One hundred years ago, on a distant Feb. 16 evening, a blaze erupted at the Prospect School.
The tragedy that occurred during the blaze has become a part of village lore. And the firefighter who gave his life was memorialized during a Tuesday evening ceremony at the location.
It was freezing cold outside when the village’s firefighters responded. Fireman Milton Meisner, along with Arthur Underwood, had climbed a long extension ladder to battle the fire that had moved to the building’s attic along a ventilation shaft.
The ladder broke as the two young firefighters were working their way down to the ground. Underwood was halfway down when the ladder broke, and severely broke his left ankle and leg as a result of the fall.
Meisner was near the top and fell about 25 feet. He succumbed to his injuries while being driven to a Batavia hospital.