Blades Fire Company - Sussex County, Delaware

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Blades Volunteer Fire Company the First Fifty Years

Around the year 1933-34, there was a major fire at the home of Mr. Wilbur Ewell a long time Blades Resident. It was after this fire that a group of men met and decided at that time that they needed to do something to protect the lives and property of their fellow neighbors. For many years prior the Seaford Fire Department provided the fire protection for the Town. The first thoughts were where are we going to have a Fire House and where are we going to get a Fire Truck. During this time it was decided who the Officers of the newly organized Fire Company would be. A vote was taken and the results of the election were:
  • John E. Hastings - President
  • Edward Atkinson - Vice President
  • Alan Chipman - Secretary
  • Albert Riggen - Treasurer
  • Percy Bowers - Chief
  • Wilbur Ewell - Assistant Chief
  • Albert Neal - Assistant Chief
  • Edgar Lyons - Driver
  • Frank Crowley - Driver
  • Howard Knowles - Driver
  • Howard McCawley - Engineer
  • Herbert Larmore - Engineer
  • Karl Hastings - Engineer
  • Joseph Holt - Engineer
  • C.R. Riggin - 1st Charter Members
  • G.W. Venables - 1st Charter Members
  • Milton Riggin - 1st Charter Members
  • J.A. Smarte - 1st Charter Members
  • Elwood Larmore - 1st Charter Members
  • W.A. Culver - 1st Charter Members
Mr. J. B. Hurley a long time businessman gave a REO Truck chassis to the Fire Company and the members went to work to install three hundred gallon water tank. Another REO, Fire Engine was bought from the United States Fire Apparatus Company of Wilmington Delaware for the sum of $40.00. The “First Fire House” was located in a Garage on West High Street. In 1934, three new members joined the Fire Company they were Mr. Howard Griffith, Mr. Harry Truitt and Mr. Norris Davis.

In the same year the company joined the Delaware Volunteer Firemen’s Association.

After spending a year operating out of the garage, a vote was taken at one of the meetings that it was time to build a new Fire House. By a vote of 12 members it was decided to build on the Lee Johnson lot that was located on Second Street. Stories had been told that during the cold winter that the men would take turns sitting around a wood stove to keep the fire burning so that the water in the tanks would not freeze.

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