The Mankato Fire Department dates back to 1860 with the Mankato Hook and Ladder Company. The company began with about two dozen men and a hand drawn cart to carry their ladders and water buckets. In 1886, a hand pump cart was purchased. Cisterns were strategically placed around the city. By using the hand pump and hose with the cisterns, firemen no longer had to cart buckets of water. Soon, other hook and ladder companies began forming throughout Mankato, so when there was a fire, there was a quick response. While this was acceptable for Mankato’s size at the time, is soon became too much work for just hand carts and in 1895, the departments started using horse-drawn carts to get around the city faster. Other highlights in the department’s history include the 1899 opening of the Central Fire Station, the purchase of the first motorized engine in 1913 and the building of two new fire stations in the 1960s.
This image shows the Central Fire Station shortly after opening with the horse drawn hose carts.
TBT, or Throwback Thursday, is done in partnership with KEYC News 12 in Mankato. This segment can be viewed during the noon news on Thursdays.