Lower Michigan firefighters get married after fighting Menominee warehouse fire

Joshua and Stephanie Halliday deployed to Menominee on October 15 to battle the Resolute Forest Products warehouse fire and married October 20.
Published: Oct. 28, 2022 at 3:47 PM EDT
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MENOMINEE, Mich. (WLUC) - A joke over breakfast turned into a life-changing moment for two Lower Michigan firefighters. They were in Upper Michigan - hours from home - battling the Menominee warehouse fire.

Joshua Halliday is a firefighter at the Frederic Fire Department near Grayling. His wife, Stephanie Halliday, is also a firefighter at the nearby Beaver Creek Fire Department.

Stephanie joined Beaver Creek in June 2021 and completed the fire academy in May 2022. Joshua said he first became interested in the fire department in 2009.

“My family lost our house in a house fire when I lived in Afton. There were about five different fire departments that showed up. Seeing what every one of them went through, I was immediately intrigued,” Joshua said.

Soon after, Joshua started as a U.P. firefighter with the Kinross Volunteer Fire Department. Stephanie joined the fire service after meeting her future husband in 2020. They got engaged in October 2021. The couple was deployed to Menominee on October 15 to fight the Resolute Forest Products Fire.

“A lot of the paper was still smoldering and flaring up. We were up in the air and anytime we found big pockets of smoke or flame while the loaders were moving around the paper, we put it out,” Joshua said.

The couple’s wedding date changed three times, once because of the deployment. They quickly formed a new plan to tie the knot, as talk of getting married in Menominee quickly spread among their 14-person unit.

“It just went from there. It started Sunday morning as a joke around breakfast, it turned into a real thing,” Stephanie said.

The two officially said “I do” on October 20 at the restaurant inside the Best Western in Marinette. The waitress was Stephanie’s maid of honor. One of the firefighters from their unit is an ordained minister and performed the ceremony.

“We went to Walmart in Marinette, and we grabbed some silicon rings, and we made her a rose bouquet,” Joshua said.

While the couple wishes family and friends could have been there, they were surrounded by a new family, the brotherhood and sisterhood of the fire department.

“To me, it is the largest family there is,” Joshua said. “You can go to almost any station in the United States and the second they find out you’re a firefighter, all of sudden they ask what station you’re on, what’s your rank and ask how many calls you run. It almost immediately turns into hey, you’re my brother, or you’re my sister.”

Stephanie said she wouldn’t want it to have gone any other way. She said she loved meeting other firefighters from Michigan fire departments. The Hallidays will host a reception in Lower Michigan in December to celebrate the marriage with family, friends, and of course, firefighters.