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, October 28, 2014

KAR GARD - 1972

Photo: Roberds Collection

It was a difficult job on Oct. 21, 1972,when a 3-alarm fire destroyed the Kar Gard muffler shop at 2100 South Limestone St., Springfield, Ohio.

Firefighters advanced a 2-1/2 inch line onto the roof by ground ladder (photo) but were forced back.

Flames scorched the tip of their ladder before it could be removed.

The roof collapsed and sent parts of the second floor crashing down, according to Capt. Calvin E. Roberds in the book "From Buckets to Diesels."


Photo: Roberds collection

On Nov. 8, 1953, fire struck the Moose Lodge at 32 W. Washington St., Springfield, Ohio.

Engine 8 and Box 27 emergency unit (a former city bus) pictured.

The man standing closet to the "bus" appears to have a camera around his neck. Perhaps he was a newspaper photographer.

The man in the coveralls and what appears to be a helmet standing next to him could be a Box 27 member. Or maybe a representative of the gas or electric utility?

The man in the foreground, of course, is a Springfield firefighter.

Who's the other gent in the fedora? A lodge member? A reporter?

Thursday, October 23, 2014


Retired Springfield Fire Chief Donald Lee died Oct. 20, 2014, according to the Springfield News-Sun.

He was 84.

Lee joined the fire division on Aug. 16, 1956, and served for 41 years.

He was promoted to lieutenant in 1970, captain in 1972, assistant fire chief in 1985 and fire chief in 1989.

During Lee's tenure as chief, the fire division underwent a major re-alignment of personnel and apparatus on Jan. 1, 1995, and acquired its first quint, a combination pumper and ladder truck.

The re-alignment addressed "safety concerns about staffing levels" raised during contract negotiations with the firefighters' union, Lee wrote in the fire division's 1995 annual report.

The plan increased staffing on engine companies and truck companies to a minimum of three per engine and four per truck, without the hiring of additional firefighters.

The quint allowed for the combination of an engine company and truck company, while Engine Co. 1 was placed in reserve and its firefighters were re-assigned to other stations.

In the fire division's 1994 annual report, Lee had requested the hiring of 18 additional firefighters to increase the fire division to "our 1980 manning levels."

Illustrating the severe staffing situation, the 1994 annual report showed just two firefighters assigned to each shift at stations No.3, No. 4 and No. 5.

1995 E-One Quint