Saturday, November 10, 2007

Lumber Yard Building Burns

On November 10, 1995 at 7:14 p.m., the Lumber Yard 42 West Orange Street, Shippensburg. A fire of undetermined origin destroyed a 1-1/2-story frame building used to store insulation. Two firefighters were treated and released from Chambersburg Hospital for minor injuries. Damages were estimated at $30,000. The Vigilant Hose, Cumberland Valley Hose and West End Fire and Rescue companies battled the blaze.

Part 3 conclusion Alert Fire Company
Most of the information I have on the Alert Fire Company is in this two part article. When did the Alert form? Are they older than the Vigilant's? Those are both good questions, as one old member of the CV's stated the Alert was formed 1830, but from the accounts of the Viggies getting the Hibernia engine it states that a new company was formed and given the old "Rocket" hand engine. I personally believe they were formed in the 1840's after the Vigilant's.
The Alert was disbanded after the incident with there hand engine, but they are not really gone. The Cumberland Valley Hose Company was formed as just that but with many members and great influence from the Alert. Retaining their motto and christening their hose reel in the name of the Alert, to me the Alert is still alive and approaching their 150 anniversary.

The photograph below is obviously not the Alert's hand engine but one very much similar to the one they would have used. Generally two to four men would turn the cranks while other men would pour water from buckets in to tub. The engine was very primitive and not as effective as other hand engine, but it still served it's purpose. Where did this engine come from and when did council purchase it our other questions that could be answered. I believe it was purchased on or around 1817 through contributions from the towns people. If that did occur it could have been used by two other Shippensburg Fire Company's before being placed in the hands of the Alert lads.

While not Shippensburg but related to the subject of long gone fire companies, the Alert in Shippensburg was not the only Alert in Cumberland County. In the 1800's there was an Alert Fire Company in Carlisle also.

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