Thursday, December 31, 2009

Fire Damages Garfield Street House

On December 31, 1891 at 2:00 a.m. the citizens of Shippensburg were aroused from their slumbers by the clanging of the fire bells. It was soon learned that the fire was in the John Hosfeld dwelling on East Garfield Street. Hose had to be laid from a plug on Orange Street to reach the blaze. At this time East Garfield Street was not in the borough so it had no hydrants. Carpet placed over a damper sparked a fire that destroyed a room and extended upwards in a party wall in the occupied two story frame double house. Most of the family’s belongings were removed from the house as firemen battled the blaze. A damage estimate was not available. The Vigilant Hose and Cumberland Valley Hose companies answered the alarm.

HAPPY NEW YEAR EVERYONE.

For the new year how about I get some of you to help me out by supplying photographs from past incidents or anything else around the fire stations in Shippensburg. All I will need is the image, digital or I can scan, information about it like date, time, location etc. And who to credit the photograph to. Your help will make this a better blog.

Thanks Brad

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Garage Destroyed

On December 30, 1989 at 10:50 p.m. Hartman’s Garage 549 Centerville Road. Sparks from an electrical box ignited fumes from a cement chemical compound causing a fire that destroyed a business and damaged a home. The front of the garage was destroyed with extension to the rear roof. One civilian was treated at the hospital for second degree burns. Damages were estimated at $50,000. The Newville, South Newton Twp., Carlisle (article didn’t state which one), Vigilant Hose and Cumberland Valley Hose companies battled the blaze.

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

51 Hogs Die In Fire

On December 29, 1985 at 3:30 p.m. firefighters were dispatched to 1472 Pinola Road for a building fire. A short in the electrical service led to a fire that damaged a 25 X 60 foot livestock shed and killed 51 young hogs. Damages were estimated at $3,300. About 60 firefighters from four companies were on the scene 1-¼ hours. The Vigilant Hose, Cumberland Valley Hose, West End Fire and Rescue and Pleasant Hall fire companies answered the alarm.

Monday, December 28, 2009

Newville House Damaged By Fire

On December 28, 1981 at 12:03 a.m. firefighters were sent to 20 Corporation Street, Newville for a house fire. An overheated flue pipe started a fire in a first floor wall that extended upwards before being brought under control by firemen. Firefighters from four companies were on the scene about two hours. Damages were estimated at $7-$10,000. The Newville, Penn Twp., Upper Frankford and Cumberland Valley Air wagon operated at the scene.

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Boher Furniture Factory Damaged By Fire

On December 27, 1893 at 10:20 p.m. the cry of fire was again heard in town. It was soon learned that the fire was at the John E. Boher finishing rooms on East King Street. A fire caused by spontaneous combustion damaged a corner of the third floor finishing room. Both Hose companies attached to plugs and had streams on the fire in a short time. The Vigilant’s took a plug on North Penn Street laying down the alley to the rear and the C.V. boys took a plug on King Street in front of the Methodist Church. The fire was difficult to control with no ladders until the firemen were able to run a line inside. The building a three-story frame and its contents also suffered water damage. A damage estimate was not available. The Vigilant Hose and Cumberland Valley Hose companies answered the alarm.

Saturday, December 26, 2009

House Destroyed In Amberson

On December 26, 1969 at 10:00 p.m. Amberson Valley. An oil burner explosion sparked a fire that destroyed a large frame house. Firefighters were on the scene nearly five hours. A damage estimate was not available. The Fannett-Metal, Pleasant Hall, Fayetteville, Newburg, Franklin, Vigilant Hose and West End Fire and Rescue companies operated at the scene. The Cumberland Valley community ambulance also answered one call for the day.

Friday, December 25, 2009

200-Year-Old Farmhouse Destroyed On Christmas Day

On December 25, 1950 at 1:15 p.m. firemen raced to Shippensburg R. R. 3, Sandy Mount orchard for a house fire. A fire of undetermined origin completely destroyed a 200-year log house and its contents. Firemen from four companies battled the blaze for over four hours. A damage estimate was not available. The Vigilant Hose, Cumberland Valley Hose, Letterkenny and Franklin fire companies answered the alarm. The Vigilant’s were called back the next morning to extinguish a rekindle.

Merry Christmas Everyone.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

East King Street Home Damaged

On December 23, 1937 at 9:00 p.m. firemen responded to 419 East King Street for a house fire. A fire of undetermined origin damaged a wall in an occupied home. All the fire was in voids when the firemen arrived. The furniture and belongings were removed from the structure before the firemen began playing water on the blaze. A damage estimate was not available. The Vigilant Hose and Cumberland Valley Hose companies answered the alarm.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Faulty Oven Causes Fire

On December 22, 1973 at 3:35p.m. firefighters were sent to Shippensburg R.D. 3 the Mt. Rock Trailer Court for a mobile home fire. A faulty oven sparked a fire that caused extensive damage to the kitchen of an occupied mobile home. Firefighters were on the scene 1-½ hours. A family of four was displaced by the $3,000 blaze. The West End Fire and Rescue and the Vigilant Hose companies answered the alarm. The Cumberland Valley community ambulance also answered one call for the day.

Monday, December 21, 2009

Huckleberry Land Mobile Home Destroyed

On December 21, 1976 at 9:16 a.m. firefighters were sent to Shippensburg R. D. 2, Huckleberry land for a mobile home fire. A malfunctioning gas water heater sparked a blaze that destroyed an occupied mobile home. Damages were estimated at $12,000 in the blaze that displaced a family of four. Almost 35 firefighters battled the blaze under the direction of Chief Gerald Holtry. The Vigilant Hose, Cumberland Valley Hose, West End Fire and Rescue and South Newton Twp. fire companies answered the alarm. The Cumberland Valley community ambulance also answered one call for the day.

