City of Knoxville Fire Department

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City of Knoxville Fire Department
Knoxville fire dept patch.jpg
Agency overview
Established 1885
Employees 320
Staffing Career
Fire chief Stan Sharp
EMS level ALS & BLS
Facilities and equipment
Stations 19
Engines 17
Trucks 5
Quints 2
Squads 1
Rescues 1
Tenders 5
Fireboats 1
Official website

The City of Knoxville Fire Department (KFD) is provides fire protection and emergency medical services for the city of Knoxville, Tennessee. The Knoxville Fire Department responded to 20,722 emergency calls in 2012, with 10,803 being emergency medical-related incidents. The KFD serves approximately 180,750 people living in 100 square miles (260 km2) within the city limits.[1]


The Knoxville Fire Department can trace its beginnings all the way back to 1854 when Town Marshal J.D. Stacks saw the need for an organized bank of firemen. But it was in March 1885 when the city of Knoxville formed a full-time, paid fire department. With only seven employees, the department's first Fire Chief, Herman Schenk, took on the duties of protecting the city. By the turn of the century, the number of firefighters in the department had grown to 30. With the increase in personnel came the need for more fire stations and better equipment. In the last 100 years, the Knoxville Fire Department has grown from the Headquarters station in an old livery stable building with two horse drawn engine companies and one aerial truck company to 19 fire stations, out of which 42 engine, ladder, rescue, and hazmat companies, as well as tankers, rescue boats and other specialty equipment operate.

The department has also kept abreast of the latest in fire suppression technology and has incorporated state-of-the-art firefighting and communication equipment into its system. As the 21st Century draws near, the Knoxville Fire Department stands ready with dedicated men and women. The technology may change as the years progress, but the heart and soul of the department does not.


The Knoxville Fire Department is divided into several divisions of operation: Fire suppression, training center, public education, codes and inspections, fire and explosives investigations, logitstics, EMS, and maintenance shop.[2]

First Responder program[edit]

KFD's Engine 1 in July 2010.

The Knoxville Fire Department operates a First Responder program utilizing EMT and Paramedic firefighters to respond to life threatening medical emergencies. Units from the Knoxville Fire Department will respond and stabilize the victim until an ambulance arrives to transport the victim to a hospital. Ambulance service in the City of Knoxville has been provided by Rural/Metro Ambulance under a contract with Knox County since 1985.[3]


Fire Station Locations and Apparatus[edit]

District 81[edit]

Station Name and Number Engine Company Ladder Company Special Unit District Chief Address
Headquarters Engine 1, Engine 2 Ladder 1 Rescue 1, Brush truck, Mini pumper, Tanker 1, Fire Boat 1 Car 81 600 Summitt Hill Dr.
Fort Sanders Station 9 Engine 9 Ladder 9 1624 Highland Ave.
Sevier Ave. Station 10 Quint 10 2911 Sevier Ave.
South Knoxville Station 13 Engine 13 4701 Chapman Hwy.
Colonial Village Station 19 Engine 19 6328 Chapman Hwy.

District 82[edit]

Station Name and Number Engine Company Ladder Company Special Unit District Chief Address
Baxter Ave. Station 3 Engine 3 Ladder 3 204 E. Baxter Ave.
Park Ridge Station 4 Squad 4 2300 Linden Ave.
Burlington Station 6 Engine 6 3925 Holston Dr.
Whittle Springs Station 11 Engine 11 Car 82 2600 Whittle Springs Rd.
Chilhowee/Holston Hills Station 16 Engine 16 Tanker 16 5102 Asheville Hwy.

District 83[edit]

Station Name and Number Engine Company Ladder Company Special Unit District Chief Address
Lonas Staion 12 Engine 12 4620 Old Kingston Pike
Bearden Station 18 Engine 18 Hazmat 18 Car 83 610 E. Weisgarber Rd.
West Hills Station 20 Engine 20 Ladder 20 200 Portsmouth Rd.
John J. Duncan, Sr. Station 21 Engine 21 Tanker 21 245 Perimeter Park

District 84[edit]

Station Name and Number Engine Company Ladder Company Special Unit District Chief Address
Mechanicsville Station 5 Engine 5 419 Arthur St.
Lonsdale Station 7 Quint 7 1216 New York Ave.
Inskip/Norwood Station 14 Engine 14 Tanker 14 Car 84 5400 Central Avenue Pike
Fountain City Station 15 Engine 15 Ladder 15 5301 Jacksboro Pike
Northwest Station 17 Engine 17 Tanker 17 4804 Oak Ridge Hwy.

ISO Rating[edit]

The Knoxville Fire Department maintains a Class 3 ISO rating.[4]

Notable Incidents[edit]

Million Dollar Fire[edit]

The aftermath of the Great Fire on Gay Street, April 1897.

Early on the morning of April 8, 1897, a fire engulfed two blocks of Gay Street from Commerce Avenue to Union Avenue in downtown Knoxville. The massive blaze required all the resources of KFD (listed at the time as two steam engines), as well as firefighters and equipment from as far away as Chattanooga, Tennessee to extinguish.[5]

By the end of the blaze, five people had perished and losses were estimated at more than a million dollars (approximately $25.8 million in 2010 dollars [6]). The fire department resorted to using dynamite to stop the spread of the fire to other nearby buildings.[5]

McClung Warehouse Fires[edit]

On February 7, 2007 the former McClung Warehouses in the 500 block of Jackson Avenue burned. Heavy damage was sustained to several buildings in the area. During the three alarm fire,[7] several building collapses occurred, one of which heavily damaged Ladder 3. Additionally, four firefighters were injured when they were trapped upstairs in the burning building and has to make a hasty escape through a window using a fire hose as a makeshift rope ladder. The warehouses, some of which dated back to 1893, were mostly vacant at the time of the fire. The property owner was listed as owing back taxes on the property of more than $21,000 at the time of the blaze.[8]

Another portion of the McClung Warehouse building was destroyed by fire in the early morning hours of February 1, 2014. This occurred less than a year after the City of Knoxville purchased the remaining warehouses with plans of encouraging developers to utilize them in urban renewal projects. Shortly after the two alarm blaze, city officials demolished another portion of the derelict structure. [9]

See also[edit]


  1. ^
  2. ^
  3. ^
  4. ^ [1], City of Knoxville Fire Department website, accessed 01 December 2011
  5. ^ a b [2] Historic fire devastated Gay Street, Knoxville News Sentinel, 2011-12-23.
  6. ^ The Inflation Calculator
  7. ^
  8. ^ [3] Dilapidated warehouses in downtown Knoxville go up in flames,, accessed 23 December 2011
  9. ^ "Firefighters battle to subdue another fire at McClung Warehouses". Knoxville News Sentinel. 1 February 2014. Retrieved 1 February 2014. 

External links[edit]