Manville Volunteer Fire Company #1
One day in June 1915, at Greasheimer’s Hotel, ten men decided to form a nucleus of the Manville Fire Department.On June 25th, 1915, the Manville Fire Department was incorporated with the following charter members: William Greasheimer, Peter J. Whelan, Frank Ryan,Gustav Boesel, Samuel L. Gottlieb, Thomas Olsen, Albert Brong, Joseph A. Shaw, George F. Cassidy, and Fred Alling. At this time Frank Ryan was elected as president, and Edward Shanahan as the first Fire Chief.
On October 23rd, 1915, the land used to build the first firehouse, was leased from the federal Creosoting Company for $1.00 a year. Actual construction was begun shortly and building was completed in 1916. The newly organized fire department had the men, the headquarters, several hundred feet of gardenhose and a few water buckets to begin a long history of fire service to the community. The membership, at this time, granted permission to the Sacred heart Roman Catholic Church to use its headquarters for services. This was a truly humble beginning for two firefighting organizations.
On November 20, 1920, a contract was signed with the Buffalo Chemical Fire Extinguishing Company for a chemical car equipped with three 35-gallon tanks and mounted on a ford Model T. Chassis. The cost of this equipment was $2,650.00. In this year the fire department elected its second fire chief, peter J. Whalen, who held office until1935.
On May 20th, 1921, a committee was appointed to approach the Johns Manville Corporation toarrange some type of fire alarm system.
On December 29th,1922 Andrew Hambar became the first Foreman of the Department. On January 7th, 1923 a 1907 Model American La Havre pumper with those carts, and approximately 500 feet of 1 ½” hose was purchased at a cost of &750.00.
By July 16th, 1924 the first repairs were necessary on the department’s equipment. It was also noted at this meeting that a committee was appointed to take care of the necessary arrangements for the purchase of the lots for the home of the present No.1 Fire House.
The Fire Department in its effort to try and raise funds for equipment, held its first dance February 7th, 1925, and made a net profit of $.4.46.
Father Francis Kasprowicz was made an honorary member at the March 7th, 1926 meeting and was elected the first priest to be Chaplain of the Department.
In 1928, the department applied for membership into the Somerset County Fireman’s Association.
Manville became a Borough in 1929 and on October 8th, of that year the municipality accepted control of the Fire Department. In 1931, the antiquated equipment was replaced with a modern 500 gallon American la France pumper.
On May 19th, 1933 the Manville Fire Department was reorganized as the Manville Volunteer Fire Company No.1.
The year 1950 proved to be an important year for Co. #1, for in October of this year, they moved to their new headquarters located on South 3rd Ave and the 1950 American LaFrance Engine was delivered.
Camplain Volunteer Fire Company #2
During the fall of 1930 a group of young men residing in the Camplain Road area realized the need for additional fire protection for the borough of Manville and proceeded to organize a fire company in that area.
A mass meeting of the young men was held in a confectionary store owned by Peter Semenick in what is now known as 1025 West Camplain Road on September 22, 1930 and at that meeting various committees were appointed toreport back one week later with definite recommendations regarding organization.
At the subsequent meeting held September 28, the group met again and the charter was presented to the company by attorney Milton A. Weiss, and officers were elected for the first time. The elected officers were Alexander Batcho – President, Milton A. Weiss – Vice President, Frank George - Recording Secretary, Michael Lazar - Financial Secretary, Vincent Chernesky – Treasurer and Trustees John Jacus, Joseph Zimny and Joseph Krawski.
Those members whose dues were paid and were in good standing with the company in 1930 were: Alexander Batcho, Peter Blasse, Anthony Chernesky, Vincent Chernesky, Walter Chernesky, Albert Fiala, John Feno, Guss Graf, GeorgeHuzniec, John Jacus, Charles Janus, Vincent Kozlowsky, Joseph Krawski, Walter Coblis, Enoch Kolcida, Lawrence Krasnanski, Thomas Logonowsky, John Logonowsky, Michael Lazar, Andrew Lapotasky, Anthony Langer, George Malinowsky, Ralph Marsicano, John Menzak, Jimmie Migliore, James Marsicano, John Meszaros, Nicholas Novack, William Pilla, John Petrushiski, Mike Repka, Herb Schneider, John Schamalla, George Sargent, Steve Sargent, Peter Semenick, Adam Sandusky, Anthony Veglia, Milton A. Weiss, Joseph Zayanskosky and Joseph Zimny.
To be sure this was an energetic group, dedicated to the protection of life and property in the community which was now a two year old borough. So dedicated were the men of Fire Co. #2 to the cause for which they were organized that the members who did not give total effort to the fire company were dropped from the roster. By 1934, the list of active men in the fire company was down to 22, but all 22 firefighters were true smoke eaters.
