Seattle Fire Department Relief Association is incorporated on October 1, 1892.

  • By Alan J. Stein
  • Posted 9/04/2002
  • Essay 3936

On October 1 1892, the Seattle Fire Department Relief Association is incorporated as a result of the death of Herman Larsen, Seattle's first firefighter killed in the line of duty. Larsen was injured in a fire drill on March 6, 1891, when a charged hose line knocked him off a pier during a drill, impaling him on spikes protruding from logs in the water. He died three days later.

A subscription was raised for Larsen's funeral expenses, and firefighters discussed the formation of a relief association for such tragic events, and for injuries and illnesses. They held an organizational meeting on May 12, 1891, in which they elected Chief Gardner Kellogg president, and appointed a constitution and bylaws committee.

The first Firemen's Ball was held on November 15, 1891, at the Armory. The event raised $600 after expenses. On March 18, 1892, the organization adopted a constitution and distributed it to members.

The association became official on October 1, 1892, when articles of incorporation were filed with the Secretary of State. The articles were revised in 1898, establishing a board of six trustees, with two being elected annually for a three-year term.


Glen W. Garvie, Seattle Fire Department Centennial: 1889-1989 (Portland, Oregon: Taylor Publishing Company, 1989), 8, 39.

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