Fire History

Fire departments and firefighters have become such a part of our lives that we forget times in the past when there were none. The pioneers in our community were worried about this. To them, such protection was of prime importance. A single spark could, and often did, cause a blaze that could wipe out a lifetime of work and many lives.

Whenever towns were built, the most responsible citizens led the way to better fire protection. Without the benefit of modern training, techniques, and without adequate equipment, protecting Petaluma from fire involved hardships that are difficult to visualize. The firemen of centuries past had no easy task.

With the advent of full-time firefighters came a more efficient, but no less vital organization. The primary purpose of fire organizations is to prevent loss of lives and property. The job today is far more diverse and training includes a great deal more than just putting out fires.

Follow along as we trace the history of Petaluma's Fire Department and describe the fire incidents that have shaped our town.

1850s to 1900

1901 to 1925


1951 - 1975

1976 - 2000


Fire Chiefs



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