After the Civil War, the city of South Norwalk grew quickly, becoming home to many factories and commercial buildings. It also experienced a number of major fires.
South Norwalk had no organized fire protection, and volunteers from Norwalk were often summoned for help. In the 1870s, a large fire caused $100,000 in damage to two buildings on South Main Street. The Norwalk volunteers were on scene and, as in the aftermath of the 1858 Norwalk conflagration, newspaper editorials decried the lack of fire protection in South Norwalk.
Old Well Hook & Ladder The South Norwalk Fire Department came into existence when Old Well Hook and Ladder was formed on March 10, 1874. The company had a firehouse on Haviland Street for many years. Old Well’s equipment consisted of a horse-drawn hook and ladder truck with a tiller man’s steering position at the back.
Putnam Hose Company
On June 6, 1875, the Putnam Hose Company was formed to provide South Norwalk with a hose company. Putnam Hose maintained a horse-drawn hose wagon and a hose jumper, which was a large hose reel with wheels that could be pulled to fires by either horses or volunteers. The company was initially housed on Webster Street. In 1882, the company moved to a new station on Franklin Street.