7. Fire Station

The North Perth Fire Station on View Street was opened in 1926 and was the second fire station constructed in the suburb. The first station (built between 1905 and 1909) was situated on the corner of Fitzgerald and Forrest streets and was originally the home of the North Perth Municipal Brigade. The Fire service was taken over by the Fire Brigades Board in 1910 and the rapid development of North Perth prompted the board to secure a more suitable site for a fire station that could serve the district for years to come.

The architect of the new station, K.C. Duncan, a volunteer fire fighter himself, was responsible for most of the fire stations constructed throughout Western Australia in the 1930s and 1940s. This resulted in a certain amount of standardisation of design. It was designed in the Interwar Chicagoesque style, and was one of the few to be built with two storeys.

North Perth Fire Station 1926
North Perth Fire Station 1926

At the opening of the new station in November 1926, the president of the Board, Mr J. R Campbell, was quoted in The West Australian as declaring at the opening ceremony:

“the new station had been erected to meet the growing needs of the district, and also with the object of carrying out the board’s system of centralising the stations under its control in the metropolitan area. The new station was a very fine one indeed, and was a further milestone in the progress of the State”

At the conclusion of the Mayor of Perth, J. T Franklin’s opening remarks, the firemen mounted the motor engine, the doors were swung wide, and the machine made a speedy exit to the accompaniment of warm applause from the crowd.

Perth fire engine, 1922
North Perth Fire Station View Street
The Fire Station pictured in the 1950s

The North Perth Fire Station closed on 28 November 1956 and was used as a training school and electrical workshop from 1957-62. In 1963 master baker, Jury Tolcon, who had run his bakery in nearby Alma Road for many years, purchased the building and converted the upper level to residential accommodation.

Tolcon Bakery 1950s
Rear Jury Tolcon’s Bakery in Alma Road North Perth, 1950s

Between 1980 and 1996 the building had changed ownership and was used as a retail store during this period. The building was State Heritage listed in 2004, by which time it was a private residence. In 2009 the United Fire Fighters Union of Australia (WA Branch) purchased the building and moved their offices there in 2010, linking it to its past as a fire station.

The building is one of only five remaining fire stations constructed in the metropolitan area prior to 1930, the others being Perth (1901), Fremantle (1910), Claremont (1914) and Leederville (West) (1926).

Assets and References

Images Courtesy State Library of Western Australia

  • BA1271/216 – North Perth Fire Station 1926. This image has been preserved and made available by the Historical Records Rescue Consortium (HRRC) Project supported by Lotterywest.
  • 011833D: Perth fire engine, 1922

Images Courtesy City of Vincent Local History Centre

  • PH00855 – North Perth Fire Station 1950s
  • PH00976 – Rear of Tolcon’s Bakery with staff and delivery vehicles

Heritage Council of WA – Register of State Heritage Places

The West Australian 17 Nov 1926, p 10 (Trove)

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