Monday, June 30, 2008

Charles Myers Ends Run As Vigilant Chief

On June 30, 1987 Charles E. Myers, Chief of the Vigilant Hose Company served his last day as chief of the company. Charlie held the position for 19 ½ years. Charlie joined the Vigilant’s in 1962 and became assistant chief in mid 1965. He became chief on July 1, 1967 and held the position since then with the exception of 1976 when Gerald Holtry served for one year. The Vigilant’s new chief was Danny Byers.

Okay since Dale cheated yesterday and asked one of the few people in the county that probably knew thee answers I have a new question for today. Name just six fire companies that used to exist in Cumberland County that are long gone. I made a quick list while I was typing this and I came up with 14 and the number could climb to 17 with some of the obvious answers I expect and didn't even include on the list.

Sunday, June 29, 2008

CD Group Plans For Radio Network

On June 29, 1954 the Cumberland county civil defense administration held a special meeting in the Carlisle courthouse to determine the amount and type of radio equipment needed for the new CD fire and emergency radio network.

Several months prior an application was filed for federal approval and support of the network. The federal government agreed to pay $55,618 (half) the cost of the two-way radio hookups for county and the fire trucks. The county commissioners paid one quarter of the cost. County CD coordinator Dale E. Murphy believed the radio network would be operational in three months.

Today I thought maybe we could play a trivia game. It will let me know who is out there and who knows there county. Plus you can learn something at the same time. Who can tell me what company had No. 21 before the Creekside had it? Also, what companies had the numbers 29, 44, 58, 61, 70 and 90. A couple of these are pretty easy, the other you had to be around awhile to know the answer.

Saturday, June 28, 2008

Sprinklers Contain Fire At Peerless Plant

On June 28, 1936 in the morning as church services were about to begin the fire sirens signaled an alarm of fire. It was quickly realized that the alarm was for the Peerless plant on Lurgan Avenue. A severe storm tore through the area causing the roof of the building to be blown off the building causing bricks and debris to fall into the building in the area of the finishing department. The collapsing brick caused damage to the wiring system starting a fire that tripped the sprinkler system. The ensuing fire was controlled by the sprinklers and extinguished by local firemen. Damages were estimated at $12,000 to $15,000. The Vigilant Hose and Cumberland Valley Hose companies answered the alarm.

Friday, June 27, 2008

Cumberland Firehouse Burns, 2 Firefighters Die

On June 27, 1974 around 3:53 a.m. paid driver Dick Shughart alerted Cumberland county communications of a working fire in the firehouse at 121 East Louther Street, Carlisle. At the time of the fire Dick, his three children and firefighters James Miller, Ken Bishop, Harry Hershey and Gerald Royer were all staying at the firehouse. James assisted Dick in getting his three girls to safety. Before help from other companies could arrive firefighters were able to safely remove all the apparatus from the building. By this time help had arrived and firefighters were making an attack on the blaze. Upon reaching the second floor firefighter Mark Boyles located Harry Hershey on the bunk room floor and removed him to the exterior where he was loaded into an ambulance and taken to Carlisle Hospital. Harry Hershey, 24, was pronounced dead at the hospital at 5:03 a.m., his death was attributed to smoke inhalation.

Three other firefighters, Mark Boyles, Richard Shughart and Ken Bishop were also treated at the hospital for smoke inhalation. Gerald Royer, 45, was admitted to the intensive care unit for smoke inhalation and a heart condition. Gerald passed away in the hospital on July 11Th.

All five Carlisle borough fire companies answered the alarm and needed 40 to 45 minutes to contain the blaze. The first floor and rear half of the second floor was badly damaged by the fire. The rest of the building suffered smoke, heat and water damage. The cause of the fire was determined to be an electrical short above the ceiling in the first floor recreation room. Damages were listed at $125,000 to the 78-year-old building.

Many years ago Dr. George Rea gave me a few slides of the Cumberland firehouse the morning of the fire, and like yesterday I could not lay my hands on them in time for today's post. With the thousands of slides I have out, reorganizing right now it would be like looking for a needle in a hay stack. When I find them, I will post them.

