Market Harborough had some way of fighting fire as far back as 1679, only 34 years after the Battle of Naseby. There was probably a large pump used by six people, and the water was taken from the Folly Pond, which is nearby the present-day fire station. Streams were made going down the hill to get water into the town, and an underground tunnel replaced this in 1766.
In 1870 a Volunteer Fire Brigade was created in the town, and horse-drawn fire engines were stored outside the church of St Dionysius. Smaller, private fire brigades were run by insurers and you could tell a business or building was covered by a mark or plaque, such as the Sun Fire one.
Local Government took over the Fire Brigade in 1880 and by 1903, the distinctive fire station on Abbey Street was built. The current fire station on Fairfield Road was opened by the Duke of Gloucester in 1989