As our city has grown, so have the needs of its citizens. Concurrently, the Fire Department has grown to match the citizens’ needs. Here’s a little history lesson about the fire stations in Cape Girardeau.
The former Station 1, now the Cape River Heritage Museum building, was built in 1909 on the corner of Independence and Frederick streets. The current Station 1, standing at the corner of Sprigg and Independence streets, was built in 1980. It also houses the department’s administrative offices. The busiest of all four fire stations, its district consists of older construction and more densely populated blocks including the downtown area; many historic buildings and homes; an array of apartment buildings, apartment houses and off-campus housing; SoutheastHEALTH (hospital); and the Mississippi River.
Standing atop a hill on Independence Street, the former Station 2 opened on July 24, 1951. The current Fire Station 2 opened in 1990 on South Mount Auburn Road. Staff at that station deliver services to the southwest portion of Cape Girardeau, including West Park Mall, Cape Central High School, Notre Dame Regional High School, Cape Girardeau Regional Airport, Interstate 55, many restaurants, several apartment communities and hotels.
The old Station 3 opened on Sept. 17, 1951 – the same year as the old Station 2, but built towards the northern end of town on Emerald Street. The current Station 3 opened in 2008, and it was funded through the first Fire Sales Tax approved by voters in 2004. The new Station 3 expanded services further northeast in Cape Girardeau and houses the 911 communications center. Along with the many different residential neighborhoods in the response area, Station 3 responds to much of the Southeast Missouri State University campus, Isle Casino Cape Girardeau, and the Mississippi River.
Serving the northwest quadrant of the city, Fire Station 4 is the last of Cape Girardeau’s quaint neighborhood fire houses. Once a “quiet” station when it opened in 1974, its district has built-up and expanded significantly over the years, increasing its run volume to match or exceed that of Stations 2 and 3. Station 4 responds through an automatic-aid agreement to all incidents in Cape Girardeau County involving potential rescues and extrications. Currently, the department’s needs have outgrown this station. Should the Fire Sales Tax be renewed by voters in 2014, a new Station 4 will be built at a site to be determined to provide for expanding residential neighborhoods and businesses in northern Cape Girardeau.