Old Cape Fire Station #4

When the Steinhoff families from Missouri, Florida and Texas gathered for Mother’s Birthday Season in 2013, Young Graham got to inspect the trucks.

We were on Kingsway long before Station 4

A letter from Fire Chief Rickard Ennis came to the house addressed to Mother. She, unfortunately, had moved to an address in the New Lorimier Cemetery by then, so I responded to it. The survey was designed to reassure what would be the neighbors of the new Station 4 that it wouldn’t be a nuisance.

Chief Ennis,

I received your survey addressed to Louis and Mary Steinhoff at 1618 Kingsway Drive. I’m responding in their behalf. Dad died in 1977, and Mother died June 22, 2015. I’m sure Mother would have wanted you to hear about her wonderful neighbors at Station #4. (See attached survey.)

Our house was built in 1956, long before Kurre Lane was extended and longer yet before Station #4 was built, as you can see in this aerial photo I took in 1966. Our house was the first of the three houses going down the hill from Kurre, the street running horizontally at the bottom of the photo.

Mother loved having the station across the street

Mother loved having your guys across the street. If she got her lawn mower hung up in the ditch in front of the house, they’d help her get it unstuck. If she went to the store to buy a 50-lb bag of bird seed, she’d wait until she saw someone in the parking lot and ask them to help her get it out of the trunk.

Several years ago, she experienced shortness of breath that turned out to be congestive heart failure. I’m convinced that one of the reasons she didn’t hesitate to dial 9-1-1 was that she knew the folks who would respond.

Sirens were the last thing that bothered her

I smiled a bit when I read the question about the nuisance rating relating to the noise of sirens.

As a newspaper director of photography, I had to make sure all the paper’s police and fire monitors were capable of receiving new systems that were changing all the time. That meant I had a huge surplus of old radios that would find themselves in Cape. I think she had a scanner in every room but the bathroom, and she might have carried a portable in there.

As soon as she heard a siren go out from the fire station or the ambulance company, she’d fire up the scanner closest to her to find out what was going on. That gene is possibly what caused me to end up in the newspaper business.

The station was an asset to the neighborhood

Far from lowering property values, I’ve always told folks that it’s a tremendous asset to have you and the ambulance company within a block of us. I’m sure there is a priority given to keeping Kingsway Drive’s street clear of snow and ice, and on keeping the power on in our area because of it.

Oh, yes, we have NO trouble hearing the warning siren, even in the basement.

In 2013, my grandson Graham came to Cape from Florida to visit his great-grandmother. Of course, we had to go look at the fire trucks. He was impressed with the size of the apparatus, and dug “driving” it and blowing the siren, but he wasn’t quite ready for the sound of the air horn, as you can tell in one of the photos.

Mother led a full and active life for most of her 93 years, only having a quick decline after the first of 2015. I came to Cape to assist her.

You didn’t have to dial 9-1-1 when Station 4 was across the street

One night she tumbled out of bed, tearing her paper-thin skin. I didn’t think it was an injury worth going to the emergency room in the middle of the night, but I wanted a second opinion and help picking her up off the floor. Instead of dialing 9-1-1, it was nice to be able to walk across the street to describe the problem.

They did a truck roll, bandaged her up, and helped lift her. I couldn’t have asked for a better crew to show up. The fact that she recognized them helped calm her down and reassure her that everything was going to be OK.

She told me of the rumors that Station #4 was going to be replaced. If that’s the case, I’m glad she left before you folks did. She’d have been heartbroken to lose her good neighbors.

The night before the move to the new station

I kept telling myself that I should document the old station before it was too late. When I got around to it, the guys told me I had cut it close: this was their last night before the move.

Mike Smith, Mike McLemore and Byron Stroer were kind enough to give me the run of the place for a few hours.

The last hours of Station 4

Sometimes you throw aesthetics aside and shoot for the record. That’s what these photos do. Click on any image to make it larger, then use your arrow keys to move around. Note: there are two pages to the gallery. I didn’t notice that at first.

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