AMERY FIRE DEPARTMENT
founded in 1891

Located on Keller Ave across from Soo-Line Park
101 Keller Avenue S, Amery, WI  54001
Fire Department Office 715-268-7406 or Emergency 911
Frequency of Page - 154.025
Polk County Fire - 154.235

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On September 26, 1891, a special meeting of the village board was held for the purpose of discussing ways and means of preventing and extinguishing fires in the village of Amery.  Member present at that meeting were James P. Peterson, W.H. Robbins, Peter Nelson, John Berman and Thomas Proux.  A resolution was passed to establish a fire department as provided by Section 892 of the revised statutes of Wisconsin.  W.H. Robbins and John Burman and Thomas Proux were appointed as the committee of three to procure a suitable number of hooks, ladders and pails for use in case of a fire in the village.

Minutes of a later meeting show that a resolution was passed to sink two wells, eight feet square and deep enough to furnish plenty of water.  One of the wells was to be sunk opposite the W.D. Thompson livery stable on Keller Avenue and the other near Chris Nelson's place on Harriman Avenue.  In the minutes of the meeting held on July 1, 1894, a petition signed by D.F. Fox and 20 others, was read asking the village board to purchase a suitable bell to be placed in the belfry of the Congregational Church to be used as a fire alarm.  It was proposed that the village pay $50, the church $50 and the Fourth of July committee pay $25 towards the purchase of the bell.  The bell was to be under the control of the village board.

At a later meeting, the village board authorized the village President, L.G. Olcott, to purchase one hose cart and Thomas Proux was appointed to look after this equipment and see that the hose was properly dried and ready for use at any time.  At a meeting of the village board held, October 25, 1894, it was decided to build a building suitable to house council chambers, fire equipment and the village clerk's office.  This building was built just west of the depot.  The first village water tower with a wooden tank was built near the tracks, now the site of the Pennington building.  The records of the fire department show that a meeting held on December 3, 1894, the following resolution was adopted:  "that the organization of the Amery Fire Department as reported to the board to be satisfactory in all respects and in accorance with the statutes of Wisconsin and that the same be duly adopted and confirmed." 

In the summer of 1895, a committee was appointed to procure 20 fireman's caps, two dozen suitable pails, one 40 ft ladder, one 24 ft ladder and one 16 ft ladder.  This equipment was to be stored with the hose cart in the fire hall to be ready at all times.  The next equipment acquired was 600 feet of hose at $.50 per foot.  No mention is made of any financial accounts but of note is the fact that a motion was made by the board to the effect that all firemen be exempt from paying poll tax.

At special meeting of the council held on May 21, 1926, arrangements were made for the purchase of a new fire truck equipped with a triple combination pump, chemical and hose cart.  Price was $5000 and coats and hats were added to the equipment later. 

In 1951, the Amery Fire Department began to sponsor the fireworks held on the fourth of July.  They raised over $500 to purchase the fireworks for the display, while today we receive about the same show for $3000.  As the cost grew, the firemen started soliciting all businesses for donations ot help with the cost.  Today, the Community Club, Lions and the City of Amery put on the show.

As the town grew, more water mains were installed and in 1953, a modern fire truck was purchased.  in 1965, a 1000 gallon per minute pumper was added.  An Army Jeep and an Army 3/4 ton with a pump and tank were purchased in 1972 for fighting grass fires.  Also a 2 1/2 ton Army truck was added to be used as a 2000 gallon tanker.  A van was purchased in 1980 for hauling equipment and men.  A 1000 gallon per minute pumper was added in 1981 and in 1984 a 2000 gallon tanker was purchased. 

Notable Fires in our History...

1941 - The Danielson's Drug was completely gutted and the law office of Ton and Frank Yates was ruined completely, as was the dental office of Dr. C.A. Nelson.  These offices were all on the second floor of the drug store.  This $30,000 fire was on March 19, 1941.  Cold weather and strong winds hampered the efforts made by the firemen.

1943 - A $150,000 fire hit the Northern Supply plant.  On January 23, 1943 about 4:45 pm on a Saturday afternoon, the fire startred.  In orignated in the basement of the wooden building and soon gained headway up the 125 foot elevator.  The building was lost plus damage was done to the machinery and a considerable amount of grain was demolished.

1960 - $200,000 fire struck six businesses on February 16, 1960.  Destroyed in this fire were the Fashion Shop, Amery Paint Store, Maxon Barber Shop, Baker's Shoe Shop, and Leadholm Insurance plus Danielson's Drug and Cornwall Clinic had some smoke and water damage, but business went on as usual on Wednesday.  Thanks to alot of volunteers, equipment was moved out of the stores to prevent further loss and they again helped to later move it back in again.

1965 - Saturday, Feburary 20, 1965, a $500,000 loss was estimated when a tanker truck was unloading gas to the S&F Petroleum Company.  The driver heard a gushing sound and noticed that the bulk tank had ruptured, sending gasoline down Keller Avenue to the drain near Wayne's Cafe.  When it ignited, a wall of fire was seem all over the city.  The call to the firemen came in at 3:30 am.  With the help of Clear Lake, Balsam Lake, New Richmond, and Centuria, the fire was extinguished abot 10:30 am.  Destoryed in this fire were Iverson's Garage, Rudy & Esther's Diner, Granum Insurance, Amery Motor Agency, Cities Service Station, a trailer house and also a small frame house plus many cars and trucks.

1967 - $200,000 blaze hit the Northern Supply Mill with no origin known.  It was a friday evening, August 26 and a large amount of grain was lost.

 

Since 1906 Amery Fire has had 14 Chiefs...
H.H. Hart 1906-1910 5 years
E.M. Fay 1911-1913 3 years
S.L. Pennington 1913-1914 1 year
Charles Johnson 1915-1917 3 years
L.S. Field 1918-1919 1 year
George F. Griffin 1919-1920 1 year
T.J. Jackson 1920-1921 1 year
George F. Porter 1921-1922 1 year
Charles Johnson 1922-1931 9 years
Leonard Grenz 1931-1947 17 years
Merle Steensland 1948-1967 19 years
Don Winchell 1967-1977 10 years
Ben Jacobson 1978-1984 6 years
Rick Van Blaircom 1984- Present  

Amery Fire Department has developed from the bucket brigade of the lumbering days into our fine, efficient fire department of today.  These dedicated men and women are willing to leave their homes, families, and even their nice, warm beds to protect and serve our community!

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