Large fires that most likely occurred in windy Chinook conditions, plagued the early history of the Granum Fire Department. It was also possible that some of these early fires occurred at night. Water was at a premium in those days as wells were the only source available for domestic and fire purposes.
Fire, in the first few minutes, can be controlled quite easily if there is an adequate water supply and no wind. However, if a fire is not discovered in the first few minutes and is aided by wind and dry conditions, controlling the fire becomes a very difficult task for fire fighters.
In those early days the Fire Department consisted of towns people and a limited amount of fire fighting equipment. Fire extinguishers and horse drawn fire pumps with a limited water supply made fire fighting frustrating and sometimes futile.
It should be noted that Granum was originally called Leavings and was a village.
August 29, 1905
A debenture of $1,500 was taken by the community to drill a well.
May 21, 1906
It was moved that the overseer purchase 15 victor fire extinguishers at $8 a piece.
February 3, 1908
Leavings renamed to Granum.
April 19, 1909
Census taken of the village was 349 persons.
June 10, 1909
From the village minutes: Motion was passed to purchase two 60-gallon chemical fire engines at $735 total.
Aug. 30, 1909
A. MacGregor was paid $806.50 for erecting a fire hall.
June 13, 1910
Ratepayers request that the Village of Granum be incorporated into a town municipality.
August 31, 1911
The first water main was laid at a cost of $1,500.
1910, 1958, late 1970’s – the same block burns down.
Granum, in the early days, suffered many serious fires. One of the early fires took place in 1910. This fire destroyed a large livery barn operated by A. Dixon, a pool hall and bowling alley (with the infamous gambling den upstairs), which originally was a machinery agency, and the Royal Hotel operated by King & Evans. These buildings were situated at the north end of the block and were completely destroyed by fire. Later, built on this site, was a garage that was originally operated by Jerry & Hollis Yorgason, and also Harry Ridgers Blacksmith Shop. These eventually burned down in 1958. Rebuilt on this corner was a service station operated by L. Miller and later by Gerry Lemire, which was destroyed by fire once again in the late 1970’s.
Circa. 1919, 1922, 1924 – the same block burns down.
A fire started in the Alberta Meat Market and burned Block 14 except for the brick buildings at the North and South ends. About 1922 a feed mill north of Block 14 was burned. Later, Block 14 North of Dufferin Street, had on the corner G & W Blair Flour and Feed Custom Grinding, Hoffmans Resturant, Kellicuts Garage, and the Beaver Lumber Yard. Fire destroyed this block in 1924 leaving some of the brick walls standing; this was later repaired. Lack of water supply was a major factor in some of these early fires. Also, fire pumpers were non-existent.
The fire department of the day consisted of unorganized volunteers, and no practices were held. The fire apparatus included two single cylinder chemical engines that were either horse or man drawn. The fire alarm was by fire bell and telephones.
July 22, 1934
Block 2, filled with business establishments, was completely burned except for the brick building at the North end containing the drug store, men’s wear, and the butcher shop.
The Rural Fire Association purchased a fire tanker with no pump.