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Vintage Firehouses - Underwriter's Fire Patrol:
 
Underwriter's Fire Patrol

Underwriter's Fire Patrol - 1908
147 Natoma Street (mapped location)

Neighborhood: South of Market (South of the Slot)

Company History:
1908   Underwriter's Fire Patrol Co. No. 1 organized and assigned to quarters
1909   Underwriter's Fire Patrol Co. No. 5 organized and assigned to quarters
1910   Underwriter's Fire Patrol Co. No. 5 disbanded
1911   Changeover to motorized apparatus
               THE FIRST MOTORIZED FIRE APPARATUS IN SAN FRANCISCO
1918   Underwriter's Fire Patrol Co. No. 1A organized and assigned to quarters
1943   July 1st, Underwriter's Fire Patrol Companies incorporated into the SFFD
1943   July 1st, Salvage Co. No. 1 organized and assigned to quarters
1943   July 1st, Salvage Co. No. 1A organized and assigned to quarters
1950   Salvage Co. No. 1 and 1A relocated to the quarters of Engine Co. No. 6, 356 - 7th Street
1955   Salvage Co. No. 1 returned from 356 - 7th Street due to remodeling of that firehouse 
1956   April 9th, Salvage Co. No. 1 relocated to the quarters of Engine Co. No. 6, 356 - 7th Street. Sold at a City & County of San Francisco public auction

Underwriters Fire Helmet

The Underwriter's Fire Patrol was privately financed by insurance companies, and responded to fires to protect office records and merchandise.  These firemen often worked below the fire floor and spread waterproof covers over merchandise threatened with water damage.  They also saved and removed business records from the fire building.  This three story brick structure, designed by Clinton Day, has a terra cotta bracketed cornice with egg and dart molding, and an arched entry ornament in bead and reel pattern molding.  On March 27, 1911, the company received a 1911 American LaFrance, registry #25, Type 5 Fire Patrol Wagon with a 4 cylinder 50 HP engine, THE FIRST MOTORIZED APPARATUS IN SAN FRANCISCO.  Three other American LaFrance Fire Patrol Wagons were shortly added to their apparatus roster.  On December 11, 1911 registry #84, a Type 10, was shipped, followed by registry #207, also a Type 10, on December 26, 1912 and on October 15, 1913, a Type 10 wagon #407 left Elmira.  All four units were in service until 1930, then placed in reserve and finally scrapped in 1941. The Underwriter's Fire Patrol was incorporated into the Department on July 1, 1943 and renamed the Salvage Corps.  At one time, this building was owned by Michael Praszker and Doug Craig, who bought it at a City property public sale.

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