On Wednesday, residents and firefighters gathered at the North Andover Fire Department Station 1 to honor two firefighters who died on duty -- one more than 120 years ago.
Edward B. Evans was a volunteer firefighter with the Cochichewick Engine Company from 1885 to 1886. On Nov. 19, 1886, he and a crew rushed to a house fire at 1422 Osgood Street, and Evans died. He was just 25 years old.
Joseph L. Bisson, called "Lou" by those who knew him, was a call firefighter with Chauffeur Ladder 1 from 1944 to 1952. On Nov. 6, 1952. Bisson died at Lawrence General Hospital at the age of 41 after suffering a heart attack at a barn fire on the old Steinberg property on Osgood Street several days before.
"I knew Lou," the department's historian and former Deputy Chief John Maguire said as he presided over the ceremony. "I was an auxiliary firefighter, a sophomore at Johnson High School, and I was present at the fire."
Bisson's daughter Betty Little and granddaughter, now retired Police Officer Tracy Castiglione, attended Wednesday's ceremony.
Little was 11 years old when her father died, but she says it feels like yesterday. Seeing her father honored gives her some peace.
"It's been so many years, he deserved it," she said. "He loved the town and he worked hard.
Maguire said he is still looking for members of the Evans family.
Evans' and Bisson's names were added to the Massachusetts Fallen Firefighters Memorial at the State House.