READY TO ROLL

READY TO ROLL

Thursday, February 02, 2017

OLD NO. 1

Central Engine House, Springfield, Ohio, about 1933

Thursday, January 26, 2017

TOWER HALL - 1977



In the early and bitter cold hours of Feb. 1, 1977, a three-alarm blaze trapped students and firefighters inside the 10-story Tower Hall dormitory on the campus of Wittenberg University.

Firefighters raised an 85-foot aerial ladder from Truck 7 to save two students, Ed Wittenberg, 20, and David Clement, 20, from Room 601 on the sixth floor, according to The Springfield Daily News and a Wittenberg University press release.

Firefighters escorted two other students from the 7th floor and removed two firefighters from an elevator as flames leapt from the rear of the co-ed dorm on Woodlawn Avenue.


Medic 1 transported students and firefighters to Mercy Medical Center with smoke inhalation.


The first alarm was struck at 1:40 a.m., with Engine 1 from fire headquarters first due. Engine 7, Truck 7, Chief 3 and Medic 1 were also on the initial assignment. Other units typically "on the running card" for alarms at Wittenberg in that era were Engine 8, Engine 5 and Truck 8. (The nearest street alarm - Box 6124 - was located at the corner of Woodlawn and Cassily.)

 There had been confusion as to the location of the fire when firefighters arrived.


Signs in the stairwell identifying the floor numbers had been moved.

There was also a problem with the standpipe system.


An investigation determined a candle in a student's room - Room 612 - started the blaze, which was fueled by a vinyl record collection.

The sixth floor was rendered inhabitable, with considerable smoke and water damage extending from the fourth to seventh floors.

Evacuees were house in other dormitories, sororities, fraternities and private homes.

Most
of the city's fire apparatus responded to the fire as did the volunteers of Box 27 Associates.  (Your editor, a Wittenberg freshman and regular visitor to fire headquarters, was pressed into service to assist Medic 1.)

In total, four firefighters were injured:

William Edgington, 50, platoon commander
Jerry Mansfield, 27
Bill Kemper, 33
Cecil "Pete" Siratt, 49

Later in 1977, one of the deadliest dormitory fires in U.S history killed 10 women at Providence College in Rhode Island on Dec. 23, 1977. That fire started in a closet. Two hair dryers had been left on to dry wet mittens.

The Wittenberg campus was the scene of other fires:

  • On May 15, 1928, fire swept the Woodlawn Hall womens' dormitory, killing Hilda Sipes, 20, of Shelby, Ohio, according to a dispatch from the Associated Press.
  • On Dec. 28, 1900, fire destroyed Hamma Divinity Hall. Firefighters rescued three students even as their hose lines were hindered by low water pressure.

URBANA - 1948


Photo: Champaign County Historical Society

On Jan. 20, 1948, fire destroyed the Champaign County Courthouse in Urbana, Ohio - and it took a decade to build a replacement.


According to Wikipedia:

"With no money in the budget for construction, several ballots were voted on to raise funds but were all defeated.

"A group of citizens campaigned for a final bond which passed with a sum of $650,000.

"This was not enough so the county officials decided to pay for the cost to equip the courthouse out of the county's fund which left restricted spending for several years."

The new building was dedicated 
June 8, 1957.

Wednesday, January 25, 2017

DAYTON STRIKE - 1977

Associated Press, New York Times
DAYTON, Ohio, Aug. 9—At least 11 families lost their homes today as three major fires spread uncontrolled while striking Dayton firefighters watched from their picket lines.


A judge has ordered the more than 370 firemen to end their two‐day strike, but the union was delaying a response.

Meanwhile the firemen, who want higher wages and a shorter workweek, have said they will respond only in life or death situations in this city of 241,000.

No injuries have been reported from the fires.

Firemen from a nearby town chopped a hole in Bob Jackson's burning frame house, then told him to put the blaze out himself because the strikers had threatened them.

He could not and he lost his home.

An unattended fire destroyed a four apartment complex with an attached business, causing $40,000 damage. Mary Mader, 60 years old, lost her home when fire spread to it from an abandoned apartment building.

Mr. Jackson and Mrs. Mader and at least nine other persons lost their homes when they were caught by the spread of major blazes on Brown Street, in the Gettysburg Avenue area, and near Midway Street.

The 16 fire supervisors were on duty, but they could only try to coordinate with outside departments.

When they received telephone calls, they would go to the fires and make sure nobody was in danger, but would not fight them.

Timothy Harker, president of Firefighters Local 136, acknowledged receiving restraining order to end the strike, issued yesterday by Judge William H. Wolff Jr. of Common Pleas Court.

But Mr. Harker said he would not order firefighters back to work until a meeting of the full membership.

That he said, could take at least two or three days.

City Manager James Alloway directed the spread of the stubborn fire, which rekindled several times.


DAYTON, Ohio, Aug. 10—After two days of standing by while homes or apartments burned, Dayton firefighters reached an agreement with city officials on a new contract late this afternoon, ended their strike and jumped on their engines to answer another fire call.

