Windsor Fire of 1849
Just after midnight on Monday, April 16,1849, sparks from a steamboat ignite a fire in Windsors harbor. With extreme high winds fanning the flames the fire soon threatens the village of 300. Windsor’s Fire Departmentsets up a bucket brigade, taking water fom the Detroit river. The entire Detroit Fire Department (six men and equipment) standby at the foot of Woodward Ave. awaiting a ferry to carry them across the river.
The fire has grown to over an acre in size by the time DFD arrives at the fireground. The fire has jumped a main street and is threatening the rest. Flames are licking the front of the Windsor Castle Hotel. Within 5 minutes of landing, Detroit firemen have a water stream operatiing. They work for over 2 hours with flames on multiple fronts. Helmets are burned and hair singed with blisters on hands and faces, but they contain the blaze.
Windsor resident are grateful. As a result of the fire Windsor purchases its first hand drawn fire pumper, widens its streets, and installs fire hydrants. A few months later a delegation from Windsor arrives in Detroit to present the American firefighters with a Chiefs trumpet inscribed with a fire engine , a description of the event and the coat of arms of the United States and Great Britain.