Steward Manor vs. Fire

I received this great overhead shot of Laurel Rescue 49 leaving its station and turning onto Lafayette Avenue in September, 1974 from retired Captain John Floyd II.

In the background is the familiar footpath behind Morris Drive, with an old aluminum lamppost and bench also clearly visible. There’s also an old Volkswagen Karmann Ghia in the satellite parking area, which I can recall still parked there frequently in the 1980s!

There was a fire at 10 Morris Drive earlier this year, which has fortunately been a surprisingly rare occurrence for Steward Manor throughout the decades. It’s ironic, too, that the complex sits just a few yards from the Laurel Volunteer Rescue Squad.

Captain Floyd provided some insight into why Steward Manor has fared so well against fire—especially compared to its neighbors:

“Unlike nearby garden apartments, such as Laurel Pines and Milestone Manor (or ‘Summerland’ as it’s called today), Steward Manor has been remarkably free of major fires over the years. The flat-roofed buildings that join only at the corners tend to prevent the rapid spread of cockloft fires that plague other complexes (Fox Rest, just down Bowie Road, had a major 2nd alarm last Saturday). I went to only one fire there as an LVFD fireman in the 1970s and ’80s”.

That’s a pretty remarkable record for a complex with 33 buildings that are perpetually filled—we’re talking nearly 400 apartment units.

Here’s to continued protection against fire… and all other catastrophes!


About Richard Friend

I'm a graphic designer and creator of "Lost Laurel"—a collection of photos and print ephemera chronicling the countless stores, restaurants, and other long-lost merchants of Laurel, Maryland. I'm interesting in hearing from any former/current residents, especially those with vintage photos, literature, and recollections of the community.
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