The Napier Fire Brigade was established in October 1876 and was later situated in a building in front of the Masonic Hotel. By 1924, it had moved to a new central fire station built that year in Tennyson St.
During the 1931 Hawke's Bay earthquake, the building was badly damaged, and was not reinstated until July 1933.
One interesting aspect of the aftermath of the 1931 earthquake was an inquiry into what caused the fires to occur.
Napier's CBD was almost totally destroyed, when its firemen lost the water supply. The photo of Superintendent Gilberd walking in Hastings St while fires raged in the background showed the hopelessness of the situation.
The inquiry suspected that gas caused the fires but, as no one actually saw a fire start by gas, it could not be given as the cause.
The fact that chemist stores all had gas Bunsen burners and flammable liquids, and were the first to catch fire, was not enough proof.
This was the only real inquiry after the earthquake, and most realised that substandard buildings had been erected and the new ones would have to be stronger.
The Napier Fire Brigade left the building in 1968, when the new Taradale Rd building was opened.
The Art Deco Trust has made use of the building since 1992 but will soon move to new premises.