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History of the Canton Township Fire Department

The department was organized in 1929 as a reaction to insufficient service by the Canton City Fire Department.  A fire in the spring of 1926 at a barn on 49th Street SW was the first incident to stir township residents.  Six cars were destroyed while Canton Fire Officials were checking to see if the Township was paid up for its fire protection.  By the time fire fighters arrived, the barn was a complete loss.  Another fire in the summer of 1929 was responded to in similar fashion.  This fire at two Ridge Avenue homes brought matters to a boil and a special town meeting was called.  The result of this meeting was the formation of the Canton Township Fire Department.

Department members in front of the original fire station on 49th Street SE

Department members in front of the original fire station on 49th Street SE

The original six-member department consisted of Harold Domer, Ansel Drummond, Clyde McFarren, Howard Mottice, Harvey Stokes and Chief Harry Strobel.  The department's first move was to purchase a 22 year old American LaFrance 40 gallon soda and acid truck.  The truck proved hardly adequate to fight large fires, but the volunteers were saved in 1939 when the state legislature passed a bill allowing township trustees to allocate money for firefighting equipment.  The trustees took advantage of the bill and the department benefited with a new 1939 Ford 500 gallon pumper and building materials for a new station in the New Industry area.


Original 6 members of Canton Township Fire Department. From left to right: Harvey Stokes, Howard Mottice, Chief Harry Stroble, Harold Domer, Ansel Drummond and Clyde McFarren

The department continued to grow as the need for fire protection became more obvious in the distant areas of the township.  In 1944, the second station was opened in the Waco area followed by the Meyers Lake Station in 1947.  A fourth station was built on Lincoln Street East in 1952.  The fifth and last station was built on Sherman Church Avenue in 1961.

Today the department currently operates with 12 full-time firefighter paramedics and full-time fire chief and a full-time fire prevention officer.  There are roughly 23 part-time firefighter paramedics and EMT's that supplement our staffing.  Two office personnel round out the department.  We operate out of three stations staffed 24 hours a day with seven personnel.

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