In 1879, a volunteer fire company of 15 men was organized in the Longwood area because the residents in the area felt that this section had such a large amount of unprotected property. This company was housed in the Longwood Club stable by permission of Dr. William Lawrence and became Hose Company 3. After 1 year's service, the Board of Engineers recommended that $400 be allocated to pay the men and make them a permanent addition to the department.
The next year saw this volunteer band becoming permanent as Hose Company 3 was housed in a shed alongside the Longwood Club stable on Carlton Street. Soon it was decided to make this company a chemical engine company, and in 1882 a chemical engine was bought and placed into the old wooden shed. There was much concern about the safety of the older building. Two options included building another building or renting the brick club stable building and fitting it up for fire use.