The Fort Wayne Professional Fire Fighters Local 124 hosted a remembrance and celebration this evening at their beautifully restored, historic fire house. Old Engine House No. 5 opened in 1893 using horse-drawn fire apparatus. While on duty, early firefighters spent twenty-nine straight days in the small brick building. It served the city of Fort Wayne as an active engine house until 1959 and was designated as a Local Historic District in 1987.
The architectural firm of Wing & Mahurin designed the Queen Anne/Romanesque fire house built in 1893. Architectural details include two arched stall openings constructed of brick and outlined in stone, flattened brick segmental arches above the windows, and a cornice ornamented with dentils and modillions.
Fort Wayne Professional Firefighter’s Union Local 124 purchased the historic structure in 2004 and extensively rehabilitated it for use as a meeting facility. The gorgeous stripped and refinished stall doors and the warm, exposed brick interior walls make an inviting location for get togethers and celebrations.
The Local 124 is an active participant in the West Central Neighborhood Association and partners with Wellspring Interfaith Social Services and Emmanuel-St. Michael Lutheran School on neighborhood social issues.
Giant flag hung from front facade of Fire Fighters Local 124
Bagpipers at remembrance and celebration – Fort Wayne Fire Fighters Local 124
Inside Fire Fighters Local 124
Earlier in the afternoon, the public was invited to attend a ceremony at the newly created Law Enforcement Firefighters Memorial at 1000 N. Wells Street. Many from that gathering journeyed to the Fire Station at 1405 Broadway to continue the remembrance held from 4:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m.
I arrived at about 6:00 p.m. – right after getting off work. A crowd had already gathered and was enjoying the snacks and refreshments provided by the Fire Fighters. The restored hall is amazing. The brick walls still bear outlines of various scars left by removing old brick and wood. The metal firemen’s pole still stands between the massive, refinished oak doors which once swung open to allow escaping fire engines to race to tend to their duties.
What a loss if the old fire station had disappeared as so many other historic buildings have done over the years. The saving of this building with all its memories is an example of what can be accomplished with dedication and perseverance – those very qualities that today we celebrate in the courage of the fire fighters and officers who perished in 9/11.