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On this day. . .April 1st

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  • 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 1 of 8 , Apr 1 4:00 AM
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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 2 of 8 , Apr 4 9:24 AM
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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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