State Fire Marshal’s Office celebrates 110th anniversary with open house event


​​State Fire Marshal’s Office celebrates 110th anniversary with open house event
CHARLESTON, WV – Firefighters, past and present Fire Commission members, media, current staff and local citizens stopped by the State Fire Marshal’s Office in Charleston on Monday for an open house, celebrating the 110th anniversary of the swearing in of the state’s first Fire Marshal – Charles Ellison – in 1909.
The open house event allowed members of the public a chance to see and interact with artifacts and memories representing the office’s long history. Attendees were given a chance to tour the facility.
Gov. Jim Justice also issued a proclamation in commemoration of the anniversary. And current WV State Fire Marshal Ken Tyree offered his own words of appreciation for being a part of the SFMO’s storied history.
“I would venture to say that all of us, no matter if it was 110 years, ago 50 years ago or yesterday, all share the same desire to serve, educate and protect our citizens, our communities, and our families from fire,” Tyree said. “It is humbling to be one of 19 other state fire marshals that preceded me in leading this agency and I feel a deep kinship with my predecessors because, when I look at the first responder community, there is an established family- type tradition, carried on from generation to generation, that I am fortunate to be a part of.
“I cannot mark this anniversary without recognizing the many whose shoulders I stand on: my family, my fire service colleagues that I have had the pleasure to be associated with through the Charleston Fire Department and all the many other first responder agencies throughout the state,” Tyree continued. “I would share that I too have been blessed to work with, and have the support of, those wanting to make a difference.”
After the brief gathering, the public was invited to a walking tour of the building, beginning with a stop outside at one of the agency’s multiple response vehicles.
Other visitors spent time in the hearing room, which displayed old memorabilia, including photos, patches and books from the early days of the agency.
Also debuting at the open house was a newly written book of the history of the office. Included inside the book are old photos, a historical timeline of the office, detailed looks at all the functions of the office, and a biography of all the individuals who have served as State Fire Marshal in the office’s history.