by Sue Morrow, For the Appeal

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June 19, 2003
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Warren Engine Co. hosts 140th annual dinner

Camaraderie reigned Tuesday night at Warren Engine Co. No. 1 volunteer fire department's 140th annual dinner as old-timers exchanged "war stories" of spectacular long-ago fires and new officers were installed.

About 80 members of the oldest continually operating volunteer fire department on the West Coast gathered at Fire Station No. 1. The meeting was preceded by a happy hour and dinner that included steaks cooked on an enormous charcoal grill. The traditional steak tartare (specially seasoned raw ground beef) was offered to the more adventurous attendees.

Honored guests included former Douglas County state Sen. Lawrence "Jake" Jacobsen, R-Minden, a longtime volunteer fireman in his county, Carson City Mayor Ray Masayko and Carson Sheriff Kenny Furlong. Furlong was sworn in as an honorary member of the company.

Old-timers, or exempt members as they are known, such as Mel Woodgate who joined in 1951, George Groth, who signed up in 1949, and Andy Butti, a member since 1953, mingled with newer members such as David Vannucci and Stephen Schwieger, who both signed up in 2001.

The event traditionally attracts a number of longtime members. Among other attendees and the years they became volunteers were Don Amodei, 1952; Tom Young, 1954; Dick Lane, 1962, and his brother, Don Lane, 1965; George Geller, 1960; and Bernard Sease, 1962, who became the second chief for the Carson City Fire Department.

Installing new officers in the absence of President Cory Bergstrom, Vice President Paul Webster swore in John Doran, president; Clayton Powers, vice president; Charyl Peterson, secretary; and Jan Smerdon, treasurer. Webster, Doran and Pat Hill were named trustees.

A moment of silence was observed for members who died this year, Dean Cheney, who joined in 1961, and Ross Morres, who joined in 1953. Cheney died May 29 in Carson City, and Morres died earlier.

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The Nevada Appeal Updated Jun 19, 2003 12:00AM Published Jun 19, 2003 02:03AM Copyright 2003 The Nevada Appeal. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.