HomeAgenciesDepartments »

Fire Department

(973) 593-3021
(973) 301-2352
Madison Public Safety Building
62 Kings Road
Madison, NJ 07940 (map)

Notable Dates 1980-2009

Notable Dates:     1881-1939        1940-1979        1980-2009        2010-Present

1980 January-26:  
A general alarm was sounded at 4:34am for McClintock Hall at Drew University.  The fire of unknown origin was brought under control within the hour.

1980 September-9:  
At 6:06am fire headquarters received a call for a car fire at 17 Madison Avenue.  A still alarm was sounded for one engine to respond.  Upon arrival of Engine 2, heavy smoke was showing from apartment 15.  Headquarters was notified and a general alarm was sounded.  The cause of fire was an electrical short under the rug.

1981 May-21:  The Department celebrates it's one-hundredth anniversary.

1981:  A fire broke out on Fairview Avenue the night of the one-hundredth anniversary dinner.  Florham Park was called for assistance immediately.  The fire was extinguished quickly thereafter.

1982 January-20:  At 5:31pm a fire was reported at 42 Hillcrest Avenue.  Heavy fire was showing upon arrival.  The fire was quickly extinguished thereafter.

1982 February-22:  Firefighters L. DeRosa & J. DeRosa rescued a couple and their baby from a second story window utilizing the tower ladder.  The fire which was reported just past midnight was caused by a cigarette dropped in a couch.  A elderly female was killed.

1982 October 30-November 1:  The department responded to over 120 leaf and brush fires in a three day period over Halloween.

1983 May-7:  An afternoon fire gutted a residence on Westerly Avenue.  The fire started in the basement caused by spontaneous combustion of oil rags.

1984 March-16:  Firefighter Atchison rescued a woman from a house fire at 32 Maple Avenue.  The victim later died due to injuries sustained from the fire.  The cause was attributed to smoking on the couch. 

1986:  William Prentiss is appointed chief. 

1986 October-24:  An arson fire destroyed a house at 60 Brooklake Road.  The nighttime fire was extinguished with the aid of Florham Park F.D..  The fire was set to cover evidence from a robbery.

1986 November-18:  
A general alarm was sounded for 46 Park Avenue at 11:14pm.  The cause of the fire was a faulty toaster.

1986 December-21:  
An abandoned iron caused a fire at the Methodist Church on Madison Avenue.  The fire which was reported at 1:30pm was extinguished with assistance from Morris Township and Florham Park.  

1987 February-24:  A candle burning caused a fire at 136 Loantaka Way.  The fire was reported at 10:43am.

1987 March-7:  Twenty five minutes past midnight a general alarm was sounded for 7 Locust Street. Units cleared at 4:30am and fire investigators were on scene until 5:02am determining that the fire was suspicious.  At 7:59am another general alarm was sounded for 7 Locust Street.  This time the structure was fully involved.  Units were on the scene until 4:00pm. Again the fire was determined as suspicious by the Morris County Prosecutors Office.

1987 June-10:  A general alarm was sounded for 23 Loveland Street.  The fire was reported at 6:43pm

1987 July-2:  A fire of suspicious origin broke out at 34 Cook Avenue, The First Baptist Church. 

1987 July-19:  Four consecutive alarms were received at fire headquarters at 4:00pm during a lighting storm. One of them was an alarm activation at 47 Woodland Avenue.  Engine 2 cleared its previous call to respond and found heavy fire showing upon arrival.  A general alarm was sounded.  Lightening was determined to be the cause of the fire.

1987 December-28:  A greenhouse which was converted into a garage was destroyed by fire at 24 Myrtle Avenue.  The fire which was reported at 6:25pm was finally extinguished two hours past midnight. 

1989 March-1:  A suspicious fire of severely damaged the residence at 5 Prospect Place.  The alarm was sounded at 5:29am.  Units cleared the scene four hours later.

1989:  Thomas Kiernan is appointed chief.

1989 August-24:  
A general alarm was sounded for a reported small fire in the wall of Mead Hall, the original hundred year old mansion at Drew University.  Twenty four hours and thirteen towns later the fire was finally extinguished.  An aggressive defensive stance on the roof stopped the fire from spreading to the college library.


1991 June-14:  
A house fire injured 7 firefighters on Coursen Way.  The fire which was started by a faulty attic fan was helped extinguished by the Green Village Fire Department.

1991 July-20:  Douglas Atchison is appointed chief.

1991 December-12:  "A miracle on Park Avenue".  An office thermostat switched on to cause an explosion at a Park Avenue dentist office.  Nobody was injured in the explosion which sent a Christmas tree down the street.

