A devastating fire in the mid-1940s that took out a busy strip of store fronts that included the original West Milford Library led to the birth of West Milford Volunteer Fire Company #6 in 1944.
The Davenport building housing the small businesses at the corner of Union Valley Road and Park Lane near the Macopin Road intersection was completely destroyed in the blaze that erupted on a bitter cold, icy, winter night.
Men of the West Milford Village area immediately realized that a local fire department was needed.
A Ladies Auxiliary formed and their joint efforts raised enough funds through square dances, pancake breakfasts and turkey suppers to purchase the Junior Mechanics Hall (now a bicycle shop and photography studio) at 1468 Union Valley Road.
The members volunteered time and skills to convert the hall into a fire house by adding a kitchen, bathrooms and bays for fire trucks. The first fire truck carried 500 gallons of water and was supported by a skid pump.
Mayor Michele Dale recognized the efforts of the company pioneers by issuing a proclamation honoring them and the company on its 75th birthday during a recent Township Council meeting.
“Throughout the years there have been many changes including membership, equipment, trucks and policy, but the strong spirit of volunteerism has stayed the same,” Dale said. “Company 6 is comprised of volunteers who commit themselves to hours of training and dedication of their time to the betterment of our community and aiding those in need. There is a feeling of pride and satisfaction when helping a neighbor in time of need. This feeling is embraced by all volunteer emergency service organizations in the township.”
Chief Mike Douglas and Assistant Chief Ed Aldrich Jr. head the list of company officials.
Others are Deputy Commissioner Lt. Wayne Morrissey, Lt. Roy Sconfienza, President Ron Dygos, Vice President Chris DeWilde, Treasurer Kris Czuj, Financial Secretary Matt Weaver, Secretary Mike Dygos, and Sergeant at Arms Chris Capuzzo. Trustees are Wayne Morrissey, Matt Weaver, Joe Corcoran and Jimmy Dygos.
The present building dates back to 1970 when the fire company purchased a building lot at 605 Ridge Road.
They solicited funds and continued fundraising activities and built their new firehouse that after more volunteerism went into service in 1973.