The threat of incendiary bombs during the First World War had led to the formation of a volunteer Special Fire Brigade. In June 1915, the parish council allocated £75 for the purchase of fire fighting equipment, including a handcart, scaling ladders, a hose and canvas buckets. In 1922, the Hadleigh Volunteer Fire Brigade was formed and a building on the London Road was leased for storage of the equipment.
By the mid-1920s, the parish council was looking for land on which to build a fire station. Hadleigh Fire Station was built in 1931 by Messrs. Ventis and King for the new Benfleet Urban District Council.
When the Hadleigh Fire Station opened, a new fire engine was purchased for £999 16s. 0d. The fire engine was driven by Mr. H. Lazell, who had been appointed the resident fireman.
In the August issue of FIRE magazine, Benfleet Urban District Council advertised for a resident fireman. Mr. H. Lazell was appointed on a wage of £3 a week, plus unfurnished quarters in the fire station. The quarters were for a married couple and comprised two bedrooms, a living room and ‘the usual offices’. Mr. Lazell not only drove the fire engine, but was expected to maintain the vehicle as well.