Welcome to Arundel Burning!

Maryland’s fire service history possesses an astounding tradition of firefighting, overcoming fire protection challenges, coordinated mutual aid and setting a model for comprehensive training. 

One of the leaders in this history of overcoming challenges is the Anne Arundel County Fire Service. Arundel has a wealth of historic fire service information that citizens can appreciate & respect; and firefighters & officers can learn from. 

The department’s efforts started from the creating of individual community volunteer fire stations which later transitioned into the progressive and modern department it is today. 

The mission of Arundel Burning is to present the history of the department’s efforts and the challenges it has experienced through books, articles, photos, and other sources of information.

Who is behind Arundel Burning?

Joseph B. Ross Jr., a former firefighter, and chief officer has over 47 years with the fire service and emergency response related organizations. Over his 34 years with the Anne Arundel County Fire Service, Ross has responded to thousands of calls that included hundreds of destructive and numerous deadly fires. Ross's first book "Arundel Burning" (2008) is a narrative about the tragic 1956 Oyster roast fire at the Arundel Park assembly hall, which killed eleven and sent over 250 to hospitals. In his second work, "In The Shadows of the Flames" (2013), he provides a day by day, blow by blow, account of the deadly and destructive riots that occurred in Baltimore in April 1968 after the Martin Luther King assassination. Ross's third work "Patapsco Station - Tragedy on the Rails" (2018) is a fictional history story about the Anne Arundel County, Maryland, Fire Service. The story follows the lives and careers of three generations of firefighters as they respond to fires, rescues and major train accidents. 

Ross is a National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) Certified Fire Protection Specialist and a Maryland Instructor Certification Review Board (MICRB) fire service instructor. In addition to his service with Anne Arundel County, he has served on the faculty of the University of Maryland, Maryland Fire and Rescue Institute (MFRI), written extensively for firefighting and rescue journals and served eight years with the U.S. Fire Administration and FEMA as a Fire Program Specialist. He resides with his wife Kathy in Milton, Delaware.