In 1837, the state legislature allowed the City of Xenia to borrow $5,000 to purchase firefighting equipment and build a fire house. Built on the northwest of Courthouse Square (present day E. Market Street and N. Detroit Street.), a small barn, big enough to house the city’s newly acquired hand pump, was the first of Xenia’s firehouses.
Thus, the Xenia Fire Division was created. Since that time, the XFD has moved several times, having numerous firehouses.
In 1875, the City of Xenia purchased two steamer engines, housed at Station #1 located on Cincinnati Avenue and at Station #2 located on S. Whiteman Street. At the time, the companies named their steamers after inspirational figures or phrases. Hence, “The Victor” engine was housed at Station #1 and the “D.T. Davidson” engine, named after Fire Chief Davidson, was housed at Station #2.
On February 3, 1908, the Xenia Fire Division suffered its first, and to date only, line of duty death with the tragic loss of Firemen Martin Ulery and Joseph Fletcher who lost their lives at the Eavey Wholesale Grocery Store Fire. The site was the same location where several members of the Ohio National Guard lost their lives at the Cherry’s Furniture Store Fire during the Xenia Tornado on April 3, 1974. The 1974 F-5 tornado ripped through Xenia resulting in a total of 32 lives lost, 2,200 homes were destroyed, 3,250 buildings were damaged, and 4000 cars were also destroyed.
The Xenia Fire Division underwent a transformation in 1914 and 1915. A devastating fire located on N. Detroit Street illustrated the need to modernize the division. The Hutchinson and Gibney Fire, which occurred on December 14, 1914, was one of the last major fires fought with the use of horse drawn engines and ladders. Slowly, the Fire Division was updated. In 1920 the city placed its first motorized engine into service.
On January 8, 1929, the City of Xenia placed a 1928 Seagrave engine into service. That very engine is still in the possession of the fire division and is currently being renovated by the Hammond Dririte Company. In 1937, the Xenia Fire Division began providing emergency medical services, which were called Life Squads. During the year of 1975, the City of Xenia’s first 8 Paramedics graduated and began advanced medical procedures in the field. Today, the Xenia Fire Division employs 40 Paramedics.
Currently, the Xenia Fire Division is staffed by one Fire Chief, one Deputy Fire Chief, three Fire Captains, six Fire Lieutenants, and 30 Firefighter/Paramedics, operating out of two stations.
Station #1 on East Main Street (above)
Station #2 on West Second Street (below)
In 2007 the Xenia Fire Division handled more than 4,400 calls for service.