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  • sept11 event
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  • The Colonia Fire Department takes the Patriot flag to Giants Stadium

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1943-1946

The Colonia Volunteer Chemical Hook & Ladder Company was established in April 1943, with thirty volunteers. In 1943 there had been eleven fire departments in the township already. Carteret had split from the township and two other fire departments had closed.

Colonia became Fire District # 12 with four fire commissioners in 1943. The company received its first fire truck a 1937 International coal truck bought from Chodosh Brothers of Rahway. The truck was parked in Ernie Frey's garage until a firehouse could be built on Inman Ave (site of the present building). One of the first things that needed to be done was to convert the coal truck into a fire truck. This was accomplished by building a 500-gallon water tank with the help of a local steel company and installing a gas driven pump that was donated by the government to the front of the truck.

When the fire calls first started to come in, they were received by telephone through Vesperino's general store, which was also located on Inman Avenue. Mr. Vesperino would then go to the firehouse while his family called the firemen and gave them the location of the fire.

With the help of the Colonia Civic Club, enough money was raised to realize the second goal construction of a two bay cinder block firehouse with a meeting room in that same year.

In 1945 the new fire department was put to the test when the Westfield Airport hangar and planes in hangar burned down. The airport was off of Lake Ave in Colonia/Clark. Fire departments from Colonia, Clark, Avenel, and Rahway fought the fire.