Highlights in the History of the Loch Sheldrake Fire
The Loch Sheldrake Fire Company traces its roots
back to 1922, when a committee was selected to start
a fire company.
The first recorded minutes of the new fire company,
were on September 11, 1922. These records, and those
that followed, tell the story of the early years of
the Loch Sheldrake Fire District. Beginning with its
first meeting, attended by five people and held at
the home of J. Morgan Devine, the story unfolds.
The first tasks included raising money for fire hose
and for the materials that would be required to
construct a firehouse. With dues at 15 cents per
month, the commissioners were given the task of
securing the funds required to pay off financial
obligations and secure the future of the young
Later that same month, on September 29, 1922, a
motion was passed to have the Town Clerk call for a
special election in order to raise $3600 for
equipment. The vote was held on November 21, 1922,
but the proposition was rejected by a vote of 31 to
21. The very next day, commissioners requested the
Town Supervisor levy and collect a tax of $500 for
the year. The remainder of the money had to be
raised by donations.
The Company collected $950 plus $169.80 from two
dances that were held by the district. Finally, in
1923, a motion was passed to raise the funds
required to run the Fire District through a tax
levy. To this day, a written budget is submitted to
the town annually and funding for the district is
done by taxes levied on all the residents served by
the Fire Company.
Built on private property, the first firehouse did
not get its siren until March 10, 1926. The siren
was ordered from George Fraley at a cost of $400.
Three hundred dollars was borrowed from the now
established Fire Company and a note was given for
The Company purchased its first fire truck, a
John Bullock Sr., a member of the Loch Sheldrake
Fire Company, became commissioner for five years.
May 2, 1935 the Commissioners approved the first use
of a fire truck in a parade in Middletown, NY.
The commissioners raised $2,500 to purchase the lot
that the Firehouse was on. But those years brought
their own challenges. Like so many others, the Loch
Sheldrake Fire Company was plagued with shortages.
Rationing of gas, tires and tubes weighed heavy on
the district, especially since the old 1932 Sanford
truck guzzled too much fuel.
On December 4, 1945, by a vote of 12 to 0, approval
was given to purchase a ladder truck. Due to the
war, it wasn’t until 1947 that an AM LaFrance truck
with a 60 foot ladder was purchased for $20,000. The
truck was delivered after the war ended and was
housed in Russell's Garage, where they had to
re-enforce the floor to accommodate its weight.
The Loch Sheldrake School House on State Route 52
was purchased as the new Firehouse. The roof was
raised and truck bays were added downstairs. They
now had a meeting room and a kitchen upstairs.
As the district grew the need for additional
equipment increased and two Seagrave Pumpers on GMC
chassis were purchased.
The Company was beginning to outgrow its current
home and planning began to enlarge the Firehouse.
A two day search for a missing six year old boy has
a successful ending. Again, to meet the growing
needs of the community, a Ward LaFrance Diesel
Pumper was purchased.
August 22, 1967, a professional Golf Tournament was
held as a fundraiser. At the forty second
Anniversary dinner John Bullock, Sr. retired as
Chief after forty continuous years of service.
On July 24, 1969, the Company purchased its first
ambulance, a 1965 M/M Ambulance for $5,500. In that
same year, an addition was built onto the firehouse
to house the ambulance.
Thirteen acres on Route 52 in Loch Sheldrake are
purchased and become the Loch Sheldrake Fireman's
In April the fire company assisted with the filming
of the motion picture "Lenny".
A unique occurrence, Jim Magee Sr. Fire Police Chief
and his two sons, Jim Magee Jr., Fire Chief, and
Robert Magee Sr., 1st Assistant Chief, all wore
“white hats” at the same time.
The fire company moved into the present day building
at 1280, State Route 52, Loch Sheldrake.
Past Chief, Richard Comfort, was injured in a
The Loch Sheldrake Fire Company hosted the first of
several annual county parades. Shawn Edwards was
recognized as “Fireman of the Year” for his rescue
at an MVA at Morningside Four Corners.
January 4, 1999, Robert Magee Jr. became the
Company’s second “Fireman of the Year” for his
rescue of a person at a fire in town in 1998. The
Loch Sheldrake Fire Company hosted its second annual
county parade. .
September was to be the third county parade hosted
by the LSFD. Because of the recent tragedy of 9/11
the Fire Department decided to dedicate the parade
as a memorial to the victims.
A 35,000-gallon Mac Tanker was acquired with a
A 70-foot Sutphen Platform (quint) was purchased.
Robert Kachelreiss received the award of “Fireman of
the Year” for the rescue of a brother firefighter at
a fire in Woodbourne in 2011. He also received
“Honorable Mention” at the annual Hudson Valley
Volunteer Fireman’s Association convention for the
former Brown's Hotel burned in April. It was the
largest fire to date in the history of the Loch
Sheldrake Fire Company. Forty-six fire companies
provided mutual aid.