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The Spokane Fire Department The Spokane Fire Department was established in 1884 after a hot dry summer with several fires one of which destroyed sixteen businesses along Main Street The original department had twenty-three volunteers and two hose carts In the summer of 1889 nearly the entire downtown area burned to the ground including two of the three fire stations By the end of that year a paid department was established with twenty-five members new horse drawn steam pumpers and an annual budget of 33000 The first significant fire in Spokane occurred on the night of January 19 1883 The temperature was a frigid twenty-six degrees below zero The blaze began in the store of F R Moore and Co on the southeast corner of Howard and Front Pistol shots sounded the alarm but a hastily formed bucket brigade proved insignificant and the fire quickly burned south to the alley consuming half a city block containing five businesses This disaster prompted owners to rebuild in brick but few others followed their example and Spokane continued to grow as an unmanaged hodgepodge of brick and wood An ensuing period of good luck allayed citizens fears and the fire protection issue was set aside On May 3 1884 the first call for a volunteer fire department appeared in a humorous paper called The Mule The unknown writer declared Spokane to be completely at the mercy of that ruthless destroyer of cities - fire The ensuing summer was hot and dry and by mid-July the city fathers may have been beginning to worry about their investments On July 7 1884 city council members Mayor James M Glover A M Cannon Havermale Deuber Berg and Turner met to discuss how to acquire some means of fire protection A committee was appointed to decide how many hydrants were needed and to investigate the terms for purchase of equipment During the summer of 1884 several small
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