|LFD - slightly before my time|
Editor note: Check out the "F is for Fire Engine" blog posting from the museum that discusses a 1905 "mutual aid" effort by Lowry to the Glenwood Fire Dept. The pumper was loaded on a railroad flatcar and delivered to Lake Minnewaska to pump water to a fire scene on Franklin Ave.
|LFD - modern era|
This pumper was also the sole piece of fire equipment available when the entire east side of Main Street burned to the ground in 1911. (This is why all the buildings on the east side of Main are brick.) If there was enough hose to reach the fire scene, the pumper remained in the town hall under a funnel venting to a chimney with water fed from the water tank. This steam powered - later gas powered - engine could pump 1400 gal/min.
The most famous fire in town history was the complete destruction of the Lowry Roller Mill in 1937. This flour milling operation was the most prosperous enterprise in the town, with "Lowry's Best" Flour sold in a multi-state area. Flour dust can be as explosive as gunpowder and it is believed a spark ignited an explosion.
The mill was not rebuilt.
The scariest fire I ever was involved in fighting was the Svec barn fire. It was in the evening and the barn hayloft was packed full with hay bales. The barn went up like a torch. By the time the fire truck arrived, there was no hope of saving the barn, rather the struggle was to get the animals out - not entirely successful. But usually, a fire call was for an out of control grass fire. The standard fire fighting equipment for these fires - before Abednego arrived - was a wet gunny sack.
The biggest training event was the torching of the Molander Apartments. In my youth, this building housed Molander's International Harvester Implement Dealership with apartments on the 2nd level, but in the 70's it had become a hazard.
|Molander building control burn|
(See photos. Unfortunately, the Lowry Meschach is lost to history, unless someone can come up with a photo.)