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6 On Your Side Heroes: Historic Knoxville Fire Station No. 5

WATE 6 On Your Side Heroes

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) – It’s one of Knoxville’s oldest fire stations. Fire Station No. 5 has stood at 419 Arthur Street in the Mechanicsville area since 1909, the last station built for horse drawn fire engines.

The team of firefighters at Knoxville’s historic Station No. 5 is always at the ready, often thinking of those who came before them back when the station opened in 1909. Even the face of the Knoxville Fire Department, Captain DJ Corcoran, has a family history here.

“My great-grandfather worked at this fire station, Thomas Ed Corcoran. So, it’s got a special place in my heart,” he said.

Captain Corcoran’s great-grandfather was there back when the station used horses like Buddy to pull its fire engines.

Buddy the horse, the last horse to be used to pull fire engines in Knoxville. Photo: Knoxville Fire Department

When the alarm sounded, they would bring the horses up, rig em up, their collars would hang from the ceiling and they would drop them down and they would respond to the fire,” said Bryan Cramer, senior firefighter.

The department became motorized in 1917, serving as a neighborhood fire station. The biggest fires number 5 has helped fight are recent ones, the 2016 Gatlinburg wildfires and the recycling plant fire in North Knoxville last year.

“We just follow the guidelines that are set up by our higher ups and try to be as careful as possible,” Cramer said. “Nothing can stop us.”

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