Medina Fire House

Walking through Medina's streets gives the feeling of being taken back in time with the town square, shops, and the small town feeling. The building that catches everyone's eye is the bright red firehouse. At one time, before 1878, Medina City never had a firehouse. Three major fires changed this though. These fires never discouraged the citizens but instead brought them closer together as they rebuilt the city. Medina was a town worth saving and is a great town to live in. It was a charming little place with close-knit neighbors. Through out the years, the fire department has expanded as the city's population grows.

Around nine o'clock in April 1848 the people of were settling in for the night when the cry of fire rang through the Village of Medina. Men rushed out of their house frantically looking for ladders but none could be found. The wind was not their friend as it spread, crumbling fifteen buildings. The next day the people looked at the destruction and decided that Medina was a great place to live and rebuilding began immediately. Twenty-two years later a cry of "Fire" was heard through the square. Church and court house bells rang and the square was filled with people desperately trying to put out the fire. Reports on how the fire occurred were confusing but witnesses say that two men were in the back of a barber shop and upset a coal oil lamp fell on the floor. The Seville firemen tried to come to the rescue but were too late. If the people wanted Medina to survive something had to be done. The town voted on a volunteer fire department in 1874 but never got a fire truck. February 1877 came along with the Empire Block fire. The citizens still insisted that Medina rebuilds. This prompted the town to build a firehouse located at 50 Public Square. The Council, with much pressure from the community,bought a Number 4 Silsby Rotary Steam Engine. Whenever there was a fire from now on, one could see the horses racing through the streets pulling the wagon. As technology improved, new fire trucks came into the fire station. One was the chemical engine which later got crashed when the fire fighters believed that putting the wagon on to the street car tracks would help them get to the fire more quickly. Instead the idea delayed them greatly due to the fact that the wagon wheels did not fit the street car tracks. This caused the wagon to be caught into the tracks and the chemical wagon was strewn over half a block. Another famous fire truck is 'Old Asthma' she wheezed which is retired but can be seen driving in Medina's parades where the crowds cheer when it comes down the street.

The fire station started out with volunteers and the first fire chief was Ephram E. Brenner. Due to Medina expanding, the fire station could no longer be in the square with all the congestion. Today there are three fire stations with three full-time employees and several part time firefighters.

During the 1950's the Community Design Committee was created to redesign the town. The first building was the fire house since it was such an important place. A few gallons of red paint and the fire station looked brand new. Red is the standard color that people recognize with fire departments. One can still go into the square and see the old fire house today.

Images

Firehouse 1970

Firehouse 1970

In 1870 the citizens saw a town worth saving and in 1970 medina's own commiunity desing committee decided the first fire department was worth saving and repainted and redocrated it to show its former glory when it was first made. Image Courtesy of the Medina County Historical Society View File Details Page

The First Fire Department

The First Fire Department

Afrer the panic from the second fire a volunteer fire department was created in 1874. They only had a hose and no fire truck until the third fire came along. During the third fire, chaos was errupting when buckets and a hose would not do the job. The peoole finally pressured the council into buying the firetruck. Image Courtesy of the Medina County Historical Society View File Details Page

1870 Fire

1870 Fire

Somewhere around 1:30 am on friday april 15, 1870, the city cried out "fire!" around the Medina Sqaure reports were that two drunk men were playing cards had split an oil lamp that started this terrible fire, the citizens were helpless against the fire due to the lack of a fire department. Image Courtsey of Cleveland Memories View File Details Page

First Hook & Ladder Company

First Hook & Ladder Company

The citizens of Medina were so excited to finally receive a Hook & Ladder Company in 1877, that they presented medina's first fire Chief Ephram E. Brenner and his assistants with a nickel plated trumpet. Image Courtesy of the Medina County Historical Society View File Details Page

The First Fire Truck

The First Fire Truck

It was not until 1877 when the fire department bought the silsby steam fire engine for $3,000 as pride of the the first fire engine company. It gave the residents of Medina a thrill to see the engine rearing around the square with smoke belching from its chimney. Image Courtesy of the Medina County Historical Society View File Details Page

Number 4 Silsby Rotary Fire Engine

Number 4 Silsby Rotary Fire Engine

Medina bought the Number 4 Silsby Rotary Steam Engine, 1914, which was a wagon pulled by horses. As technology improved, new fire trucks came into the fire station. On was the chemical engine then the first piece of motorized equipment was a chemical wagon. In 1946 the fire department bought a fire engine for only $15,000. Image Courtesy of the Medina County Historical Society View File Details Page

Old Asthma

Old Asthma

The community led to the growth the Medina Fire Department, while a founding member, Ray Mantz, learns how to operate a newer model of LaFrance as it aged it was called Old Asthma due to the bellows of smoke that erupeted from its engine. Image Courtesy of the Medina County Historical Society View File Details Page

Audio

Being in a Parade

Mr. Codding reflects on what it was like to be in a parade while riding in the firetruck with the crowds cheering. View File Details Page

Cite this Page:

Lizzie Minotti, Josh Halstead, Chris Sabetta, “Medina Fire House,” Discover Medina, accessed May 27, 2017, http://discovermedina.org/items/show/28.

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