“Disastrous as this fire has been, it teaches this moral, which, as it is an expensive one, seemed to have been imperatively required, and is all the more valuable – that unless an adequate supply of water and suitable fire engines are speedily obtained for the city, and a reasonable check put to the further erection of wooden buildings in the business part of the town, we shall not be surprised to see it in complete ruins some of those days.”
The Herald 18 July 1866
Each time a fire would destroy a section of the City, the newspapers always noted the lack of water. Originally, a bucket brigade was used to fight fires where each citizen used their bucket to collect and throw water on the fire. As technology advanced, fire companies obtained better equipment such as the Rollo and the Hillsborough (Silsby Pumper) that could hook up to the wells and cisterns, or the harbor, and throw large amounts of water on to the fire. Despite the improvement, it was not an ideal system. Pumps broke down, shallow wells ran dry and as the City grew, water was becoming harder to access.