Fire Buffs promote the general welfare of the fire and rescue service and protect its heritage and history. Famous Fire Buffs through the years include New York Fire Surgeon Harry Archer, Boston Pops Conductor Arthur Fiedler, New York Mayor Fiorello LaGuardia and - legend has it - President George Washington.

Ready to roll from Springfield Fire Headquarters on North Fountain Avenue

Thursday, August 03, 2006


Hamlin C. King of Worthington, Ohio, is seeking information on his great grandfather, Robert Quigley King, who served as Springfield fire chief in the 19th century.

Following is an excerpt from the chief's obituary in 1917:

Mr. King was Springfield's second fire chief and one of its prominent citizens. He purchased the first hook and ladder wagon and the first chemical apparatus for the city. He was elected chief in 1871 and served until 1880, when he resigned.

Mr. King bought the bell which is now in use at Central engine house. He was always deeply interested in the fire department and invariably went to the fires.

About twenty-two years ago when the whip factory burned at Center and North Street, Mr. King was seriously injured by the roof falling in on him. He was removed from the building apparently dead, but it was soon found that he was not fatally hurt.

In discussing his grandfather's career, Hamlin King said that ``according to my late father, the rest of that story is that the other firemen kept him alive in the midst of the flames by spraying all their hoses on him until they could get him out. ''