MAPLEWOOD — The Maplewood Fire Department is marking 70 years of providing fire protection to the community. The department will be hosting an open house Sunday, Nov. 13, from 3 to 5 p.m. to celebrate the achievement.
The open house will be held at the fire department where hot dogs, popcorn and water will be provided. Firefighters will also have the fire safety trailer set up for the kids. There will also be a recruitment booth setup for anyone having questions about how to become a firefighter.
The Maplewood Volunteer Fire Department was formed in 1946 by a handful of concerned local citizens after a fire that destroyed a major part of the village of Maplewood. The fire was March 31, 1943, around 4 p.m.
In a published story in the Sidney Daily News in 1993 on the 50th anniversary of the fire, Hugh Clayton recalled the fire. He also talked about the flood of 1913 and the Palm Sunday tornado in 1965.
The fire began at the top of one of the grain storage bins at the Maplewood grain elevator. It frew quicky and fanned by strong winds, spread to buildings nearby. The fire destroyed seven buidlings, including the grain elevator, two farm implement stores, a blacksmith shop, two residences and barn located about a half-mile northeast of town.
Clayton was one of the original members of the volunteer fire department. While the village at no fire department at the time of the fire, Clayton ws one of the local men who helped when the fire broke out. Fire departments from neighboring communities battled the fire.
“I was on a tractor out in the field sowing oats,” Clayton said in the interview. He noticed the smoke at about the time his children arrived home from school. They ran to tell their father of the big fire in town.
“Here they come over a couple of fences, coming to tell me where the fire was,” he said of the memory. “They were all fussed out.”
The late Ralph Zimpher was one of the founders of the fire department.
The old fire station was constructed in the late 1940’s and it still stands in the village next to the post office. There was no running water or sewage there.
In 1990, MVFD started and building fund for a new station. In 1996, the new building broke ground where the old Maplewood School was located. The station has two bays were a 861 which is a 1986 engine/pumper, 862 which is a 1988 engine/pumper and 866 a 2008 grass truck is placed. There is also two bathrooms, a kitchen/meeting room and an office.
In 1993, a 1972 Chevy grass truck was purchased and rebuilt. It remained in service until 2015 when a 2008 Chevy truck was purchased and rebuilt.
MVFD covers half of Salem Township in Shelby County, half of Bloomfield Township in Logan County and one third of Pleasant Township in Logan County. The department is dispatched on around 25 calls a year. Theere ware 13 members of the department.
The department holds four fish fries a year. They are held every other month on the third Friday starting in April.