Fort Pike Volunteer Fire Department

Stop 2 of 6 in the Lake Catherine & the Rigolets tour

Fort Pike Volunteer Fire Department has served the Rigolets community since 1956. In its earliest days, if a fire began in the Lake Catherine community, the department had to pump water from the surrounding bodies of water to extinguish the blaze. Many of the volunteers resided in the community that they served. The department was almost forgotten after Hurricane Katrina destroyed their station, but it has since been rebuilt and once again protects the surrounding areas from fire hazard and storms. The building that now stands is dedicated to a local figure known as "Father Red." For nearly 30 years, Authur Ginart was the priest of Saint Nicholas of Myra Church, which was located in the Lake Catherine community not far from Fort Macomb. Before Hurricane Katrina struck in 2005, the volunteer fire department Chief Joe Perez requested that "Father Red" evacuate, but he refused. Joe was the last person to see the priest alive. "Father Red" is believed to have drowned during the storm, and his body was never recovered. The community still mourns his passing.

The next stop, Fort Petite Coquilles, is best viewed from the parking lot of Fort Pike. Exit the firehouse, then veer right along service road and follow signs to the fort parking lot, about .5 miles.

Images

Fort Pike Volunteer Fire Department

Fort Pike Volunteer Fire Department

This building was built after the old structure was destroyed by Hurricane Katrina in 2005. View File Details Page

Dedication Sign

Dedication Sign

A plaque below the name sign dedicates the new firehouse to "Father Red", a local priest who died in the storm. View File Details Page

Saint Nicholas of Myra Church

Saint Nicholas of Myra Church

This photograph taken after Hurricane Katrina shows the church where "Father Red" was taken by the tides. View File Details Page

Lake Catherine Parade, circa 1970s.

Lake Catherine Parade, circa 1970s.

During carnival season, a parade passed in front of the camps along Chef Menteur Highway. The Fort Pike Carnival Club, who were mostly volunteer firefighters, utilized the firetruck as their float. View File Details Page

Cite this Page:

“Fort Pike Volunteer Fire Department,” New Orleans Historical, accessed April 24, 2017, http://neworleanshistorical.org/items/show/118.
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