Frank L. Fire Sr. passed away on May 30, 2020, after a brief illness. Born in 1937, he earned a bachelor of science degree in chemistry and a master’s in business administration from The University of Akron, where he also attended Law School. He spent the majority of his professional career at Americhem Inc. in Cuyahoga Falls, Ohio. He was one of the first employees, and over his tenure at Americhem he helped it grow to a multinational corporation with more than 500 employees at 10 manufacturing facilities in North America, Europe, and Asia. He was Americhem’s first salesperson, its first sales manager, its first director of marketing, its first vice president of sales and marketing, and its first senior vice president of sales, marketing, and international sales. He retired in 2002 after nearly 40 years of service.
He taught “The Chemistry of Hazardous Materials” and “The Combustibility of Plastics” at The University of Akron, Walsh University, Stark State College, and The National Fire Academy in Emmitsburg, Maryland. He educated countless first responders on the best ways to safely manage hazardous materials incidents. He was the author of eight textbooks and reference books, including The Commonsense Approach to Hazardous Materials (1986), Combustibility of Plastics (1991), Chemical Data Notebook: A User’s Manual (1992), and Commonsense Dictionary for First Responders (2006), all under PennWell. He authored more than 200 articles covering these same topic areas, and he served for many years on the editorial board of Fire Engineering and wrote the column “Chemical Data Notebook.” He was an internationally recognized expert for numerous legal proceedings regarding hazardous material incidents.
There will not be a funeral service or a visitation. The Fire family requests that, in lieu of flowers or gifts, a donation be made in his memory to The Humane Society of Summit County (Ohio) or The Center for Science in the Public Interest.