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

Sunday, October 30, 2011


BLACK MONDAY: Springfield New-Sun coverage of Aug. 27, 1984 fire at old Kelsey-Hayes warehouse on West Columbia Street. All off-duty firefighters were called in. Clark County township fire departments sent mutual aid.

[Submitted by Lt. Dave Aills of Rescue Company 1]


On Aug. 9, 1971, a huge fire at the B&M Fiberglass Co. forced several Springfield firefighters to "leap for their lives" from the roof.

"A series of explosions cut them off from their ladders," Captain Calvin Roberds wrote in the 1978 book "From Buckets to Diesels."

The fire at 350 South Fountain Avenue was fueled by resins and solvents and "caused a large number of injuries to firefighters," Roberds wrote.

The blaze also sent a huge plume of smoke over the city.

Firefighters extinguished the flames using master streams from engines and at least one aerial ladder.

Friday, October 28, 2011


Vintage Springfield News-Sun photos, from top to bottom: Black's Opera House fire, downtown 1903; "Covered Wagon" pumper, 1937; Ahearn-Fox pumper; old Station No. 5, West Main Street; East Street Shops fire, 1902; fire horses; Springfield Fire Chief Samuel Hunter and firemen.

[Submitted by Lt. Dave Aills of Rescue Company 1]


A telephone call for help was wrongly routed to Springfield on March 22, 1952. The caller reported a fire on Massillon Road. That didn't make sense to the dispatcher who politely responded: "This is the Springfield Fire Division." The caller apologized, saying she wanted the Akron Fire Department - 160 miles away.

Associated Press story in St. Petersburg, Florida, Times - 3/23/1952

Thursday, October 20, 2011


Bethel Township Fire Headquarters
3333 Lake Rd., Medway, Ohio 45341
Photos: Bethel Township website


INVENTED IN SPRINGFIELD? An Associated Press story printed in newspapers, including the Free Lance-Star of Fredericksburg, Virginia, suggests Springfield Fire Division dispatchers may have been among the first in the nation - if not the first - to routinely ask callers "What is your nearest cross street?" to pinpoint emergencies. The AP story was published Nov. 22, 1961.


Wednesday, October 19, 2011


On Jan. 16, 1943, Dallas Groce, 43, died in an explosion and fire at the Crowell-Collier Publishing Co. plant.

The blast occurred just before noon in the penthouse atop the sixth-floor of the plant west of downtown Springfield, Fire Chief Grover Frock said.

Other workers sustained injuries, according to an Associated Press story printed in the Youngstown Vindicator.

Chief Frock blamed the explosion on spontaneous combustion.

It caused $25,000 in damages.



INGFIELD, Ohio (AP) - The guest of honor, Raymond Beaty, was left by himself when a fire interrupted his retirement dinner. But Beaty understood. He was a city fireman for 17 years and his farewell dinner was being held in No.6 Engine House when it was interrupted by a general alarm factory fire. [From Victoria Advocate - May 7, 1960]

FIRE BUG: On the night of Oct. 21-22, 1958, a "fire bug menace" struck the southside of Springfield, according to an Associated Press dispatch published in the Youngstown Vindicator. Fire Chief Willard Compton said fires were set at Springfield South High School, an autobody shop and four garages. "All available policemen and firemen were called," AP said.

1873 FIRE: On June 2, 1873, the shops of the Springfield Agricultural Works went up in flames. The agricultural works - a plant that encompassed 80,000 feet of floor - ``were almost totally destroyed by fire, just when most needed to get out work for the fall trade,'' according to Beer's 1881 history of Clark County. The shops, which manufactured grain drills, cultivators and cider-mills were ``rebuilt at once.'

HIGH WINDS: On Nov. 12, 2003, winds damaged the roof of the Dole Fresh Vegetables packaging plant in Springfield, snapping an ammonia line and forcing the evacuation of 150 workers, said Mike Doan, assistant fire chief. Two people were hospitalized, according to the Cincinnati Enquirer.

FREIGHT CAR TOPPLES SMOKE STACK: On April 1, 1905, a freight car from the Detroit Southern Railroad jumped the tracks and smashed into the boiler room at the Thomas Stationary Co., causing the plant's "huge smokestack to tumble to the ground," according to a dispatch printed in The Hudson Independent newspaper of Hudson, Ohio. There were no serious injuries, but some workers "were prevented with difficulty from jumping from the windows," the dispatch said.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011


Quint 2 - New Carlisle Fire Division
Clark County, Ohio

Photo: Flickr

Monday, October 17, 2011


Old lumber yard, scene of day's second blaze

On May 12, 1925, Springfield was the scene of two general alarm fires and when the flames were tamed the citizens of Springfield thanked their firefighters with sandwiches and cigars.

The first blaze occurred at the Springfield Abattoir Co at Mill Run and Buck Creek. (An abattoir is a slaughterhouse.) The fire broke out at 2 p.m. and the flames destroyed the cowshed and barns, according to the Springfield Daily News. The fire also destroyed some livestock.

The second general alarm fire that day broke out at the Brain Lumber Co. at East and Harrison streets. The initial alarm was transmitted at 7:20 p.m. with the general alarm following 10 minutes later, according to the Daily News.

The newspaper reported:

The fire started when a thick coating of oil on the surface of Mill Run, paralleling the lumber yard, became ignited from an unknown cause. Flames shot high into the air, and within a few minutes after the first fire company arrived on the scene, the fire had reached one of the buildings of the lumber company and then quickly spread to the others.

From the Mill Run, the flames first spread to a building in which shingles were stored, and numerous other buildings in which finished and rough lumber was stored, were quickly ignited in turn.

The newspaper estimated that the blaze, which was visible from across the city, attracted between 5,000 and 10,000 spectators.

The fire also destroyed three railroad boxcars loaded with lumber.

Firebrands from the lumber company ignited row house roofs along Harrison Street, and firefighters alternately played their hose lines on the lumber yard and the dwellings. Some of the residents turned their garden hoses on the flames.

The worst of the flames were contained in about an hour and firefighters wet down the debris throughout the night.

The citizens of Springfield, in turn, showed their appreciation and ``baskets of sandwiches and kettles of steaming coffee were served to the men as they worked in the cold hours around midnight,'' the Daily News said. ``Boxes of cigars were also passed out to the firemen by the officials of the Brain Co.''

Friday, October 14, 2011


Springfield, Ohio's paramedic units debuted at Fire Stations No. 1 and No. 8 in 1976.

The new service - funded by money raised by "Smilin' Bob" of WBLY radio - often provided the gift of life, as documented the Dayton Daily News reported in late 1979 or early 1980:

SPRINGFIELD - A baby girl was born by Caesarean section after her lifeless mother was rushed to Community Hospital here early today. Springfield paramedics rushed the woman to the hospital, according to Fire Chief Frank Trempe. He said it is believed the woman choked to her death in her sleep. The baby is in guarded condition in Community's intensive care unit and a spokesman said the infant would be moved to a pediatrics hospital when her condition stabilizes.

The fire division's efforts to resuscitate the mother no doubt kept the baby alive long enough in the womb for doctors to make the emergency delivery. It was a remarkable feat.

Saturday, October 08, 2011


Photos: Moorefield Township website

Members of the Moorefield Township Fire Department of Clark County, Ohio - yesterday and today. The fire department was founded in 1950 and its current headquarters is located at 1616 Moorefield Rd.