History of Lemay Fire Protection District

The Beginning
The history of Lemay Fire District can be traced back as early as 1902. Due to unrestricted building, no fire protection, and bad roads, some insurance companies refused to write insurance in the Lemay area. So, after several disastrous fires, the Luxemburg Improvement Association organized a volunteer fire department in 1902. The Longwood Volunteer Fire Department Fire Association was organized two years later to provide protection to the south side of Lemay.
July, 1911

There still remained an area between the two that had no fire protection, so a group of citizens organized the Bismark Heights Volunteer Fire Department. The department added equipment through the years but had experienced difficulty keeping track and caring for the equipment. So in July 1911, the Bismark Heights Volunteer Department incorporated so it could have recourse to law to protect the equipment. This incorporation would eventually lead to the Lemay Fire Protection District.

In 1917 the Bismark Heights Volunteer Department changed its name to Dewey Heights Volunteer Fire Department, the change being recorded in 1922. A fire house was built in the summer of 1919 at the corner of Orient and Erskine Avenue.
December 6, 1920

On December 6, 1920 the Longwood and Luxemburg Volunteer Fire departments were invited to consolidate with Dewey Heights as one organization. By 1921, both departments turned their equipment and assets over to Dewey Heights.


In 1933, a tag system was introduced to pay for the protection which consisted of 1500 people. Later that year, full time firefighters were added, giving 24 hour service.

May, 1942

In May 1942, the voters in the Lemay area approved a tax-supported fire district. The Dewey Heights Fire Department was officially named the Lemay Fire Protection District. The district operated out of the fire station located at Erskine and Orient Avenue until 1992.

In 1979, the fire district added another service to help the community; it hired paramedics and established an ambulance service. The fire district not only responded to fires, but began treating and transporting sick and injured people to the hospital.

In 1991, land was purchased, and a new firehouse was built at 1201 Telegraph Road in central Lemay. The firehouse opened in 1992 and is still being used today.


The great flood of 1993 impacted the Lemay area and the Lemay Fire District responded to help its citizens once again. The north part of Lemay has been flooded causing propane tanks to become loose and creating an exposing hazard. With the help of many fire agencies, the disaster was prevented and lives were saved.

The Present
The Lemay Fire Protection District, which covers approximately 4.5 square miles of unincorporated St. Louis County and the City of Bella Villa with a population of about 17,000, continues to serve the citizens of Lemay with twenty four firefighters. While many things have changed over the last 100 years, the one constant that has remained the same has been the unwavering commitment to the community.