The Burbank-Paradise Fire District was formed in late 1942. World War two had started and the people of what would later become the fire district realized that they had no fire protection. Fire Warden Ozzie Ball worked with the residents of the proposed district. After several meetings the fire district was organized.
There was no money available for operation of the district until after the District’s property tax assessment was collected. Two business men in the district, Hugh Young and Raymond McCormick purchased a used 1939 Dodge truck from P.E. VanPelt in Oakdale, California. The two men used that truck as a chassis to build the districts first fire engine. This engine was a 250 gallon per minute, front-mount pumper which carried 400 gallons of water in its tank. When completed this engine was housed at Hugh Young’s service station on Paradise Road.
In 1943 the first fire house was built in the 1500 block of Vernon Avenue. This building (which had a dirt floor) was just large enough to house the districts one engine. At the time the Modesto Fire Department dispatched calls for the District. An old crank telephone was under a cabinet, members had to get down on their knees in order to operate it. There was a district phone line to a crank phone in our station. When the phone rang the station siren sounded. The first person there answered the phone and received the location of the call.
The firefighters held monthly meetings in their homes. The wives furnished refreshments. Members paid one dollar a month dues. In 1948 we moved to our present location at 1313 Beverly Drive. Members then had access to a club room and kitchen. Except for a brief quartering in the vacant gasoline station at Paradise & Carpenter (while our station was being remodeled) we have remained at this address to this day.
A short time later the district purchased our second engine, a 1948 G.M.C. 350 gallon per minute pumper with a 400 gallon water tank. This was quite the upgrade and very well received by the members. In 1954 we purchased our third engine, a G.M.C. 750 gallon per minute pumper with 750 gallon water tank. The district had to cut another door in the station in order to accommodate this engine.
In 1966 the old Dodge (deemed Old Betsy by members) was nearing the end of it’s life. The district replaced this engine with a 1966 G.M.C. 750 gallon per minute pumper. The district sold the old Dodge to Greely Hill Fire District. It was very hard for members to let it go. In 1976 the 1954 G.M.C. was sold to a lumber company in Fresno County. This pumper was eventually replaced with a 1976 International 1000 gallon pumper.
In 1988 the district purchased a used 1981 1000 gallon pumper from the American River Fire District as well as a used G.M.C. “mini-pumper” from Fairfield Fire Department.
** Work in progress, more historical information on the way! **
In a special election a proposal to form a new rural fire protection area known as the Burbank-Paradise District passed.
Moved to our current location
Relocated the station from Vernon Ave to Beverly Drive.
Purchased our Second Truck
1948 G.M.C. 350 gallon per minute pumper with a 400 gallon water tank.
Purchased our Third Truck
GMC 750 gallon per minute pumper with a 750 gallon water tank
Replaced our first engine
We replaced our old Dodge (Old Betsy) with a 1966 G.M.C. 750 gallon per minute pumper.
Replaced the 1954 pumper
We replaced the 1954 pumper with a 1976 International 1000 gallon pumper
Purchased a used 1981 pumper
We purchased a used 1981 1000 gallon pumper and a "mini-pumper"
Work in progress
Expect more landmark historical information in the near future.