Although the call turned out to be a false alarm, the sound of fire engines roaring through this city of 240,000 in southwestern Ohio could not have come too soon.

The fires that damaged or destroyed dozens of homes in Dayton had begun to enrage the city's residents.

They had never been confronted before by a strike by uniformed public service employees, and they were growing increasingly angry with the city and its firemen since the strike began Monday at 7 A.M.

City officials announced the agreement just before 6 P.M. the time at which Judge William it P.M., Jr. of Common Pleas Court was to start hearing arguments from the city on a motion for a contempt of court order against the 362 firefighters who failed to return to work yesterday.

The issue was moot by 6 P.M., however, for by that time the firemen were back on their jobs.

Tuesday, January 24, 2017

BUSY AS BEES - 1891

Firemen battled flames and swarms of angry honey bees at Davenport's beehive workshop in Springfield, Ohio, in June 1891.

The San Francisco Call published an account of the strange incident its it July 13, 1891 edition, first reported by The New York World:

Springfield (Ohio), June 27 - A dozen Springfield  firemen are covered with soda poultices and slices of fresh onions as a result of fighting a queer combination of bees and blazes late the other night during the fire at Davenport's beehive workshop.

As soon as it was seen that the workshop would be burned to the ground, Davenport  called to the firemen that sixteen hives of valuable honey-bees near the shop would be burned. Firemen, neighbors and the proprietor at one began moving the hives to a place of safety.

Soon the firemen commenced to feel sharp stings on their hands and faces. At first they attributed it to the sparks which were flying thick through the smoky air. Presently, however, they were aware that they had disturbed the midsummer dreams of sixteen hives of furious bees. The bees meant business, and plied their stings without mercy. The firemen were forced to fight the flames and bees both together, and by the time the fire was out they were beside themselves with pain.

The faces of the men were literally covered with lumps where they were stung. There was amusing stampede of the big crowd watching the fire when some one yelled: "The bees are loose!" - Springfield (Ohio) Special to N.Y. World 

Friday, January 06, 2017

LT. AILLS


Congratulations to a Lt. David Aills, a friend of the Springfield Fire Journal.  

Monday, January 02, 2017

STATION 5 CLOSES



Fire Station No. 5, which covered Springfield's west-side, closed Jan. 1, 2017 after the defeat of a ballot initiative to raise the city's income tax.

Firefighters assigned to the station were transferred to one of the city's six remaining stations.

Prior to the closure,  Springfield operated four combination fire/medic companies, three fire companies and three medic units. 
The current minimum  staffing for the Fire Rescue Division is 127.

There have been other closures through the years.

Springfield shuttered Fire Station No. 2 on Wittenberg Avenue during the Great Depression in 1932.

Station No. 9 on Johnny Lytle Avenue closed in 1975.

Old Station No. 9 was converted into a police sub-station, which was also slated for closing in the budget cutting.

Fire Station 5 opened 1981, replacing a firehouse at 1125 West Main Street.

...

On Dec. 17, the News-Sun reported:


The fire division plans to decrease its overtime by about $60,000 next year, Springfield Fire/Rescue Division Chief Nick Heimlich said.

He plans to lower the number of firefighters working each shift from 28 to 25.


The calls made in the area of Fire Station No. 5 will covered by the closest available unit as it always has been, Heimlich said.


“It’s the way our system has always operated and will continue to operate that day,” Heimlich said. “It’s not something that we had to invent.”

Fire Station No. 5 on Commerce Road was chosen because it had the lowest call volume in the city, he said. However, it’s unclear how many calls that station took for other units throughout the city.

“That’s the one we’re going to be watching because that’s the one that’s harder to predict,” he said.

The fire division is expected to spend about $90,000 in overtime from the general fund next year, he said. It has been planning for this situation since this summer, Heimlich said.

“It’s a good thing we did so now we’re ready,” he said. “We have a purposeful structure built to address the responses we’re going to be needed to make.”

