R.A. Harold was the architect and Murcell & Haley were the contractors for this reinforced concrete building, built in 1911. It was one of four “chemical houses” located in Sacramento at the time.
As opposed to a large fire engine house, a chemical house was typically much smaller and contained a mid-size fire hose, which would be attached to a horse-drawn or motorized chemical wagon. It held soda acid flame retardants used to help control a fire until a larger engine with water hoses could arrive.
Over time, fire fighting technologies improved and the need for chemical wagons lessened. By the 1940s-50s, Chemical House No. 2 was no longer being used for its original purpose. It is now an office and remains in the lovely Poverty Ridge neighborhood in Sacramento.