1991 December-26:  
A missing brick in the chimney was the cause of a devastating Christmas Eve blaze at a historic home on Ridgedale Avenue.

1993 December-29:  
A late night blaze totally destroyed the residence of 89 Central Avenue.  One of the occupants was killed in an attempt to save others.

1992 April-7:  A faulty outlet in a second floor bedroom sparked a blaze which severely damaged a house at 351 Woodland Rd.

1992 June-5:  A Samson Avenue residence suffered damage from a late night fire.  The fire was caused by a faulty heating system.

1992 August-18:  
An accidental fire at 127 Park Avenue severely burned a man working on a vehicle. The building suffered major damage but was able to be reconstructed.  The man succumbed to his injuries eleven days later. 



1994 May-27:  
An arson fire heavily damaged the Exxon Station on Main Street.



1994 May-29:  
An arson fire completely leveled a Madison Board of Education garage behind the Madison Junior School.



1994 June-6:  
A garage was destroyed on Shunpike Road after a fire was discovered shortly after 7:30p.m. Green Village F.D. aided in the efforts.

1994 August-11:  
An additional career firefighter is added to the department.

1994 November-18:  
A fire destroyed the residence of #7 West End Avenue.  The resident was critically injured with 2nd and 3rd degree burns over 20% of his body.   

1995 April-28:  A spontaneous combustion of oil rags started a devastating fire at a Park Avenue residence.

1996 June-21:  
A fire severely damaged an apartment at 41 Madison Avenue.  A broken hydrant delayed water supply. Mutual Aid responded from Morris Township and Florham Park.

1996 February-14:  
A fire at the Kings Road School forced the evacuation of hundreds of students. Mutual Aid from Florham Park, Morris Township, and New Vernon F.D.'s aided in extinguishing the fire.

1997 February-11:  
A lunch time blaze gutted a residence on Kings Road.  The fire, which was caused by children playing with matches, sent two occupants to the hospital for 2nd degree burns.

1998 February-5:  
A fire gutted the whole second and third floors of 28 Cook Avenue. Florham Park Fire Department. assisted at the scene. 

1998 Mar-16:  
Firefighter B. Allen, returning to fire headquarters with E-1, stumbled on a fire that broke out at 139 Main Street.


1998 April-28:  
A fundraiser organized by two local residents raised over $38,000 to purchase two thermal imaging cameras.

1998 April-28:  
New Engine 2 is delivered to Fire Headquarters replacing a 1972 Hahn.

1998 August-2:  
A fire destroyed the residence of 45 Winding Way.  Upon arrival the second floor of the residence was fully involved.  Mutual Aid was received from Florham Park & Morris Township

1999 April-29:  
A fire was reported at 299 Main Street.  The fire was quickly extinguished with assistance from Florham Park F.D.. 

1999 Dec-26:  
Reported as a burglar alarm, upon arrival police found the first floor of the Farleigh Dickinson University credit union fully involved.  Mutual Aid was rendered by Florham Park & Morris Township F.D.'s.

2000 January-26:  
Room and contents fire at 10 Woodside road. Investigation by M.F.D. Captain Rhodes and the Morris County Prosecutors Office discovered that the fire was intentionally set. The tenant was later arrested for starting the fire.

2000 February-23:  "Its Official: Firefighters Hired".  Council agrees to hire two additional firefighters after year long debate.

2000 Mar-23:  
A fire damaged the rear porch area of historic Mead Hall at Drew University. Assistance was provided by Florham Park & Morris Township F.D.'s.

2000 March-24:  Five small intentional fires were set in a two day period at Drew University.  Two students were later charged with the crime.

2000 June-1:  A call was received just after 3am reporting a house struck by lightening at 42 Woodland Road.  Upon arrival the rear of the first floor was fully involved.  Florham Park, Morris Township and Cedar Knolls Fire Departments assisted at the scene.  The fire was extinguished quickly thereafter.

2000 Dec-25:  A call was received on Christmas night reporting a structure fire at Global Crossing Inc. at Giralda Farms.  Upon arrival it was determined that the fire was actually a car fire in the underground parking garage. Green Village F.D. assisted at the scene. 

2001 February-11:  
A fire completely destroyed a work shop behind a residence on Chateau Thierry Avenue.

2005 February-14:  An early evening fire caused damage to a dorm room at Drew University.  The fire was contained to one room at Tolley Hall because of the sprinkler system activation.  The fire was apparently started by careless smoking.  There were no injuries reported.