Thursday, November 10, 2016

LIMA - 1929

The Lima News - Jan. 7,1929

2 FIREMEN KILLED FIGHTING COURTHOUSE FIRE
MEN BURIED UNDER DEBRIS AS BLAZING ROOF CRASHED THRU; RECORDER OFFICE CLERK HURT
Valuable Records Destroyed When Floors of Building Fall; Others Saved by Volunteers; Outside Help Responds
Two Lima firemen were killed and the Allen County courthouse damaged to the extent of more than $100,000 in a fire that started at 10 a. m. Monday and appeared to be of little consequence until part of the roof collapsed, carrying two men to death. At 1:15 p.m. it was announced the fire was under control.
The dead:
John Wolfe, 45, captain of No. 5 department.
John Fisher, 29, hoseman at No. 1 station.
The injured:
Hod Murray, Bluffton. Severe bruises about legs and body. Condition not serious.
Wolfe and Fisher were working under the dome of the courthouse when the roof collapsed, carrying them to the floor below and burying them under tons of debris. Four other firemen, including Chief Mack and Frank Kinzer had been working on the same floor until a few moments before the crash. Two firemen left on other duty and Chief Mack departed to make a round of inspection. Kizer just reached the door as the roof fell.
Murray was injured when he feared being overcome by smoke and slid down a rope from the third floor of the recorder's office. He landed so hard that he suffered injuries requiring treatment at City hospital where it was said his condition is not serious.
When the fire was first discovered it w as not regarded as serious and it was not until a half hour after the first alarm that the flames took on a serious aspect. Chief Mack turned in a second alarm as a precautionary measure. The fire started on the third floor in the room of the court of appeals. Its origin has not been determined.
Firemen John Wolfe and John Fisher, who lost their lives, both supported families. Wolfe was married and had children. Fisher was the support of his mother and other relatives. It is customary that communities show their appreciation of the heroic services of such men when they die in line of duty. The Lima News feels that such appreciation should be shown in this connection and believes a fund should be raised. To start it, The News subscribes $50. Subscriptions will be received by The News and divided equally between the widow and mother of the two dead men. Fuller details will be printed Tuesday.
Mrs. Wolfe, wife of one of the men who was carried to death with the collapse of the roof, learned of the tragedy at her house and hurried to the fire where she pleaded with the firemen to do something to bring out her husband. She was hysterical from grief.
As Chief Mach was making his definite statement that two of his firemen, John Wolfe and John Fisher, had lost their lives in the fire, the faithful old courthouse clock which has given the times to Lima for many, many years, its face shrouded in smoke from the burning ruins of the county's capitol, boomed out the hour of twelve, as tho sounding the requiem for the brave firemen who had given their lives.
The fire was discovered by Lewis F. Bitters and Don Slechter, who were passing the courthouse and discovered smoke issuing from the top floor. They went to the office of the surveyor and the fire department was called.
_____________________

NEIGHBORS HELP


Photo: WDTN
Neighbors raised a ladder to help two people escape a house fire on East Northern Avenue in Springfield on Feb. 28, 2016. They were "
we’re very fortunate under the circumstances," Battalion Chief Pat Casey told WDTN television. Resident Michael Bertram said: “If it wasn’t for the neighbors over here, we would have been dead.” 

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

CATS AND DOGS

Photo: New Carlisle Sun9 Lives: On July 25, 2008, firefighters resuscitated a cat rescued from a house fire in New Carlisle, Ohio, according to the New Carlisle Sun.

Springfield firefighter and canine, 2002

Saturday, August 20, 2016

BEFORE 1880


Springfield, Ohio

  • Maddox Fisher Mill fire - Dec. 5, 1834
  • Linn and Murry fire (N.E. Corner Main and Limestone) - Feb. 21, 1840. Flames consumed entire business block from Maddox Fisher's block on Main Street to alley west of Limestone Street. Pioneer newspaper office destroyed. Fire originated in livery stable. [Beers' 1881 History of Clark County, Sketches of Springfield, 1852]
  • Muzzie and Frankenberg Mill fire (Mill Run and Buck Creek) - Feb. 2, 1857
  • Firefighter John Dawson died in line of duty - Feb. 24, 1857. Killed by falling portico at house fire. [East High Street] [Roberds]
  • Barnett Flour Mill fire (Buck Creek and N. Limestone) - Feb. 2, 1863
  • Rat Row fire (S.E. Market St) - 1868
  • Ferrell Ludley Rodgers fire (E. Side S. Limestone and Union) - 1873
  • Firefighter John  Powell  died in line of duty - June 25, 1873. Powell fell to his death while advancing hose line to belfry at First Lutheran Church fire (Wittenberg Ave. and High St.). [Roberds]

1880s

Springfield, Ohio
  • Fire Captain Oscar Keys (or Keyes) died in line of duty - June 28, 1886. Was recovering from injuries sustained at fire at J Funk Keys Grocery (South side of Main Street at Fisher) on May 29, 1886. Fell down elevator shaft from third floor and suffered compound fracture of right leg below knee. Was captain of hook and ladder wagon. [Springfield Globe Republican]
  • Ohio Southern Roundhouse Fire - Jan. 8, 1887
  • Lumber yard fire (Main and Western) - Aug. 30, 1887. 3-story brick shop, 2-story frame dwelling also damaged. $10,000 damage, 4,000 ft hose used. [Roberds]
  • James Leffel Co. fire (Lagonda Ave.) - Oct. 11, 1887. Steamer, 2,800 ft hose used. [Roberds]

