Los Angeles Fire Department
Historical Archive

Former Chief Walter
Lips Taken by Death

    Death came August 15, 1944 to Walter Lips, former Chief of the Los Angeles Fire Department, at his home, 2651 Brighton avenue. Appointed as head of the department in 1905, Chief Lips served during a period of great expansion and became nationally known for his changes and reforms affecting a fast growing city.

    It was during his reign, and largely based upon his efforts that the first automotive apparatus was installed.

    He advocated the installation of 4 1/2 inch hydrants in the downtown area and was constant in his demands for new stations and equipment to keep pace with the city's growth.

    In 1910 he resigned. He presently entered the sheriff's force, remaining there until his retirement in 1934. Following this he became associated with Alvarez & Moore, morticians, remaining there more or less actively until his death. He was 70 years of age.

    Services in charge of Gus Alvarez, with Capt. Joseph R. Hoffman, Chaplain of the Los Angeles Relief Association officiating, were held in Rosedale cemetery. The remains were cremated and interred in the family plot in the Oddfellows section.

    Among the old-timers paying their last respects to Chief Lips were Chief R. J. Scott; Deputy Chiefs L. Davis and F. C. McDowell; Assistant Chiefs John G. Todd, Thos. A. Stambridge, H. A. Krumsiek, J. H. Atwell, and W. H. Augustine; Battalion Chiefs Ed Phelps and Chas. J. Hawley; Captains Chas. H. Balzer, Tom Gentry and H. T. Hill, and Firemen Chas. C. Castillo, Wm. H. Rathbun, Chas. Bagley (callman, 1889) and Joe Reed.

    Surviving are a brother and sister, Edward Lips and Bertha Lips.

This article appeared in the September, 1944 issue of THE FIREMAN'S GRAPEVINE.

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