Fire Chief William Sullivan, Fire Commissioner Emery Haskell, and a contingent of firefighters welcomed Mayor Gary Christenson, members of the state legislative delegation, City Council, fire chiefs from neighboring departments and residents to dedicate a plaque in honor of James G. Fagan, the first Malden firefighter killed in the line of duty.
The ceremony took place at the corner of High and Ferry Streets, where Fagan died battling a fire in 1868.
Fagan was born on April 8, 1844 to an Irish immigrant family on Irving Street. He joined the Malden Fire Department as a member of the Wannalancet Steam Fire Engine No. 1, quartered in a small wood frame, one-bay fire station where the Downing building now stands.
Fagan was gravely injured on May 12, 1868 when a building collapsed on a group of firefighters. Fagan was pulled from the debris but died from his injuries nine days later. He was 24 years old.