2002 May-8:  Unattended cooking was the cause for a fire which resulted in the loss of a second floor apartment.  The fire was quickly knocked down with assistance from the Cedar Knolls F.D.. 

2002 May-31:  
A Woodland Road house suffered extensive fire damage after a lighting strike caused a fire in the attic.  The All-Hands fire brought mutual aid from Florham Park, Morris Township, & Cedar Knolls to the scene.

2002 October-21:  
A late morning general alarm fire destroyed a century-old carriage house at a Forest Road home. The garage was a total loss although firefighters were able to contain the blaze from spreading to neighboring house and garage.  

2002 December-11:  
A call was received into fire headquarters reporting a smoke condition at 8 Park Avenue.  Upon arrival, engine 2 reported fire showing on the second floor.  The fire was quickly extinguished with assistance from the Chatham and Cedar Knolls F.D.'s.  

2003 January-5:  An evening fire destroyed an apartment at 255 Main Street.  Damage was confined to four apartments.  All tenants were evacuated and no injuries were reported.  The 2nd Alarm fire brought mutual aid from Chatham, Morris Township, Florham Park, and Cedar Knolls.

2003 February-06:  A daytime fire severely damaged an apartment at 171 Main Street.  The fire was caused by carless smoking.   The tenant was transported to Morristown Memorial for smoke inhalation.  The 2nd Alarm assignment fire brought mutual aid from Morris Township, Florham Park, and Cedar Knolls F.D.'s.

2003 June-30:  Firefighter J. Longo  was conducting a weekly inspection of Engine 3 when he reported to fire headquarters a heavy smoke condition in the area of Park Avenue & Cook Avenue.  After further investigation a general alarm was requested for an apartment fire.  The 2nd Alarm fire was quickly knocked down and damage was contained only to the fire apartment.  Firefighter B. Tappen rescued a cat and is shown returing the feline to it's owner.

2005 March-09:  An evening basement fire caused severe damage to a home at 91 Pomeroy Road.  Fire damage was confined to the finished basement, but major smoke and heat damage effected the first and second floors.  All the residents were out of the home and no injuries were reported.  The 2 Alarm fire brought mutual aid from Florham Park, Morris Township, and Cedar Knolls F.D's.

2005 March-27:  
An early morning fire severely damaged a home at 49 Pomeroy Road.  Arriving fire units found heavy fire in the rear of the home.  The home sustained heavy fire and smoke damage to the first and second floors.  All of the occupants had exited the home safely and no injuries were reported.  The fire was caused by a faulty heating appliance on the first floor.  The 2 Alarm fire brought mutual aid from the Florham Park, Morris Township, and Cedar Knolls F.D.'s. 

2005 April-21:  An accidental fire caused damage to a second floor apartment at 45 Main Street.  The alarm was transmitted to fire headquarters via central station fire alarm.  The fire damage was contained to the kitchen, but there was smoke damage throughout the apartment.  The fire appears to have been started by storage too close to the hot water heater in the kitchen utility closet.  All of the occupants escaped the apartment safely. 

2008 October-30:  On Thursday August 13, 1903 Workers and other people from the community pose for this photograph during the construction of the Central Avenue Firehouse.  It would take more than a hundred years to reveal the significance of this photograph.  In late October 2008, during the demolition of the firehouse, with much surprise, a time capsule was located in the building’s corner stone.  The tin box contained about 50 items, including a horseshoe from the first horse, a key from the 1881 firehouse and perhaps one of the most coveted finds, four Indian pennies, dated 1880, 1881, 1900 and 1903 to mark important dates in the construction of the two firehouses. The coins are accompanied by a handwritten note signed by a Stewart Burk -- believed to have been the firehouse's resident caretaker -- asking the reader to use the pennies to "have a drink to his memory."

2009 April-27:  A Monday evening fire ripped through an Alexander Avenue home, destroying a roof that had been installed that day, fire officials said Tuesday. Fire companies battled the blaze for more than three hours, after the fire broke out around 6:15 p.m. on the third floor of a single-family home.  The 3rd alarm assignment brough firefighters from Florham Park, Morris Township, Cedar Knolls, Chatham Borough, Morris Plains and Green Village.

2009 June-8:   
A Madison firefighter picks up supply hose after this intentional fire at 50 Main Street.  A second alarm brough units from Florham Park, Chatham, Morris Township and Cedar Knolls to the scene.  The business owner was arrested by Madison Police on scene and was later convicted and sentenced to 12 years for the arson and other charges.