Kochville Fire Department History as of December 1, 2004
In approximately 1971, John Stanley's home in Century Park caught fire, and spread to other houses and part of the woods. Nancy Collisi, who lived a few doors, down called the Sheriff's Dept. and reported the fire. At that time, the Tittabawassee Township Fire Dept. responded, as they were under contract with Kochville Township to provide fire protection. The response time was over 30 minutes. The neighbors in the Century Park subdivision started a petition to form a fire dept for the Township of Kochville.
Township Supervisor Albert Trautner and resident Mike Hoffman began to explore the creation of a fire dept. In early 1973 members of the Kochville Township Board of Trustees began seeking residents of the township who might be interested in becoming firefighters. Supervisor Albert Trautner's goal was to respond to fire within six minutes. The first organizational meeting was held in March 1973 at the old Township Hall located at the corner of Mackinaw Rd. and Kochville Rd. Approximately 30 township residents attended.
On September 5, 1973, the Township Board Supervisor-Al Trautner, Clerk-Tom Burger, Treasurer-Rich Zoellner-, Trustee-Harold Wieck, and Trustee-Edward Davis allocated $8498.00 in federal revenue-sharing funds to start training citizens as firefighters.
A meeting was scheduled with representatives from the Saginaw County Firefighters Association to explain mutual aid, etc. At this meeting the fire officers were elected; Fire Chief Walt Oldeck, Asst. Chiefs Dale Mikolaiczik and Warren Collisi, Captains Al Behmlander and Jerry Davis, Lieutenants Mike Burger and Rick Denute. Many meetings were held with Fire Chief Bob Eggar from Carrollton Fire Dept. for his guidance.
The township hired Captain Tom Kaiser from the City of Saginaw Fire Department to train the firefighters. Trainings were started in the summer of 1973 on the second Tuesday night and fourth Thursday night of the month. Trainings continue on today every third Tuesday.
Originally Arthur Griffore donated two buildings in the 7000 block of N. Michigan to be used as the fire barn. The township decided it would cost too much to renovate. The township owned land in the 5800 block of Mackinaw and hired RC Hendricks to construct a fire barn for approx. $18,000.00.
THE BIG FIRES
The first fire occurred on the second Friday of February 1974 at approximately 11:30pm. It occurred at a residential home owned by Kate Baker on the southeast corner of N. Michigan and Pierce Roads. The home was not occupied at the time and there was a small fire in the closet at the front of the house. We responded and pulled into the driveway like we were there for a visit. We ventilated the roof (on the wrong side) and began to throw water. It was below zero and the water was freezing as it hit the ground. Today the fire would have been put out with three gallons of water. We continued to spray water until there was around three feet of water in the cellar. Then the fire was declared out. The house was left standing-no rekindle occurred and we were mighty proud.
On October 3, 1976 at 1:57am, a church caught fire at the corner of Lawndale Rd. and Kochville Rd. This fire was one of our first arson fires. The structure was a total loss. The church was built in 1879.
On April 23, 1978, a welding accident started a fire in the maintenance garage at Champagne and Marx Excavating. It was a total loss. Approximate dollar loss of that day was $90,000.00. Mutual aid was given by Zilwaukee, Carrollton and Saginaw Township Fire Departments.
On April 28, 1980 at 3:30am a third shift worker at the Burger Chef restaurant noticed a fire. He went down the road to another restaurant to call 911. The call went to Saginaw Township Fire Dept. instead of Kochville Fire Dept. The caller told 911 there was a fire at Burger King instead of Burger Chef. The delayed action caused heavy damage to the restaurant. More than 40 firefighters responded from Kochville, Zilwaukee, and Saginaw Township fire departments.
On April 25,1985 at 12:19 am, Saginaw Valley State College had nine wood mobile trailers that housed the administration offices which caught fire, they were fully involved upon arrival. The firefighters could see the flames from the fire station as they left. More than 40 firefighters responded from Kochville, Zilwaukee, Carrollton, and Frankenlust. An estimated loss of $380,000.00.
On March 11, 1989, Saturday afternoon around 3:30pm at the old Crane School house at the corner of Kochville and Hospital Roads. The structure was fully involved upon arrival. Tittabawassee responded with a Tanker.
On July 9, 2003, we responded to a fully involved two-barn fire at 1220 Kochville Rd. One of the barns was full of hay and the other housed horses. All the horses survived because of the quick and correct action of the barn's owner. Kochville was assisted by Zilwaukee, Carrollton, Saginaw Twp., Frankenlust and the Saginaw Co. North Tender Task Force. (Tittabawassee, Thomas, Richland and Jonefield-Lakefield fire depts.).