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.

5 comments:

wally said...

Why ?

Sparky said...

I have the some question that Wally has when I read this WHY?

Anonymous said...

I am going to take a guess that due to the roads (muddy rut filled straight lines), and equiptment of the time that it was not always feasible to get fire departments to the fire in time to do any good. Cressler

Kenny said...

Brad,
Did the Boro own the apparatus at that time? If so, did they have conditions on when "their" apparatus could serve other jurisdictions? It hasn't been that long ago (20 years?) that that was the case, remember?
Kenny Jr.

Bradley Myers said...

Kenny is partially correct, but more of the answer lays in my earlier post on May 14, 2008 "The Fight Fore Motorization". Prior to the end of 1920 the apparatus was hand pulled. Could you imagine pulling a hose reel to the Ridge Road, Mainsville or Cleversburg. At this piont the two companies were not even using pumpers, they were held in reserve because the water system supplied the hose from the reels (and the borough was to cheap to buy steamers or motorized).

And they didn't leave because of what Kenny said, the burgess needed to give his permission for the rigs to leave town. Now that should not have stopped them because both companies each owned a piece of apparatus.

What would be another reason they would not leave town? How about water. They didn't carry large quantities of hose back in those days and they didn't run tankers.

And finally how about time, even if horses pull the wagon to the fire how long will it take to get to the country side and will there be anything left to do when you get there.

When the fire apparatus left the community for a fire more often than not it was because the fire was located at a prominent citizens house or property, and they supplied the horses, mules or other animals to pull the rigs.

Even once motorization occured rural service didn't begin. That was started by the Vigilant's in 1932. When a rig did leave before that it was usually the CV's because they had a pumper, the Viggies rig was a chemical wagon. Sometimes both companies did respond.

There was easily as many working fires outside of town as there was in. They were reported in the news papers but they did not get a piece of fire apparatus. They burnt to the ground with the neighbors and occupants saving what they could carry out. And in some cases the bucket brigade saved the building.