The Jacob Thompson’s Livery Stable Fire (4/9/1883)

Tragedy struck Westminster on April 9, 1883, when Jacob Thompson’s livery stable, which was on an alley behind West Main Street at the corner of John Street, went up in flames. Four men were playing cards in one of the carriages in the livery stable. They were using a candle, set on one of the seats, to provide light. A dispute arose when one man was accused of cheating. The accused grabbed the money and ran. The other men scuffled before taking off after the man with the money. In the scuffle, the candle was knocked over and started the fire. When caught, the men claimed they didn’t know the fire had started.

The alarm sounded about 11:30 p.m. By the time the firemen arrived, the stable was fully engulfed and a strong wind was spreading the flames to neighboring structures. At the time, Westminster had no city water supply and firemen fought the blaze with their chemical engine and water carried from nearby wells. The light of the fire was reportedly observable for a radius of 25 miles. The Gettysburg Compiler claimed a number of local residents saw the glow. The Hanover Spectator said “The light of the conflagration was so vivid and intense that it illuminated the whole of the Southwestern sky . . .”

By morning the fire had destroyed 16 houses, Grace Lutheran Church on Carroll Street, two manufactories, and eight stables. Seventeen families and thirteen businesses were left homeless. Total fire damage was estimated at $135,000. Two men who had been sleeping on the second floor of the stable where the fire began perished as did a number of horses and cattle.

To read the full account of the fire, go to the Library of Congress’ Chronicling America project at https://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/…/1883…/ed-1/seq-3/

Remembering Our Own- Fireman Joseph G. Hahn

Honoring & Remembering Maryland Fallen Heroes.

Westminster VFC ~ Carroll County ~ Maryland

January 26,1931

At approximately 10:00 a.m. on Monday, January 26, 1931, the Westminster Fire Engine & Hose Co.No.1 responded to the Oscar Hess residence, on Manchester State Road near Cranberry, for a gasoline stove explosion in the kitchen. The flames were quickly extinguished by the Westminster firemen. The kitchen was mostly destroyed from the blast, but the rest of the house was saved, having suffered only smoke damage and some broken window panes.

While the firemen were performing salvage and overhaul, Fireman Joseph G. Hahn suffered a heart attack and fell over. Before medical aid could be summoned, death occurred.

Fireman Joseph G. Hahn was 46 years old

The Westminster Fire Department announces the death of member Bob Ruby

January 22, 2021 Westminster, Md. – It is with deep sadness that the men and women of the Westminster Fire Engine and Hose Co. No. 1 announces the passing of Westminster firefighter Bob Ruby.

Bob left this earth to be with his beloved wife Shirley Ruby at 6:47 p.m. Friday evening Jan. 22, 2021, at Dove House in Westminster. He was surrounded by a roomful of firefighters who never left his side for a second from the minute he arrived at Dove House and held his hands through his last breath of air.

Firefighters, first responders. EMS providers, correctional officers, dispatchers, and police officers are a family. We stand behind each other, we look after each other, and we never leave anyone behind.

May Bob Rest in Peace. Brother Bob – your watch is over we will take it from here, you duty is done here, God has your place in heaven.

Funeral arrangements for Bob Ruby will be announced next week as soon as they are available. Questions text – do not call. – Text Chaplain Dayhoff 410 259 6403

Please join me in a moment of prayer

O god of grace and glory, we remember our brother Bob Ruby. We thank you for giving him to us to know and to love as a companion in our pilgrimage on earth. In your boundless compassion, console us who mourn.

Our thoughts and prayers are with our firefighter community at this time.

Those we love don’t go away. They walk beside us every day, Unseen, unheard, but always near, Still loved, still missed and very dear.

May memories of happy times sustain us, the support of family and friends comfort us, and may God’s love embrace you and your family and bring you peace.

Rest in paradise my friend. See you again someday. God be merciful to your good soul.

Thinking of you as you find peace during your journey and sending strength to your family as they mourn. I pray that peace will be found for all.

Amen

Westminster Fire Engine and Hose Co. No. 1 Chaplain Kevin Dayhoff

Westminster Fire Department’s 2021 Big Money Drawing!

Westminster Fire Department will host its 2021 Annual Big Money Drawing on Thursday, May 27, 2021!

Prizes include:

  • 1st Prize: $10,000
  • 2nd Prize: $2,000
  • 3rd Prize: $1,000
  • 4th Prize: $500
  • 5th and 6th Prizes: $250 each
  • 7th and 8th Prizes: $200 each
  • 9th through 14th Prizes: $100 each

Tickets are $10 each.

You can purchase tickets online by clicking here!

Or, stop by the station at 28 John Street, Westminster MD 21157, to pick up your ticket or call 410-848-1800!

***Update*** this event will be held virtually on May 27, 2021.

Westminster Fire Department reserves the right to cancel the in-person event if needed due to COVID-19 restrictions

No outside alcohol is allowed

Holiday Surprise from St John’s Church

Shift Lt. Guy Garheart and his shift personnel were surprised today with a number of food and goodie packages for the holidays. Teresa Richardson delivered the packages on behalf of St John’s Church in Westminster. The Department is always grateful for the continued community support and extend our thanks to Teresa and the St John’s members.

Photo from Guy Garheart and WFD Facebook post

The Nathan Chris Baker Foundation provides dinner to the Westminster Firefighters

The Nathan Chris Baker Foundation provides dinner to the Westminster Firefighters

The Nathan Chris Baker Foundation provides dinner to the Westminster Firefighters. Courtesy The Nathan Chris Baker Foundation.

On Friday, May 1, 2020: The Nathan Chris Baker Foundation had Genova’s pizza delivered to the Westminster Fire Department to thank them for their service and bring smiles to their faces as well.

On Friday, May 1, 2020: The Nathan Chris Baker Foundation had Genova’s pizza delivered to the Westminster Fire Department. Photo by Kevin Dayhoff
On Friday, May 1, 2020: The Nathan Chris Baker Foundation had Genova’s pizza delivered to the Westminster Fire Department. Photo by Kevin Dayhoff
On Friday, May 1, 2020: The Nathan Chris Baker Foundation had Genova’s pizza delivered to the Westminster Fire Department. Photo by Kevin Dayhoff

In a Facebook post, the foundation said, “‘Let’s all Go Out Be Great’ right now by spreading greatness through our community.”

On Friday, May 1, 2020: The Nathan Chris Baker Foundation had Genova’s pizza delivered to the Westminster Fire Department. Photo by Kevin Dayhoff

The Westminster Fire Department would like to express its thanks to The Nathan Chris Baker Foundation for its generous and thoughtful support at a difficult time. Stay safe – stay in the house. (Hat Tip: Jeff Leppert)

By Westminster Fire Department Chaplain and PIO Kevin Dayhoff May 1, 2020