The charter members who signed the papers of incorporation for Camplain Fire Co. #2 were Alexander Batcho, Michael Lazar, Joseph Krawski, John Jacus, John Mitzen, Nicholas Novack, Frank George, Joseph Zimny, Albert Fiala, Vincent Chernesky.
The organization made preparations to acquire a site for the firehouse and a lease was signed for the purchase of property from the late Michael Semenick. This property was located on Camplain Road just a stones throw from where the original meeting took place and this served as the first site for Camplain Volunteer Fire Company #2
Construction of the firehouse began on April 15, 1931 and was completed in September 1931. The members themselves gave all the labor for the erection of the firehouse, and Johns-Manville Corporation donated the greatest portion of the material.
The fire company was recognized by the Borough of Manville, as a fire-fighting unit in the Manville Fire Department in October 1930, and then purchased and delivered to the fire company a 500-gallon American La France Pumper in October 1931.
In the late 1957, the members of the company began discussing new quarters for their apparatus. Several meetings were held in January 1958 and by the February meeting, the firemen had decided on the type of structure desired. Harry Evanylo, Thaddeus Gluch and John P. Shutack served on the planning and architecture committee for the new building as the fire company proceeded to acquire title to property at Washington Avenue and South 13th Avenue, at the same time that the Borough was contemplating the construction of a grade crossing across the LVRR at South 13th Avenue.
By October, schematics drawings were ready for the proposed firehouse, with the final working drawings ready for the company in May of 1959. Official groundbreaking was held on May 9, 1959. Dedication of the new building was held on June 2, 1962. Only a portion of the complete plan has been construction to date. The volunteer firemen themselves did most of the work, each of who donated 300 hours or more of their time towards its competition.
Past presidents of the company include Alexander Batcho, 1930; Milton A. Weiss, 1931-32; John R. Charneski, 1933; Anthony Chernesky, 1938; John J. Dudash, 1939 to 1952; 1957; Andrew Getsie, 1954; George Halama, 1955; Henry Petrone, Jr., 1953; 1957-58-60; Victor Buckovecky, 1959; Mike Buckovecky, 1961; Harry Evanylo, 1962; John Lapotasky, Jr., 1963; Sam Sparatta 1964 and Frank Dudash, 1965.
Campaign Volunteer Fire Co. No.2, as the other fire companies in the Borough, encourages its members to participate in athletic activities, feeling that a physically sound and alert man makes the best fireman. The capabilities of the members of No.2 is attested to by the many trophies that can be found in their meeting room.
North End Volunteer Fire Company #3
A meeting was called on November 1, 1931 at the Polish American Home with the intention of organizing another Volunteer Fire Company. With Alexander Peltack acting as temporary chairman and Charles Krassy temporary recording secretary,the 23 men present decided to name the new Company the “ North End Volunteer Fire Co. No. 3.”
Mr. Bowers, attorney at Law, at this time drew up the Charter of the newly formed Company with the following names being submitted: Alexander Peltack, Charles Krassy, Edward Zujkowski, Stanley Nadolny, Thomas Mraz, CharlesWachnicki, Frank Dallas, George Wechkus, Edward Peltack, Frank Mysykowski, John Dworzanski, John Farion, JohnTomish Jr., Michael Gorcikowski, Frank Gutowski.
The first officers to be elected to hold office were: Alexander Peltack, President; George Wechkus, Vice President; Charles Krassy, Recording Secretary; Edward Zujkowski, Financial Secretary; John Zujkowski, Treasurer; Foreman, George Wechkus; Assistant Foreman, John Peltack.
The first fund raising affair for the Fire Company was a dance held on February 7, 1932, at the Polish American Home.
The Company at this time realized the need for a Home for fire fighting equipment and a place to hold future meetings. A building committee was chosen consisting of Charles Krassy, Walter Bobrowsky, and Edward Zujkowski.The committee on June 10, 1934 bought two lots from Mr. Henry Gerber. The future site now selected, work wasstarted on August 13, 1934, with the completion of the foundation. With generous help of the Johns Manville Corp. donating building materials the building was completed anddedicated on October 20, 1935.
In 1947 property adjoining the present firehouse was purchased and plans were started for the erection of a new building.
On June 1, 1954 the present GMC Fire Truck was delivered.It was still 1954 and ground was broken for the new building.
On October 30, 1955 Dedication ceremonies for the new building were held. The building was completed thefollowing year and the Company held their first big affair on September 29, a dinner dance in celebration of the 25th Anniversary of the organization of the Company.