Brockville Fire Department Pictures


All the photographs in this post are from the vast collection of Fire Memorabilia amassed by the late Mervyn McKay.



Members of the Brockville Hook and Ladder Co. in 1899.



The Fire Department Hose Reel Team about 1915



Running the Hose Reel Along King St. E. near Murray St.



Brockville Fire Department in 1919.   George Gillespie, Chief (front centre), Fred Mathews, Deputy-Chief (front right)



Fred Mathews, Fire Chief 1920-23




In this photograph taken in 1920, the Hook & Ladder wagon, the old hose wagon, and the new Republic truck is posed in front of the Perth Street Fire Hall, built in 1910 at the corner of James St. W.



Fire Chief John Hartley and his fire crew in 1930


26 November 1949 – Smart’s Block Fire


At the height of the Smart’s Block fire



The firemen try to contain the blaze on the evening of November 26, 1949.




Fire Chief Charles J. Shorey, and Deputy-Chief Edward “Bud”Lacasse, Deputy Fire Chief  assess the damage in the morning, while Lieut. Clarence McKay, in the background, trains a hose on a remaining hot spot.




The next morning, the aftermath of one of Brockville’s most extensive main street fires.




John F. Marshall, Lieutenant;  Edward “Bud” Lacasse, Deputy Fire Chief; and Arthur C. Keetch, driver, posed on the 1934 Bickle Quad Fire Truck.



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  • Sharon  On 28 February 2009 at 11:42 pm

    Thank you for posting the photo of my Dad, Jack Marshall. I had never seen that picture of him. I am sure there are many more like these in possession of the McKay family that others would like to see.

  • Lloyd Keetch  On 6 April 2009 at 5:12 pm

    I never saw the picture of my dad, Arthur Keetch. Its great.Is there any way to print these pictures? I would sure like to share them with my family.

    Lloyd Keetch

  • lisa  On 28 October 2010 at 11:28 am

    Do you know if the rest of this Mervyn McKay collection is availible for the public at a museum or somewhere?
    My great gradfather worked at the Brockville fire department for a short time while home from world war 1. (July-Sept. 1918) He lived across the road from the station at 108 Church st.
    I would be interested if his picture is somewhere, as I have never saw a picture of him before!

    • Doug Grant  On 12 November 2010 at 5:05 pm


      I do have a few digitized copies of some of the photos from the Merv McKay collection, but I understand the bulk of the original collection remains in the hands of his family.

      If you give me the name of your great-grandfather, it is possible he is named on one of my photos.
      The Fire Hall is on the corner of Perth St. & James St. The address numbers on the south side of James St. opposite the Fire Hall are odd numbers. Church St. is one block to the south.

      Copies of my recent newspaper and magazine articles are now posted for the online public at the site:


      Doug Grant


      • Rob Simpson  On 19 December 2011 at 11:27 am

        I have been looking for history on the department, and this has been of great assistance. I’m glad someone is interested in preserving the fire Brockville Fire Departments history. Thanks so much Doug for keeping this alive, so many departments just don’t seem interested in their history.

  • Diana Watson  On 29 November 2012 at 6:08 pm

    Family history says that the records for our family (John Shannon and Mary Carroll Shannon) were destroyed in a fire in Belleville, ON. I can’t find a record of a Belleville fire, bur found a fire in 1949 which destroyed the Smart Block in Brockville. Is this what my grandmother really meant? If so, are there any other places to research the period 1830-1840 in Brockville and the surrounding area? I believe that John was a farm labourer in Elizabethtown until 1841 when he bought his own farm in Norwich ON (west of Toronto near Brantford)
    Any help you can give me would be wonderful. We are coming into Brockville tomorrow and will go to the Public Library for our first stop.
    Many thanks,

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