165 Miami Street - Waynesville, Ohio USA

History of Wayne Twp. Fire Dept. by Ret. Chief Jack R. Gross

Chief Gross

The Wayne Twp. Fire Dept. provides fire prevention and suppression, along with rescue services, to the Villages of Waynesville and Corwin, in addition to, the Township of Wayne. Today's modern department has progressed from a citizen brigade of 1797 to the present department poised to enter the Twenty First Century.

Old Lock-up

It was about 1875 when a brick combination firehouse and jail, known as "The Lock-Up", was built on Tyler Street (presently 290 Chapman Street.) This was also believed to be the beginning of the organization of a fire department in Waynesville. In 1930, this organization would be the beginning of recorded fire records in Waynesville.

In late, or early 1886, Waynesville ordered a steam pumping engine from the Ahrens Manufacturing Company of Cincinnati. This engine was a Fifth Class (400 gallons per minute) Ahrens Steam Fire Engine, Serial Number 457, delivered March 10, 1886. It had a round iron boiler, 25 inches in diameter by 56 1/2 inches high. The pump was a one cylinder piston type pump, 4 1/2 inches bore by 7 inches stroke. The pump piston was powered by a steam piston operating in a cylinder, 7 inches bore by 7 inches stroke. There was a suction hose 3 1/4 inches in diameter.

Fire of 1900

"Old Faithful" was housed at "The Lock-up" when at proximately 10:30 A.M. on April 7, 1900, the ominous sound of the fire bell startled the town and signaled the alarm of a fire at the barn, owned by C.D. Reed. The fire leveled the buildings along the West side of Main Street between Tyler and North Streets, except the residences of A. Maffitt and Henry King.

Waynesville fireman were assisted by the Harveysburg Fire Department. The large hand-operated engine from Harveysburg was brought by a team of horses and operated by thirty men. The Pennsylvania Railroad configured a "Special" train in South Lebanon and sent it to Morrow. The Morrow Engine and fireman were loaded and transported by rail to Corwin. In Corwin the Engine and men were unloaded and sent across the "Avenue" (Corwin Avenue) to assist with the fire in Waynesville.

Old pumper

The Waynesville Fire Department was tested again on April 21, 1921, when the second story and rear portions of the Village Town Hall caught fire and was destroyed. This was located on the Northwest corner of Main and Miami Streets.

Orville J. Phillips, the son of William Phillips, lived in an 1807 brick and frame residence, on the Southeast corner of Main Streets. This house had formerly been the "Exchange Saloon" and later was operated as the William Phillips Ice Cream Parlor.

Orval Phillips

In 1950, Orville Phillips, who later served as the dispatcher for the Waynesville Fire Department, donated the land which is the present site of the Wayne Township Fire Department.

Construction of the East two bays of the present Firehouse was started in 1951. These quarters were occupied February 25, 1952. The center bay was added in 1957. This was followed by the addition of the West bay in 1966.

In 1955 the operation of the Waynesville Fire Department was turned over to the Wayne Township Trustees. This change in operation was the beginning of the Wayne Township Fire Department which provided fire department services to Wayne Township and the Village of Waynesville.

On September 11, 1972, the Wayne Township Fire Department started providing emergency ambulance service. Previous to this, ambulance service was provided by the Stubbs Funeral Home (now the Stubbs-Conner Funeral Home) located at 185 North Main Street.

 Station 1

With the addition of emergency ambulance service, the work load and the membership in the fire department increased from twenty to forty members. The increase in members required additional space for training, office area and communications. Therefore, the third addition, which was the second floor, was added in 1980

Further expansion was to follow, with the purchase of the lot at 122 South Main Street (now the South part of the Department parking lot) in 1985. In 1988, the lot at 155 Miami Street was purchased from George Edgington and subsequently made into a driveway and parking area for public safety vehicles.

Two bays on the South side of the firehouse were added in 1990, to house service apparatus of the department, such as hazardous material control equipment, ambulance and a brush fire fighting vehicle.

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