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 East Market Street and North 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.
First Steamer Engines
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. The pair 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 F-5 tornado ripped through Xenia, taking the lives of 32 people, destroying 2,200 homes, damaging 3,250 buildings, and destroying 4,000 cars.
The Xenia Fire Division underwent a transformation in 1914 and 1915. A devastating fire located on North 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 Drierite Company. In 1937, the Xenia Fire Division began providing emergency medical services, which were called Life Squads. In 1975, the City of Xenia’s first 8 Paramedics graduated and began advanced medical procedures in the field.
Service Volume Today
In 2007 the Xenia Fire Division handled more than 4,400 calls for service.
In 2014 the Xenia Fire Division handled more than 5,000 calls for service.
In 2019, the Xenia Fire Division handled more than 6,100 calls for service.