The first major fire extinguished by Paterson's paid fire department, successor to the city's volunteer brigades, broke out at 416 Main St. on April 17, 1890 and spread to an adjacent building, according to that day's edition of the Paterson Daily Press.
The alarm was transmitted at 2:45 p.m. from Box 83 at Slater and Marshall streets.
The newspaper said: "The flames made their way through the siding of the three-story story building at 414 an 412, and spread through the attic where the firemen kept it in check and extinguished the fire but not until the place was thoroughly saturated with water."
The original fire building was owned by Mrs. William Leonard. The adjoining building was owned by Jeremiah Rogers. Fire damaged a store occupied by William B. Allen, stationer.
The fire probably started in the chimney at 416 Main St. and damage was estimated at $500.
Police cordoned off the scene "under the recently passed ordinance establishing police lines," the Daily Press said in a followup story on April 18, 1890.
The newspaper also noted:
"There were some persons who are disposed to criticize the management of the blaze, and say that the firemen poured in more water than was needed, but persons on sidewalks viewing the fire from outside the police lines are not in a position to know."