Englewood Fire celebrates 100th

Posted 10/30/08

Saturday’s Englewood Fire Department 100th anniversary celebration and first-ever reunion became a time to reminisce and renew old acquaintances. …

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Englewood Fire celebrates 100th


Saturday’s Englewood Fire Department 100th anniversary celebration and first-ever reunion became a time to reminisce and renew old acquaintances. Almost 150 current and former firefighters gathered at the Malley Senior Recreation Center for the event.

Attendees included retired volunteer and paid firefighters from as far back as 1960, current firefighters as well as Sprites, the wives of firefighters, and Sprouts, the children of firefighters

“I wouldn’t have missed this event for the world,” said Buck Bucholz, a firefighter from 1960 to 1984. “It is a great event. I am seeing old friends I haven’t seen since I retired 24 years ago. Boy there sure have been a lot of changes since I was a firefighter and, from what I can see, almost all the changes have come about in a good way.”

Doug Sovern, who officially served the fire department in 1968 and retired as deputy chief of the volunteers in 1988, said he actually started fighting fires in about 1960.

“I was still in high school and, like a lot of other kids, I hung around the fire station a lot,” he said. “The fire department used to get a lot of grass fire calls in the summer and, because rules were different then, kids like me would get on the truck and go help put out fires.”

He reminisced of the 1950s and 1960s as truly the good old days in Englewood.

“Dad was on the fire department for 33 years and his extra jobs included repairing radios for the police and fire departments,” He was fire chief from ‘67 to ‘69 when he retired,” the younger Sovern said. “Back then, Englewood was a great place because it was a small town where everyone felt and accepted the responsibility to protect and help raise all the kids in the community. That was in the days when the busiest retail block in the country was Englewood’s 3400 block of South Broadway and the fireman’s ball was the social event of the year.”

Bob Marshall, a firefighter from 1966 to 1977, said he was enjoying the get-together and really liked looking at all the articles in the scrapbooks.

“I am enjoying seeing some old friends and talking about old times,” he said.

“Having a reunion was a great idea and I’d sort like to see it start a trend.”

Kraig Stovall, deputy fire chief, help organize the celebration and reunion.

“This is the department’s 100th anniversary and we wanted to celebrate a milestone in department history,” he said. “We also have been talking about having a reunion to get all the volunteers and retired firefighters together so it seemed like a good idea to combine the events.”

He said the hardest part of planning the event was reaching the volunteers and retired firefighters.

“There isn’t any sort of database available with names and addresses so we just had to scramble and try to reach as many people as possible,” he said as the celebration was getting underway. “We heard from a lot of the folks and about 150 people called to say they were coming. It’s great to see people greet old friends and I love to listen in while the volunteers and retirees share stories of when they were fighting fires in Englewood.”

Englewood volunteers organized a fire department in 1908


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