March 7, 1940 "A Firemen's Fireman" As a boy in knee britches, Johnny Steadman was hanging around Old No. 6 Firehouse in Old Town admiring the big nickel plated steam engines and the strong horses. He lived nearby and couldn't think of a morte exalted position than that as Captain of No. 6. When he turned 21 he joined the Department. He promoted to Lieutenant in 1921, then to Captain in 1923 and his boyhood dream realized when he was assigned Commander of No. 6. In 1927 he became a Battlion Chief and then Deputy Chief No. 4 in 1932. On a bitter cold March 2, 1940, an automatic alarm sounded at 9:40 a.m., announcing that a fire had erupted at the Baltimore Lumber Co., in the area of the Fallsway and Monument St. A second alarm sounded at 10:05 a.m., when smoke started rising from the Norris Grain Elevator in the same area. It was a masterful show of fire fighting performed as the firemen contained the inferno to the one huge former Pennsylvania Railroad shed. As the day faded into evening, the firemen prepared for an all-night vigil, obtaining food and beverages as best they could. Deputy Chief Steadman noticed 3 firefighters acting unusually and he ordered them taken to the Department Infirmary to be examined by a doctor. It was later learned that the 3 had been given alcohol by spectators to help ward off the bitter cold. In his entire career, Chief Steadman had never found it neccessary to officially write up or charge a subordinate, as he chose to handled discilpinary matters behind closed doors and face to face. However, once it was reported by the infirmary's doctor that the 3 firemen's unusual behavior was due to alcohol, Chief Steadman was ordered to charge the men with being unfit for duty. Chief Steadman knew the 3 firemen, he knew they all had families,and he knew they might lose their jobs; so, he decided to go before the Board of Fire Commissioners and speak on their behalf. While waiting in an outer office to see the Commissioners, Chief Steadman was stricken with a heart attack. He died in an ambulance that was transporting him to Mercy Hospital. Deputy Chief John F. Steadman was 49 years old and had served for 28 years.