Wednesday, July 20, 2011


                                Friday, January 6, 1956, by John J. Creedon, Fire Chief

            With mixed feelings the members of the Bingham Volunteer Fire Department said farewell to an old friend on December 11th, when old No. 1 rolled out of the fire station for the last time and was replaced by the new American LaFrance fire engine.  The boys were a little reluctant to part with an old and faithful friend, but were happy to have a worthy successor in the new and modern machine.
            Old No. 1 was purchased June 1, 1925 and proved her worth in July 1925 when she performed at a fire at 106 Carr Fork.  Prior to the purchase, the city was without a pumper and with water pressure low in the upper part of town most of the time, several disastrous fires had occurred over the years.  At the time of purchase Old No. 1 was tops in the field.  It would deliver 750 gallons of water per minute and was equipped with a 35-gallon soda and acid chemical tank, which was later replaced by a 100 gallon water tank connected to the pump and used on most of the smaller fires.
            Old No. 1 served the City of Bingham well for 30 years and retired with an enviable record.  She never let the firemen down–used in all kind of weather and all emergencies, including pumping basements during floods.  How well we remember some of the fires she performed at so well—the big fire at 528-538 Main, July 15, 1927; the Royal Confectionery fire, May 6, 1931; the fire at 225 Main on Sept. 20, 1931, when we found the pump full of grape pulp after using the creek during the wine season in Highland Boy; the big fire at Highland Boy, Sept. 8, 1932, when she worked for eight hours, pumping in relay with two of the county fire trucks; the fire at the Yampa Club, July 3, 1935; the Catholic Church fire, Jan 31, 1941; the big fire at 14-18 Carr Fork, Aug. 30, 1943.  Her last fire of any consequence was the fire at Murano’s apartments on January 20, 1954.
            Old No. 1 was taken as a trade in on the new American LaFrance and she left town on her own power.  The original tires and paint were still with her and in good condition.  Many memories go with Old No. 1—happy moments, tragic incidents, fires and alarms of all kinds some humorous and some not so humorous experiences.  She paid for herself many times over.
            Only six firemen are still active in the department that were on the rolls in 1925.  They are: G.L. West, E.J. Householder Sr., John T. West, Arthur Cook, W.H. Harris and John J. Creedon.

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