Mar
17

Fire Station #4: A Balboa Island Hot Spot

Newport Beach Fire Station #4 is a well-known fixture on Balboa Island. The station sits at the corner of Marine and Park Avenues and is the center of many island traditions, including the Christmas tree lighting and Balboa Island Parade. The doors are often open, and visitors can walk on in and see this active fire station and museum showcasing its historical roots.

Originating in 1927, the Balboa Island fire station was the first in Newport Beach. It was located further up Marine Avenue where Fresh Produce is today, and it handled many types of emergencies. Fun fact: according to the Balboa Island Improvement Association, the Balboa Fire Station was the only government building in the area. Not only was it a running fire station, but it was used as a drunk tank during the Prohibition!

Over time, the station was relocated to its current spot, and the exterior of the building was reconstructed in 1993. The Santa Barbara-style architecture is a beautiful fit for Balboa Island, and when the restoration was complete, residents celebrated with a parade. The Balboa Island Parade has been held on the first Sunday of June ever since.

Locals and tourists love the vintage fire engine, an American LaFrance, which was donated to the station in the early 1990’s. This 1920 pumper is an exceptional sight, delighting all the youngsters who stop to check it out! The truck has been fully restored and still runs – it is driven once a year at the Balboa Island Parade.

Historical photos and collectibles line the walls of the interior, and the firefighters clearly love when they are assigned to this station. It’s fun to chat with them!

This is a unique and cherished firehouse – it seems like the kind of place a Dalmatian would live. Alas, no Spot here, but look closely on your way out, and you’ll see a “dog” in the front seat of the fire engine. Once upon a time, someone stuck an old clock in the front seat, and it’s gone along for the ride ever since!

One Comment

  • REnewportbeach
    3 years ago

    What a fun highlight! I love that there are so many spots with history around our community.

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