Fifty Years a Fire Fighter

Fifty Years a Fire Fighter

Chief James E. Granger of the Cleveland, Ohio, Fire Department, began his fiftieth year as a fire fighter.

The panic of 1893 put young Granger into the Fire Department. He had hoped to enter West Point, but the depression was severe and he needed a job badly. As a result, he took the fireman’s examination and on March 17, St. Patrick’s Day, 1894, he donned the uniform of a fireman cadet.

Thirty-seven years later, on March 15, Safety Director Edwin D. Barry called the then First Assistant Fire Chief James E. Granger to his office and told him to report for duty as chief the following day.

“If you don’t mind, I wish you’d postpone it a day,” Granger said, “it’s a matter of sentiment. And so, once again on St. Patrick’s Day, Granger reported for a new post, this time as chief.

The chief’s biggest fire was in 1914 when the Fisher-Wilson lumber yard burned, near the Central Viaduct. Two sections of the bridge collapsed and the fire threatened the entire city.

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