Fire Buffs promote the general welfare of the fire and rescue service and protect its heritage and history. Famous Fire Buffs through the years include New York Fire Surgeon Harry Archer, Boston Pops Conductor Arthur Fiedler, New York Mayor Fiorello LaGuardia and - legend has it - President George Washington.

Thursday, January 24, 2008


Harold LeRoy, long-time president of the Arlington County Fire and Rescue Association, died Jan. 22, 2008. He would have celebrated his 91st birthday on Feb. 1, 2008.

Firefighters - both career and volunteer - addressed him as "Mr. LeRoy'' as a sign of respect. He remained active with the volunteer association, the fire department historical society and the ``Chowder Club'' until his passing.

Mr. LeRoy joined the Jefferson District Volunteer Fire Department in the late 1930s, and during the manpower shortages of World War II was sworn in as a member of the Arlington County Fire Department - though he never collected a paycheck.

He was preceded in death by his wife, Beth.

Mr. LeRoy, who also served as chief of the Jefferson District VFD when he was younger, enjoyed sharing stories of his career, including his many runs on old Squad 5.

Recalling the 1959 general alarm at the Pentagon, LeRoy said one image that remained with him into old age was that of a paid firefighter, Eddie Dodson, emerging from the smoke-charged basement of the massive building covered in soot. ``He sat down on the running board of the wagon – and promptly lit a cigarette,’’ LeRoy chuckled.

Monday, January 14, 2008


Modern fire dog

Many years ago, Murph - "The Fire Engine Dog" - resided at Old Station No. 2 in Ballston, and we are told that when the bells went off, Murph was the first one to hop on the wagon - even before the firemen.

After one fire call, Murph climbed on the wrong engine and went back to another firehouse. The firemen at the other station knew him, though, and phoned No. 2. ``We have Murph. Come and get him," they said.

There are no active canines in Arlington County firehouses as of this writing.



Photo: Station 28 web site

Photo: Fox 5

A three-alarm fire erupted in a 12-story apartment building in Seven Corners on Jan. 12, 2008. More than 100 Fairfax County and Arlington County firefighters raced to the blaze triggered by a natural gas explosion. The alarm went out as a seemingly routine medical local for Engine 428.

According to The Washington Post: ``The initial call came in at 7:52 a.m. as a suicide attempt at the Cavalier Club Apartment on Wilson Boulevard. But when rescuers arrived, they found a natural gas leak that led to an explosion in a second floor apartment.''

The Fairfax County Fire Department said in a press release: "Firefighters encountered heavy smoke and fire in Apartment 211 (and) brought the fire under control in approximately 15 minutes."

Mark Williams, 39, a resident who suffered severe burns, died at the Washington Burn Center on Jan. 13. Five people, including three police officers who assisted with the rescue, were treated for smoke inhalation.