← Back to Departments Overview

Hoboken Fire History

In 1847, due to a lightning storm that destroyed many homes and business properties, the Hoboken Village Volunteer Fire Department was organized. Fire Company One was the first unit. On February 28, 1849, an act to incorporate the department was approved. The act said that all male residents of the township between the ages of 21 and 55 were eligible to serve.

Applicants filled the ranks of two volunteer companies: Hoboken Fire Company No. 1, also known as Oceana No. 1, and Excelsior No. 2. Both companies had their headquarters side by side on the corner of Washington and Sixth streets. Later, the Washington Hook and Ladder Company occupied a building on the corner of Washington and First streets before the construction of City Hall. Soon, Fire Company No. 3, "Meadow," was formed to cover the western section of the city.


In 1854, the Hoboken city charter provided for the forming of as many fire companies as necessary to protect life and property, but not more than one fire engine company for every 3,000 inhabitants. It also decreed that each company be comprised of not more than 50 men. Additionally, it allowed for one hook and ladder company or hose company of not more than 25 men for every 6,000 inhabitants.

Early fire equipment was hand-pumpers which could pump up to 300 gallons per minute with about 50 men on the handles. A riveted leather hose was the first type used to carry the water from the pump to the fire. In the late 1800's, rubber lined cotton hose became available.

IN THE 1860's, a public water system was used and this provided firefighters with a handy source of water. The wooden mains could be tapped by boring a hole in them. Each pumper carried a short pipe that could be pushed into the hole to deliver water to the pump. Around the same time, the steam fire engine pumper was developed. These steam pumpers, splendid creations with large, spoked wheels and shiny metal work, were horsedrawn, in a three-abreast hitch, creating a spectacular sight as they raced to the fire.

On July 18, 1889, the Hoboken Land and Improvement Company donated the land for a firehouse on the east side of Washington Street between Thirteenth and Fourteenth streets. In June, 1891, the paid fire department was started. In 1892, there were six companies. In the early 1900's, the motor-driven fire apparatus was introduced to the department. These piston-type pumpers could pump from 250 to 750 gallons per minute. Instead of hand ladders with hooks, motor-driven wood aerial ladders, which were spring activated, were put into service and could reach up to 75 feet.

IN THE 1950's, the centrifugal pump was available and Hoboken had pumpers which could pump 1,000 gallons per minute. The new 100-foot aerial ladders were now made of steel and were lifted by a hydraulic system. Equipment of similar design is in use today.

FROM 1973 TO 1982, a rash of fires - several of which were determined to have been arson fires - claimed the lives of 55 people including children. Near the end of that period, the city passed a smoke detector ordinance which several members of the department helped formulate and which became the model for the subsequent state law. There is no doubt that many have been saved due to this law.

Hoboken Fire History

Contact Info

Hoboken Fire History

Hoboken Fire History

In 1847, due to a lightning storm that destroyed many homes and business properties, the Hoboken Village Volunteer Fire Department was organized. Fire Company One was the first unit. On February 28, 1849, an act to incorporate the department was approved. The act said that all male residents of the township between the ages of 21 and 55 were eligible to serve.

Applicants filled the ranks of two volunteer companies: Hoboken Fire Company No. 1, also known as Oceana No. 1, and Excelsior No. 2. Both companies had their headquarters side by side on the corner of Washington and Sixth streets. Later, the Washington Hook and Ladder Company occupied a building on the corner of Washington and First streets before the construction of City Hall. Soon, Fire Company No. 3, "Meadow," was formed to cover the western section of the city.


In 1854, the Hoboken city charter provided for the forming of as many fire companies as necessary to protect life and property, but not more than one fire engine company for every 3,000 inhabitants. It also decreed that each company be comprised of not more than 50 men. Additionally, it allowed for one hook and ladder company or hose company of not more than 25 men for every 6,000 inhabitants.

Early fire equipment was hand-pumpers which could pump up to 300 gallons per minute with about 50 men on the handles. A riveted leather hose was the first type used to carry the water from the pump to the fire. In the late 1800's, rubber lined cotton hose became available.

IN THE 1860's, a public water system was used and this provided firefighters with a handy source of water. The wooden mains could be tapped by boring a hole in them. Each pumper carried a short pipe that could be pushed into the hole to deliver water to the pump. Around the same time, the steam fire engine pumper was developed. These steam pumpers, splendid creations with large, spoked wheels and shiny metal work, were horsedrawn, in a three-abreast hitch, creating a spectacular sight as they raced to the fire.

On July 18, 1889, the Hoboken Land and Improvement Company donated the land for a firehouse on the east side of Washington Street between Thirteenth and Fourteenth streets. In June, 1891, the paid fire department was started. In 1892, there were six companies. In the early 1900's, the motor-driven fire apparatus was introduced to the department. These piston-type pumpers could pump from 250 to 750 gallons per minute. Instead of hand ladders with hooks, motor-driven wood aerial ladders, which were spring activated, were put into service and could reach up to 75 feet.

IN THE 1950's, the centrifugal pump was available and Hoboken had pumpers which could pump 1,000 gallons per minute. The new 100-foot aerial ladders were now made of steel and were lifted by a hydraulic system. Equipment of similar design is in use today.

