Austin Fire Museum - Preserving The History And Traditions Of The Austin Fire Department.

Central Engine Company No. 3

Year Created: 1874
Year Disbanded: 1877

Organized in 1874, Central Fire Engine Company Number 3 only lasted three years before it disbanded in 1877.

All we know about Central Number 3 is that they were a chemical engine company, which means that they were equipped with equipment similar to a large fire extinguisher of today. This was a common occurrence in firefighting of the late 1800s and early 1900s. The firefighters would use some type of pressurizing process, often-time soda acid, and would squirt the chemical on to the fire in an attempt to stop the burning process. In this era, these firefighting techniques were dangerous and unsatisfactory. The museum does have an old chemical nozzle on display that dates back to the turn of the century when these were used.

We also know that Central Number 3´s fire hall was a frame shanty situated at the intersection of East 4th Street and East Avenue (now Interstate 35).

The only definite relic that remains from Central Number 3 is a very rare fire officer ornamental bugle. It is dated April 21, 1876, which is San Jacinto Day, also Texas Independence Day. During Austin´s volunteer era, the San Jacinto Day Celebration was a major festivity that included parades, picnics, promotions, and old time firefighter races.