Guardians of The City SFFD Home Page - San Francisco Fire Department Museum

Great Fires: 1906 Great Earthquake & Fire

Reports of Fire Officers
San Francisco Fire Department
1906 Great Earthquake & Fire
Captain R. Allen
Engine Company No. 34, 1145 Ellis Street
Apparatus: 1901 American Metropolitan, 2nd size, steam engine, 700 GPM

After the earthquake which occured [sic] on April 18th 1906, we found that the doors had been thrown off the track, and the engine moved about two feet forward. Noticing smoke from the rear windows of our quarters we left for Laguna & Fulton Sts., where we took the hydrant on the N/E cor and led our line to the north side of Fulton St., between Octavia & Laguna Sts., using what little water was in the main. We then connected our line with engine #14 at Hayes & Laguna Sts., working there until about 12 M. April 18th., when the fire was extinguished.

Our next move was to Hayes and Octavia Sts., from where we led a line down Hayes to Gough Sts., and up to Octavia and Fell Sts., working in that vicinity until about I A. M. April 19th., cutting the fire off. From here we were ordered to Polk and Ellis Sts., where we tried the hydrants, but found no water.; so continued our journey down Ellis to Jones St., connecting with engine 30, (then at O'Farrell and Jones Sts.,) and led our line down Jones to Eddy St., where we worked until driven out at about 5 A. M. April 19th.

From there we were ordered to Van Ness and Ellis Sts., and took the hydrant on the N/W cor where we remained for a couple of hours, until ordered by Chief Shaughnessy to Geary and Hyde Sts., taking the hydrant on the N/E cor. In company with engine 23 we worked in this neighborhood until instructed to leave by Chief Dolan at about 2 P. M. April 19th. Under orders from Chief Shaughnessy we again located at Van Ness & Ellis Sts., and in company with engine 23 back-fired all the buildings (in the rear) on the east side of Van Ness between Ellis and Geary, working there until the afternoon of April 19th.

We worked in the vicinity of Franklin & Geary Sts., all night of April 19th, and then moved under orders from Chief Wills to Van Ness & Grove St., from where we returned to Green & Van Ness. Chief Dougherty instructed us to return to quarters at 10 A. M. April 20th after having been on duty over 50 hours.

Captain R. Allen
Engine Co  #34

From the files of Battalion Chief Fred J. Bowlen, S. F. F. D.

SFFD Home Page Guardians of The City Home Page