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The History of Fire Fighting in Christiansburg

1948 to 1973


On September 29, 1948, the Christiansburg Fire Company, Inc. was signed into being by Dwight Grube, Kenneth Furrow, Lee Mills, Sam Sullenberger, Sr. and Frank Clark.

The event leading up to the signing of the Fire Department charter, was a disastrous fire, and the fast action of the then village Mayor Kenneth Furrow and other citizens of the village and surrounding community. 

Just 18 days before on a Saturday Afternoon, September 11, a fire started in the apartment of Floyd Powell on North Main Street.  Before the blaze was put out, it destroyed the homes of Mr and Mrs. Powell, Mr. and Mrs. Willis Gibson, Mr. and Mrs. George Bogart and Mr. and Mrs. Frank Westfall, the owner of the building.  Also destroyed was the adjacent home of Mr. and Mrs. Cicero Hill and finally the building housing Harmon's Meat Market.  Along with the villages outdated chemical cart, answering the alarm were the following departments: Troy, St. Paris, Fletcher, Piqua, North Hampton, Bethel, Tremont and Fairborn.

On Monday evening, September 13, a total of over $4,000 towards of the purchase of a fire truck and fire house was pledged at a meeting called by Mayor Furrow.  The meeting, which was held in the old school house, was well attended with many unable to gain attendance to the meeting room.  A committee of ten, headed by Milton Draper, chairman, was appointed to raise the reminder necessary to purchase the full equipment.  The rest of the committee were: Thomas Draper, Gail Miller, Eric Buroker, Rev. William Wilson of the Honeycreek Baptist Church, Mrs. Kenneth Furrow, Mrs, Robert Bright, Mrs, Harry Bright, Ralph Sutherly and Harry Littlejohn, the latter two, rural representatives.

In late October 1948, the new fire truck, which cost $7,954 arrived and was housed in the Wilson and Phillips Garage until the following spring.  Albert Zindorf was hired to erect the fire house along with Tom Baker, Elijah Davis, George Schultz, Ed Thackery and Charles Wood.  Also time and labor was donated by various men of the community.

The fire house, which was completed around the end of February 1949, was built on ground donated by Mr. and Mrs. William T. Neal.  Fittingly enough much of the fill under the building was taken from the ruins of the fire.

The total cost of the fire house and fire truck with the necessary equipment on it was around $12,000.  This was more money than was brought in by donations and private fire contracts.  In August 1949, the department decided to have Bingo Parties to help pay off the remaining debt and to help with operating expenses.

In January 1951, Elizabeth and Lost Creek Townships signed the first rural fire contracts with the department for $400 per year, per township.

On September 24, 1951, the first Women's Auxiliary meeting was called to order with 19 answering roll call.  Read more on the Women's Auxiliary here.  The Auxiliary has proven to be a valuable asset to the department.  Not only by serving refreshments when many hours were required of the firemen, but their financial assistance has been outstanding. 

In April 1952, the Fire Department negotiated with the village council for the first fire contract with the village.  This same month the first rural contract with Jackson Township was signed.  Each contract being for $400 per year.

In May of 1952, a 1950 Ford truck was purchased from International Harvester for $849.75 and outfitted with a 1000 gallon tank for a total cost of about $1500.

In August 1954 the department, with foresight to the future, purchased the adjoining ground and building from Glenn Everett for $6,850.  The building now houses the social room, kitchen and boiler room.  It was on this ground the new fire house was built in 1968.

In October 1954, the 50-50 club was started.

In November 1955, the department accepted the responsibility of taking tickets at the Hobart Arena in Troy, which required seven men to be at every performance.  In the most active years at the Arena, the department made around $1,200 a year with all proceeds going to the department.  The men kept nothing for themselves, except for the memories of such shows as :Victor Borge, Fred Waring, Pat Boone, Liberace, Elvis Presley, The Williams Family of Holiday on Ice, and also of working back stage at the ice show, wrestling, boxing, midget car races, Globe Trotters, hockey and many others.

In September of 1957 the department and the Women's Auxiliary joined the Farmers and Merchants Bank in an effort to obtain a physician for the village, resulting with Dr. John Royer opening his practice at 214 North Main Street. 

On July 28, 1958 the department offered another service to the community with the purchase of a 1950 Henney Packard Ambulance from Superior Coach for $425.

In September 1961 the Packard Ambulance was replaced with a 1956 Cadillac purchased from Miller Meteor for $1,000.

In the fall of 1963, a new GMC Fire Truck was ordered from Central Fire Truck Company with a 1,200 gallon tank and a front end pump capable of 750 gallons per minute at a cost of around $15,000.

The years of 1966 and 1967 saw the completion of the new fire house at a cost of $17,500.  Although the new building was bigger, nicer looking, and cost a lot more, there still could not be any greater sense of pride than back in 1949 when the old fire house was completed.

In September 1970, the fire department sent out the first annual fire seals.  We continue this today with the annual mailing of the fire prevention letter in early October.  On October 3, 1970, the department hosted the annual fire prevention parade and program by the Miami County Emergency Services of which they are a member.

On November 17, 1971 the firemen voted to purchase a 1965 Cadillac ambulance from Superior Coach for $3,620.  The new ambulance is a big improvement over the 1956 ambulance, and is also better equipped.  The total cost of the ambulance and equipment was over $4,500.

In November 1972, the department took an opportunity to buy a 1963 International truck with a 3,000 gallon tank on it.  Although there are plans to purchase a new pumper to replace the 1948 truck, the firemen felt it was wise to spend almost $4,000 on this truck for the additional water supply it will provide at rural fires.


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