History of BLFD

"They Come In Threes" The History of the Batesburg-Leesville Fire Department

Compiled by Assistant Chief John Gall

The following history (click on title above, then click download) is compiled from written and spoken words from over the years of the Batesburg and Leesville Fire Departments. The first town fire department is believed to be the Batesburg Fire Department organized around 1908, but fires occurred prior to this time and were fought by people in the community by using buckets. In addition, with the investment in the community by Middleburg Mills, a company fire department was created to protect the mill. How the mill fire company interfaced with the town is not fully known but it appears it first partnered with and then became part of the Batesburg Fire Department. The Leesville Fire Department formed later in 1913.

The intent of this document is to capture our history before it is lost as time passes and to recognize the individuals who contributed to the fire and emergency protection of our communities over the years. The department is unique in that from two separate towns grew two separate and competitive fire departments that merged into one with the consolidation of the Towns of Batesburg and Leesville into the new municipality of the Town of Batesburg-Leesville. The department’s intent has always been to serve others as you will see as you read this history.
NOTE: Articles are taken directly from noted newspapers and are written in the prose and wording of that time period. Some articles reference injuries, loss of life, and destruction of property.
Any questions or comments please contact us at blfd911@gmail.com.



1925 Foamite-Childs Engine
First motorized fire engine purchased by the Town of Batesburg from J.B. Reid on October 17, 1925 for $6,400.  This was a Foamite-Childs Corporation Triple Combination engine with a Hale pump was on a Graham (Dodge) chassis.  The engine came fully equipped with the pump/soda acid chemical system and other fire appliances.  The engine arrived for service in January 1925 after being displayed at a large exhibition in New York for two weeks.  This engine served the Batesburg Fire Department until 1949.