By Jim Ignasher
The following are but a few fires, accidents, and other calls that Smithfield firefighters have responded to throughout the years. This compilation is by no means complete.
New York Times, August 11, 1854
One of the earliest documented fires in Smithfield is this 1854 New York Times snippet reporting the destruction of Applebee Smith’s mill which is believed to have been located near the present-day intersection of Pleasant View Avenue and Indian Run Trail. At the time of this fire, there was no organized fire department.
Woonsocket Patriot, June 24, 1870
It was after this fire that it was decided better fire protection than bucket brigades was needed for Greenville, and the town’s first fire engine, The Water Witch was purchased from Pawtucket.
The Woonsocket Patriot, June 28, 1872, pg.1
These news snippets appeared together in The Woonsocket Patriot, September 6, 1872, page 1. It is likely the Water Witch of Greenville saw action at one or both of these fires.
The Woonsocket Patriot, December 22, 1876
The Woonsocket Patriot, December 27, 1876
The Woonsocket Patriot, November 2, 1877, pg. 1
(Woonsocket) Evening Call, July 29, 1897, page 3.
(Woonsocket) Evening Reporter, October 28, 1897, page 1.
In 1897, there was no organized fire protection in Georgiaville.