A picture of the time capsule. Photo by Sandra Li.
On March 31st, members of the Malden Fire Department, along with city officials and residents, gathered together at the central fire station on Sprague St. in celebration of the departments’ 100th year anniversary to commemorate the years since the building was established.
The Malden Fire Department was first opened due to an act of the Massachusetts State Legislature on April 10th, 1839. Prior to being built, firefighting was performed by citizens and so, when a fire occurred, citizens would have to carry buckets of water to the fire scene in order to extinguish it.
Officially, the fire department is 180 years old but the grand opening ceremony was held exactly 100 years ago, from the date of March 31st, 1919, which was when the central fire station was officially dedicated and occupied by the Malden Fire Department for the first time.
The well-attended ceremony was presided over by Assistant Chief Bill Sullivan with remarks offered by Fire Chief Kevin Finn, Commissioner Emery Haskell and City Council President Jadeane Sica, who spoke on behalf of the City Council and Mayor Gary Christenson who was unable to attend.
However, Mayor Christenson did give his insight saying “[they] felt it was important to celebrate due to the fact that this building has been serving the City as Malden’s Central fire station for a century.”
He believes that “the role of the Malden Fire Department is to protect the lives and property of residents, businesses, and visitors to the City from fire and other emergencies.” Mayor Christenson further expressed that “these goals are met through education and initiatives on fire protections, enforcement and code inspections.”
Adding on to that, Assistant Chief Sullivan stated “[he] believes a 100 years for anything or anyone, is a very historic and important milestone.” And so, “[they] felt that [their] building being 100 years old was important to celebrate with the community.”
Sullivan further emphasized that “preventing fires is [their] main goal.” He explains that the fire department plays a major role in society as it relates to public safety and all of the members work diligently everyday, particularly “24 hours, 365 days per year” in order to ensure that residents in Malden are safe by implementing fire prevention safety inspections into schools and businesses so that they are being practiced.
At the event, the MHS Band and two Choral Arts Society members, Demitri Borrero and Jennifer Vasquez, made an appearance at the celebration to perform their musical pieces.
The MHS Band performed the “Star-Spangled Banner” and “Washington Post” while both Borrero and Vasquez performed “Over There” in correlation with the purpose of the anniversary.
Additionally, residents were able to tour the building as remodeling had been done. The planning took about six months to a year and the reestablishment was done by Malden Firefighters who utilized their skills as carpenters, electricians, and plumbers to complete the upgrades that were made.
Specifically, the second floor of the fire station was remodeled. And in the process, the whole floor was demolished and all of the electrical wiring, lighting and living quarters were renovated.
The reconstruction was done in collaboration with the support of Mayor Christenson’s office, along with the City Building Department and Public Facilities directors Nelson Miller and Eric Rubin.
With the celebration of the 100th anniversary and the newly upgraded building, attendees were also able to witness the opening of the time capsule that was placed into the corner stone back in 1918 when the building was first constructed. In the time capsule there was a former Malden Fire Badge, the Mayor’s 1918 inaugural address, some photos of the previous fire house, and a copy of the Malden Newspaper that listed the names of firefighters who were fighting in World War I.
Overall, the Malden Fire Department were very pleased to celebrate the anniversary of the central fire station with residents and officials from all over Malden and will have be having an upcoming event called the “Firefighters Memorial Sunday” that will be held on the first Sunday of June at the Forestdale Cemetery to honor members who have passed.