West Milford Fire Company celebrating 75 years of service in June The West Milford Fire Company looks back on its rich 75-year history.

| 18 Apr 2019 | 11:25

    West Milford.A blazing fire, smoke, unexplainable odor, or other emergency, will bring help from volunteers based at 605 Ridge Road.
    The men and women of West Milford Fire Department Station Six answered over 290 calls for help last year.
    The company, founded on June 7, 1944, is observing the 75th birthday this year.
    The mission of these volunteers, according to its website, is to protect life, property and the environment.
    Approximately 30 fire fighters based at the Ridge Road station are dedicated to the delivery of high quality service to people in need of it.
    The first fire house in 1944 was the Junior Order of United Mechanics Hall on Union Valley Road, now serving as a bicycle shop and photography studio near the municipal building.
    The volunteer firemen and their wives raised money to buy the building by holding pancake suppers, square dances and other social events.
    Donations were accepted. The price of the building at that time was $1,500.
    To change the meeting hall into a fire house there needed to be many alterations.
    The men did all the work themselves. They knocked a wall out, added double doors and made other changes to create their first fire house.
    They needed a fire truck and a Chevrolet milk truck sold to them by Charles Cahill filled the bill.
    The late township attorney Louis Wallisch Jr. and several other firemen went to Hawthorne to buy a 500 gallon pump from the Civil Defense organization there.
    The handy volunteers remodeled the truck, added the pump to it and they were set to fight fires.
    The company's first major fire was in the winter of 1944 was when the Davenport row of stores on Union Valley Road near Macopin Road was destroyed. Greenwood Forest, Upper Greenwood Lake, and Macopin Volunteer Fire Companies were all on the scene where 2-degree weather hampered them with water from hoses freezing.
    The first fire house building became too small and inadequate for company needs.
    After five years of searching for a new fire house site the West Milford firemen in 1970 bought the land (approximately 2 and a half acres) on Ridge Road where the current fire house is located.
    Moeller had purchased this land from Frank Nigro earlier.
    The building committee included Errol Van Splinter who was in charge of excavating and site work; Vince Cahill, masonry; Gary Haggedorn, electrical work; Steve Jones, heating and Ed Wink, carpentry and clerk of the works.