A group of local citizens recognizing the need for organized fire
protection, met on Tuesday evening July 10, 1888, and formed The
Volunteer Fire Company of Ellicott City No. 1, 'a bucket brigade', the
first within Howard County. Prior to this, coordinated firefighting
activities in the town were virtually non-existent. In efforts to guard against the outbreak of fires, the City Council adopted a law on
June 17, 1867 to regulate the cleaning and sweeping of chimneys. As fires were frequently caused by fouled chimneys, the Council later passed an ordinance prohibiting attempts to clean chimneys by burning them out.