Although Station #46 opened at noon, January 4, 1961, firefighters did not make their first run until January 8, 1961. In fact, the first month of operation only involved 8 runs.
Built to serve the far South Dallas (Oak Cliff) area, which borders the cities of Duncanville, DeSoto, and Lancaster, Station #46 often answers with these bordering cities.
The surrounding district is fairly quiet, so the station in considered a "slow" house. There have been several runs which stand out in the memories of firefighters. In July 1965, firefighters spent more than four hours searching the storm drainage system around South R. L. Thornton Freeway for a small boy who had gotten lost. Ready to give up, they checked one final small area and found him. The engine formerly made many long runs to the Killough Dump, Houston School Road and Killough, before it closed.
Once, while enroute to a fire at 1541 Wasco lane in 1965, Engine 46 missed its turn. The driver assumed he could drive across a field but got stuck in a ditch. The house was fully involved, and the firefighters stood by watching one of their few and far between fires extinguished by other crews.
A recent addition to the #46 personnel is a Dalmatian named "Queenie." When the previous owner died, his wife wanted Queenie to have a good home and brought her to Station #46.
The most spectacular fire answered by Station #46 was March 5, 1983 at the Western Auto Store, 337 East Ledbetter Drive. The building, constructed in 1973, had been remodeled in 1981. The initial report of the fire came to the dispatch office from a police element which had noticed the fire. Engine 46, the first arriving company, found heavy smoke but little or no fire issuing from the involved area. Due to the difficulty in reaching the main involved area plus the escalating fire and smoke conditions, Battalion 5 transmitted a second alarm, followed by a third and eventual fourth alarm.
As a result of the fire, the roof collapsed, causing major injuries to some of the firefighters who were on the roof at the time of the collapse. Personnel venting the roof managed to escape serious injury as the outside wall fell outward and the center of the roof remained intact. Firefighters inside the building and on the roof experienced an inward rush of air immediately before the explosion/backdraft.
Investigators theorized that the fire began in the utility/storage room adjacent to the auto service area. The tire drop opening in the plywood ceiling of the room enabled the fire to extend upward and involve the ceiling and the tire storage area. The fire had obviously been burning for several minutes before activating the smoke detector.