History of Center Pigeon Volunteer Fire Department

Center Pigeon Volunteer Fire Department, Inc. 2412 Pisgah Drive, Canton, NC 28716-2324    Tel: 828.648.0810



Our History and Heritage

Located on Highway 110, just outside of Canton, NC.

The Center Pigeon Fire Department was born out of a group of church members. Those men envisioned a definite need for fire protection in their rural community. The burning of Spring Hill Church in 1951 motivated an organizational activity. The first members came together from the congregations of Spring Hill Baptist, Long's Methodist, Canton First Baptist, and Sunny Point Baptist churches.

First Trucks
The department received it's charter in 1956. Money was raised for donations within the community to purchase the first truck, a 1956 International. This truck was delivered by the vendor as an unequipped chassis.

It was at this point that some of the local industry mad some very helpful contributions. Champion Papers and American Enka assisted in the effort to furnish equipment for the truck to make it usable in fighting fire. Of course, individuals within and outside of the community continued making financial contributions. Often times these contributions were made after a great deal of solicitation effort by the firemen, who until 1972, committed more time and personal financing for operation expenses that training and firefighting combined.

The truck was housed in various basement garages in the community until a fire house could be built.

A used oil truck was purchased about 1959 to serve as a tanker increasing the mobile water supply to sixteen hundred gallons.

The year of 1963 saw the purchase of a new Ford truck to haul the tank.

1972 is a very memorable year for the Center Pigeon Fire Department! Following sixteen years of continuous money raising efforts and seeking the goal of reaching standards set forth by the State of North Carolina, Center Pigeon was accredited as a rated fire department. A referendum was held on October 5th and the people voted to support the fire department by means of a property tax.

1973 brought the addition of a new pumper truck which increased the mobile water supply by another six hundred gallons.

Mr. and Mrs. Robert Kelly first leased a lot on their property for use by the fire department until 1978 when Mrs. Kelly made a deed for that property to Center Pigeon Fire Department. This enabled the Center Pigeon Fire Department to obtain a construction loan for the present fire station.

Expansion to New Station
In 1978, a need for expansion of the fire house was evident. The present building was dedicated in 1979. The usable space was increased from two truck bays to five bays and a conference room.

A new 1981 model pumper/tanker was purchased in 1982. This added another 1,000 gallons of water capacity available in the attack of any fire to which Center Pigeon is called.

Later in 1986 both Mrs. Kelly and Mrs. Edna Rhinehart reached agreement with Center Pigeon Fire Department on property adjacent to its holdings, allowing expansion on the north and south sides of the property to its present boundaries.

In July 1987, a new pumper/tanker was ordered for delivery in 1988. The 1,500 gallon capacity of this unit increased the department's mobile attack capacity to 4,900 gallons of water to roll on dispatch.