February 26, 1887 National Automatic Box No. 89 sounded at 6:44 a.m. The Darby Company, southeast corner of Baltimore & Howard Streets was afire. The 5 story iron front building was stocked full of sugar and candies which burned fiercely. The fire started in the basement, swept up the elevator shaft with terrific speed, and the entire building was ablaze from the basement to the roof. Captain Frederick Marston (H&L 2) immediately sounded 2nd & 3rd alarm. As the firemen battled to save the surrounding buildings, it was noticed that the top of the engulfed Darby building was shaking in the breeze. Word was being passed along to keep clear when suddenly the entire 5 story building came crashing down. Captain Marston thought that several of his men were under the debris and was forcibly restrained from plunging into the red-hot ruins after them. Three months prior, on November 17, 1886, while on the scene of a working building fire with the ladder fully extended, Captain Marston witnessed the ladder truck rolling onto it's side ,the ladder snapped, and 3 of his men were fatally injured. Praise be God, his fear was unfounded as his men were on the adjacent rooftop holding onto the chimney for dear life. Having witnessed the death of 3 of his men in November and now, just 3 months later, witnessing the collapse of a 5 story building & thinking his men were buried in the rubble, Captain Marston had a nervous breakdown. His condition continued to deteriorate and he died on August 23, 1887. Captain Frederick A. Marston was 48 years old and had served 17 years.