HFD Pictorial History 1980 - 2014 Book Reviews



Tom Scott
Enjine Enjine

A wonderful pictorial book highlighting another era of the Houston Fire Department. As with Scott’s first book, he has managed to capture numerous aspects of the fire department with outstanding photographs accompanied by just the right amount of description. This is another fine book that you can pick up and enjoy whether you only have a few minutes, or plenty of time to relax and study the fires, the apparatus, or the firefighters in the pictures. Along with his maintaining the history of the HFD Line of Duty Deaths and his first book, Scott has shown a talent for research into the Houston Fire Department that many have thought about but few have brought to fruition. With the help of so many people who have saved these fine photographs and kept a piece of the vanishing history of the fire department, he has managed to compile a book that will please anyone interested in the fire service or the history of Houston


By John M. Malecky
Senior Columnist
1st Responder Network
August, 2015

"The Pictorial History of
The Houston Fire Department
By F. Scott Mellott

This is a hard cover coffee table book with 224 pages. It measures 9 inches by 11 inches and is the sequel to the author's first pictorial history book published in 2012. which had photographs from 1895 through 1980. The author joined the HFD in 1975 and in 1986 he began researching line of duty deaths in the HFD since 1895 when the paid department began. The research was used for memorial sections of two HFD yearbooks. As time went on additional research and collections of old photos help produce the first book and also this one. There is also an HFD memorial website. All of the photos collected were reproduced into digital color and are of very high quality. After a dedication and introduction, the book is divided into sections namely by decade (1980s, 1999s, 2000s) and the last two address the Southwest Inn Fire, May 31, 2013, which resulted in the deaths of a captain, an engineer, and two firefighters. There are details and photos of each of their lives. The next and last section is  "In Memoriam" and has the names and details of all LODD members of the HFD. The book is so well done that I cannot say enough about it in recognition of the author's efforts and the support of the team of people who helped contribute, right down to the artist who painted the photo that serves as the front cover of the book and many Houston fire ground photographers whose works were used. As a whole, the vast number of contributors gets a  "well done" from me. The book is loaded with crew photos, fire ground photos, some apparatus, various incidents, ceremonial photos, team photos, some station photos and just an all-around mix of what puts a pictorial history together. This is a book I read with mixed emotions because it deals with both joy and tragedy!


      Terry Parker

Excellent! - Best describes this book. Scott Mellott has raised the bar on how to publish an outstanding pictorial history book. If you have an interest in the Houston Fire Department or just enjoy reading about Fire Department History, this book is a must have to add to your collection. The combination of Scott's knowledge of the Houston Fire Departments history, spectacular fire scene images taken by some of Houston's most prominent photographers and a well laid out format chapter to chapter makes this book a sure masterpiece. Another feature that stands out in this book are the firefighter group photos. These images were well thought out and creatively done. This is usually a grey area with most Fire Department History books. Most Departments all use the same format of posing the firefighters by their apparatus in front of Quarters. In this book, you will definitely see a more personal side and have an interest in seeing the surroundings used in these images. This book richly shows the integrity, professionalism and brotherhood of the Houston Fire Department and it's History from cover to cover!

         Kenneth F. Morris Jr

If you are interested in Houston, Houston History, Fire Fighters, or any combination thereof - then this book it for you. The images are breathtaking and include everything from dramatic fires to daily life at the stations. Scott has truly captured the essence of the department while honorably chronicling the fallen brothers and sisters and those that remember them every day.

          HAPPY MOM

 This an absolutely spectacular book! The detail is really remarkable and the photos are beautiful. After reading this, you really feel personally connected not only to the Houston Fire Department, but to every event in it's history. I did not have the opportunity to purchase the previous book (A Pictorial History of the Houston Fire Department 1895-1980), but I will be purchasing a re-leased copy from the hfdbook website. If you are interested in Fire History or the City of Houston, this book is a must have! Also makes an excellent gift :)

          Amazon Customer

This pictorial was so beautifully put together. It reminds everyone that when you hear the word first responder, fire fighter, ems, paramedic...they have faces....they aren't just the words, they are people. This book shows the dangers that our men and women in HFD face. And the layout of the tragic fire that cost the lives of four of our firefighters is so eloquently done; to show the story and the memorials...was simply touching.


F. Scott Mellott has done it again! He has captured the camaraderie and the dedication of the Men and Women of The Houston Fire Department! As a Retired Houston Firefighter who has lived through the blood, sweat and tears that this book portrays, I say Thank You for creating this masterpiece that will be passed onto generations to come!

          Victor Pena

This is a great follow-up to Scott's first book, 1895-1980. The attention to detail and the amount of time and effort put into this book is tremendous. Each picture depicts a day in the life of Houston's Bravest. I would recommend both books to anyone who wanted to know what it is like to be a firefighter.


I have so much respect for Fire Fighters and this book. The amount of detail is unbelievable and each picture tells it's own story. I am the proud owner of both books and every person that picks it up off my coffee table, can't put them down.

          Ronda Wenger

Amazing book! This book is not a typical 'Year Book' by any means. Scott Mellott and his staff have assembled and published a true 'Pictorial History' of the Houston Fire Department. The book contains photographs and captions of many legendary HFD Firefighters, Stations and Events. The hours that went into the gathering, editing and publishing of this product must be mind boggling.



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