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Fire Department records now available

103-8-10001 An antique Bedford Fire Department travels in a local parade [19-?],

An antique Bedford Fire Department truck travels in a local parade [19-?], (103-8-1)

HRM Archives recently made available Fire Department records for:

Curious about ancestors who served with the Halifax Fire Department? We have HFD companies ledgers which detail the day-to-day work of fire stations and firefighters, as well as a roll of members which documents employee names, salaries, the fire station and house employees belonged to, as well as the dates of hiring and retirement/resignation.

Interested in historic fires? Records of Fires provide information on the date, time and address of a fire, the number of occupants in the dwelling, and the cause of fire and the cost of damage.


Postcard depicting a Halifax Fire Department float in a parade [19--]          HRM Archives photo102-111-4-1

Significant photograph collections dating back to the 19th century document the Halifax Fire Department, Dartmouth Fire Department, Bedford Fire Department, and various fire departments within Halifax County, including Spryfield, Rockingham, and Fairview. Here you can find photographs of departmental sports teams, fire scenes, such as Kay’s Department Store fire in 1950, equipment and vehicles, and community outreach programs such as fire prevention booths and local parades. We also have aerials and streetscapes of HRM which provide new perspectives on Africville, downtown Halifax, and surrounding neighbourhoods.


Driver Edward Ingram and Caretaker Frank Deyoung of the Spryfield Fire Department posing in front of the fire vehicle purchased from Halifax for $500.00 ca. 1948, HRM Archives photo 400-8-3-3

In addition to photographs, the Fire Department records also contain important textual material which documents the history and operations of various fire departments, including histories of the early incarnations of our present-day fire services: Union Engine Company and the Halifax Fire Insurance Company. We also have extensive newspaper clippings files and scrapbooks dating from the 19th century right up to the 21st century which document all things fire-related.

Other Sources on regional firefighting history:

HRM Archives gratefully acknowledges the assistance of the Department of Canadian Heritage and the Canadian Council of Archives in supporting the Young Canada Works intern who prepared these records.