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The idea of having a fire department in or near Husum, may have been around for sometime, but came to a head in 1955, with the occurrence that year of several fires.  The fire that was the final straw, was when the old Turk place burned that fall.  I don’t recall what started the fire, but it was slow enough that neighbors and passers by were able to remove a large amount of the furnishings.  As usual, the one truck from White Salmon, contracted by the District 3 commissioners, arrived after the fact.  There was a lot of talk at the fire and in the community that if any type of equipment had been available this home could have been saved.

Shortly after that, a number of men in the area gathered one evening in what had been until a short time before the “Husum Fountain Lunch” (now the front of my home).  We discussed the situation and decided that we needed a fire station closer than White Salmon.  A group of us attended the next District Commissioners meeting.  The result of that was to learn that they were not at all interested in having a fire station anywhere in the district.  They were happy to hold their periodic meetings, pay White Salmon for their call in the district, and at the end of the year turn over any money remaining to the county general fund.  This attitude did not sit well.  It was decided that we would continue with our plan to have some type of fire protection in the area of our own.  It was also decided that as each position on the District 3 Fire Commission opened up, we would replace the present commissioners with people who would be more responsive to the needs of their constituents.

Two fire trucks outside the Husum Fire Hall

Early in 1956, we found that the town of White Salmon had an old truck that they had retired and were using once in a while to wash down streets.  We talked to the town and got the truck first by lease then purchased it for as I recall $100.00.  They also threw in a siren that mounted on a power pole to alert those who could hear it.  We formed the Husum Fire Department that spring.  The White Salmon Fire Department took over the job of training us, and for all practical purposes, we became an auxiliary of their department.  Remember, we had nothing but determination.  They gave us W.S.F.D badges, a little worn hose, some old turnouts, etc. – We were in business – sort of.