READY TO ROLL

READY TO ROLL

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

'RAGS' THE FIRE DOG


This is a story about a forgotten firehouse and its mascot.

Old Fire Station No. 2 opened on Oct. 31, 1876 as the "Western Engine House."

"Rags" the firehouse dog is apparently buried ``at the rear of the engine house in the edge of the old Columbia Street cemetery,'' according to Capt. Calvin Roberds' book on the history of the Springfield Fire Division.

The poor dog was kicked or crushed by a fire horse when an alarm rang out on the firehouse bells. The firemen found him mortally wounded on their return, the story goes. (That would have been prior to April 1917, when the fire division became fully motorized.)

Originally, the building was a "small factory" and carried the address 50 North Factory St., which was later changed to 104 N. Wittenberg Ave.

Old Station No. 2 closed Sept. 7, 1932 as the Great Depression squeezed the city's finances. The men were reassigned.

The building still stands.

Company 2 was reorganized several years ago and now runs out of Station No. 7.