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.
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.
The ladder broke as the two young firefighters were working their way down to the ground.