Firefighter Fred W. Steiner, 74, died on March 11, 1953, when he suffered a fatal heart attack while responding to an alarm. Fred was one of the original organizers of the Sparks Fire Department shortly after the turn of the century when the unit was nothing more than a bucket brigade. He was presented a gold badge signifying lifetime membership in 1945. During 50 years there, Steiner earned a reputation for never missing a call if he could hear the alarm.
Prominent in business, civic, and fraternal circles in Sparks and throughout Nevada for a half-century, Fred was a native of Austin and a member of the pioneer family of the state. He was born November 28, 1878, and spent his early life on a cattle ranch 35 miles from Austin. A graduate of Austin High School, he rode the range and engaged in farming and cattle raising until he was 23. Moving to the site of Sparks when the railroad terminal was moved west from Wadsworth in 1904, Fred had made his home in the community ever since. He was engaged in the meat market business in the early days and operated markets in both Reno and Sparks. Since 1931, he had been retired from this business, however, and devoted his attention to real estate.
In 1908 in Sparks, Fred married Miss Bessie Ambar, and they had one son, Fred W. Steiner Jr. Bessie died in January. 4, 1919. In 1921, Fred and Mrs. Letty Hillman were married. Surviving in addition to his widow were his son and two grandchildren, a sister, a stepson, and a stepdaughter as well as several nieces and nephews.