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Louis Fire Department was able to respond, they would. “Lack of available water was always aproblem,” she said.While referencing a picture of Delmar andSkinker from 1901, Rehkopf said that the dirtroads that were prevalent in St. Louis County would slow down crews from the city, who utilizedhorse drawn steam wagons.University City incorporated in 1906. “The firstthing they did was to establish a police force,”Rehkopf said. The department was created toaddress the crime that University City wasexperiencing at the turn of the century.“One of their jobs was to serve as the fire department.” Rehkopf noted that the department only haddeputies of theUniversity City Police Departmentand volunteers to tend to any fires that might breakout.In 1909, there was a major fire in the University Heights Number 1 subdivision, on Amherst. Anoverheating furnace in one house caught fire, and it spread to two other homes.“This fire may have been the final impetus for E.G. Lewis to establish a fire department,” Rehkopfsaid.The University City Fire Department was established in May of 1910, with Oscar Kortkamp as its firstchief. Kortkamp had previously been with the City of St. Louis’ Fire Department, and was also on thefire squad for the World’s Fair. The fire chief’s salary in 1910 was $100 a month.The department’s first major purchase was a 1910 Robinson Pumper for $8,395 dollars. Rehkopfsaid that University City was the first fire department in St. Louis County and possibly the metropolitanarea with a motorized fire truck. The truck was able to shoot water 58 feet higher than the magazinebuilding (now City Hall), which is 135 feet.
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