The first Station #6, located at 2202 Forest Avenue (now Martin Luther King Junior Boulevard), housed a 750-gallon American LaFrance rotary gear pumper and an American LaFrance City Service hook and ladder truck. Twenty men were assigned to Station #6.
In the early 1950s, the construction of a new highway to facilitate increased traffic-better known as Central Expressway-"bumped" the station to its present location at the corner of Park Row and South Harwood Street. The land owners, however, insisted on one deed restriction: the huge magnolia tree on the property must remain.
When the City of Dallas built the red brick, two-and-one-half bay station in 1954, workers left the magnolia tree intact; today it continues to shade the front lawn of the station. At one time, expansion of Station #6 was planned; however, when planners realized the magnolia tree would have to be removed, the idea died.
Rumor claims numerous "hangings" in the old tree. In the "old days," when "rookies" came to Station #6, they were hung feet first in the tree for initiation.
The area surrounding Station #6 has changed drastically since the 1940s. Originally, this area was one of the wealthiest neighborhoods in Dallas. As the city grew, development headed north. Well-to-do families relocated, and South Dallas neighborhoods became neglected. Now the district around Station 6 is lower income, single-family dwellings and apartments. Most of the commercial buildings are small retail stores.
Station #6 does have some potentially hazardous occupancies. There are also lumberyards, paper companies, a high-rise nursing home and an acetylene generating plant.
Throughout the years, Engine 6 has been the first-arriving company at many of Dallas' major fires. One of the most notable was the Camacho Box Factory fire, December 23, 1976. This fire, a 5 alarm, burned out of control for several hours, fueled by high winds and cardboard boxes being made at the plant. After the flames were controlled, fire department vehicles and members remained on the scene for three days while the fire smoldered. One of the "most frightening" fires for Engine 6's crew was a three-alarm at 9:53 p.m., March 9, 1977 at a plant with acetylene cylinders, 3301 National Street. Several cylinders exploded, sending firefighters for cover.
Incidents with fire deaths are painful for firefighters. A fire that will long linger in the memories of Station #6, C Shift crews is a February 22, 1984, apartment fire at 2408 Meyers Street. By the time Engine 6 arrived, the second-story apartment unit was fully involved, making rescue impossible. Five children, aged 1 through 4, perished. The five deaths equaled the third highest number of victims in a single fire in Dallas history.
The station has served well but age and newer larger equipment meant a new Station 6 would soon be needed.. A more central location was chosen and the city broke ground in 2015. Opening in 2016, the new Station 6 is located near Pennsylvania Avenue and Edgewood St at 2301 Pennsylvania Ave. The station is equipped with the latest communications equipment and is large enough to add extra companies as the needs of the citizens change and grow.