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On this day. . .April 1st

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  • hfd82@aol.com
    Harrisburg, Pa. 1900- At 4:20 a.m. the tower bells hooked to the Gamewell system clanged out Box 24. Heavy smoke and fire were located in the tightly
    Message 1 of 8 , Apr 1, 2006
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      Harrisburg, Pa.
       

      1900- At 4:20 a.m. the tower bells hooked to the Gamewell system clanged out Box 24.  Heavy smoke and fire were located in the tightly congested area of Wyeth Avenue just north of Verbeke Street(today’s location would be about the newer townhouses in the 1300 block of N. Sixth Street/Renaissance St.).  Arriving companies went to work laying lines and quickly building pressure in the boilers of the steamers and connecting to hydrants.  A frame stable occupied by Thomas Mayer, confectioner and used for storage was totally destroyed.  An adjoining stable occupied by James Lynch who owned both buildings was extensively damaged.  The rear of 460 Verbeke Street owned by Hiram Starr estate and occupied by Adam Schutzenbach was badly scorched.  Reichert’s back shop was also slightly damaged.  A horse, wagon harness and other contents were saved however from the Lynch stable but the contents of Mayer’s were destroyed. Total loss was about $1,000.  The fire was blamed on Incendiarism(arson).  Harrisburg’s firemen were publicly commended for their work, especially the Citizen Engine No. 3 for knocking down and confining the fire as it was involving frame buildings in a this old and congested area.

    • hfd82@aol.com
      Dauphin 1907- At sometime before eleven in the morning, while passing through the little Borough of Dauphin a Northern Central Railroad locomotive threw off
      Message 2 of 8 , Apr 1, 2007
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        Dauphin
        1907- At sometime before eleven in the morning, while passing through the little Borough of Dauphin a Northern Central Railroad locomotive threw off an inordinate amount of sparks from its stack.  It was believed some of these sparks landed on the wood shake shingles of a row of houses along the railroad.  The roof of one of the houses took fire.  Almost immediately the cry of “FIRE!” rang out.  Workmen from the nearby Dauphin Bridge Works and the American Pipe Company ran to the scene and formed a bucket brigade to try to quell the fire.  A call also went out to the closest fire company, the Fort Hunter Fire Company of Rockville.  By 11:24 a.m., with the fire well out of control, the telegraph clicked an urgent request to Harrisburg for help.  Fire Chief Charles Garverich immediately ordered the Shamrock No. 11 carriage, the Good Will Engine No. 7’s steamer and wagon along with the Hope Engine No. 2’s steamer and wagon to report to several loading ramps on the Pennsylvania Railroad.  The dispatchers quickly cleared the busy mainline to Rockville, as the Rockville tower operators set switches for the run over the Northern Central the rest of the way to Dauphin.  Once embarked, the run was made in eleven minutes(Try to leave the Harrisburg station and get to Dauphin in eleven minutes today!) With 2,000 feet of hose and two steamers in service, the fire was brought under control within an hour.  Three houses were destroyed and four others and a stable were badly damaged.  Loss was estimated at $6,500.  There are not many references of the Ft. Hunter Fire Company fighting fires.  However in my files are two photos of the house and rigs, a very small hand pumper and a two-wheel hose reel.  Their firehouse was located right along the south side the present Rockville Bridge on the riverside of the road.  The southbound lane of Front Street actually is where the firehouse was.  Just how they got their apparatus to Dauphin at present is unknown, but one can image a horse or two hitched to the rigs and being dragged up a dirt covered Front Street and River Road comes to mind.




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      • hfd82@aol.com
        1914-At five minute to one in the morning, smoke was discovered issuing from a frame garage to the rear of 920 Capital St. fronting on Duck Alley.  For some
        Message 3 of 8 , Apr 1, 2009
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          1914-At five minute to one in the morning, smoke was discovered issuing from a frame garage to the rear of 920 Capital St. fronting on Duck Alley.  For some reason the passerby discovering the fire ran almost two blocks to Sixth and Forster Streets to pull Box 52 .  Box 32 at Third and Boas was literally a stone’s throw away.  Eventually this box also was pulled giving this fire a second alarm equivalency.  The fire involved a large frame garage being used by the Fink Brewery.  Inside were three large trucks and a car.  The trucks were powered by electric and it is believed that a feed wire charging the batteries shorted and caused the fire.  The garage and vehicles were destroyed in this fairly spectacular fire with a loss of $4,000.  Department was in service over an hour. (Today’s location would be to the rear of the LCB Building nearly to Boas St.-Duck Alley ran the short distance from Capital to James just south of Boas. Fink’s Brewery was torn down in the late 1930’s and the LCB Building built on that site.  How ironic. )
        • Hfd82
          1938-At 8:32 a.m. Box 131 located at Race and Hanna Streets, began to tap in over the Gamewell alarm circuits. The Paxton Engine 6’s 1929 Seagrave 1,000
          Message 4 of 8 , Apr 1, 2011
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            1938-At 8:32 a.m. Box 131 located at Race and Hanna Streets, began to tap in over the Gamewell alarm circuits.  The Paxton Engine 6’s 1929 Seagrave 1,000 gallon pumper was quick out the door of the brand new two story white brick firehouse at S. Second and Vine.  It was one of the first runs from the new station, a run the Paxton lads would talk about for years.  Roaring down Race Street , as they arrived at Hanna, several people were pointing toward the river, but already they had seen the billowing column of greasy black smoke.  The night before, the U.S. Navy “four-stacker” destroyer, U.S.S. Curtis Quigley, had tied up at the municipal pier at the foot of Dock Street .  Following a day long voyage from Annapolis , traversing the numerous river locks from Harve de Grace, the tired crew had been mustered early preparing the ship for the annual cruise on the Susquehanna for the forty young lads of the Harrisburg Sea Cadets.  From causes unknown a fire had broken out in a paint locker, located midship, port side, and spread rapidly feeding on oil base paints and highly volatile varnishes and shellacs. Two Navy damage control teams with inch and a half lines were taking a real beating when the Harrisburg firemen arrived.  Heavy black smoke was billowing from several compartments near the torpedo tubes.  Fire Chief Earl Swartz ordered firemen from the Paxton Engine No. 6, Washington Hose No. 4, Susquehanna Engine No. 9 and Mt. Vernon Truck No. 1 to don their filter masks and stretch two deuce and a half inch lines on deck.  He then had his driver strike the second alarm at 8:42 a.m., followed by a telephone call to Bethlehem Steel in Steelton for their 1924 Mack AC Foamite rig as a precaution.  Within a half hour the seasoned Navy bluejackets together with the Harrisburg lads had the fire knocked down and spent another hour overhauling.  No dollar estimate of damage was given by Captain Saul d’Anyours.  Newspaper photos in the Harrisburg Telegraph reveal heavily twisted and blackened steel bulkheads between the second and third stack. Captain d’Anyours praised the efforts of his men together with the Harrisburg smoke-eaters for a very gutsy attack on the fire.  The cruise was cancelled much to the disappointment of the forty young members of the Sea Cadets.


