The present firehouse was completed and first occupied on Wednesday, February 17, 1926. Built to resemble a Spanish Mission, it is unique among Boston firehouses in this design. It replaced a firehouse at the same location which had been built in 1869, while Dorchester was a separate town. Engine 21 has occupied this firehouse continuously since 1926.
View a city report on the construction of the original firehouse in 1869 by the Town of Dorchester: City Report
Engine Company 21 was organized as part of the Boston Fire Department on January 3, 1870. On that date, the Town of Dorchester was annexed to the City of Boston. Upon annexation, 6 engine companies and 2 ladder companies from Dorchester were added to the roster of the Boston Fire Department. In keeping with tradition, new fire companies were assigned the next available number in ascending sequence.
The firehouse is located at 641 Columbia Road, at the corner of Annabel Street, in the Uphams Corner section of Dorchester. Many major streets and avenues pass through this area, offering a quick response pattern for Engine 21.
Engine 21 responds to approximately 3600 incidents per year. It has a wide response area, from City Point in South Boston to Franklin Park in Roxbury. BFD members assigned to Engine 21 rarely leave the company, due to the high response rate and the amount fire duty they perform.