Fire Station No. 1
Fire Station No. 1 was built and dedicated after the Great Fire 1889. This was the first fire station with paid fire fighters, uniforms and better equipment. Until 1889, the town had been served by a Volunteer Fire Department, with E.B. Hyde and Horace L. Cutter as Chiefs. Volunteers had to drag the hose reels by hand to where they were needed to put out fires.
Fire Station No. 1 was built on First Avenue between Washington and Stevens. You can notice the words on the building still. They are covered in white paint and barely visible.
Inside there is a long garage where the horses and hose carts were parked. The driver would have to park the long hose cart in reverse. The hose trolley was a long horse drawn carriage with no roof. The horses made it harder to park than your suburban. They stored extra yokes and other extra supplies in the back of the garage. There was a dormitory for firemen upstairs and a metal pole to slide down when the alarm sounded.
The fire stations in Spokane Falls and Ritzville had competitions every now and then. Some events included rescuing a dummy from an under-control fire, and another was parking the hose trolley, and finally a race on a straight road. All the events were timed. Horses were used to get to fires until 1911, when the first motorized fire trucks were used. Station No. 1 was closed in 1933 and a new larger station was built to serve Downtown.
copyright (c) 2004, Discovery School
All rights reserved.
Revised:March 21, 2004; 10/4/2009
Report completed May 2003.
Last Modified on July 29, 2011