Since the early 1800’s in Chester Township, now known as the Township of Moorestown, the citizens of the town have been faithfully served by a volunteer fire department. In 1879 the New Jersey Legislature created fire districts to administer fire protection in townships and portions of townships in New Jersey. In September of 1879, Fire District No. 1 of the Township of Chester was created to protect the village of Moorestown, which later became Fire District No. 1 of the Township of Moorestown. There are two stations, Hose Company No. 1 and Relief Engine Company within the boundaries of District No. 1.
Incorporated on November 14, 1888, Hose Company No. 1 rented a local hall from former Fire Commissioner Dr. F.G. Stroud and operated what was known as the “Big Old Engine” housed in the engine house located on the school property on West Second Street. In 1893, the Commissioners provided Hose Company No. 1 with a new house built on a lot located at North Washington Street. In 1916, Hose Company No. 1 moved to 215 West Main Street and then to 261 West Main Street where it remains today.
Relief Engine Company which is situated on Chester Avenue, was first incorporated in 1890 as Hose Company No. 2. The company, first operated out of an old engine house, moved to the water company property on East Main Street and Zelley Avenue. The Commissioners appropriated $1000 in 1891 and purchased a lot located at Third Avenue and Elm Street, where they constructed an engine house for a little over $800. In 1892, the company was renamed and chartered as Relief Engine Company. In 1910 the company raised their own capital to fund the construction of their new engine house, which is still in existence today at 222 Chester Avenue.
To this day, the Moorestown Fire Department has remained a volunteer organization, serving the community with state-of-the-art equipment. Moorestown Fire District No. 1 has come a long way since the original hand drawn pumper. Today the district possesses four ‘Class A’ pumpers, a brush unit, a fire rescue/cascade unit, a ladder truck, support vehicles and additional technological equipment to assist with daily operations. Moorestown’s fire prevention and public safety education programs have also grown in time. Children, as well as adults, are learning on a continuous basis about the dangers of fire and how best to avoid and prevent the devastation that fire can cause.