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, May 05, 2013


On Jan. 12, 1867, fire struck the Warder, Mitchell & Company's reaper and mower plant in Springfield.

The New York Times published a short dispatch entitled "Destructive Fire in a Manufactory" on Jan. 15 (sent via telegraph from Cincinatti on Jan. 14.)

Damage was estimated at $40,000. The property was insured for half that amount.

At that time, Springfield was protected by a paid fire department composed of full-time drivers and hosemen and on-call "minute men" drawn from the old volunteer companies.

The first paid men were hired in 1865.

In the early 1850s, Benjamin Warder co-founded Warder, Brokaw & Child Company to acquire patent rights to "The Champion," a combined reaper and mower. In 1866, the company was reorganized as Warder, Mitchell & Company. Springfield was nicknamed "The Champion City" due to the popularity of the machinery.