episode of 8 @ 4 all celebrating Virginia Pride! We have great stories from Ruby Scoops, Side by Side, River City Roll and more. This is a great one presented by Massey Cancer Center from the Virginia Wayside Furniture studio.
The Richmond Fire Department announced Thursday that new federal funding it has received will go toward creating four 18-person fire companies.
A fire department news release said the new positions will “directly support emergency and non-emergency responses” and that the department’s current recruiting process will be used to hire people for the roles.
The department recently announced that it is shortening its hiring process so that it now takes just three to five months instead of nine to 12 months.
From the Archives: A look back at notable Richmond fires
In March 1901, a fire engulfed the Jefferson Hotel. The hotel, which had opened in 1895, was destroyed by a fire caused by a faulty wire.
In January 1943, William H. Haskins gazed over what was left of his Health Centre Inc. bowling alley at Hermitage Road and Meadow Street in Richmond after a fire. The sprawling brick building, which opened in 1928 and housed 36 lanes, was totally destroyed.
In late December 1943, a three-alarm fire struck the Spencer Casket Co. in the 1300 block of East Main Street, causing about $20,000 in damage. The blaze and two others in the final week of the year raised Richmond’s fire losses to about $300,000.
In March 1949, smoldering embers and charred, jagged walls were all that remained of the Dunlop Mills in South Richmond. The two brick buildings, which had survived damage during the Civil War, were lost to the fire, which took more than 200 firemen six hours to put out.
In November 1950, Richmond firefighters battled an early morning blaze at Monument Methodist Church, located at Allen and Park avenues. More than 150 firefighters and two-thirds of the city’s firefighting equipment responded to the blaze, which caused extensive damage. Four firemen were injured, mainly from ice that formed on ladders and sidewalks in the freezing cold.
In January 1953, a fire destroyed most of a Richmond Ice Co. factory at Bainbridge and 20th streets in South Richmond. The four-alarm fire sent flames nearly 40 feet into the air.
February 15, 1955: Twelve firemen escaped the collapse of a burning roof by minutes when a fire engulfed one building and damaged two others on East Main Street in downtown Richmond. It took nearly 200 firemen, pouring geysers of water from two dozen trucks and engines, two hours to halt the spread of the flames. The fire started in the rear of Morton Marks & Sons Inc., an office supply company at 1217 E. Main Street.
In August 1956, firefighters worked to put out flames at the Carter-Venable Grain Elevator at 12th and Canal streets in Richmond. The fire, which drew a crowd of hundreds, caused an estimated $100,000 in damage to machinery and supplies. Friction in a stalled conveyor belt sparked the fire.
February 14, 1960 (cutline): Three Richmond homes were damaged by fire during yesterday afternoon's snowstorm. The two-story frame homes were at 1320, 1320 1/2 and 1322 West Clay St. Deputy Fire Battalion Chief J.S. Riggsbee said the fire apparently started in a stove at 1320 West Clay St. Fire spread quickly to the adjoining homes. Riggsbee estimated damage to the three houses at $2,500. The fire which started at 2:54 p.m. was brought under control a half hour later.
May 26, 1961 (cutline): Fire destroys Julian Black & Co. Warehouse at 14th and Byrd Streets.
July 4, 1961 (cutline): A series of explosions ripped through gasoline tanks in the dock area off the 4400 block of East Main St. early this morning. Two of four men on the barge unloading gasoline at the Crown Central Petroleum Corp. said they had to swim the James River when a sudden explosion and roaring fire cut off their escape. Flames went 150 to 200 feet into the air as gasoline tanks exploded one after another. Firemen attempting to fight the blaze had to flee after a tank blasted apart and sent huge balls of flame into the air.The fire area was confined to the area from Main St. to the river from south of Nicholson St. to Orleans St. shortly before 3 a.m. The wind was blowing to the southwest and houses on the north side of Main which were burning apparently caught fire from the intense heat. The barge that started the fire contained 450,000 gallons of gasoline.
April 5, 1964: Firemen battled flames at 203 W. Franklin Street. The blaze began in the basement and spread quickly through the walls to the roof.
February 17, 1967 (cutline): Firemen inspect stack of folding chairs in fire-swept section of Southern Industries, Inc. At one point, firefighters were briefly trapped under the collapsing stack of chairs. The two-alarm fire swept through a storage area and the shipping department of Southern Industries, Inc., near Sixth Street and Dinwiddie Avenue in South Richmond.
May 13, 1969 (cutline): Firemen on the city's aerial platform truck directed water to the roof of the Medical College of Virginia's Department of Purchases and Supplies building on N. 13th Street, behind the MCV North Hospital, late yesterday afternoon. Four alarms brought 15 fire companies to battle the blaze, which disrupted traffic in the area of the hospital complex. The cause of the fire was being investigated early today. It was believed to have started in a work area midway through the building.
August 16, 1973 (cutline): Wrecking crews work to level buildings and clean up debris in the 1300 block of E. Cary Street following yesterday's fire. Fire Bureau Officials estimated damages totaling almost $100,000 were sustained in the fire which broke out shortly before dawn. Five buildings total were destroyed.
In June 1975, southbound traffic on Interstate 95 backed up past Main Street Station as smoke billowed from a fire at Little Oil Co. in South Richmond. Two tanks holding a combined 850,000 gallons of fuel exploded at the business on Commerce Road. Fire officials believed that the ignition of an employee’s car sparked the blaze, though the oil company speculated that a lightning strike was to blame. The fire took 19 hours to extinguish.
November 11, 1976 (cutline): Fire swept through rolls containing some 2,000 tons of cardboard paper used to line corrugated boxes, destroyed two loaded tractor-trailers and spread to roof of the Dixie Container Corp. plant at 2900 Jefferson Davis Highway shortly before 9:30 last night. Before the fire was brought under control more than two hours later, 12 companies which answered six alarms were in action. Although the interior of the plant was damaged by water pumped by firemen through a sprinkler system, a plant official said it would be open today. Plant officials said the loss would exceed a half-million dollars.
May 29, 1980 (cutline): A building temporarily housing the financial aid office at Virginia Commonwealth University was heavily damaged in a fire yesterday afternoon. Eight fire companies, dozens of firefighters, 11 pieces of equipment and four fire chiefs fought the fire for nearly two hours. The cause of the fire, in which some records might have been destroyed, is under investigation.
October 7, 1983 (cutline): A six-alarm fire destroyed the fifth floor and roof and badly damaged the fourth floor of Richmond's historic Main Street Station. Fire Chief Ronald Lewis said he suspected arson. The fire required 12 engine companies and seven ladder companies with about 110 firefighters at the scene.
June 4, 1984 (cutline): A nine-alarm fire destroyed the Wilson Feed & Seed Co. warehouse at 220 Decatur St. in South Richmond, sending up black clouds seen more than 20 miles away. The spectacular blaze began in the rear of the warehouse's first floor, which was being rented by the Cavalier Printing Inc. Co., according to fire officials.
April 19, 1990 (cutline): The aerial view looking west toward Richmond shows the two trucks surrounded by white foam in the center, the smoking ruins of the Little Tavern Restaurant )left) and the Chickahominy River (top).