1890s

Lagonda House

Springfield, Ohio

  • Good and Reese Greenhouse fire (S. Limestone) - April 14, 1890
  • Charles Kelly Block on Main Street, spread to adjacent structures, including Derrickson's cigar store - Aug. 29, 1891 [San Francisco call]
  • Winter’s Act Litho fire (W. High St) - March 15, 1892
  • Arcade Hotel fire (Fountain and High) - Feb. 19, 1894. General alarm. Started in the basement ``Kindling Room,'' where coal and other fuels were stored. Flames ascended elevator shaft.  Hotel staff escaped from windows and over roof.   [Springfield Weekly Republic]
  • Fire destroyed New Carlisle city building, along with police and fire headquarters;  started at Charles Gardner's livery by "drunken people"; Staley Hotel also burned; Springfield sent mutual aid  - May 5, 1985. [San Francisco Call]
  • Lagonda House fire (Limestone and  Main streets) - Oct. 29, 1895. Box 12, general alarm. Broke out at midnight in vicinity of kitchen and laundry. Spread rapidly. Dayton Fire Dept. sent reinforcements by train. Hotel destroyed, roof collapsed. [Springfield Republic-Times, New Yorrk Times] 
  • Arcade Building fire (Fountain and High) - April 3, 1896
  • Firefighter Michael J Haley died in line of duty - Aug. 25, 1897. Suffered "sudden death"; no details. [Springfield Republic]

1900s





Scenes from fire at East Street Shops - 1902

Springfield, Ohio
  • Hamma School of Theology fire, Wittenberg College - Dec. 28, 1900. Firefighters rescued three students. [Washington Times]
  • E.W. Ross Shop fire - Jan. 14, 1901
  • Congregational Church fire - Jan. 22, 1901
  • East Street Shops fire (East St  and Kenton St) - Feb. 10, 1902. Box 63, general alarm. Largest fire in Springfield's history. Crews hampered by inadequate water pressure, antiquated fire apparatus. Firemen jumped from building as timber supports gave way.  Employees of the Indianapolis Switch and Frog Co. saved their factory by dynamiting walls. Blaze apparently started by chemicals.  [Roberds, New York Times,  Wittenberg History Journal]  
  • Black’s Opera House fire (Main and Fountain) - Feb. 19, 1903. Box 12, general alarm. Wall collapsed, killing three people. Several firefighters injured. YMCA building damaged.  [Roberds, Springfield Press Republic, Washington Post] 
  • Riots after slaying of police officer - March 6, 1904
  • Methodist Campground Hotel fire - Aug. 5, 1904
  • Methodist Campground fire ("All") - Nov. 17, 1904
  • Riots on Columbia Street & Levee. Levee burned. - March 7-8, 1906
  • Springfield police, with aid of fire department ladders, raided gambling saloon; scaled the walls of the five-story building and arrested 31 men who had taken refuge on roof - Feb. 10, 1907. [Sacramento Union]
  • Indianapolis Frog and Switch factory fire - April 23-23, 1907. Box 163, general alarm.  Possibly caused by natural gas leak. Building had survived East Street shops fire in 1902. Owned Charles Warren Fairbanks, vice president of United States in administration of Theodore Roosevelt. [Springfield Gazette, New York Times]
  • Freedom Oil & 4 houses burned (Fountain and Rockway) - Aug. 26, 1907
  • Barn & 5 Houses burned (Clifton and Vine) - Sept. 19, 1907
  • Cartmell Bldg. Fire (Main and Center) - Sept. 7, 1908
  • Wickham-Chapman Piano Co. fire (Sheridan Ave) - Sept. 26, 1908
  • C.C. Fried & Sons Co. fire (6 E. Main St) February 29, 1909

1910s


Springfield, Ohio

  • H.V. Bretney Tannery fire - Dec. 3, 1912 (Also listed as Dec. 12)
  • Great Dayton-Springfield Flood - March 12, 1913
  • Firefighter Dennis Sheehan died in line of duty - Nov. 20, 1913. Sheehan died after surgery at City Hospital from injury sustained at fire several weeks earlier. [Newspaper] Beggans Store fire - Jan. 22, 1914
  • Kearms & Lechschuety’s Plant fire - March 6, 1914
  • Robbins & Myers Co. fire (Lagonda Ave) - Dec. 12, 1914 - Started 4 p.m. $175,000 damage.
  • Superintendent of Fire Alarm Lawrence Bosley died in line of duty - Sept. 23, 1915. Died of injuries sustained in fall from fire alarm telegraph pole (Main Street west of Burnett Road). [Springfield Daily News]
  • Theo. Frank Stables fire (26 N. Fountain Ave) - Aug. 21, 1916
  • O.S. Kelly Co. fire  (Limestone and Warder) - Nov. 15, 1926. $ 175,000 damage .
  • Buffalo Springfield Road Roller Co. fire $500,000 damage. - April 11, 1917
  • Columbia Theater collapse - Sept. 28, 1917. Fire workers killed by falling roof during renovation. [springfieldhashistory.com]
  • Clark County Courthouse fire - March 12, 1918 - General alarm. $1 million damage. [Roberds, The Sun]
  • Influenza outbreak. 5,000 infected.
  • Kresge's five and ten cent store fire - Nov. 7, 1919. Firefighter Walter Reinheimer injured, died Jan. 3, 1920 [Springfield Daily News]

