Northwest NEWS

July 13, 1998

Front Page

Fifty years of fire service celebrated

   Woodinville Fire and Life Safety District celebrated their first half century of service with an open house at Station 31 headquarters last Saturday. More than one hundred people, many of whom played a significant role in the development of the department, attended. Fire district officials and firefighters displayed early firefighting memorabilia, scrapbooks and photographs, as well as the fire district's current and historic equipment and fire trucks. Amid flowers and cake, youngsters were given red plastic firefighter hats, and adults a commemorative 50th anniversary glass mug and pen.
   From the early Summit Fire District attempt in 1946, to King County Fire Protection District #36 in 1948, to the current Woodinville Fire & Life Safety District, history reflects support from the community.
   "The minutes of early the fire district meetings are very interesting," said Deputy Chief Ed Nelson, nephew of district's second chief, Art Nelson (1950-1973). Nelson discovered the historic grey minutes book in fire district archives. Bruce A. Paulson, the first secretary-treasurer, wrote of a meeting held by Fred Luzzani, a local grocer, at 8 p.m. on December 6, 1946 at his home on Lake Leota. During the meeting Luzzani was appointed chairman and seven temporary district representatives throughout the proposed district were appointed.
   Buying a fire truck was one of the first orders of business. Where the truck, purchased for $500 by three people, was to be parked and the location of the first fire station were both controversial. Those who wanted the station on the hill so that the fire truck could roll down ultimately won, according to the minutes.
   The first siren was leased from Bothell for five years for $1.00. Between September of 1947 and February of 1948, an Improvement Club was formed to sponsor the fire department. In May of 1949 tax monies became available, and the district was organized as King County Fire District #36. The first fire station was built on the property at the top of Summit Hill donated by Mr. and Mrs. Claude Hinman.
   "Our district was very happy with the outcome of the open house," said Nelson. "I personally would like to thank everyone who was involved, not only those in the department, but also those outside who contributed to the success of this event."