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March 19, 2018
Laurel Pizzeria Night

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April 2, 2018
Board Meeting - 19:30

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Contact Info
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Laurel Fire Department
205 W. 10th Street
Laurel, DE 19956


Department History
In 1937 Laurel hosted the Delmarva Firemen’s Association Convention.

As World War II approached several large fires struck the Laurel area. On April 5, 1940, Waller’s Theatre, the local movie house was destroyed by fire. On the following Monday night an order was placed with American LaFrance for a new Foamite Engine. In 1942 another engine was purchased as a Hahn Engine was placed in service. Eng. #3 and Eng. #1 would serve the community until 1964.


In October of 1941 a major fire struck downtown Laurel destroying several businesses on East Market Street.

On December 12, 1945 a committee was appointed to meet with local officials at the Sussex Hotel, in Seaford regarding building a new area hospital. This became a reality in 1952 as Nanticoke Memorial Hospital opened.

The fire department continued to grow. In 1947 a decision was made to purchase land across from the firehouse to be used as a parking lot. At that time it was necessary for the Fire Department to form a corporation which was done.

1952 saw two of the most disastrous fires to strike the town. On January 13th a fire was reported on Market Street. Before the fire could be contained half a block from Poplar Street towards Market had been destroyed. Delmar, Blades, Seaford, Salisbury and Sharptown sent assistance to the scene. On October 3, 1952 a fire was reported at the Marvil Package facility on Poplar Street. As fire engulfed the warehouse area, nine area fire departments would respond to Laurel to assist. The fire was under control around 11:00 p.m. Within two hours a fire would be reported at the Sussex Hotel in Seaford. Firefighters who had worked so hard at Marvil Package responded to Seaford for one of the largest fires their town would see in some time.

In 1952 a Ford/Hahn Engine was purchased. It featured a front mount pump and was the first enclosed cab engine.


With three fire engines and an ambulance stored in a three bay firehouse, space was at a premium. Therefore, with the order of the new fire engine an addition was built to the back of the building. Known as the 1952 Annex, this building faced Mechanic Street to the rear of the firehouse.

In October of 1954 a different kind of emergency would occur, as Hurricane Hazel swept through the area. Fires occurred, mostly in chicken houses and the Fire Department was unable to respond due to storm damage.

In late 1954 citizens of Gumboro were interested in forming their own Fire Company. As Laurel had experienced 55 years before, funds were few and demands were many. On February 7, 1955 LFD voted to donate unused equipment to assist Gumboro in organizing.

In 1955 James Ellis, who had previously served as President of the Fire Department, was elected Chief. Chief Ellis would be a role model for so many would serve as Chief for twenty years.

One of the first issues Chief Ellis faced was the Fire Department was not satisfied with the 1952 Hahn. On July 11, 1955 Chief Ellis and a delegation of the Fire Department met with the town and it was decided if a buyer would pay $6000 for it the engine could be sold and another one purchased. This was done and on May 7, 1956 a new American LaFrance Custom Engine was ordered. This unit would serve Laurel well into the 1980’s.

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