1920s


Jefferson School - 1928

Springfield , Ohio

  • Firefighter Walter Reinheimer died - Jan. 3, 1920. Suffered "stroke of apoplexy" while recovering from injuries sustained at Kresge's five and ten cent store fire on Nov. 7, 1919. [Springfield Daily News]
  • Kauffman Store McCoy fire - Jan. 22, 1921. Started @ 11 p.m.
  • Riots - March 12, 1921
  • Fink and Heiney Building fire - July 8, 1921. Flames spread to ammonia tank, which exploded while firefighters were dousing flames. Firefighters escaped injury. [Fire and Water Engineering, Aug. 21, 1921.] 
  • Country Club fire - June 14, 1922
  • Fairbanks Piano Plate Co. fire (Kenton St.) - Nov. 13, 1922
  • Armstrong Foundry fire (Dibert and R.R.) - 1924. Steamer used.
  • Springfield Abattoir Co. fire (Mill Run)  - May 12, 1925. 1st general alarm of day. Started at 3 p.m., $10,000 damage. [Roberds]
  • Brain Lumber Co. fire (East St.) $150,000 - May 12, 1925. 2nd general alarm of day. [Roberds]
  • Mass Foos Co. fire (Isabell between Main and Columbia) - Dec. 17, 1925. Steamer used.
  • Firefighter Charles Deam died - Jan., 14, 1926. Died at City Hospital after commercial truck collided with pumper (Main Street and Belmont Avenue); Firefighter John Miller injured. [Morning Sun]
    Spfld. Malleable Iron fire (Williams  and Main) - April 28, 1926
  • Bryant Bldg. Basket Co. Fires (14 W. Columbia) - Jan. 17, 1928. Steamers used.
  • Jefferson School fire (McCreight and Garfield) - Feb. 19, 1928
  •  Woodlawn Hall dormitory fire, Wittenberg College - May 15, 1928. Fire killed student Hilda Sipes, 20, of Shelby, Ohio. 3 others injured. [Associated Press, Springfield Daily News]
  • Central Brass Co. Fire (Jefferson St) - Feb. 13, 1929
  • Flood - Feb. 26, 1929

1930s


Springfield, Ohio

  • Avalon Park Dance Pavilion fire (Auburn Ave) - Dec. 9, 1930. Roof collapsed by the time the first engine arrived. Caretaker was heating mixture of water and coal oil, used as cleaning agent. [Springfield Daily News]    
  • Phito (cq) fire (Tibbetts & Pleasant) - April 24, 1931
  • Peter Boggan Co fire (34 E. Main St) - Jan. 10, 1932
  • Firefighter Roy Kelley died in line of duty - March 27, 1932. Illness. [Newspaper]
  • Cheney Mfg Co fire - Jan. 17, 1934
  • William Baley Co fire (Warder St) - June 1935
  • Traction collision, 7 dead - Aug. 10, 1935
  • Blizzard - Dec. 25, 1935
  • Blizzard - Jan. 22, 1936
  • Interurban crash on C&L.E. near city - April 28, 1936
  • Firefighter Augustus Brown died in line of duty - May 11, 1936. Illness. [Springfield Daily News.]
  • Twister destroys steeples of Broadus Church - February 1937
  • Earthquake. 9:47 a.m. 30 seconds. - March 7, 1937
  • Tuttle Brothers Hardware fire (Monroe St) - Nov. 17, 1937
  • Springfield Hardware fire - June 1, 1938
  • Hoenings Store fire, Robbins Bldg.- April 10, 1939
  • Clark County Lumber Co. fire (W. Main St) - May 20, 1939
  • Elks Club fire - Aug. 13, 1939
  • Trappers Corner fire (Main & Fountain) - Nov. 6, 1939

1940s

Photo: Springfield Fire Rescue Facebook
 

Springfield, Ohio

  • Carmedy Lab fire (625 W. Main) - Jan. 8, 1940
  • Stratton Grain Co. Fire (211 Mt. Vernom) - March 25, 1940
  • Norman Friedman Warehouse fire (Penn & Section) - May 6, 1940
  • Oliver Farm Equipment Co fire (270 Monroe) - Dec. 9, 1940
  • Union National Mill fire (Warder & Power) - Jan. 12, 1942
  • Allen Tool & Mfg fire (R-723 S. Lowery) - July 17, 1942
  • Crowell Collier plant explosion and fire (202 W. High) - Jan. 16, 1943. Worker killed. [Associated Press] 
  • Garmen Dress Shop fire (25 S. Limestone) - May 24, 1943
  • Rhodes Paper Box Co fire (66 St. Johns Pl) - May 4, 1944
  • Cappel House Furnishings fire (126 E. High) - May 23, 1945
  • The Park Bar fire (142 W. Main St) - Feb. 4, 1946
  • Diehl Hardware Co.fire (66-68 W. Main) - Oct. 14, 1946
  • McCall Coach Co fire (107 Bechtle) - May 19, 1947
  • Spfld. Coffin & Casket Co fire (310 S. Spring) - Sept. 28, 1947
  • Ridgely Trimmer Co fire (1300 Kenton) - Nov. 11, 1947
  • Fire Captain Hugh Garrity died in line of duty - Jan. 7, 1948. Garrity, 69, overcome by smoke. (903 Mound St.) [Springfield Daily News]
  • Paul Straley Home fire (1617 E. High) - Jan. 25, 1948
  • Conrad Motors fire (130 E. Columbia St) - Feb. 5, 1948
  • Citizen Dairy fire (Penn & Section) - Aug. 2, 1948
  • International Steel Wool fire (1018 Kenton) - Sept. 18, 1948
  • Firefighter Albert Kime died in line of duty - May 22, 1949. Killed when train collided with Truck 1 (Fountain Avenue). [Springfield Daily News]

