The construction of Saint Peter & Paul Roman Catholic Church in 1896 led to additional development in the north east section of the Village of Depew. The fire apparatus of the day in the Village of Depew was limited to hose carts that were pulled by hand or hauled by a horse or team of horses, if they were available at the time of an alarm of fire. This would cause a great deal of time lost in responding to an alarm of fire in the area from the existing fire stations. Often times with the railroads interfering in the expedient arrival of fire equipment from the south side, it became more and more apparent that a closer and more suitable means of fire protection was needed.
In mid-July 1898, a fire started in the attic of a boarding house owned by a Mrs., Wahler on Ellicott Place at about 8:00 A.M. and had gained good headway before being discovered. The hose company from the New York Central Shops responded quickly to the alarm and extinguished the flames, but not before considerable damage had been done to the house and household goods. The general alarm was sounded and brought every Depew fire company to the scene, but their services were not required. The loss was estimated at about $200. The Depew Herald reported that this fire only more emphatically demonstrated the fact that Depew badly needs a modern and intelligible system of alarms. No mention was made at this time of the need for adequate fire protection for this growing area of the village.
At the January 6, 1902, Village Board meeting, Mr. M Kopchepski of the northeast section of the village, addressed the Board asking that this section of the village be allowed a hose cart and hose for fire protection. After hearing Mr. Kopchepski’s plea, the matter was referred to the fire and water committee.
On February 17, 1902, Village President Edward Byron of the Purchasing Committee, reported that the supplies for a hose cart for the northeast section had been purchased and that the following articles had been received; (2) nozzles, (2) play pipes and (60) spanners.
It was reported at the July 24, 1902 meeting of the Village Board by the fire and water committee, that in their opinion, the Village of Depew had all the fire companies needed, and that the village could not support any additional companies. The committee report was received and filed.
Evidently, the residents of the area did not give up as they continued to pressure, threaten, beg and demand that a fire company be organized for the northeast section of the village. At the August 21, 1902 meeting of the Village Board, the question of a charter for a fire company at the northeast section of the village was referred to the village attorney. This was followed up by a resolution on September 22, 1902, offered by Trustee Martin Kieffer and seconded by Trustee Henry Ullman, that the Central Hose Company Number Four be granted a charter.