FROM 1973 TO 1982, a rash of fires - several of which were determined to have been arson fires - claimed the lives of 55 people including children. Near the end of that period, the city passed a smoke detector ordinance which several members of the department helped formulate and which became the model for the subsequent state law. There is no doubt that many have been saved due to this law.

Birth Certificates

Fee: $10 Cash or Money Order
Application

Death Certificates

Fee: $10 Money Order
Application

Marriage Certificates

Fee: $10 Money Order
Application
Call 201-420-2040 for questions or instructions

Marriage or Civil Union Licenses

Fee: $28 Cash
Instructions / Application

Business Licenses

New businesses should contact this office to determine if they need to complete a business application. All other businesses will be mailed annual renewals. Business Check or Cash is acceptable.

Dog Licenses

All Dogs in the City of Hoboken must possess a dog license and maintain it annually. Fee: $12 Spayed/Neutered, $16 Not Spayed/Neutered. We accept Cash and Personal Check. Application

Apostille Seal

All Apostille Seals are handled at the state level. Please go to their website for further assistance. New Jersey Department of Vital Statistics

Did you know?

It is legal to hail in Hoboken. 

Contrary to popular belief or common local practice, it is legal to hail a licensed yellow cab (although not limousines) anywhere in Hoboken, not just at the train terminal. There are 65 authorized taxis. Before you enter a cab, make sure you see the circular Hoboken logo and number.

Only one fare per taxi. 

Taxis may accept only one fare – a person or group of persons going to the same location – per ride. With the permission of the first fare, a second fare may join, but no more. The first rider must be taken to his or her destination first. This rule has been laxly enforced and widely violated in the past, but that is no excuse for continued violations, and the Administration will investigate and take action against all reported violations.

The local fare for yellow cabs is $8.00 or $7.00 from the PATH taxi stand, plus additional fees. 

The local fare is $8.00, except it is $7.00 for rides originating from the NJ Transit/PATH station taxi stand, regardless of weather or shortage of drivers. Additional fees are permitted for extra passengers and baggage (see below for details). In the past, it has been common for residents and visitors to be grossly overcharged by taxi drivers during inclement weather or high demand. Please report any violations.

Call if you see a violation. 

Residents who believe there is a violation should immediately contact Monique Campbell at the Division of Taxi & Limousine Licensing by calling 201-725-7885 or emailing taxi@hobokennj.gov and providing the time of the incident, the taxi number (or driver’s license number or vehicle plate number), and a description of what happened. Residents are the City’s eyes and ears, and we can only take action if we know there is a problem.

Complaint Forms

Complaint Form

Complaints Enforcement Policy

In addition to active surveillance and enforcement of taxi and limousine regulations on the street, The City of Hoboken Division of Taxis and Limousines carefully monitors and acts on complaints from the community regarding licensed taxis and limousines in accordance with the following policy:

Anonymous Complaints: 

Complaints submitted anonymously are reviewed and added to the individual driver/owner file. The Division always asks the complainant if they would like to prepare an affidavit to allow the Division to broaden actions taken at this level (see next section). Driver/owner are also given an opportunity to submit their recollection of the events. After a review of all materials, the Division typically issues a warning to the driver/owner and tracks the frequency of complaints regarding the individual driver/owner. If multiple complaints are collected on an individual driver/owner (typically three or more), the Division may choose to issue a summons, suspend, or revoke the active license, depending on the severity and/or details of the complaints.

Affidavit Complaints: 

All individuals submitting a complaint are offered the opportunity to complete an affidavit expressing a willingness, if required, to testify in court on the issue. In most cases, court appearance is not likely; however, individuals who choose this option make it more appropriate for the Division to take immediate action on the grounds that the complaint represents a major concern and should be resolved more swiftly than via the anonymous method described above. Driver/owner are also given an opportunity to submit their recollection of the events. After a review of all materials, the Division may choose to immediately issue a summons, suspend, or revoke the active license, depending on the severity and/or details of the complaints.

In all instances, disciplinary actions are conducted in accordance with the authority bestowed upon the Division via the Hoboken City Code.

Municipal Code

If you have any questions about our municipal code, please view it directly online. 179A 180A

Did You Know Documents

List of licensed taxi and limousine companies

Rules and Regulations for drivers

Future Inclement Weather and Holiday Enforcement

Taxi Enforcement


knowledge base: faqs



Does the Shade Tree Commission have a list of trees that they recommend for planting? View the approved list of tree species.

Who should trim the tree in front of my house? Please contact David Calamoneri.

I know of a tree that I believe is dying or is dangerous, who should I contact? Please contact David Calamoneri.

How do I become a volunteer for the Shade Tree Commission? Please contact Peter Bakarich III.

How do I apply to be a commissioner on the Shade Tree Commission? Submit an application for appointment to citizen advisory boards and commissions.

When does the Hoboken Shade Tree commission meet? Click here to view the meeting dates for 2015.

What are the benefits and reasons for planting trees in Hoboken? Read about 13 Reasons to plant trees.

How can I find out info on the tree(s) on my Street? View the Hoboken Tree Inventory.

No items found.