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Fire Department

(973) 593-3021
(973) 301-2352
Madison Public Safety Building
62 Kings Road
Madison, NJ 07940 (map)

Notable Dates 1940-1979

Notable Dates:     1881-1939        1940-1979        1980-2009        2010-Present          

1946 February-19:  A fire in the Schaouy Building, at 26 Main Street, during the noon hour, resulted in damage of $20,000 to the building and $9,100 to contents.  Mrs. Lily Clemens died in the blaze.  Mrs. Hugh Brodhead and Mrs. Mabel Clark were rescued by firefighters.

Robert L. Chambers is appointed chief.

1949 August-30:  At 3:08pm, a general alarm was transmitted for Morris Coal and Lumber, the present day site of the Madison Public Safety Building.  Mr. & Mrs. George Ranson were both injured when they leaped 25 feet from their top floor apartment.  Florham Park Fire Chief was injured when he was struck in the head by a falling electric line.  The damage as a result of the blaze was estimated at over $60,000.  Florham Park and Chatham Fire Departments assisted at the scene.

1950 February-2:  
At 8:29am a general alarm was sounded for a house fire on Spring Valley Road.  Fire units were on scene for six hours.

1950 February-4:  A Gas Station at 319 Main Street sustained extensive damage from a fire.  The alarm was sounded at 7:05am and units did not clear until four hours later.

1950 March-11:  At 6:16p.m. the large frame dwelling situated on the southwest side of Madison Avenue, occupied by Mr. and Mrs. Percy Crane, was reported to be on fire.  Firefighters from Madison, Morristown, and Green Village fought the blaze for nine hours while Florham Park Fire Department covered Fire Headquarters.  Many valuable prints and antiques were saved, although some were unfortunately destroyed.

1950 November-25:  The department responded to 26 stills and 2 generals resulting from a hurricane.  10 calls for water emergencies, 13 trees on houses, 3 Medical Calls, and 2 minor house fires.

1951 June-27:  A medical assistance call was called in to fire headquarters from 55 North Street.  Upon arrival the 39 year old male was unconscious.  Utilizing the respirator and early day CPR the victim was revived.

1951 December-24:  The Green & Pierson Lumber Yard was again visited by a disastrous and spectacular blaze.  The alarm was received at 1:11p.m. and the firefighters were not dismissed until 6:00p.m. the following day.  Florham Park, Green Village, Chatham, and Morristown responded. Damage was estimated over $75,000 and 500,000 gallons of water were used.  The fire spread so rapidly that a new engine was engulfed in flames before it could be moved.  Thirteen firefighters suffered burns.

1952 April-18:  The Handie Talkie was used for the first time at a brush fire on Rosedale Avenue.

1952 May-7:  
St. Vincent's Church was seriously threatened when a fire, originating above the ceiling in the center portion of the church, destroyed the steeple and belfry. Valuable assistance was rendered by the Morris Township Fire Department's ladder truck while Florham Park covered Madison Fire Headquarters.

1953 August-30:  
At 10:25pm a barn fire was reported on Chateau Thierry Avenue.  This fire was the first response made by Engine 2 (1953 Mack) which pumped for six hours. 

1954 December-21:  One firefighter was injured at a fire on Beverly Road.  The fire which broke out just past 6:00am was fought with temperatures only 5 degrees above zero. 

1956 April-18:  At 12:45pm a general alarm was sounded for 10 Ridgedale Avenue, Apartment 17.  Firefighters returned to headquarters three hours later.

1956 June-24:  A fire caused by spontaneous combustion in a store room, caused severe damage to a residence at 47 Cook Avenue.

1958 Nov-25:  A fire destroyed a large trestle and adjoining structures at Morris Coal & Lumber (now the site of parking lot#3).

1959 January-21:  A fire of underdetermined origin broke out in the Goumas Diner (now the Nautilus Diner) at 95 Main Street.  The alarm was received at 11:50p.m..  Five firefighters and one police officer were overcome by heavy smoke.

1960:  Complete requirement puts the Madison Fire Department at the highest rating in the state for insurance ratings.

1961 April-9:  
A spectacular fire destroyed the quarters of Frank Patterson Post No.43 American Legion, located at 76-78 Main Street.  The building was completely destroyed and now is the site of a parking lot. 

Edward F. Daniher is appointed chief.

1962 January-11:  Another building located on the Morris Coal & Lumber property was badly damaged by fire and later demolished.  The building was an auto painting shop.

1962 February-11:  
A 4:00p.m. alarm was received from 76 Prospect Street.  As firefighter H. Holly rounded the corner of Kings and Prospect the column of smoke in the sky indicated a general alarm.  In spite of every effort on the part of the Madison Fire Department with the assistance of Florham Park F.D., the structure was damaged beyond repair and had to be demolished. 

1963 January-11:  
A fire was reported at 22 Woodcliff Drive at 7:00pm.  The fire destroyed the residence.

1963 February-14:  At 4:04am Engine 2 responded on a still alarm received from the Madison Police reporting smoke in the area of Chapel Street.  At 4:09am Chief Daniher pulled box 2-1-1 sounding a general alarm bringing Engines 3 & 1 and Truck 4 to the scene of a house fire at 7 Central Avenue.

