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.

7 comments:

Jonesy said...

In all my years in the fire service, I've never heard that storey. Brad, I would love to see those slides when you find them and again, thanx for the history lesson!

Anonymous said...

4:53 A.M. was the alarm time....Box 31 followed shortly after the radio report to KGD-554.

Anonymous said...

Harry Hershey was 24. The station had 2 bunk rooms. He was in the new bunkroom which was situated across from the old bunkroom which was situated at the top of the stairwell. He was found several minutes into the event lying in the middle of the room.

Bradley Myers said...

Sorry John, (I can only assume it's you because no one else would know that information). I took the age from the Carlisle new paper, and the time that it said the driver noticed the smoke.

I do have a copy of the article you wrote on the incident a few years ago and I read where you (if it is you) pulled Box 31, but there was no mention in it of the time of alarm.

I read in that you said some of the things written on the incident were no correct. I wanted to report the incident properly without stealing your article to write it.

The corrections to the article have been made.

Anonymous said...

No problem Brad.....I'll send you my story on the fire.

Affey said...

I opened a google account....Yes..This is old Chief 40 and 41....After I read your response the second time, I saw you have my "story"...

How about some Walnutdale Stories...I wish I had time to research it...some day...

Anonymous said...

Brad....

I checked on Hersheys age......how abour we split the difference..age 23..

The paper said 22...I found his obit and his DOB was Dec. 1950. His grave site marker has 1950 also.

The alarm time is 3:53 also....my bad or a typo back a few years ago.

Everything else is good to go...

Later