Box 13 Associates was formed on May 1, 1933, by a group of businesspeople and professionals who were interested in the operation, welfare, and public relations of the Cincinnati Fire Department. Early in 1933 a Cincinnati newspaper reporter, Joseph R. Doran, had written a lengthy article on the firefighter’s courage and devotion to duty at a fire. It was undoubtedly that news article that initiated the interest. He wrote about the Newton Tea and Spice Company fire at 16-18 Second Street, on January 17, 1920, that killed 4 firefighters. Box 13 at Second and Walnut Streets was the call box for the fire. Box 13 was struck 10 blows to indicate a general alarm. The firefighters were working from the ramp to the Suspension Bridge with hose streams. They were crushed when the east wall of the Newton Tea and Spice Company collapsed without warning following an explosion. In addition to the four fatalities, fourteen other firefighters were injured when the wall collapsed.
Firefighters loosing their lives that day were:
|Lt. Edward J. Vahling||Engine 7||He was found dead at his hose on the ramp to the Suspension Bridge, where he and others were directing streams of water into the fire building. He was 33, married, and lived at 442 Bank Street.|
|Peter Buckley||Engine 7||He lived long enough at General Hospital to see his wife and sister. He was 35 and lived at 2617 Hackberry Street with his wife and two small children.|
|Adolph Schonecker||Engine 42||He died in the receiving ward at General Hospital. He lived with his wife and two small children at 1535 Freeman Avenue.|
|Raymond Norris||Engine 42||He was found laying over his hose line. He was unmarried and lived at 1310 Broadway.|