Battalions of The Deptford Fire Department

Almonesson Lake Fire Company History: 1910 to 1979

Harry Strube, Almonesson president (Left), and
Richard Strube, Almonesson chief (Right).

Almonesson Lake Fire Company No. 1 began on 1910, when there was a $1 entrance fee to join, and 10 cents per month dues.

The first firehouse was on the west side of Almonesson Lake on Cooper Street.  There were 34 members and it was the first fire company in Deptford Township.

On August 1, 1910, the building committee reported that they were looking at the Bunn Driver Club located on Almonesson Road to be used as a new firehouse, but the price of $600.00 was too high; however, it was purchased in 1911.

Almonesson Lake Fire Company No. 1 was incorporated on Feb. 14, 1911.  The first recorded president was G. B. Kindle and the first recorded chief was A. Jaggard.  On Sept. 12, 1911, the company purchased its first badges.

Through the 1920's, the Almonesson Fire Hall was the hub of Deptford Township.  The township rented the hall for $30 per year to hold township meetings and court.

The records of the company are missing from 1912 to 1923, but the first motorized fire truck was purchased during this time.  The first electric siren was installed in December, 1921.  This was tested every morning at 6 a.m. except on Sundays.

In June of 1922, the Almonesson Relief Association was formed.  In 1928, the name was changed to the Deptford Township Relief Association, and was comprised of Almonesson Lake Fire Company and Union Fire Company of Blackwood Terrace.

On Jan. 11, 1927, an 80-foot by 169-foot lot on Cooper Street was purchased from Joseph Long for $1,200.  The first central water system in Almonesson was located on H. W. Leeds' farm.

On Dec. 22, 1937, a motion was made to have Charles Cattrell live on the second floor and be janitor in return for the living quarters.

The junior membership started on Sept. 7, 1937, and is still active today.

In July, 1939, it was voted to start a rescue squad.

Around January, 1940, Charlie Cattrell passed away, and it wasn't until Dec. 9, 1941, that W. Sagirs moved in to maintain and clean the firehouse.

On Feb. 23, 1943, all members that were not in the service were sworn in for civil defense work.

The old firehouse was torn down in 1946 and the new one was completed in 1947 on the same site.  The dedication of the new firehouse was held on Nov. 11, 1947.

On April 17, 1950, the company purchased a 1942 10-wheel drive army truck and a field truck out of it, being placed in service on Nov. 14, 1950.

On Dec. 9, 1952, a Chevrolet truck with a utility body on it was purchased.  This was fitted as a rescue truck and was the first rescue truck in Deptford Township.  This truck was painted yellow as were other trucks at this time.

On Sept. 12, 1959, truck radios were installed and put in service, using Woodbury Heights as the base station.  Woodbury Heights continued as the base station until May, 1965 when the unit started using the Deptford Township base station.

In 1962, the corner lot, being the Old Blacksmith Shop, was purchased, giving the fire company title to the three lots on which the firehouse now stands.

An International chassis was purchased giving Almonesson a total of two pumpers, one field truck and one rescue truck.

The company's dreams became a reality when in 1968, the firehouse was remodeled and an addition doubled its size.

The truck bays were moved from Almonesson Road to Cooper Street at this time.  This is the building as it stands today.

In April of 1978, an architect was hired to draw up plans for an addition to the current firehouse.  These plans were completed in June of 1978.

This addition provided another truck bay, new kitchen, plus much needed offices and class rooms.