Our History

Fire Chief History

Grady King:  1931 - 1954
Pat Tignor:  1954 - 1963
Floyd Thornburg:  1963 - 1973
Gene Tignor:  1973 - 1989 (served as the City's first full time Fire Chief)
Frank Burns:  1989 - 2019
Tommy Harmon:  2019 - Present

KM Fire Department History

Although not officially organized at the time, reports prior to 1931 indicate that the City of Kings Mountain owned a 1924 truck (hose carrier) and had volunteer firefighters who would respond and to the amusement of the community, usually ended up pushing the old truck to the scene of the fire.

However, as growth of the City continued into 1931 the Board of Commissioners approved the purchase of a 1931 American La France fire truck, and on May 21, 1931 the Kings Mountain Fire Department was officially born and fought its first fire shortly thereafter at 2:00 AM on May 22 at the home of Mr. Wid Morris.

In the beginning, there was only one paid member of the department, Mr. P.D. Fulton, who was hired strictly as a driver for the 1931 engine. He was on call 24 hours a day, seven days a week and worked for the sum of $80.00 per month.

The budget for that year (1931-1932) for the Fire Department was $7,710, with pay for volunteers authorized on July 20, 1931. 

In August 1931 the Board of Commissioners authorized the first fire department building - a house in which to keep the new fire truck Today the Fire Department is in its third station and has opened a second station on the west side of the City.

On February 1, 1932, the Board authorized hiring of the second fireman, and on June 6, 1932 adopted a resolution of commendation for excellent service and the success of the Fire Department which was due in no small part to the officers of the Department.

Today the Kings Mountain Fire Department has twenty one full time employees and six part time employees. The Department has at least 6 personnel on duty at all times.

Kings Mountain has three neighboring departments with whom we respond mutual aid with: Oak Grove Volunteer Fire Department, Bethlehem Volunteer Fire Department, and in Gaston County Crowders Mountain Fire & Rescue.

Members of our department are active in the community and county organizations such as: Kings Mountain Rescue Squad, Bethlehem Volunteer Fire Department, Cleveland County Training Officers Association, Cleveland County Firefighters Association, North Carolina Association of Fire Chiefs, North Carolina Haz-Mat Association, Western North Carolina Firefighters Association, North Carolina Association of Fire Service Instructors and many more.