1964 April-25:  
In the 1950s the aging Gamewell system which was installed in 1907 was replaced with more modern Gamewll call boxes.  In 1964 the boxes were once again upgraded to include a telephone to be used for direct communication with police headquarters.  Police Chief Jennings and Chief Daniher are shown with a new call box at the corner of Park Avenue and Ridgedale Avenue.  A false alarm would result in a $1,000 fine.

1964 April-25:  
11:34pm, a column of smoke was seen eight blocks away from 14 Noe Avenue indicating a general alarm.  A 2nd alarm was ordered to be transmitted by Chief Daniher bringing Engine 3 to the scene along with the Florham Park Fire Department.




1965 July-1:  A fire was reported on Belleau Avenue at 4:52pm.  A 2nd alarm was transmitted bringing Engine 3 to the scene and Florham Park to stand by at Fire Headquarters.  Roll call was taken later that night.




1966 June-14:  A fire was reported at 151 Garfield Avenue at 11:34am.  Roll call was taken at 4:04pm.

1967:  Jack McLaughlin is appointed chief.

1968 July-8:  An alarm was received at 8:31pm reporting a fire at Paul's Steak House, 258 Main Street.  Upon arrival the rear kitchen was fully involved.

1968 September-22:  At 12:43am a fire was reported at the Madison Coat Shop, 133 Kings Road.  Upon arrival the building was fully involved.

1968 October-18:  Just past 2:00am a fire was reported at T&P Auto Parts on Main Street.  The fire caused $20,000 worth of damage. 

1968 December-27:  Two people, including a fourteen year old boy, were seriously burned in a fire at 75 Shadylawn Drive.  The fire started when gasoline was accidentally spilled and was ignited by the furnace

1969 April-1:  
A raging gas fed fire threatened the whole block of Central Avenue just North of Elmer Steeet.  The blaze destroyed the Sam Gordon's Warehouse on Central Avenue.  Assistance was provided by the Florham Park Fire Department.  

1969 December-24:  
A call was received at 11:58pm for a house fire at 38 Lorraine Road.  The resident was pulled ot of the house by Madison Police only to loose her life later at Morristown Memorial.

1970 December-31:  A fire was reported at the Western Electric Building on Park Avenue just past 1:30pm.  A second alarm was transmitted at 2:01pm bringing Florham Park F.D. to the scene.

1971 January-3:  
Just before midnight an alarm was transmitted for a working fire at the Burnett Building at the corner of Central & Main.  A raging fire of unknown origin had fully involved an annex in the rear of the store.  After a hard fight the fire was held to the liquor store and the rear portion of the building.

1972 August-26:  
A call was received at 5:29pm reporting a house being struck by lightening at 280 Kings Road.  Upon arrival the 2nd floor was fully involved. 

1973 June-30:  
A house at 183 Green Village Road was destroyed after a late evening fire.

1974 January-14:  A call was received at 3:06am for smoke in the area of Fairview Avenue.  When Engine 3 reached Central Avenue a column of smoke could be seen in the sky.  The fire was at the Stanley Estate, 141 Ridgedale Avenue. A neighbor reported seeing three kids run from the house just before the alarm was transmitted.  

1974 April-3:  Four Students and a professor were seriously burned at a lab explosion at Madison High School. 

1974 Dec-17:  A suspicious fire broke out at the Madison Meat Market located at 36-38 Main Street.  Florham Park Fire Department came to assist.  Twelve police officers were on duty and the N.J. State Police arson squad was called to investigate.

1975:  James McCormack is appointed chief.

1975 April-1:  A call was received from the Florham Park Police reporting a house fire at 215 Greenwood Avenue.  Gasoline being used to clean the floors was the cause of the fire. 

1975 May-25:  At 9:01am a fire was reported at 5 East Lane.  Firefighters T. Kiernan & L. Clark rescued a 69 year old female from the second floor.  She was transported to Morristown Memorial where she later passed away. 

1975 Aug-26:  At 1:07am the bells sounded at Fire Headquarters box 4-1-1. The box pulled yielded a fire which destroyed a large garage on Ridgedale Avenue.  The fire was caused by lightening.

1976 February-29:  A house fire was reported at 1:48am at 9 Leigh Avenue. The fire claimed the life of a 66 year old female.

1976 October-27:  A fire destroyed a house slated for demolition at 12 Crescent Road.  Morris Township and Florham Park provided assistance.

1977 January-18:  A fire was reported at 17 Prospect Place at 4:46pm.  The third floor was fully involved upon arrival.

1977 Dec-18:  Three firefighter were injured battling a large house fire at 76 Loantaka Way. The alarm was received at 2:11am.  Roll call was taken eighteen hours later.

1978 March-11:  At 1:54am Box 6-1-4 was transmitted.  Like many times before, and many times to come, a check of the area yielded another malicious false alarm.

1978 March-16:  Just before midnight the bells sounded Box 3-5-1.  Upon arrival the 1st floor of 176 Main Street was fully involved.

1979 February-8:  
A fire at the Getty service center resulted in the destruction of three vehicles.

1979 February-14:  
A late night fire was discovered at the Park Avenue Cleaners on Waverly Place.

Notable Dates:     1881-1939        1940-1979        1980-2009        2010-Present