Looking back on 150 years of the London Fire Department
The London Free Press
This year marks the 150th anniversary of the London Fire Department, a milestone firefighters and city officials were to celebrate at an event on Friday. Fire crews have been called to some of the highest-profile incidents in city history, and their work has long been a staple of LFP coverage. Take a look back at their history through the lens of The London Free Press:

Now Aeolian Hall, the main floor of this building in east London served as Fire Station No. 2 from 1885 to 1946.







This was Doc, the last horse used by the London Fire Department. He retired at age 32 “in about 1928,” according to LFP records. He had served with the department since 1903.

This Free Press photo from the massive 1908 Westman Hardware fire was preserved on a souvenir postcard. The fire hit the so-called Cronyn Block on the south side of Dundas Street. This view shows firefighters battling the blaze from the rear on Market Square. Three firefighters died: Chief Lawrence Clark, Henry M. Wein and John “Jock” Cockburn.

Firefighters battle a fast-moving blaze at the General Steel Wares building on the south side of York Street in February 1948. Damage was pegged at $50,000.
London Fire Department inspector John Martin looks into the bedroom that was destroyed by fire after a Komoka home was hit by lightning in September 2002.

London firefighters discuss how to best fight a roaring blaze behind them at Baker Auto Wreckers at 1989 River Rd. on April 18, 2005.

London firefighter Brent Kirchner checks out the scene where a vehicle collided with a daycare bus and veered into a hydro pole, snapping a traffic light standard at the corner of Wonderland and Exeter roads in London in 2006.

The Embassy Hotel, a longtime landmark in Old East Village, was destroyed by a suspicious fire on May 12, 2009.

Firefighters pull a man out of a ravine after a passerby spotted him lying halfway down the steep slope with what might have been a broken leg on the morning of Nov. 30, 2010 near Adelaide Street and Commissioners Road.

London firefighters hose down the last flames of a stubborn blaze in a home at Blackfriars and Napier streets on Nov. 18, 2011.

London firefighters were called to the vacant McCormick factory for a rooftop fire on Nov. 20, 2018.

A London firefighter hoses down an apartment at 71 Adelaide St. N. on Dec. 26, 2019.

Jason Timlick, president of the London Professional Fire Fighters Association, presents Catherine Doolittle with the Martin E. Pearce Medal during the Sept. 11th memorial service at a London fire hall in 2019. The medal is presented to family members of firefighters who have died in the line of duty or by occupational disease. Doolittle’s husband Larry had recently died of job-related cancer.

London firefighters battle a major fire on Woodman Aveune and Queens Avenue in Old East Village after a car slammed into a house and caused a massive explosion on Aug. 15, 2019. A firefighter was battled hurt in the blast.

London firefighters battled a blaze at a townhouse at 495 Oakridge Dr. in northwest London on the morning of Dec. 14, 2021.

A firefighter carries the Black Walnut sign away while crews douse the Wortley Road cafe following an overnight fire that caused more than $1 million damage on Sunday April 16, 2023.