TOLEDO, OH (Toledo News Now) - The City of Toledo on Monday held its annual Fire and Rescue Memorial Service, to mark the 51st anniversary of the Anthony Wayne Trail fire.
Chief Luis Santiago says while he's the first chief not to be alive when the deadly fire occurred, that doesn't mean the incident holds any less significance because it was such a tragic day in the department's history. Four firefighters were killed after a gas tanker exploded in June, 1961.
The ceremony also honors other firefighters who have died in the line of duty, firefighters who died in military service, and retired firefighters who have passed away over the past year.
Chief Santiago says while there have been many improvements to fire prevention measures in buildings and vehicles carrying fuel and other materials, the firefighter job still has its share of challenges and dangers:
"The way things have evolved, fires are burning hotter these days because of materials they're made of. They had a certain set of circumstances and dangers 40, 50 years ago. We have new ones today that we have to keep up with."