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

Monday, August 25, 2008


On Feb. 20, 1958, a general alarm fire started by a welder's torch gutted the old Borden Dairy at 125 North Fountain Avenue.

``Two minutes after the blaze was reported, thick clouds of brownish yellow smoke poured from the building,'' The Springfield Daily News reported.

Fire Chief Willard Compton credited a dairy employee with preventing the flames from spreading.

Carl Newberry closed a door between the storage department and the cheese department and contained the flames.

Milk cartons coated with paraffin fueled the flames, making for a smokey, slippery mess.

After the fire, the pile of debris outside the dairy rose to the second floor.

Engine Co. 1 had just returned to the Central Engine House from a run to the Hume Hotel when the alarm was transmitted for the dairy, according to a 1978 history of the fire division, ``From Buckets to Diesels'' by Captain Calvin Roberds.