The Hot Springs Fire Department, in partnership with the Garland County Historical Society, will participate in ceremonies commemorating the 100th anniversary of the 1913 Conflagration on Wednesday, September 4. The public is encouraged to attend.
At 3:30 p.m., a plaque dedication is planned near the intersection of Church and Cottage Streets, marking the exact location where the great fire began. At 4 p.m. in Room 201 of the Hot Springs Convention Center, local historians will tell the story of the fire and relate the personal experiences of those who survived the catastrophe.
“Catastrophe and its ensuing chaos are often the primary factors that evoke change,” Hot Springs Fire Chief Ed Davis noted. “Such was the case with Hot Springs Fire Department and the City of Hot Springs in the wake of the 1913 Conflagration. Modern day Hot Springs and its fire department were birthed by the occurrence of this disaster. The city that emerged from the fire was very different than it had previously been. Brick clad structures became more common, critical infrastructure was moved to better locations, and the fire department was reborn. Motorized fire apparatus were purchased, more firefighters were hired and the trusted fire horses were removed from service.”