NMFD Honors First Fallen Firefighter

Fire Department honors the 30th anniversary of the passing of William Entwistle in the January 1983 Borough Hall fire.

The New Milford Fire Department marked the 30th Anniversary of the January 1983 fire at Borough Hall that took the life of 22-year old William Entwistle.

Entwistle, the first firefighter to lose his life in the line of duty, was remembered at a ceremony that took place Thursday evening at the monument on the front lawn of Borough Hall.

Firefighter Bill Drew, who remembered seeing Entwistle climbing the stairs to the attic of Borough Hall as he was climbing down because his air pack was nearing empty, said, "It's not the years in his life, but the life in his years that we remember tonight."

The fire, caused by a short circuit in the attic storage of Borough Hall, took the efforts of three fire departments to extinguish--New Milford, River Edge and Oradell.

"When Bill ran into that fire he answered his final alarm," Drew said.   


Marc Longo January 18, 2013 at 05:47 PM
Thanks for remembering this tragic event but unfortunately Billy was the fourth New Milford Fire fighter to die in the line of duty. Two members of Company #2 were killed in the 1940's when the fire truck the were riding on collided with a bus and a member of Co#1 died in the line of duty as well ( I believe to have happpened after suffering a heart attack, I'm not sure of the date.)
Bill January 18, 2013 at 08:45 PM
Actually, Billy was the first firefighter in NM to die in a fire. The three line of duty deaths preceding Billy were while responding to calls. 2 in an accident and 1 of a heart attack while on the back step.
peggy January 19, 2013 at 11:30 PM
I would still consider all of the deaths in the line of duty.God bless them all..Thank you NMFD
Steve Gompertz March 28, 2013 at 05:50 PM
I graduated with Billy. Whenever I think of him, I always see a big smile on his face. He was a great guy who was taken from us much too soon. Too bad there weren't any pictures of him for the article.


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