On July 31st, 1968 the Mansfield Volunteer Fire Department responded to a fire at the Red Ball gas station in Kennedale. While fighting the fire the 10,000 gallon gas storage tank exploded. The blast would be responsible for the deaths of two firemen: Shirley Copeland, who died from the injuries on August 3rd, and Mansfield Fire Chief Harry Blissard.
The deaths rocked the tiny Mansfield community, which at the time had a population of just around 3,000. Every business in town closed on the day of Chief Blissard's funeral.
Fifty years later the Mansfield Historical Museum is remembering that fateful day in this town's history. On July 17th the museum will open a new exhibit featuring news clippings, photographs and even the gear that was being worn by these heroic firemen when they perished in the line of duty. We invite everyone to come to the Mansfield Historical Museum to see this temporary display that tells a story of how a little Texas town dealt with tragedy. Admission is always FREE and donations are welcome.