SPOKANE – A ceremony Friday was scheduled to honor the fourth of seventeen Spokane City firefighters who have died in the line of duty. By August of 2015, each one of their stories will be written in words on plaques for all to see as a lasting tribute to their service.
It is the mission of the Spokane Firefighters Memorial Project, started by Lt. Gregory Borg who got the idea during his tenure as Firefighters Union President in the 2000s. Through tremendous community support and donations, the first firefighter plaque was dedicated in June.
“At first I thought a statue would be good, but that’s only in one place and people would have to go there to see it,” Borg said. “So I thought, if we did a plaque at the place they died, it would be all over the city, 17 different spots. People walking by would see ‘em, they’d learn something about the neighborhood, they’d learn something about what happened here at a different time and, most importantly, the sacrifice the firefighters made and that their families made.”
The fourth plaque was scheduled to be dedicated Friday to honor Henry Maynard who died on July 25, 1909. Maynard was a hoseman, riding on the outside of a wagon responding to a fire at the Gandy Hotel. When Maynard’s wagon came around the corner at First Avenue and Lincoln Street, the horses swerved to avoid a ladder truck that was stalled after its own horses had slipped on a wet road. The horses avoided the collision, but their momentum swung the wagon into the back of the stalled ladder truck, crushing Maynard. He died a few hours later at the hospital.
The public is invited to the dedication ceremony on the northeast corner of First Avenue and Lincoln Street in downtown Spokane at 6 p.m. on Friday, July 25.