The firehouse at 521 Commercial Street was opened on August 5, 1911 when (Fireboat) Engine Company 31 moved in. Engine 31 had been berthed at Lewis Wharf, East Boston, with (Fireboat) Engine Company 47.
The firehouse was located on the City of Boston North End Paving Wharf, at 521 Commercial Street, opposite Copps Hill Terrace.
On January 15, 1919, the firehouse was severely damaged due to rupture of a molasses tank which stood approximately 150 feet away. Over two million gallons of molasses caused an immediate tidal wave flood in the area. Engine 31’s firehouse was knocked off its foundation, causing major damage to the interior structural supports. One firefighter inside the firehouse was pinned by debris and could not escape before drowning in the pool of molasses. Nineteen other persons lost their lives in the ‘Molasses Disaster’.
A new firehouse was built on the same site as the previous firehouse and Engine 31 moved in on May 7, 1924.
On October 22, 1948 Fireboat Engine 31 moved to a berth at Battery Wharf, the site of the old East Boston North Ferry terminal, opposite Battery Street, North End. On the same date, Fireboat Engine 44 moved in at 531 Commercial Street (new address), leaving their old quarters at the Northern Avenue Bridge.
At a point in 1952 or 1953, Engine Company 44 was placed Out of Service, and the fireboat responses were divided between Engine 31 and Engine 47, both operating from the berth at Battery Wharf. It must be concluded that the firehouse at 531 Commercial Street was closed at that time, as no more information is available.
On March 25, 1954, Engine Company 44 was disbanded.