1950s

King Building -1956

Springfield, Ohio

  • Davidson Storage Garage fire (311 W. Main) - Nov. 7, 1950
  • Robbins & Meyers Plant explosion (Sherman Ave) - Feb. 10, 1951
  • Bundy Inc Co Fire (301 Greenmont) - Dec. 8, 1951
  • Evelyns Laundry fire (R-222 E. Main) - June 24, 1952
  • Koehler Hardware Co fire (1731 E. Main) - June 26, 1952
  • Old Zimmerman Bldg. fire (Limestone & Main) - March 10, 1953
  • Gasoline fire in sewers, Limestone and Main streets - March 24, 1953
  • Moose Club fire (32 W. Washington) - Nov. 8, 1953
  • Western School fire (Main & Yellow Springs St) - Jan. 4, 1954
  • Ripley Auto Center fire (100 W. North) - Jan. 19, 1954
  • Hynes Dress Shop fire (11 E. High) - Nov. 13, 1954 
  • House fire (5701 Lower Valley Pike, Clark County); 6 dead - Dec. 19, 1955; kerosene heater probable cause. [Springfield Daily News]
  • Western Tool Mfg fire (1620 E. Pleasant) - Feb. 19, 1956
  • King Bldg fire (21 S. Fountain) - Sept. 15, 1956
  • Borden Co fire (125 N. Fountain) - Feb. 20, 1958
  • Potts Auto Body. Arson. - 1959

1960s


1964 Mack

Springfield, Ohio

  • Miami Pattern Shop fire (1302 S. Yellow Springs) - March 9, 1960
  • Mercycrest fire (100 W. McCrieght) - Aug. 10, 1961
  • Blair Mfg. Co fire (1620 E. Pleasant) - June 19, 1962 
  • Tremont City Firefighter Willard Dale Ritenour died in line of duty - Nov. 4, 1963. Apparently electrocuted while fighting grass fire in Clark County.
  • Specter Junk Yard fire (Main and Jackson) - 1964
  • Haucke Hardware fire (333 W. Main) - Aug. 11 1964
  • Western Tool Co fire (1620 E. Pleasant) - Oct. 3, 1964
  • Springfield Laundry fire (141 N. Murry) - April 27, 1966
  • Howard Sobers Trucking Co fire (Lagonda & Belmont) - 1968
  • Landmark Mill fire (442 N. Limestone) - Sept. 17, 1968

1970s & BEYOND


Crowell Collier - 1999

Springfield, Ohio

  • Penn Central Freight House fire (300 S. Limestone) - Aug. 25, 1970
  • D.T.I. Freight House fire (300 S. Limestone) - Oct. 9, 1970
  • Helkensen Paper Box fire (714 Rubsam) - April 9, 1971
  • Midwest Rug Cleaners fire (R-230 Chestnut) - June 18, 1971
  • Ronez Homes fire (Belmont & Home Rd) - Aug. 7, 1971
  • B&M Fiberglass fire (350 S. Fountain) - Aug. 9, 1971. Several firefighters jumped from roof to escape flames, fueled by resins and solvents. [Roberds] 
  • Yannucci’s Restaurant fire (1725 W. Main St) - March 7, 1972
  • Springfield Furniture fire (502 W. Euclid) - Aug. 28, 1972
  • Credit Life fire (204 S. Lowery) - Sept. 2, 1972
  • Kar Gard muffler shop fire (2100 S. Limestone) - Oct. 21, 1972. 3 alarms. Roof collapsed. Firefighters had narrow escape. [Roberds]
  • Ebners Junk Yard fire (North & Water) - 1973
  • Xenia tornado - April 3, 1974. Tornado killed 32 people.
  • Ohio Edison generating plant - 1976
  • Tower Hall fire, Wittenberg University - Feb. 1, 1977; 3 alarms with fire on 6th floor; 4 students, 4 firefighters injured; 2 students rescued by Truck 7's aerial ladder. [Wittenberg press release, Springfield Daily News]
  • Locomotive derailment at Skelgas Co. - April 4, 1978
  • Group home fire, multiple fatalities - 1978

    1980s and 1990s
  • Ohio Masonic Home - Jan. 10, 1982
  • Kelsey-Hayes warehouse fire, Aug. 27,1984
  • Crash of twin engine Piper Navaho aircraft (1907 Kenton St.) - Jan. 3, 1989; pilot Mark Garrett Annest died; responding fire companies included Engine 6. [Family seeking information, contact Fire Journal editor.]
  • Coventry Village fire (2354 North Limestone St.) - 1994
  • I-70 chemical incident - Aug. 10,1995
  • Crowell-Collier fire - May 10, 1999. General alarm.

