The 5 alarm at 3rd & Elm in August of 1975 was probably the last really huge downtown fire that has occurred in Cincinnati. I would imagine that there are still firefighters on the department that fought that one.
The Baldwin Piano Co. fire has to be #1 in my book. It is my understandinmg from talking to some of the old timers that the Baldwin fire was the largest response of equipment in the history of the CFD and that the response can't be duplicated because of the number of companies eliminated since that fire took place. Maybe someone can verify that information.
I think the BASF fire was huge too. One that won't soon be forgotten.
What about the Standard Oil (?) fire that occurred during the 37(?) flood? Is that the one that burned the old CROSLEY plant?
I think some of the others; Thieman Bros., Bureau of Unemployment Comp, Chamber of Commerce Bldg., and what about the old round house fire, was that big enough? It does occur to me though that some of the fires of the past that were listed as three alarms, etc., actually were probablay bigger that some of the 5 alarms that have occured in the past 20 years because of the same thing I mentioned before, elimination of companies. When you look at the two piece companies that were disbanded some of the older responses can trake on an entirely different look!
Were "Snow Filtration" and the " monsanto Chemical " fire worthy of mentioneing or further consideration?
I hope someone can shed more light on some of these for me!
Post by George Bredestege on Jul 23, 2002 14:19:56 GMT -5
I would think that the Shoe District Fire in 1913 was probably far larger than the Baldwin Fire. It burned for like 13 days and consumed several dozen buildings. Since the CFD had just about peaked in strength, there were probably more firefighters on the scene of that one than any other. Balwin was all but over in about 4 hours and only burned two buldings. Both buildings were in the process of being demolished anyway. Just my thoughts...
George Bredestege&&The opinions experessed here are mine and only mine. They do not represent my employer or any other entity.
Post by whistleblower on Dec 30, 2002 10:29:55 GMT -5
While assigned to E-3, I remember seeing an old "extra alarm" critique from the Baldwin fire. I counted the # of engine companies that were dispatched & if memory is correct, I think they numbered at least 25. This report might be at the 3's house yet. When I saw it, it was in the office on the bottom shelf of a book case. It might have been moved into the storeroom by now. There were other "extra alarm" critiques from infamous fires in the past also.
Also regarding the "Shoe District" fire, which if I remember correctly, was at 9th & Sycamore, was known as "the biggest fire" in Cincinnati history. That was until Chief Steidel declared in 1993 that the Alexander Apartment fire was the "biggest" fire in Cincinnati history!
My great uncle, Fred J. Brown, was a patrolman with the CPD in 1913. I recall him telling me that he was walking his beat at 9th & Sycamore. When he walked across a grate in the sidewalk he could feel heat coming out of it. He looked down & could see into the basement of the building which was an inferno. He "pulled the hook" for the biggest fire in Cincinnati history......until 1993 anyhow!
Uncle Fred also drove the City's 1st motorized vehicle, the "Flying Thomas" or "Thomas Flyer" as it was officially called. According to Uncle Fred, it was operated by the Police Dept. out of the garage in the courtyard of City Hall. It was an all-open-air vehicle that was sent to all big emergencies. I just found a picture of him sitting behind the wheel. Kind of like the 1st Sq. 52. Uncle Fred said they picked him to drive it because he had experience operating (not driving) a streetcar. I remember him telling me that he actually ran over several people & killed one during the time he was driver. I believe the year was around 1915. He went on to become the Mayor's & City Manager's chauffer/bodyguard & retired in 1945 as a Detective Sergeant.
Post by whistleblower on Dec 30, 2002 14:39:44 GMT -5
As an afterthought, I remember the Baldwin fire. As I recall it was a windy & quite balmy evening for March. I was almost 14 & my Dad took me & my brothers to watch. We parked up off Dorchester & walked down the hill to Reading Rd. There was an engine in suction at the hydrant there. Of course the expressway wasn't there yet & I remember feeling the heat big time, even from that distance.
In my opinion, there has not been a bigger fire since Baldwin. I'm basing this on size of the building(s) & volume of fire, not time it took to completely extinguish.
I too remember the Baldwin fire. I am the daughter of a deceased fire from the 17's. That night my mom & I stayed up all night listening to the news. Mom taught me how to sew that night, trying to keep ourselves busy.
Someone said it was only four hours to extinguish, seemed like an eternity to us also.
fmfd25: T-3 - any word on when it will ever go in service? FDIC was 3-4 as back in April
Aug 11, 2015 20:14:23 GMT -5
Bob : The crew of Truck 3 placed their new frontline App Number 51650 in service today September 2nd at 14:37 hours. Old frontline 21650 was said to be available as a spare at engine 35s quarters
Sept 2, 2015 17:31:45 GMT -5