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.

Wednesday, May 28, 2008


PHOTO: Alexandria Public Library

On Jan. 2, 1929, fire swept the Doniphan Building at 725 King Street in Alexandria's Old Town. Firefighters raised ladders and rescued residents.

The Washington Post said: ``Alexandria experienced its worst fire in years yesterday afternoon in the destruction of the Fairfax apartments, a four-story building at King and Columbus streets in the heart of the business district.''

Damage was estimated at $100,000.

It's likely the Town of Potomac - a section of Arlington County later annexed by the City of Alexandria - sent mutual aid as did Jefferson District, now known as Crystal City. The District of Columbia may have sent assistance, too.

The Potomac Fire Department was organized in 1924. It merged with the Alexandria Fire Department as a result of the annexation, and today its firehouse is the quarters of Alexandria Engine 202.