Press Release

Eureka Firefighters to participate in 1906 Great Earthquake Fire Expo 2006

Eureka Fire Department will be participating in the expo with our 1849 Hunneman Hand Pumper and our 1904 American First Class Steam Engine.


The 1849 Hunneman Hand pumper is Eureka's first fire apparatus.  The first piece of fire fighting equipment in Eureka was a used 1849 Hunneman hand operated pumper from Chelsea, Mass purchased by John Dolbeer in San Francisco in 1864. With this piece of equipment, Torrent Engine Company #1 was formed, and this was Eureka’s fire protection until 1871. A schooner fire in October, 1864, at the Vance Wharf gave the engine its first service. It was retired from service in 1877. Eureka Firefighters restored the hand pumper in 1978.


In February 1905, an American Metropolitan Steam Fire Engine was delivered to the Fire Department. This engine had a pumping capacity of 1100 gallon per minute. It could handle four 2 ½ inch fire hoses. It was the biggest and best fire engine manufactured at that time. It pumped at its last fire in 1935 and officially retired in 1943. It was restored by Eureka Firefighters in 1967-77. 


Donations from the community made it possible to take these pieces of history to participate in The 1906 Great Earthquake & Fire Expo.  Anybody wishing to contribute please call the fire department at 441-4000.  The expo will include parades, competitions, displays and demonstrations of the pumper.