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Craig’s Barn Burns Near Orrstown

On June 26, 1981 at 9:38 p.m. firefighters were alerted to a barn fire at the Wayne Craig Sr. farm located at 2833 Orrstown Road. When firefighters arrived the 66 X 95 foot barn was well involved. Approximately 75 firefighters from three companies battled the blaze and remained on the scene until 2:04 a.m. One hog was lost in the fire and damages were estimated at $50,000. During the incident numerous minor accident occurred involving fire apparatus, Squad 15 sank in the run off causing it to lean into a tree, no damage was done to the rig. The Vigilant’s 1969 Seagrave went off the lane and traveled down an embankment in an attempt to avoid a pedestrian, the engine was not damaged but had to be pulled back onto the road. And last but not least the WEFR utility and the Vigilant special unit side swiped on the narrow lane causing mirror damage to the vehicles. The West End Fire and Rescue and Vigilant Hose companies operated at the scene.

I got to this fire late so I photographed instead of getting dirty. I have photographs of all three of the accidents but do you think I could locate them in time for this post. Once I find them I will scan them and put them up next year at this time.

For a short history lesson on fires outside the borough in the early days please check out the comments for Sunday June 22, 2008 post.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Penn Street Man Dies Of Smoke Inhalation

On June 25, 1942 at about 6 a.m. firemen responded to a fire on South Penn Street. When firemen arrived neighbors had removed an occupant to the outside of the house and threw a burning mattress and bedding out the second floor window. Firemen quickly extinguished the fire and members of the CV ambulance performed artificial respiration's for more than an hour on the man. The 42-year old male occupant died of smoke inhalation. The Vigilant Hose and Cumberland Valley Hose companies answered the alarm.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

North Queen Street Home Damaged In Blaze

On June 24, 1985 at 10:30 p.m. firefighters responded to a house fire at 112-114 N. Queen Street Shippensburg. When firefighter arrived they found fire in the voids between the second floor and attic. An electrical short in a closet caused the blaze that did $30,000 in damage. Firefighters had the fire under control in 15 minutes and remained on the scene until 12:30 a.m. The Vigilant Hose and Cumberland Valley Hose companies answered the alarm.

Cumberland Valley Hose Company No. 2, Shippensburg, Pa. circa 1952.

Monday, June 23, 2008

Suspicious Fire In Scotland

On June 23, 2006 at 3:49 p.m. 1662 State Street, Scotland. A fire of suspicious origin badly damaged an occupied 1-½ story dwelling displacing seven residents. The West End Fire and Rescue, Vigilant Hose and Cumberland Valley Hose companies assisted four other departments in extinguishing the blaze.

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Fire Damages Reeder Brothers Dairy

On June 22, 1918 between 5 and 6 p.m. firemen responded to the area South of Shippensburg on the Angle-Geesaman farm occupied by Reeder Brothers Dairy. A spark from a chimney ignited the shingle roof and soon the interior of the stone building was ablaze. Shippensburg firemen responded quickly but could do little to save the building. All that was saved was some milk and bottles. Damages were estimated at $1,900. The Vigilant Hose and Cumberland Valley Hose companies answered the alarm. It should be noted that during this time period the borough fire companies seldom left town for fires. Many working fires occurred in the rural areas that the Shippensburg Fire Department would now respond to.

Saturday, June 21, 2008

Attic Fire Damages Southampton Cumberland Home

On June 21, 1981 at 7:52 p.m. neighbors noticed smoke coming from the roof of a house on Whitehouse Road, Southampton Cumberland and alerted 911. When firefighters arrived they found fire in the attic of the one story frame house. By the time firefighters from three companies were able to contain the blaze the attic was destroyed with smoke, water and overhaul damage to the living areas. Two firefighters were injured during the blaze, one suffered smoke inhalation and the other received a cut above his eye. A damage estimate was not available, and firefighters remained on the scene over two hours. The Vigilant Hose and Cumberland Valley Hose air wagon answered the alarm.

