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Historical Marker To Be Placed In Old City For First Volunteer Fire Company

Michelle Durham Michelle Durham
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PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – A historical marker will be placed at the site of the first volunteer fire company in the nation in Old City. The Union Fire Company got its start in 1736 by Ben Franklin and several others.

Wyndmoor firefighter Ed Welch says it is a source a pride for area firefighters to know the fire service originated here 275 years ago.

“Truly an honor. I mean, all people who live in our area really should be pleased that something that began here not only took hold, but the union fire company under Ben Franklin’s model really served as the template for every volunteer fire company formed since.”

Welch says they didn’t have a firehouse per se.

“But they stored equipment in the grindstone alley which still exists on Market between 2nd and 3rd.”

And that is where the unveiling ceremony will take place Saturday at 10:00 a.m.. A number of dignitaries are expected to attend and the public is invited as well. Welch hopes events like this will spark interest in citizens volunteering for the fire service.

Reported by Michelle Durham, KYW Newsradio 1060

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