Floating Fire Station, 1938

In a previous post we saw this floating fire station from a different angle. With this image we get a closer look at the floating fire station located near the St. Johns Bridge, April 6, 1938.


Floating fireboat station, 1938: A2009-009.1680

Floating fireboat station, 1938: A2009-009.1680


View this image in Efiles by clicking here.

12 thoughts on “Floating Fire Station, 1938

  1. Well the Karl Gunster has seen better days:

    Some information from Portland Fire’s site on LT Gunster:
    June 15, 1921

    Karl Gunster

    On June 15, 1921, Karl Gunster, Lieutenant of Engine 22, was on duty as his crew responded to the May Apartments at SW 14th and Taylor. The fire, which would cause $75,000 in damage, began in the basement tool room and traveled up the dumb waiter to the top of the building and involving all four stories. The investigation revealed the likely cause was spontaneous combustion of oily rags. So rapid was the spread that arriving crews had to place ladders to rescue occupants from upstairs windows. Gunster had entered the 3rd floor to try and locate the seat of the fire when he was overcome by smoke. He was found lying on the floor by P.E. Clifford, an Engine 3 firefighter. He fought the effects of the smoke as well but managed to drag Gunster to a window where fellow firefighters could assist. In all, four other firefighters and three civilians were injured in the fire.

    Gunster was 41 years old and had served Portland since December 22, 1913. He was survived by his Wife. In 1927, a fireboat would be named in his honor. It would serve for many years after his death.

  2. Here is the view from the other direction. That would be present day Cathedral Park in the background.

  3. Apologize for being off subject here. In the background of the photo posted by Brian R. is a building with an old faded business name, Peninsula Iron Works. The name, Peninsula Iron Works, has been around since the early 1900’s and is still in business today. I have no connection to PIW but thought it important to make mention of their longstanding presence in the St. John’s area.

  4. This should have been just after bridge construction. Possibly a picture of the “new fire station”? I guess is it possible that it stood in that location during construction, but the building looks new and given the proximity to the bridge (and similar current day construction) it seems like I could not have co-existed with construction. Just my 2 cents.

  5. K:
    My best guess would be “yes”
    The GasCo building is still located on the southwest side of the St Johns bridge about 600 meters upriver (south).
    It’s hard to make out much in that little sliver of the photo, but it looks about right.
    For those of your are interested in the Gasco (Gas and Coke Building), I actually found some photos of the INSIDE (very, very rare).
    See the Portland Mercury blog here:

    Here is just one:

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