aerial ladder with no safety rails. It also had a full complement of aluminum ground ladders and a large hose bed.
Seagrave Quint (85-ft Aerial Ladder) (1973 – 1994)
The 1973 Seagrave Quint is the first true aerial ladder and the first green truck in Madison. It had a Detroit Diesel engine with a 5-speed standard transmission and a 1,000 gpm, single-stage Seagrave pump. There were midship crosslays and the original booster lines were removed to allow for additional storage of portable equipment. The single rear axle truck had a midship mounted 85-ft steel aerial ladder and had a full complement of ground ladders including a 40-ft Bangor ladder. The split hose bed provided for dual lays of 3″ supply lines. The truck is now owned and operated by the City of Madison as a reserve apparatus.
Seagrave Quint (100-ft Aerial Ladder) (1994 – 2008)
The 1994 Seagrave Quint had a 100-ft rear-mount aerial; 1,250 gpm, single-stage Waterous pump; 300 gallon tank; (2) 1 3/4″ crosslays; 500-ft of 5″ and 500-ft of 3″ supply lines. It was eventually replaced by the American LaFrance that is in service today. The 1994 Seagrave quint is now owned by the City Of Madison and operated under contract by Madison’s Clifty Fire Company No. 6.