History of the Burlington Volunteer Fire Department

This history is taken from the Burlington Sesquincentennial book.

"It was the night of March 10, 1942 - a tragic night for Burlington as the Williams' Cabinet Works and the Don Bieghler residence burned without an organized fire department to fight the fire.  Many had talked of the need of a fire department, but it took tragedy to spur action.

That action took shape in September 1942 when several men met to elect the first fire department in Burlington Township.  They elected Don Bieghler as chief, John H. Todd, Howard Kirkendall, Earl Oyler, and Fred Anderson as firemen.  WW II was in progress and thee were not many men available so the Boy Scouts were asked to assist in case of fire (a practice continued only a few years until the department grew to about 18 members.)

These same firemen purchased a new tank truck, but used a loaner from the truck company until the new one was delivered in February of 1943.  That truck was housed in the shop of the school building until 1947 at which time the township gave the department an old school bus.  The cab of the bus was used and a tank built on the chassis to become a water wagon.  This was nicknamed 'Suicide Sally' (a name many a driver considered appropriate when trying to negotiate a corner with the rapid shifting of the water's weight.)

In 1950 'Suicide Sally' was given a new home - a building purchased by the township.  In 1951 a new pumper was purchased.  In November 1954 a new tank truck was purchased and 'Suicide Sally' was sold.

To further the effectivness of the department, radio equipment was purchased in 1958 and placed in each fireman's home with two base stations - day:  Anderson Standard Service; night:  M/M Fred Anderson.

Through the years, the department has continued to grow.  It takes countless hours of continual training to be a good volunteer fireman.  The job is sometimes dangerous, sometimes tiresome, and frequently without sufficient praise.  The Burlington community can be proud of its fine volunteers."