|Station Number #32||Companies Assigned|
|Council District 4|
7007 Benning Avenue
|City Council members declared Station #32 officially in service at 3:00
PM.; April 1, 1951, during an open house at the first fire station in the
Urbandale and Pleasant Grove communities. In preparation for the open house,
City manager Charles Ford memoed Chief C. N. Penn requesting the station
be in "tip-top" shape. During opening festivities, Engine 32 received a
grass fire call (a portent of many to come). No brooms had been put on the
engine, so firefighters fought the fire with their firefighting coasts.
The new station, then in District 4, housed a 750 gpm pumper.
During the years since, there have been a number of changes to the facility and equipment. The station's screened-in porch has been enclosed for a study. A parking lot was added when traffic made parking on Jim Miller Road unsafe. In November, 1951 the Battalion 8 position was created and was assigned to #32. In march 1952, a truck was added to #32. The new truck caught its first run about 45 minutes before officially going in service. The truck and Chief moved to Station #34 when it opened in 1953. Before #34 opened, firefighters at #32 answered with four different Chiefs and responded to everything in the far southeast sector of the City, with runs as long as 12 minutes to the southern city limits beyond the Trinity River bottoms. Until the Dallas Firefighters Museum opened in 1972, #32 was one of the stations at which "Old Tige" was stored. In the mid-1950s a rescue was assigned to the station-a big white van donated to the City. It was transferred to #19 in 1971. In March, 1977, the truck at #53 was reassigned to #32. In 1978, #32 was scheduled for a "new" pumper to replace the Ward LaFrance pumper they were assigned sixteen years earlier in 1962. They received a 5-inch American LaFrance pumper December 14, 1983.
While a history of #32 does not include as many multiple alarm fires as other stations may have had, personnel from #32 have been involved in some exceptional incidents. The most remarkable in recent years began shortly after 10:00 a.m. on Sunday, August 21, 1983, when Engine 32 was dispatched to 7532 Hunnicut Road to investigate smoke. Riding the engine were driver-engineer Kenneth Rowe, Jerry Wayne Morris (a swing driver riding the seat), Amado Lozano (three shifts out of Training and now making his first run), and Rick Brewer (substitute). At the scene, Morris, Brewer, and Lozano found themselves inside an apartment, with a man pointing a gun at them and threatening "to kill." Eventually, they moved from sitting on the floor of the apartment to just outside the front door. The man continued yelling he was going to kill each of them.
Suddenly a Dallas policeman appeared and pushed at the gun with his night stick, telling the resident to drop the gun pointed into Morris' ribs. The man fired: one shot at Morris which passed through his abdomen to lodge against his femur, and two shots at Brewer, one grazing his upper arm and the other entering his chest and nicking his lung. The resident then put the gun to Morris' head and fired again. However, the three shots he had fired at a commode, stove, and ceiling before the firefighters arrived, together with three he had fired at the firefighters, had emptied the gun.
On hearing the click of the empty gun, Lozano helped Brewer run as far as the parking lot where Engine 32 was parked; Morris dragged himself to the corner of the building where Dallas Police were positioned. Two MICU's transported the wounded firefighters to the hospital. Brewer returned to work after seven shifts, with a bullet still lodged in his back, and Morris, two months later with a bullet still in his hip.
Another unusual, if not nearly so terrifying, run made by firefighters at #32 was to the minimum security prison at Seagoville in the mid-1950s. The prison had a woodworking shop and a warehouse in which lumber was stored. One morning a fire was discovered in the warehouse; after the inmates and volunteers from Seagoville tried to extinguish the fire, DFD was called. Engine 32, Engine 34 and Battalion 8 were dispatched. The warehouse was fully involved when Dallas firefighters arrived, and they fought the fire for several hours, assisted by inmates. The inmates, without protective clothing, "hid" behind firefighters on the hose lines. Since the prison facility was not "plugged," both engines drafted from a small lake on the prison grounds.
The prison gates had been opened when the Dallas equipment arrived. Upon departure, Battalion Chief Bill Owens had to personally vouch for each firefighter to be released (he reportedly hesitated over one or two), and each apparatus was searched from top to underside.
The prewar residential neighborhood where #32 is located looks much the same today as it did when the station opened. The station's first alarm district has remained largely residential, although within the last several years, most of the vacant land has been developed with apartment complexes or residential subdivisions. The vacant land once meant firefighters at #32 dreaded summer because of the many and very large grass fires.
Red: Indicated High
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