A firefighter's ultimate sacrifice

By Brandi Bailey

March 27, 2014 Updated Mar 27, 2014 at 11:30 PM EDT

Binghamton, NY (WBNG Binghamton) A fire that threatened to tear through all of downtown Binghamton's business district nearly 90 years ago was fought by the Binghamton Fire Department. One of those firefighters made the ultimate sacrifice.

On March 25, 1925 a fire broke out in the basement of what now stands as the Galaxy Brewing Company.

While fighting that fire then 32-year-old Horace Brainard was killed.

"They had a great concern that this was going to encompass the entire business district," Binghamton Fire Chief Daniel Thomas said.

After 89 years the owner of Galaxy Brewing Mike Weisel wants to make sure no one forgets the sacrifice Brainard made.

His picture hangs in the center of his business. Weisel says it's that type of sacrifice that should be honored.

"The primary thing they're interested in, their whole focus is our safety and that is so important to me that I put this together," Weisel said.

38 firefighters suffered from smoke inhalation from that fire.

Those flames will forever mark the Brewing Company, with a few historic beams still charred from the basement fire.

"When we talk about the fire department and public safety in general. We talk about the types of people that are attracted to public service. Individuals that on a regular basis put their lives on the line to protect people in our community," Binghamton Mayor (R) Rich David said.

Fires like this one and the Binghamton Clothing Factory Fire that took place more than a century ago changed fire fighting technology. It brought funding for new gear and face masks for firefighters.

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