Engine 5 was organized March 15, 1871 in the former quarters of West Philadelphia Hose Company #42 on the southeast corner of 37th and Ludlow Streets.

The original company roster was as follows:
Isacc J. Brown – foreman
James Black – engineer
Daniel Kalaher – driver
Thomas C. Boston – fireman
John Copple – hoseman
David Wilson – hoseman
George S. Davis – hoseman
George Collins – hoseman
William H. McMahon – hoseman
William B. Thomas – hoseman
Jacob Toy – hoseman
Albert G. Beam – hoseman

The company went into service with a second size (900 gpm) Reaney & Neafie steamer that was built in 1859. This apparatus was purchased from the West Philadelphia Hose Company for $1200.00. It was used by Engine 5 until 1873 when it was transferred to Engine 25.

This station was rented from the former volunteer company. The rent for 1871 was $666.66. That building was purchased in 1873.