Fires and Fire Fighting
The North Waterfront has had no major fires for more than four decades. In the earlier years, however, there were truly spectacular blazes. Fires at Jamsion Lumber and Shingle Company in 1928, Clough-Hartley Shingle Mill in 1937, Pilchuck Shingle and Jamison, again, in 1967, were among the most damaging. Perhaps the most memorable of all was the August 2, 1956, fire that destroyed about $500,000 worth of buildings and lumber at the William Hulbert Mill Company site. A tremendously hot blaze, it buckled railway tracks and completely consumed the neighboring Jamison Mill office in five minutes. Firefighters fought the fire for four hours; they also had to protect adjacent businesses and homes on Grand Avenue. Two Everett firemen, a Lowell volunteer and two mill employees, were injured. Old-times still shake their heads when they talk about that conflagration.
Over the years, two fire stations were located in the North Waterfront. The first, built in 1927, was at about 1701 Norton Avenue. It was built from materials donated by the mills and sat on pilings, as did Norton Avenue at the time. That station was replaced in 1970 by a new one at 920 13th Street. The old building lived on as of 2010 as a private residence on Vashon Island. The new building was in operation until around 2006. As of 2008, no fire station existed in the North Waterfront. For a number of years, the firefighters also had a museum at 1002 13th Street in an old paint shop across the street from the fire station. The museum came into being after the Port Commissioners, on November 14, 1972, approved a request from the Everett Fire Fighters Local Union 350 to use the building as a look-in museum. The annual rent was set at $25. The museum became a repository for firefighting equipment and historical records, and served as a center for many fundraising and social events. The building, as well as the second fire station, was removed in preparation or the site’s mixed use development. The firefighting paraphernalia has been moved to other locations