In memory of Captain John Berry Ward, Badge #11, Captain of fire station #7, Bancroft & Franklin. Toledo, Ohio.
Remembered as One of Toledo’s Oldest and Most Efficient Fire Fighters, Captain John Ward was killed in a collision accident while responding to a false alarm just after midnight on December 24, 1901.
Captain Ward and his crew from Hook & Ladder #7 were responding to the report of a fire at Box Alarm 153 located at at the corner of Hawley & Nebraska.
En route in their horse-drawn fire truck, the horses going at great speed when they saw a street car within a few feet of them. The fire truck wheels were on the street car tracks when Oak street car No. 341 traveling at high speed crashed into them at Collingwood and Dorr Streets. When the shock came, John Ward was thrown from his passenger seat striking the hard stone pavement and receiving internal, head and facial injuries.
Captain John Ward was appointed to The Toledo Fire Department on June 3, 1875 and appointed Captain on June 25, 1891. After 26 years of service with The Fire Department, Captain J.B. Ward turned in his last call alarm on Christmas Eve morning, at 11:50am, December 24, 1901, passing at age 51 as a result of shock and injuries to his chest at St. Vincent Hospital, Toledo, OH.
J. B. Ward was survived by his wife Elizabeth Harrington Ward and children.
This firefighter line of duty fatality occurred before the National Fallen Firefighters Memorial was built in Emmitsburg, Maryland. While this firefighter has not been officially honored at the Memorial site, there are plans to do so when resources are available.