Friday, June 20, 2008

Bus Accident Kills 7, Injures 20

On June 20, 1998 at 4:43 a.m. Squad 15 was alerted to assist on an auto accident involving a bus on the Pennsylvania Turnpike near milepost 185 westbound, three miles from the Willow Hill interchange.

Seven people were killed and 20 injured as a result of the accident, which happened when a Greyhound bus hit the back of a parked tractor-trailer. Emergency crews from Franklin, Cumberland, Fulton and Huntington counties responded to the scene. They included 17 ambulance crews and five fire companies.

The squad operated at the incident helping to extricate patients for approximately 2 ½ hours, returning to quarters at 8 a.m. The West End Fire and Rescue and Cumberland Valley Hose ambulance assisted at the scene.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Arson Fire Destroys Barn, Killing Livestock

On June 19, 1924 at 10:30 p.m. firemen were summoned to the Ridge Road, Southampton Cumberland for a barn fire. An arson fire destroyed a barn and its contents. Destroyed were a cow, some hogs, farm machinery and feed. Pa. State Troopers arrested a suspect at the scene. Damages were estimated at $5,000. The Vigilant Hose and Cumberland Valley Hose companies answered the alarm.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Council Accepts Keys To Cumberland Valley Firehouse

This is typed as it appeared in Shippensburg Borough Council’s Minutes.

Special Meeting at C.V. Engine House June 18th, 1859
Members present Ruby, Heck & Kelso On Motion William McClure asked Council to take the keys of Engine House. Said McClure has finished the same according to contract with Council. On Motion Judge Ruby took possession of the keys of the same.

On Motion Council adjourn. J.O.M. Butts Secy.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Vigilant’s Answer Barn Fire

On June 17, 1933 in the afternoon hours a large bank barn on the highway from Newville to Newburg was burnt to the ground. The cause of the fire was unknown. A hog pen and chicken house were also destroyed. Firemen secured water from a nearby stream but the buildings were to far gone to save. The Vigilant Hose Company answered the alarm.

Saturday, June 14, 2008

Boyer Barrel Factory Burns

On June 14, 1926 at 7:30 p.m., an alarm of fire was sounded for the Boyer Barrel factory located along the P.R.R. tracks, near the Domestic Engine and Pumps Company. Stoves used to dry the finished products started a fire that destroyed a 30X60 foot frame building and its contents. Firemen remained on the scene all night and into the next day to prevent flare-ups. The building housed over 30,000 barrels ready for delivery. Damages were estimated at $10,000. The Vigilant Hose and Cumberland Valley Hose companies operated at the scene.

Friday, June 13, 2008

Pole Barn Burns On Fogelsanger Road

On June 13, 1992 at 1:47 a.m. firefighters were alerted for a barn fire at 125 Fogelsanger Road, Southampton Cumberland. When firefighters arrived they discovered rolls of hay burning in the barn. Approximately 75 to 100 firefighters from six companies worked for over six hours to remove and extinguish 150 round bails of hay from the building. According to reports the building was destroyed. A damage estimate was not available. The Vigilant Hose, Cumberland Valley Hose and West End Fire and Rescue companies answered the alarm.

In the last few days I have had numerous people surf onto the site by searching John Snyder's name. Part of the discussion in the comments section of a previous post was when did John pass away. John died on August 9, 1975 at the young age of 35. John and the Snyder family were very close friends of ours and his passing was a huge loss for me. I guess I am posting this to answer the questions in the previous comments and to find out if you would like me to wait until August or post about John sooner. I have nothing ready for Sunday yet and can post about him then if you would like.

Thursday, June 12, 2008

9-Year Old Boy Burnt, Implement Shed Destroyed

On June 12, 1958 at 3:30 p.m. firemen responded to an implement shed fire near Orrstown. The fire started when a 9-year old boy was trying to start a tiller and a spark ignited the building. The building was destroyed and the roof was burnt off the milk house. The boy suffered first, second and third degree burns on his leg. The three companies kept the fire from spreading to other buildings on the property. Damages were estimated at $5,000. The Vigilant Hose Company assisted at the scene.