    21st CENTURY
  • Firefighter Brian Fleming died in line of duty - July 17, 2005. Illness. [Springfield News-Sun]
  • R.D. Holder Oil Co. fire (Folk Ream Road, Clark County) - April 19, 2012. [Dayton Daily News]
  • Carter Jewelers Co. fire (Fountain Avenue and Main Street) - Feb. 10, 2013
  • McMurray's Irish Pub fire (122 East College Ave.) - June 7, 2013 
  • Unusual Incident -  Jan. 13, 2014. Rescue 1/Hazmat 1 assisted police at scene of "chemical suicide" near Springfield's municipal stadium. Note in vehicle warned of presence of hydrogen sulfide.
  • Tri-State Pallet fire (Monroe and Gallagher streets) - Jan. 6, 2015

Friday, July 24, 2015

PLAY IT AGAIN

Dayton Fire Department Band - click on photo for wide view

Thursday, January 08, 2015

5-ALARM FIRE



Dramatic photos of Tri-State Pallet warehouse fire from WDTN Channel 2 and Springfield News-Sun

By Allison Michie
Staff Writer of Springfield News-Sun
Jan. 8, 2015 edition

A massive five-alarm fire (Jan. 6) destroyed an industrial warehouse complex in downtown Springfield, the largest firefighters have battled since the Crowell-Collier burned in 1999.

The charred remains of the structure continued to smolder throughout the day Wednesday and Springfield Fire/Rescue Division crews were expected to remain on the scene overnight.

“In my 23 years on the job, I haven’t seen a fire rage like this,” Springfield Assistant Fire Chief Brian Miller said.

Firefighters poured more than 1 million gallons of water on the flames and much of that water froze, both on the ground and on the crews, making it that more difficult to fight.

The fire occurred at Tri-State Pallet, which is housed in an industrial complex at Monroe and Gallagher streets that has more than 118,000 square feet in multiple buildings, according to county records. Tri-State makes and sells wood pallets.

Firefighters were dispatched to the business shortly after 6:30 p.m. Tuesday, but Miller said he believes the fire had been burning for some time before the alarm activated.

“Initial arriving crews reported tremendous amounts of fire on arrival,” he said, and the flames were so heavy firefighters never entered the building.

The cause of the blaze remains under investigation, but Miller said so far it doesn’t appear it was intentionally set. He spoke to the business owners Wednesday and returned to the scene to assess it, but he said a full investigation cannot begin until all the hot spots are out.

A handful of Tri-State Pallet employees typically worked in the warehouses from 7 a.m. to 4 p.m.,

Miller said, but no one was in the building when firefighters arrived Tuesday night.

Paul Weber, director of the Springfield Family YMCA on South Limestone Street, said the flames Tuesday were massive in the night sky.

“When we walked out the back door (of the YMCA) you could just feel the heat,” he said.

In their defensive attack against the fire, firefighters focused on keeping the flames from spreading to an adjoining building that was full of thousands of tires.

“We are very lucky that that building didn’t also catch fire, because of the tremendous fuel load in there,” Miller said. “Tires are much more difficult to put out than pallets are.”

Parts of the buildings had a sprinkler system, but Miller said it is unclear if the system was properly working.

Tri-State declined to comment Wednesday. Another warehouse located on Sherman Avenue that is also owned by the company was the scene of a fire within the past year, according to records.

The cause of that fire was never determined, but Miller said it began on the roof and might have been sparked by an electrical issue or sawdust. The fire only caused minimal exterior damage because firefighters were immediately alerted to the blaze by the sprinkler and alarm system, he said.

“A working sprinkler system makes a tremendous difference,” Miller said.

Between 40 and 50 Springfield firefighters rotated shifts overnight Tuesday into Wednesday morning to battle the flames. Thirty fresh firefighters worked at the scene Wednesday.

Firefighters dealt with tough weather conditions as they fought the flames Tuesday and Wednesday, Fire Capt. Brian Wirth said. The low temperature Wednesday was 5 degrees and wind chills dropped below zero.

The extreme cold hinders their supplies — equipment begins to freeze, including a fire house that was frozen solid — but it also takes a toll on their bodies as they work, he said.

“It just soaks down through your bones and just gets harder to move and you start moving slower,” Wirth said.

Temperatures also created dangerous conditions around the scene as sheets of ice formed.

“The worst part is trying to keep your footing,” Wirth said. “You’re slipping and falling. We get a lot of muscle strains, twisted ankles, things of that nature.”

