NBFD History

CarriageOn May 6, 1872 the old engine company #1 purchased a new pumper and became the Constitution #2 Fire Company.

It was not used until October 15, 1874 for the fire at F. S. Richard's tannery, north of the village (at 99 Francestown Road). The next fire responded to was on Christmas day. After that, it wasn't until July 3rd 1876 that is was used again.

The book Under The Fire House Roof, 144 Years of Fire Fighting In New Boston 1845-1989 (Rena Davis, 1989) covers the fires and equipment used in New Boston from the inception of Constitution #2 Fire Company to 1989. The book illustrates the great fire of "the village" on May 11, 1887:

Black and white photo of housesThe fire alarm came at noon, and it was only in S.D. Atwood's barn. The fire was very hot, it burnt holes in the leading hose and made fighting the fire difficult. There was a strong Northwest wind, which spread the fire from one building to the next within the span of 1 and a half hours. A messenger was sent to the next town, Goffstown, and they responded with 150 men and an engine but it was too late. The following buildings had fallen: S.D. Atwood's store and outbuildings, J.N. McLane blacksmith shop, houses of Neil McLane, Nancy McLane, Abram Watson, J.P. Tuttle and Harriet McNeil. The Baptist church and chapel, engine house, school house, Presbyterian chapel and parsonage also fell. Even the fire hose cart burned right there in the street, along with all the hose on it. The only things left standing after the fire, was the fire engine (Constitution #2) and the mill which had started the fire with a spark! The owner was planning on opening the mill shortly after the fire, but there was much opposition. He sold the building, the new owner tore it down and built a creamery there. The damage was estimated at $50,000. The village was devastated. It was 1889 before a new fire house was built, as there were many more important buildings that needed to be rebuilt first.

Souhegan Mutual Aid Association

In 1949, the neighboring towns decided to form a mutual aid pact to help the small towns in case of a major fire. The mutual aid agreement was made between Francestown, Mont Vernon, Weare, and Goffstown. These days, mutual aid has grown, and New Boston is now a member of the Souhegan Mutual Aid Association. This exchange of resources and service mutually benefits the communities invovled.


In 1963, the name of the fire department was change by the change of the by-laws. It changed from Constitution #2, the name since 1872, to New Boston Fire Department. It was at this time that the fire department had a fire chief as opposed to a fire foreman. Willard Dodge became the first fire chief in March, 1963.

Monthly Raffle

In 1966, a monthly raffle was started fund the construction of a new fire station. The first drawing was October 1966. By 1972 they were able to contribute $7,000 to the construction. The raffle continued to provide money for equipment and maintenance, until it was discontinued in 1996.

Fire Department buildingIn 1993, the New Boston Air Force Tracking Station firehouse was demilitarized. With the removal of their firefighting force, the Tracking Station worked a deal with New Boston Fire for coverage. The deal was originally with New Boston, Bedford and Amherst. Bedford staffed the station days M-F, and Amherst & New Boston were on call nights and weekends. The resources responded to calls from the corners of Bedford and Amherst, and all of New Boston. Amherst dropped out early on. Bedford ended it's relationship in 2002. New Boston agreed to continue to provide fire and rescue service to the Tracking Station, in return the Air Force purchases and maintains all firefighting and rescue equipment, with the exception of the ambulance 76-X2. It belonged to New Boston, and needed a home when we purchased the new one, 76-X1. The Air Force purchases items for the ambulance, but the town pays for the ambulance maintainance. This has given New Boston access to some excellent equipment. The Tracking Station and the Fire Department have been working on improving our response to calls within the secured area, and recently the New Boston Police have participated in our joint trainings. Our contact within the Air Force is Dick Ritter. He has been a great resource for us. The station is called Hilltop, and the resources serve the Tracking Station, the town of New Boston and the Chestnut Hill area of Amherst.

White GarageThe New Boston Fire Department Today

In July 2022 Chief Dan MacDonald retired after twenty-five years as the fire chief.  Assistant Chief Cliff Plourde was named fire chief.  The fire chief's position is not a full time position so the Town decided to hire a chief of operations to manage the day to day affairs of the fire department.  In November, Frank Fraitzl was appointed the the chief of operations and began in that position. 

The organization maintains two stations and responds to almost 800 emergency calls per year.  In December of 2022, we began 24 hour coverage with per-diem staffing to ensure a timely response to primarily emergency medical calls but other emergencies as well.  The department is also in the process of designing a new modern fire station to be on the ballot in March, 2023.