This fire company was a staple in the community for 110 years. Now, it’s gone.
Millbourne Fire Company in Delaware County voted to shut down Tuesday night following five years of financial instability.
Chief Joseph Artmont Jr. has been at the fire company since 1982 and became chief three years ago. The company had only six fire chiefs in its history and Artmont’s father previously held the title for 38 years.
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“We’ve always been there for the community. We helped people during storms or when trees fell,” Artmont said.
Artmont said that the company started to have problems when the Millbourne borough refused to cover structural damage in the fire house five years ago.
“We’re basically out of money,” Artmont said.
NBC10 reached out to the Millbourne Borough Office but has yet to receive a response.
The company’s misfortunes began to pile up. It had to go out of service in September last year because of the borough's concerns over manpower and response time.
Last October, Artmont said, the company stopped receiving any municipal funding and the members’ workman’s compensation was canceled in January this year.
Despite the fire company going out of business, Artmont said that the Millbourne community will remain safe because other fire companies like the Upper Darby Township fire department, the East Lansdowne fire company and the Yeadon fire company will take up service in the area.
Now, the fire company is selling its fire trucks and equipment to nearby fire companies in Delaware County. One truck is currently pending sale with another fire company. Whatever the company can’t sell will be donated or scrapped.
Millbourne was struggling to entice firefighters to volunteer at the station. There were 14 volunteer firefighters when the fire company went out of business.
The firefighters are being offered positions at nearby Delaware County fire companies, according to Artmont.
“We would like to thank all of our members past and present for their service and dedication. We also would like to thank the residents for their support over the years,” the company said in a post on their Facebook Tuesday night.