By John Garvey
In San Francisco, heritage is as shut because the sound of the hearth engines and vans racing through, sirens wailing. The San Francisco fireplace division took form, as did the town, from the ashes and embers of the good fireplace of 1906. within the tumultuous seaport packed with these looking California's newly came across gold, volunteer hearth businesses needed to adapt to a teeming urban choked with canvas tents, wooden shacks, kerosene lanterns, ocean breezes, and hilly winding streets. From a strength that at the beginning pulled hand-operated pumps and competed to be the 1st at a hearth, touring in horse-drawn gear, the dep. has grown from a volunteer contingent of some hundred to a firm 1,800 powerful and built to guard a urban of forty nine sq. miles, surrounded on 3 aspects through salt water. The old photos of this quantity record the institution of the volunteer division on Christmas Eve 1849 and the inception of the paid strength in 1866, in addition to such colourful characters as Lily Hitchcock Coit, a belle who battled many a blaze with the volunteers and a part of whose property went to construct the 210-foot Coit Tower on Telegraph Hill. outstanding photos, many by no means ahead of released, illustrate how the fireplace division was once affected not just by way of the well known inferno of 1906 yet by means of the six blazes that leveled the waterfront within the 1850s and several fires through the city's heritage.