          • Groff, Michael
            All, I was away for a few days and just read this interesting tidbit of Harrisburg fire service lore. I want to add another chapter to Brother Houseal s
            Message 5 of 8 , Apr 4, 2011
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              All,

              I was away for a few days and just read this interesting tidbit of Harrisburg fire service lore.

              I want to add another chapter to Brother Houseal's tale...the fire-blackened hulk of the U.S.S. Curtis Quigley was later removed from the Susquehanna by the well-known Downey river coal dredging firm (several of the Downeys were members of the Susquehanna No. 9 and participated in quelling the blaze.) Eventually, the four stacks were removed and the derelict hulk was towed to a site along South Cameron Street where it received a brick facade and opened as Quigley's Hotel. Captain Saul d'Anyours retired from the Navy following the fire and became the bartender at Quigley's. The members of the Harrisburg Sea Cadets were regulars and held their annual banquets there for many years. Brother Houseal can correct me, but I believe this landmark building is still standing.

              Brother Groff

              ________________________________
              From: FireServiceHistory@yahoogroups.com [FireServiceHistory@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf Of Hfd82 [hfd82@...]
              Sent: Friday, April 01, 2011 7:00 AM
              To: carrie32@...; FireServiceHistory@yahoogroups.com; poppop@...; b2@...; JEBStuart100@...; mkitsock@...; fireK7@...; Miles3430@...; jmelham@...; JCB322@...; cityfolks8132@...; gmishoe@...; Dispatcherbugs@...
              Subject: [FDHistory] On this day. . .April 1st



              1938-At 8:32 a.m. Box 131 located at Race and Hanna Streets, began to tap in over the Gamewell alarm circuits. The Paxton Engine 6’s 1929 Seagrave 1,000 gallon pumper was quick out the door of the brand new two story white brick firehouse at S. Second and Vine. It was one of the first runs from the new station, a run the Paxton lads would talk about for years. Roaring down Race Street, as they arrived at Hanna, several people were pointing toward the river, but already they had seen the billowing column of greasy black smoke. The night before, the U.S. Navy “four-stacker” destroyer, U.S.S. Curtis Quigley, had tied up at the municipal pier at the foot of Dock Street. Following a day long voyage from Annapolis, traversing the numerous river locks from Harve de Grace, the tired crew had been mustered early preparing the ship for the annual cruise on the Susquehanna for the forty young lads of the Harrisburg Sea Cadets. From causes unknown a fire had broken out in a paint locker, located midship, port side, and spread rapidly feeding on oil base paints and highly volatile varnishes and shellacs. Two Navy damage control teams with inch and a half lines were taking a real beating when the Harrisburg firemen arrived. Heavy black smoke was billowing from several compartments near the torpedo tubes. Fire Chief Earl Swartz ordered firemen from the Paxton Engine No. 6, Washington Hose No. 4, Susquehanna Engine No. 9 and Mt. Vernon Truck No. 1 to don their filter masks and stretch two deuce and a half inch lines on deck. He then had his driver strike the second alarm at 8:42 a.m., followed by a telephone call to Bethlehem Steel in Steelton for their 1924 Mack AC Foamite rig as a precaution. Within a half hour the seasoned Navy bluejackets together with the Harrisburg lads had the fire knocked down and spent another hour overhauling. No dollar estimate of damage was given by Captain Saul d’Anyours. Newspaper photos in the Harrisburg Telegraph reveal heavily twisted and blackened steel bulkheads between the second and third stack. Captain d’Anyours praised the efforts of his men together with the Harrisburg smoke-eaters for a very gutsy attack on the fire. The cruise was cancelled much to the disappointment of the forty young members of the Sea Cadets.
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