Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Fire Traps Three Teens In Carnegie Cave

On July 9, 1967 at 3:42 p.m. firemen were alerted to the Carnegie Cave, near Cleversburg for a rescue. Three teens were exploring a cave, which is entered through a conduit entrance approximately 150 feet long that runs under Interstate 81. While in the cave the area with the conduit which is lined with tar caught fire and burnt an area 25 to 30 feet long. One youth crawled through the burning conduit and was found outside the entrance with his clothes on fire. After extinguishing the fire, boards were laid through the area to protect the rescue workers from the hot tar.

Searching the cave were Tom Jackson, John Nickles, Mike Goodhart and Fred Paulsgrove. The team searched the cave for approximately 1 hour and 45 minutes before locating the missing two on a shelf in an upper layer of the cave about 1,800 feet from the cave entrance. At some places the cave floor was knee deep in water. The two were removed from the cave at 6:12 p.m.

All three were taken to Chambersburg Hospital, one in critical condition. That youth, 16 later died from his injured at Temple University Hospital on July 12TH. One fireman Edward Goodhart was treated at Chambersburg Hospital for smoke inhalation.

The Vigilant Hose, Cumberland Valley ambulance and West End Fire and Rescue companies operated at the scene. The rescue squad from the Friendship fire company in Chambersburg was also called to assist.

I don't know who all the people in the photograph are but the ones I remember are, far right with no helmet about the center of the photo is John Snyder, right next to him with no shirt or helmet, Gerald Holtry, to the left of Ged in the white tin helmet, Charlie Myers, I am guessing that the other white helmet is Crawford Wiestling, three men in the CD type helmets are probably from WEFR and way in the back at in the row of people, standing on the right with the white shirt and his hand up to his chin (dark hair) looks like George Bigler. That's the best I can do, this is where I say that some people looking at the site could add much more to it but don't, and I won't, OH I just did.


Sparky said...

Great story. I love reading about the different fires and rescues back in the day. And seeing old the old guys when they were young. Keep up the GREAT JOB.

Anonymous said...

I know there is another photo out there that show more faces in detail. I have seen it. There is a close up of the three that where brought out of the pipe under I-81. Tom Jackson was a registered caver and lead the search team underground. The white hats are wright. Quite an afternoon, I assure you.
On the Blue Ridge Mobile Home plant fire. That was before we implemented the preplanned box response system. Chief's called who they wanted. the building sat where the Finanical business sits at the southend of old Rt.11 and Current 11 in Greenvillage, left side of Hwy going south.


Bradley Myers said...

Thanks CW I was hoping you would say somethine about a few of the recent postings. I knew you were on the calls and in charge of a few. Don't be so shy out there. Was your Dad the boss at the Greenvillage plant?

Anonymous said...

Awesome write-up Brad! I've never heard any stories about this incident before around the hose hall, although I have heard of other rescues in the caves. With each passing year any incident in the caves would be more and more difficult with the number of personel with knowledge of those caves diminishing.

Anonymous said...

Ok , here goes a guess on the people . Ged help out here.
the guy in front of C.W. is Bill Washinger , behind him with the glasses on is Ken Smith from 52, behind Ged looks like Bill Curtis and that might be Casey Jones sitting in the back of the ambulance. To the left of what looks like Ken Smith may be Ralph Thompson. Any other guesses. What you think Wally???

Anonymous said...

Okay, I think the last entry got it right on some of the other faces in the crowd. Yes, my dad was V.P. of Blue Ridge Mobile Homes. After the fire they relocated to the now vacant building that sits behind the pants factory on Lurgan Ave. just looked at the other week when WEFR had the chooper in for Childs Dream.