Detroit Fire Department History – February 25

Today in DFD history – February 25, 1802

Detroit, being newly incorporated as a village on Jan. 18th, 1802, adopts “Regulations for Securing the Town of Detroit From Injury by Fire”.

Photo courtesy of the Detroit Historical Society. 
Read more about the history of this particular bucket at their blog.

It required residents to keep filled water kegs or barrels, which had to be stored inside to keep them from freezing.  These barrels were fitted with ears on each side and a lever or pole to pass through the ears.  These poles allowed 2 men to carry the water to the scene of a fire quickly.  

It also required residents to have 2 buckets, a ladder to access the roof from the ground, and another ladder fastened to the roof that went to the chimney.  Mandatory chimney cleaning was also included in the regulations.  

Despite these regulations, just 3 years later, a massive fire destroyed Detroit.  A small accidental fire was quickly fanned by high winds.  Attempts were made to stop the spread of the fire, but it became evident the effort was futile.  Residents united to save as many household items and goods as possible by moving them outside the village walls.  In the end, only 1 building inside, and 1 warehouse outside the walls were spared. 

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