A fire on Friday, February 3, 1905 marked the beginning of the Glenolden Fire Company. The fire started in the one story frame home of Morris Collins at Ashland Avenue and Chester Pike. An overheated stove set the roof on fire and Norwood Fire Company #1 was called. When Norwood Fire Company arrived, they were shocked to find Glenolden had no fireplugs. Helped by borough residents, the firemen put the roof fire out by throwing snow on it.
After several months of discussions to organize a Glenolden Fire Company, the first meeting was held on Tuesday, May 23, 1905 at Williams Hall. The meeting was chaired by then Mayor Emil Laurent who also owned a candy store on Chestnut Street in Philadelphia. Laurent was named president and C.A. Rodermouth the company¹s first Fire Chief.
By November, by-laws had been adopted and the fire company asked the borough to place fire hydrants throughout the borough. Due to the lack of additional equipment, a bucket brigade was first formed.
In May, 1906, a hand-pulled hose cart was purchased for $371. The cart came with 700 feet of hose, two nozzles and a Siamese which is 2 hoses in one. The equipment was kept in Albert Laurent¹s stable at Logan Avenue.
On July 5, 1906, the Glenolden Fire Company was chartered. In March, 1907, the hose cart was moved to Brooks and LaRue¹s Butcher Shop at Glenolden Avenue and Chester Pike, because the butcher shop had delivery horses that were available to pull the fire equipment
By early 1910, enough money had been saved to purchase property at Logan Avenue and Chester Pike, although originally the fire company had planned to build at Ashland Avenue and Chester Pike. The organization of the Fire Company¹s Ladies Auxiliary in July helped to make the firehouse possible. They held a country fair on August 4, 5 and 6 with the firemen.
Ground was broken on September 1, 1910, and the firehouse was built in just a little over three months. After a final inspection by fire company members, the keys to the new firehouse were turned over in early January, 1911. No special dedication services were held. The first use of the firehouse bell was ringing in the New Year in 1912.
The Borough of Glenolden, population just over 7,000, is located in eastern Delaware County. The Borough of Glenolden spans 1 square mile and is a mixed community, suburban area. The GFD also provides first due coverage to several surrounding boroughs including Folcroft, Sharon Hill and Collingdale (Approx. 21,461 population spanning 5 square miles).
The Glenolden Fire Department has been serving the Borough of Glenolden and the surrounding communities with fire & rescue protection with 100% volunteer professionalism since 1905. If you are in town, we welcome you to stop by our Firehouse located at 123 South Chester Pike. Please remember that we are a 100% Volunteer Company and there might not be anyone at the station. Please call ahead at (610) 583-8380 to see if anyone is there.