History of the
Clarence Fire Company
The first Clarence Fire Company was organized in March 1916 and was comprised of twenty-five members headed by the following officers:
William R. Loeffler, President
This group of men volunteered their services to the protect
the property of the citizens of Clarence against fire, and by means of
subscription, were able to purchase the fire hall at the top of Academy Hill as
well as a hand-drawn chemical fire-fighting wagon. This was quite an improvement over the previous leather-bucket
brigade which for several years was Clarence’s sole protection against fire
loss and damage.
- Early firefighting, as recalled by some of the first
members, often had its humorous aspects.
The old chemical-fire wagon was drawn to the scene of the blaze by the
first volunteers to reach the fire hall.
Getting the equipment safely down Academy Hill without loss of fire
wagon or firefighter was a feat in itself.
Before the siren was purchased, the church bell was used as a fire
alarm. Nor did it matter that there
were services going on – the bell must ring!
- On March 27, 1920, a petition was presented to the Clarence
Town Board proposing formation of a fire corporation to be known as the
Clarence Fire Company. It was two years
later (1922) that a fire district supported by taxes was formed. This was the first fire district to be set
up in the Town of Clarence.
- The original Chemical Fire Company was then dissolved to
divert all effort toward forming the present Clarence Fire Company. At the organizational meeting, held May 23,
1923, the following officers were elected:
Miller, Frank Schurr and Burton Larkin, Fire Commissioners
- Without further delay, the new Fire Commissioners
purchased a new fire engine – a 1˝ ton truck upon which was installed a 440
gallon chemical tank outfit. It was an
exciting day for the citizens of Clarence when that new truck arrived. Everyone gathered at the school grounds to
see it demonstrated. A year later, on
August 9, 1923, the first siren was purchased and shortly thereafter was
installed atop the fire hall.
- By 1950, the members of the Clarence Fire Company were well aware that their firefighting equipment was fast out-growing the space of their old fire hall. Some time later, plans were begun for a new building. The Clarence Board of Fire Commissioners applied great effort to convince the fire district voters that there was a dire need for a more spacious and convenient fire hall. The president of the
Fire Company at that time was Herman Monkelbaan. The Board of Fire Commissioners at that time were comprised of Glen Burns, Chairman, Edwin Rosenthal, Carl Mager, Elmer Heeb, and William Tuttle.
- On June 19, 1954, the property owners of Clarence Fire District No. 1, voted their approval of a $38,000 bond issue to finance the building of a new fire hall. A lot, 120' by 180', located on the south side of Bodine Road, east of Parker Elementary School was purchased as the site. The architectural plans were designed by Elton F. Ransom of Clarence
and work on the brick-faced concrete block building proceeded under the direction of the Gruber Construction Company. The building was completed during the summer of 1955.