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Tauranga Fire Station

Est. 1957.  The Great Fire of 1881 in Tauranga saw almost the entire northern end of Tauranga burnt to the ground, but it was not until 1912 that the George V Coronation Fire Station (aka Durham Street Fire Station) on the corner of Wharf and Durham Streets was completed (now Baycourt). This new Tauranga Fire Station in Cameron Road opened in 1957. 

Map No. 4.
193 Cameron Road
Tauranga, 3110.

About the Fire Station - it took from 1881 to 1912 for Tauranga to get a fire Station. Summary by Stephanie Smith
It took many years, numerous public meetings, and several serious fires for a proper fire brigade to be established in Tauranga, though the need for such a service was talked about from the 1860s onwards. After almost the whole north end of the township was burnt down in 1881, more strenuous efforts were made to form a brigade. Two fire engines arrived in 1882 and volunteers were called for, with limited success at first. However, the second meeting managed to muster ten men. The Fire Inspector appointed was Mr Asher Asher, an ideal candidate as he had been the first superintendent of the Auckland Fire Brigade in 1857. Later in 1882 the fire bell arrived, and a stand was built for it on the south west corner of Durham Street and Spring Street.

The Brigade's troubles were not over, as cost cutting by the Borough Council caused the volunteers to resign en masse in 1888. It was not until later that year that Asher Asher was reappointed as Fire Inspector and allowed to enrol six men, who were to be paid one shilling and sixpence for each monthly practice, two shillings for the first hour in case of fire, and one shilling and sixpence for subsequent hours. In 1895 and in 1900 there were more clashes with the Council over funds, resulting in resignations and ultimately in disaster, as in 1902 the Government Buildings, a large and ambitious wooden structure, was destroyed by fire.

Durham St Fire Station build in 1912 by Joseph Brain Tauranga Heritage Collection 0375/08
Tauranga Hotel burning down 1936 - Tauranga City Libraries Photo 08-101

Even so, it was not until 1912 that the George V Coronation Fire Station, built by Jospeh Brain of Brain Watkins House (#3), was completed on the corner of Wharf and Durham Streets. That was not the end of dramatic fires in the town of Tauranga: in 1916 eleven shops and the Commercial Hotel on The Strand were burnt down. In February 1936 it was the turn of the Tauranga Hotel. However, by then there was at least an efficient functioning alarm system, and a well-established and competent brigade of firefighters.

The present fire station on Cameron Road was opened in June 1957.

Bellamy, A.C. (1982). Fire Brigade. In Tauranga 1882-1982, Tauranga: Tauranga City Council (pp.94-99).

Note: The unmounted postcard print showing the Tauranga Fire Station in Durham Street. Two story masonry building built Joseph Brain and completed in 1912. He also built the 60 foot timber framed tower. "1911 Coronation King George V" sign on facade. "Fire Station" above door. Ten firemen lined up beside wheeled fire apparatus with ladder and hose. Handwritten on reverse "Tauranga Fire Brigade". The donor, Elsie Hulse, was the daughter of Thomas Edward Price. Price opened a studio in Tauranga in 1897 and it is possible that this image was taken by him.  In 1936 The Tauranga Hotel burnt down - the following image is a record of that time

The new fire station in Cameron Road was designed by architect Norman Jenkins in 1957 and built on what was the site of the Milne family home.
It is an example low-key modernism common post World War II.

Tauranga Fire Station built in 1957 is still in use to this day on Cameron Road.

The Tauranga Hotel Fire 1936  - Tauranga Historical Society Blog Spot - 28 August 2015

These dramatic photographs from the Tauranga Heritage Collection show the fire which destroyed the Tauranga Hotel in February 1936.

The fire, which started in the hotel’s staff quarters, drew large crowds and is remembered by many older residents including Mrs Peg Gresham (nee Murray), owner of Gresham Guarantee Garage which was on the corner of First Avenue and Devonport Road.

“The Tauranga Hotel was at the far end of The Strand. In 1936, in the summer of that year, it went up in flames. I don’t know how it happened but it was a most tremendous blaze. A truck parked outside the Bank of New Zealand in Willow Street had a tarpaulin over it and the tarpaulin caught on fire.”
Images courtesy of the Tauranga Heritage Collection.Posted by Fiona Kean

Images from Tauranga City Libraries

Fire Brigade exercise at Mount. Never published. Te Ao Mārama - Tauranga City Libraries Photo gcc-6768
Tauranga Fire Brigade's fire engine outside the Fire Station.  It was purchased in 1920. Te Ao Mārama - Tauranga City Libraries Photo 99-1110
Tauranga Hotel fire, The Strand. 15 February 1936. Fire Brigade. Te Ao Mārama - Tauranga City Libraries Photo 08-100
Fire Brigade presentation to Mr Wilkinson. Te Ao Mārama - Tauranga City Libraries Photo gca-1667
An 1890's house in Hamilton Street, Tauranga is set alight by the Tauranga Fire Brigade for fire fighting practice. Published 28 September 1972. Te Ao Mārama - Tauranga City Libraries Photo gca-21065
Fire Brigade to rescue - Pumping flooded Spring Street Pub. Te Ao Mārama - Tauranga City Libraries Photo gca-4329