Luton’s firefighting service had been a purely voluntary one until the town’s Board of Health formed a fire brigade in 1864.
The main fire station was in Stuart Street, but a new station was built in Church Street, next to St Mary’s Hall, in 1876.
Until 1914 the firemen were part-time and voluntary and were called from their homes or places of work when there was a blaze.
It was then that a nucleus of full-time firemen was recruited and the first motor engines replaced the old popular horses.
In 1930 Luton had the most serious fire in its recent history when Vyse’s hat factory in Bute Street was gutted and eight people were killed.
The Church Street fire station was replaced by one in Park Street in 1940 before Beds County Council provided the then very modern station in Studley Road in 1956.