Rimbey’s fire brushed history

Fire Prevention Weeks runs Oct. 3 - 9

Many of Alberta’s early villages often suffered disastrous fires and Rimbey was no exception.

At the time many of the buildings in Rimbey were wood framed and built close together. When fire broke out it spread quickly and would take out complete blocks before being stopped.

In 1922, a fire destroyed buildings on the north side of Jasper Ave., then on the southwest corner in 1923. Another seven businesses were destroyed in 1935.

These fires lead the town to establish more preventative measures and be more diligent about preventing the devastation. In 1936 officials divided the village into business and residential zones. This bylaw dictated that buildings on Jasper Ave. must have metal exterior cladding.

A formal volunteer fire brigade was formed and Rimbey purchased a carbon dioxide chemical trailer from the Dominion Fire Engine Co. of Moose Jaw in 1939. At the time there was no place to park the truck so it was housed in Chapman’s Garage and now housed at Pas-Ka-Poo Park.

In 1952, Rimbey purchased a Barton-American Marsh Ford triple combination pumper, booster, and hose truck. It had a single-stage front mount centrifugal pump, 500 gallon booster tank, electric siren and two spotlights.

In 1966 the Fire Hall was built to house the new red fire truck but by the late 1980’s, Rimbey’s Fire Department outgrew the Fire Hall and they moved to the new hall on 49th Avenue.

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