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

Tuesday, December 07, 2010



Springfield Fire Chief Mike Beers retired in December 2010 and Assistant Fire Chief Nick Heimlich was appointed as his replacement. Beers, who joined the fire division in November 1975, was appointed chief in April 2000 following the retirement of Chief Frank Montes de Oca Jr. Heimlich joined the fire division in March 1987.

Thursday, September 09, 2010


Springfield’s first female firefighter retires

By Valerie Lough
Springfield News-Sun
Sept. 8, 2010

SPRINGFIELD — The first time Diane Arbogast saw a fire engine, it was the day she reported for training at a new job — as a firefighter.

And, all those doo dads on the engine’s pump panel looked pretty intimidating.

“You look at something like that the first time and go ... ‘Ok,’ ” said Arbogast.

Twenty-five years later, Arbogast, the first female firefighter at the Springfield Fire Division, retired Wednesday, Sept. 8.

But, as a child, putting out fires wasn’t her dream. She thought she might be a nurse.

“I’m not a nurse, but I do take care of people,” she said.

Arbogast found her way to the Springfield Fire Division in search of a better job with good benefits.

In other attempts to get a solid job in 1985, some prospective employers told Arbogast flat-out that they preferred to hire a man for the job.

But when she joined the fire division that same year, the climate was much more welcoming, she said.

“All the guys were always just super,” she said.

Fellow firefighter John Sells said Arbogast’s nurturing instinct made her a natural in the job.

“I think a lot of people will describe her as motherly,” said Sells. “I’ve never seen her get mad.”

Arbogast plans to continue with her second job in the emergency room at Springfield Medical Center and enjoying her eight grandchildren and great grandchild.

Her voice cracked as she spoke of what she would miss the most about her job — the people she worked with.

“It’s like a big family ... they’ve become my second family,” she said.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010


Donnelsville School

On Sept. 7, 1956, an explosion caused the collapse of a new addition to the Donnelsville School, near Springfield, according to the Associated Press. Emma Blackburn, 62, a teacher, suffered rib and wrist fractures. The explosion happened about an hour after school was dismissed for the day, the AP reported. The addition opened four days earlier.

HUSTEAD - 1976

On Jan. 11, 1976, flames engulfed a house near Springfield, killing an elderly man and his two sisters, according to United Press International. Fire crews located the bodies of John Shaw, 80, Nattie Shaw, 74 and Ruth Shaw, 59 in the debris, according to Hustead fire officials quoted by UPI.

Tuesday, July 06, 2010

Friday, June 11, 2010


On April 12, 1892, fire gutted Winter's Art Lithographing Co. in Springfield, Ohio - destroying materials printed for the Chicago World's Fair of 1893, according to a dispatch in The New York Times of the next day.

"Before the Fire Department could arrive the entire three stories were enveloped in flames," the Times reported. "The company had contracted for all the World's Fair lithographing, and part of the orginial stones for the World's Fair work were destroyed."

The fire orginated in a room of oils and inks, "supposedly by spontaneous combustion," and "the heavy machinery was ruined by dropping to the basement," the newspaper reported. It said "the building is a total wreck."


On Jan., 10, 1982, fire "burned through the hospital wing" of the Ohio Masonic Home in Springfield, according to the Associated Press. Firefighters were hampered by intense flames inside and frozen equipment outside. The fire injured 30 people, including four firefighters.


On May 15, 1928, fire swept the Woodlawn Hall womens' dormitory at Wittenberg College, killing Hilda Sipes, 20, of Shelby, Ohio, according to a dispatch from the Associated Press.

Other women were injured jumping from windows early that Tuesday morning, the campus newspaper, The Torch, reported two days later.

Over the years, the tragedy contributed to ghost stories about Woodlawn Hall.

Ms. Sipes died in a lavatory across from her room, No. 11.

Firefighters located her body, clad in a nightgown, in a bathroom "stretched flat on the floor between the bathtub and the wall," said Fire Captain Ed Garrity of the Central Engine House, quoted by the Springfield Daily News.

The fire was discovered by Lilly Myers, house mother for the 20 residents, at about 2 a.m., according to The Torch.

The Associated Press identified three of the injured students as Alice Olde of Detroit, Helen McClain of Troy, Ohio, and Marie Schneider of Indianapolis.

The AP also reported: "More of the girls might have been trapped in bed had not most of them remained awake longer than usual to listen to a midnight serenade of a campus fraternity."

The AP dispatch was published in the May 16, 1928 edition of the Hartford Courant newspaper of Hartford, Connecticut. The headline of the story on page 6 of the newspaper read: "Co-Ed Killed in Dormitory Fire in Ohio."

The AP reporter identified the dormitory as "Woodland Hall."

Friday, May 07, 2010


Photo: Springfield Fire-Rescue Division web site
This is new Engine 10, which runs out of Fire Station No. 8 with Engine 8 on the southside of Springfield, Ohio. The 2009 Pierce Contender PUC was delivered in December 2009 and
replaces a 1986 Pierce Dash Pumper Engine, according to the Springfield Fire Rescue Division's annual report.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010


Downtown Springfield, Ohio, in 1948

Wednesday, January 13, 2010


Photos: Courtesy of family of Harry Huffman
Springfield, Ohio, firefighters at a picnic and outside a firehouse. Harry Huffman is seated at right in the firehouse photo. Can anyone identify the others?