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

Saturday, October 13, 2012


UPDATE 2016: ARFF service no longer provided.

 Airport Tower

 Engine 2

By day, they are guardians of the sky.

Engine Company No. 2 of the Springfield Fire and Rescue Division covers Springfield-Beckley Municipal Airport weekdays from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.

The city assumed responsibility for Aircraft Rescue and Fire Fighting (ARFF) services from the Ohio Air National Guard in 2011.

Eighteen members of the fire division are ARFF certified.

In the event of an aircraft fire, "we use the foam capabilities of Engine 2 and we have a pick-up truck with a slide-in, 500-pound dry chemical extinguishing agent," according to Battalion Chief Randy Keifer.

None of the Air National Guard ARFF equipment remains at the airport.

Springfield airport is located about two miles south of the city limits on State Route 794.

It has two runways and a tower.

The Federal Aviation Administration rating for the airport is "ARFF Index A," meaning it requires one fire engine when the tower is open.

The index is based on aircraft size and the average daily number of departures.

"In the event of a full blown event, we get a normal fire alarm response from the city," Keifer said. "Mutual aid is available."

In the evenings and on weekends, Engine 2 operates as a structural firefighting unit from the East Home Road station which also houses Engine 7.

Airport diagram - Runways 6/24 and 15/33


Springfield, Ohio - FAA Identifier: SGH
Latitude: N39o 50.42'; Longitude: W83o 50.41'

Two intersecting runways are capable of handling anything from a heavy military transport to a small two-seat training aircraft, according to the airport's website.
    Runway 6/24 - Length: 9,000'; Width: 150'
    Runway 15/33 - Length: 5,500'; Width: 100'
    Radio - Tower 120.7, Ground 121.7

OHIO PEN - 1930


On April 21, 1930, a fire at the Ohio Penitentiary in Columbus claimed 320 lives. 
The blaze - which was apparently started to cover an escape attempt - erupted in the top tier of a cell block along Neil Avenue and spread into other blocks.

The warden braced for a riot.

Instead, "heroism cropped out in unexpected places," according to a Zanesville newspaper.

"Liberated convicts gasped fresh air into their lungs, armed themselves with sledge hammers and crowbars and rushed back into the burning tiers."

Surviving inmates won pardons for their acts of heroism, which also led to creation of the Ohio Parole Board in 1931, according to the Ohio Historical Society.


Some of the dead were listed as from Springfield and Clark County:


Brannick was doing time for possession of liquor. Myers was a burglar. The Sherricks were locked up for robbery. Taylor passed bad checks. Timblin was convicted of larceny. Young stole an auto.


Five members of the Columbus Fire Division died Feb. 19, 1936 when a wall collapsed at a fire at the Odd Fellows Temple - one of the largest losses of firefighters in Ohio history. 

They were:
  • Herbert Harrington, firefighter, Squad 1
  • Otto Ignatze, captain, Pump 3
  • Harry McFadden, firefighter, Truck 1
  • Oliver Metzger, firefighter, Squad 1
  • Robert Welsh, captain, Squad 1
The fire apparently started at the furnace.

The building was located on the corner of High and Rich streets.

On Feb. 19, 2012, the Columbus Dispatch published the following recollection:

Five Columbus firefighters died, and seven others were injured on Feb. 19, 1936, when the rear wall of a four-story Downtown lodge hall collapsed during an early morning fire.

The Independent Order of Odd Fellows hall, which stood where Columbus Commons now is on S. High Street, was one of the oldest office buildings in the city, having been built in 1868.

Decayed mortar between the bricks of the building’s west wall was blamed for the tragedy.

At least eight firefighters were on a fire escape when the wall gave way, plunging some to their deaths and injuring others.

Firefighter Earl Ruhl said he was on the third floor when “Lt. McFadden and others in his company told me to go down and warm up. I went down the fire escape and a ladder, and before I knew what happened, I heard timbers crashing and felt bricks hitting my back.”

Lt. Harry McFadden, 36, had been injured fighting the fire but ignored advice to go to a hospital.

“He returned to the blaze after preliminary treatment just in time to be crushed under the wall,” The Dispatch reported.

McFadden was killed.

Firefighters used torches to rescue survivors from a tangle of steel beams, bricks and debris.

The front of the building was coated in a 6-inch sheet of ice, as the water from firefighters’ hoses froze in frigid weather.

Friday, October 12, 2012



On Oct. 1, 1908, a fire at the Knox 5&10 Store fire fatally injured two senior members of the Youngstown Fire Department. Capt. Charles Vaughn died that day and First Assistant Chief Thomas Reilly succumbed to his injuries a day later.


On May 15, 1929, fumes from burning nitro-cellulose x-ray film killed 123 people at the Cleveland Clinic. Among the bodies scattered about was Dr. John Phillips, a founder of the clinic. According to the Associated Press, firemen ``reached the roof and chopped a hole leading to a stairway, then dropped a ladder to the fourth floor landing. Below they found sixteen bodies, one a doctor and another a nurse.''

Cuyahoga River

At least 13 fires have been reported on the Cuyahoga River, the first occurring in 1868. The worst blaze (pictured above) caused over $1 million in damage to boats and a riverfront office building in Cleveland in 1952. Following a blaze in 1969, Time magazine described the Cuyahoga as the river that "oozes rather than flows."

Post card of fire departmeent headquaters in Alliance, Ohio, showing motorized chief's buggy on left along with hose drawn engine and hose wagon.