Anniversary of the Death of Lt. Stigler and FF Ditch
By EMS Lieutenant Margery Sayers
December 24, 2022

On the evening of December 24th 1953 two Ellicott City police officers came across a fire at 4020 Old Columbia Pike. They alerted the occupants of the home and the Ellicott City Fire Department who promptly responded and initiated suppression efforts. In 1953 however, the municipal water system had not been extended very far outside of Ellicott City proper, and the size of the fire proved to be more than the suppression capabilities of the apparatus's onboard water tanks. The fire eventually gained the upper hand and the home was a total loss. While picking up hose after the fire, a chimney collapsed on top of four Ellicott City volunteer firefighters, resulting in two fatalities, Lt. Stigler & FF Ditch.
To honor their sacrifice, the members of ECVFD gathered this morning, the anniversary of the fire, to place a wreath on each of their final resting places.
May they rest in peace.