Wayne, MI Fire, Apr 1893


Monday evening April 9 1893 at midnight the cry of fire was sounded in the Village of Wayne Michigan. Smoke was coming from the Hosie and Stellwagen Bank from a second floor window of a store owned by Mr. E.M. Chambers. The citizens of the community turned out to form a bucket brigade, as the flames grew larger. New York Central Railroad ,Station Master Coleburn brought the Bobcock Fire Extinguisher to the fire but it was of little use.The woman of the village and the children has formed a second line to pass empty buckets back, so the men could dump as many buckets of water on the fire as possible.
The Village Council had formed in the center of Michigan Avenue holding a meeting on how to stop the fire which was about to destroy the downtown area. The talk of TNT to blow up near by buildings to stop the fire was quickly dismissed. The council decided the best action was to contact the Detroit Fire Company for assistance. Station Master Coleburn went to work to order a special train to run from Detroit to Wayne carrying Detroit fire equipment. The towns people kept up the fight but it was a hopeless cause. The Detroit Fire Company sent Steam Engine No.5 , two hose carts 12 fireman along with the Fire Commissioner and a Battalion Chief. The special train had the right a way but still took over 40 minutes to arrive in Wayne. Mr. Pete Wilson had two teams of horses weighting at the Wayne Depot to pull the fire engine, the young men were standing by to race with the hose carts to the fire. The town band was standing by , on arrival the band started playing and escorted the fire commissioner down the street in search of a water supply for the steam engine. as the men marched into town the steam engine on the run passed by, followed close behind by the young men on the run pulling the hose carts. The Steam Engine Company NO 5 was taken to the Rouge River just north of the fire dropped its suction hose in the river and started to pump water into 3 - 2 1/2 inch hand lines , two of the lines were maned by the Detroit Firemen and the third by the men of Wayne.. At this point there job was to extinguish the pile of rubble as the bank building had collapsed and to stop the spread of the fire.. The fireman and the towns people worked through the night to extinguish the fire. In the morning hours the owner of the Commerical Hotel which had been saved served breakfast to everyone in the center of Michigan Ave, after breakfast the Detroit Firemen and the Wayne Towns people posed for a photo in from of the destroyed building. Damage to the Down town area was as follows Bank of Hose and Stellwagen a loss of $10.000.00, Danile Chambers a loss of $8.000.00, J.C. Cozad Hardware store had a loss of $5.000.00 and the IOOF lodge hall had a loss of over $1.000.00 the center of downtown Wayne suffered a great loss, but it was all rebuilt in one years time. The Village of Wayne sent a resolution to the city of Detroit thanking them for their assistent and a resolution to Mr. Coleburn and the NYCRR. The City of Detroit sent to Wayne a bill for $100.00 for their services. No one was hurt in the fire and no death were caused just property damage. It would not be untill 1911 before the Village of Wayne started their own fire department.