The Vogt Reel House is Home to Engine Co. 4 and the Phantom

The next time you walk the increasingly popular Jefferson Street corridor, be sure to pause about midway between Main Street and West Sixth. At 246 Jefferson Street, you'll see in action the oldest continuously operated firehouse in Lexington.

The Vogt Reel House was built in 1904 at a cost of $9,763. The appears of this 2-1/2 story brick structure is dominated by the two central brick tourelles each topped with "small domed 'pepperpot' tops" beneath the styled parapet. Together, it is described as being in the neo-Jacobean style.

Henry Vogt, for whom the firehouse is named, lived nearby at 534 Maryland Avenue when he donated the land for the firehouse which now hosts Engine Company No. 4. Vogt was a high end grocer who sold his goods from his shop at West Short and Broadway. At the time of his donation, he had also served on the city council for 16 years and was the Chairman of the Fire Committee.

When it opened to much fanfare, it housed "horses in stalls, five firemen and occasional neighborhood visitors, and it had a hay loft and a pot bellied stove. And later, Dalmations."

In 2005, the center bay entry was widened so that a modern fire truck could continue to serve Downtown,Transylvania, Manchester, and Rupp Arena. The ubiquitous fire pole brings firefighters from the upper level's living quarters to the engine level quickly. There is also an antique red spiral staircase which was originally located in the old Fayette County courthouse which burned in the late 1800s. 

The emblem on the engine for Company No. 4 depicts a skull wearing a fireman's hat: it is the Phantom. The Phantom honors the Vogt Reel House's ghost.

Oh, yeah. This firehouse is haunted!

Sources: Don EdwardsFirehistory; LexingtonNorthside NA;