A heads up for those of you that look at this site and not my photography site, since Monday I have been posting photographs from the re-dedication of Engine 17's house in Washington D.C. this past Saturday. On Saturday June 7, 2008 the house was renamed the Jackson H. Gerhart house. The event was well attended and a big kudos goes out to the DCFD, Local 36, E-17 crew and Lt. Seavey. I have posted photos the last four days and will be posting more through Wednesday next week followed by a few from WEFR's Child's Dream. The link to the site is to the right with the Shippensburg Fire Service sites.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

House Fire On Earl Street

On June 11, 1860 in the afternoon hours the cry of fire was heard coming from Earl Street. A fire broke out in the weather boarding of the Samuel Harris house. The timely application of a few buckets of water stopped the flames before they could do much damage. The Cumberland Valley Fire Company was on the scene promptly with their hand tub but their services were not needed.

Thursday, June 5, 2008

Man Dies In Borough House Fire

On June 5, 2004 at 2 a.m. a borough box was struck for a house fire at 201 South Queen Street. First arriving units found flames coming from the first floor with a reported entrapment. Prior to the fire departments arrival several neighbors and police officers tried unsuccessfully to gain entry and locate the victim. Firefighters located the 80-year-old male on the floor in a first floor bedroom and removed him to awaiting EMS. Resuscitation efforts were unsuccessful and the man was pronounced dead at the scene. Fire caused extensive damage to the first floor with extension in the voids to the second floor and attic. Careless use of smoking materials was listed as the cause. The 2-alarm fire was brought under control in 10 minutes and firefighters remained on the scene for hours. A damage estimate was not available. The Vigilant Hose, Cumberland Valley Hose and West End Fire and Rescue companies operated at the scene.

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Greene Township Apartment Damaged In Early Morning Fire

On June 4, 2000 at 1:01 a.m. a station 4 box was alerted for a apartment fire at 1955 Philadelphia Avenue, Greene Township. When units arrived flames were shooting from a second story window in one unit. Firefighters from nine companies had the blaze under control in 10 minutes and remained on the scene until almost 6 a.m. The fire was confined to the apartment or origin with water damage to the unit below. Damages were estimated at $50,000. The West End Fire and Rescue, Vigilant Hose and Cumberland Valley Hose companies assisted at the scene.

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Oil Stove Explosion Damages Penn Street Home

On June 3, 1951 in the morning hours an oil stove exploded in the home of Wilbur Kelso, 118 South Penn Street. The explosion caused the kitchen and dinning area to be involved in flames. Both hose companies were on the scene quickly and able to contain the blaze. A family of twelve was displaced. Damages were estimated at $1,000. The Vigilant Hose and Cumberland Valley Hose companies answered the alarm.

Monday, June 2, 2008

Penn Street Extended House Destroyed

On June 2, 1968 at 2:50 a.m. firemen were alerted to a house fire on South Penn Street extended. When firemen arrived they found the vacant 2-1/2-story frame house well involved in fire. Water was an issue in battling the blaze, as the hydrant located at Penn and Garfield was out of service and a line had to be laid to one at Apple Avenue. The blaze was ruled suspicious. A damage estimate was not available. Firemen remained on the scene until 5:30 a.m. The Vigilant Hose, Cumberland Valley Hose and West End Fire and Rescue companies battled the blaze under the direction of borough chief Dan Orris. The Vigilant’s returned at 7:30 p.m. for a rekindle.

I added a couple more links for CVEMS and Bill Strite's WEFR page so that all the Shippensburg Emergency Services sites could be accessed from this site. I know, before you say something, the my space sites are not on here, and I don't intend to link them either.

Sunday, June 1, 2008

Shippensburg R.D. 2 Mobile Hose Destroyed

On June 1, 1973 at 4:45 a.m. firemen were alerted to a mobile home fire at Shippensburg R.D. 2. A fire of undetermined origin destroyed an occupied mobile home and all its contents. A female occupant of the home was injured when she suffered first and second degree. A damage estimate was not available. The Vigilant Hose and Cumberland Valley Hose companies answered the alarm.