Springfield Twp. and Moorefield Twp. fire department crews responded to assist Springfield firefighters. Box 27, a volunteer crew, also came to provide relief to firefighters.

Firefighters took refuge at the nearby Y, 300 S. Limestone St., to use the restrooms and a gym as a warming center. Box 27 set up volunteers at the Y and Olive Garden donated food.

Ice covered firefighters from head to toe when they came into the Y, Weber said, but they had positive attitudes and remained more concerned about giving their fellow firefighters a break from the cold.

“They would grab a cup of coffee or go to the restroom and then literally come back and put the frozen helmet and put the frozen jacket back on,” he said. “They weren’t even in long enough for the ice to come off the jackets.”

Tom Lagos’ company Zeus Investments Inc. owns the warehouse complex. He said he was shocked when he heard about the fire. As property owner, he was one of the first to receive an alert from the alarm company when the sprinklers went off.

The building has been deemed a total loss so Lagos said it will be torn down. It is appraised at nearly $65,000, according to records from the Clark County Auditor’s website, and was purchased by Lagos in 2009.

“We should saint all of the Springfield firefighters … they avoided what could have been a potential catastrophe in the city,” he said.

Tuesday, December 30, 2014

MR. ASHBURNER


On the night of Saturday, Jan. 31, 1914, Charles Ashburner, newly installed as Springfield's first city manager, swung his budgetary axe, hacking away at the fire and police departments.

The city dismissed 12 firemen and eight police officers, effective Feb. 1.

Ashburner  announced plans to shutter engine houses No. 2 on Wittenberg Avenue and No. 8 on Yellow Springs Street as well, according to the Feb. 1 edition of the Springfield Daily News, though those closures were later reversed.

(No. 2 was permanently closed in 1932 during the Great Depression; No. 8 remained open until a new station was opened in 1973, though it was briefly closed during the Depression.)

The new city manager, hired to root out political excess, cut debt and modernize municipal finances, justified his decision by saying motorization of the fire department allowed firemen to reach "any part of the city in five minutes or less," the Daily News said.

Ashburner also ordered Fire Chief Samuel Hunter to take up residence and sleep at the Central Engine House.

In all, the fire department's budget was cut by about $12,000 or about $283,000 in 2014 dollars.

Of the men struck from the rolls of the fire department, M.J. Dunn, the longest serving member (appointed 1886), qualified for retirement and pension.

The others didn't.

They were:

Frank Bancroft (appointed 1888)

John Oettlin (appointed 1901)

Daniel O'Neil  (appointed 1903)

Dominick Tracey (appointed 1903)

Daniel Fitzpatrick (appointed 1903)

Frank Moore (appointed 1903)

Joseph Garrett (appointed 1904)

James Dunn (appointed 1905)

Pierce Humphreys (appointed 1908)

Clyde Koontz (appointed 1908)

James Sullivan (appointed 1909)

The cuts weren't by seniority, as others with less time on the job remained, though the men received letters saying they would be recommended for reinstatement should there be any vacancy.

None of them returned.

Bancroft, however, was recommended for pension because of  his health.

The cuts left the fire department with Chief Hunter, seven marshals, a superintendent of fire alarm, four engineers and 29 firemen. (Marshals served as station commanders.)

H.T. Evans, of No.4 engine house on Lagonda Avenue, was reduced in rank. Appointed in 1903, Evans retired in 1923.

No new firemen were hired until l916.

In his first year on the job,  Ashburner reduced Springfield's debt to $40,000 from $120,000, according to the May 24, 1919, edition of A Journal of Democracy.

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

CLEVELAND CLINIC


On May 15, 1929, a fire at Ohio's Cleveland Clinic claimed 123 lives.

The blaze started in the basement where an exposed light bulb ignited nitrocellulose x-ray film, releasing poison gas and triggering a pair of explosions.

"
Rescuers found evidences of the suddenness with which disaster came to those inside the building on every hand," the Associated Press reported.

Battalion Fire Chief James P. Flynn and his driver, Louis Hillenbrand, dropped a ladder to a fourth-floor landing from the roof and discovered 16 bodies in a stairwell.

"One woman smashed a third floor window and was preparing to leap as firemen spread a life net," AP said. "She stood poised, the amber gas swirled about her shoulders, and she collapsed, falling inside the building."

Ernest Staab, a Cleveland police officer assigned to No. 1 Emergency Wagon, sacrificed his life to make 21 rescues.

Staab "collapsed after carrying out his twenty-first burden" and "followed those he rescued to an emergency cot and died a few hours later," AP said.

 Dr. John Phillips, a founder of the clinic, was another of the dead.

Wednesday, November 05, 2014

TREMONT CITY - 2014


On Nov. 5, 2014, fire destroyed a historic building housing the Tremont City post office on West Main Street. The mail was spared. “Everything was wet, but I was able to salvage all the mail and all the stamp stock,” Postmaster Brenda Body told the Springfield News-Sun.