Sunday, December 20, 2009

McCulloch Road House Burns


On December 20, 1983 at 9:00 a.m. firefighters were dispatched to a house fire at Shippensburg RD 6 the McCulloch Road. A faulty installed wood stove sparked a blaze that caused heavy fire damage to an occupied 2-½-story frame dwelling. The fire damaged a first floor kitchen before gutting most of the second floor and attic. Approximately 50 firefighters from five companies had the blaze under control in one hour and remained on the scene until after noon. In the initial stages of the fire a manpower shortage was an issue as some of the firefighters were in Orrstown extinguishing a chimney fire. Water was obtained from a hydrant in Cleversburg. A damage estimate was not available. The Vigilant Hose, Cumberland Valley Hose, West End Fire and Rescue, South Newton Twp. and Newville fire companies answered the alarm.

Friday, December 18, 2009

Township Shed Destroyed

On December 18, 1963 in the morning hour’s firemen were sent to a shed fire at Shippensburg R. D. 2 close to the Rehoboth Church. A fire of undetermined origin destroyed a small frame shed and its contents. A damage estimate was not available. The Vigilant Hose Company answered the alarm under the direction of Chief Charles Mouer.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Truck Fire Couldn’t Be Extinguished

On December 17, 1975 at 5:32 p.m. firefighters were dispatched to a tractor-trailer fire at Rt. 174 at Exit 10. A tractor-trailer carrying aluminum waste materials caught fire. When firefighters arrived they feared the contents of the truck could have been explosive or that it could have been giving off noxious fumes. While Chief Charles Myers supervised the activities of the firefighters Chief Crawford Wiestling contacted the National Chemical Advisory Center to determine what measures had to be taken to deal with the incident. It was determined that the incident was not explosive since the materials were not in an enclosed container and that the smoke was not toxic. Since firefighters were unable to extinguish the fire with water, the trailer was moved to an open field about 5:40 p.m. to let burn. Firefighters returned to the scene later that night and again the next morning to attempt to stop the fire. The following day they returned again and were working to cut a fire break in the middle of the truck to stop the blaze. The fire was still burning when this article was printed in the local newspaper with no estimate of when it would burn itself out. A follow up article never appeared in the paper to say when the blaze was out. Almost 50 firefighters from the Vigilant Hose and West End Fire and Rescue companies answered the alarm. The Cumberland Valley community ambulance made three runs for the day also.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

House On Means Hollow Road Heavily Damaged

On December 16, 1958 at 6:50 a.m. firemen responded to the Means Hollow for a house fire. An improperly installed stovepipe sparked a fire that caused heavy damage to an occupied 1-½ story frame house. A damage estimate was not available. The Vigilant Hose Company extinguished the blaze. Later in the day at 9:41 p.m. the Vigilant’s responded to the Walnut Bottom Road in the area of the dump for an auto fire.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Mainsville House Damaged In Blaze

On December 15, 1950 at 5:15 a.m. firemen were sent to Shippensburg R. R. 2, near Mainsville for a house fire. An overheated heatrola sparked a fire that damaged an occupied dwelling. The fire damaged the wall behind the stove and extended to second floor voids before being brought under control. Neighbors and family members formed a bucket brigade to keep the blaze in check before the arrival of firemen. Damages were estimated at $500. The Vigilant Hose Company answered the alarm.

Monday, December 14, 2009

Early Morning Fire Damages House

On December 14, 1965 at 12:35 a.m. firemen responded to Shippensburg Star Route the James McCurdy residence for a house fire. A fire that started above the furnace destroyed two rooms and their contents. Firefighters were able to confine the fire to two rooms of the nine room 2-½-story stone house. The entire structure was damaged by smoke. Damages were estimated at $5,000. The Vigilant Hose Company battled the blaze. The Vigilant’s returned to the scene about 8:30 a.m. when a small fire rekindled around a windowsill. Later in the day at 2:30 p.m. all three Shippensburg fire companies answered a smoke investigation at the intersection of North Washington Street and East King Street. A trash fire was found and extinguished at that location. The Cumberland Valley community ambulance also made one run for the day.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Family Of Nine Homeless After Fire

On December 13, 1982 at 1:04 a.m. a 47 box was struck for a house fire on the Mud Level Road (just outside Oakville), North Newton Township. A fire caused by an overheated stovepipe started in the first floor and extended rapidly damaging most of the occupied 2-½-story frame house. A family of nine was displaced. Damages were estimated at $15,000. Firefighters from seven companies had the blaze under control in 30 minutes and remained on the scene almost four hours. The Newville, South Newton, Upper Franford, Newburg, Vigilant Hose, Cumberland Valley Hose and West End Fire and Rescue companies operated at the scene.

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Shoe Store Damaged By Fire

On December 12, 1895 at 11:00 a.m. an alarm of fire was reported for West Main Street and Bridges Alley, H. C. Walter’s Shoe Store. A fire that began in an overheated stove caused considerable damage to Mr. Walters’s stock. Damage to the shoe store was estimated at $1,100, damages to the second floor residence were estimated at $200. The fire was extinguished in about 30 minutes. The Vigilant Hose and Cumberland Valley Hose companies answered the alarm.

Friday, December 11, 2009

Neon Clock Installed In Front Of Vigilant Station

December 11, 1933, does anyone remember the clock that used to be on the front of the Vigilant Hose Company building between the two bay doors? I remember one as a child. At a borough council meeting in 1933 on this date M. Garfield Barbour, president of the company asked councils permission to erect the clock on the front of the firehouse. The clock put up at this time was not the one I remember, as this one was neon light so it could be seen at night. The earliest photograph I have of the Vigilant’s with a clock is 1950 and it is the later clock that I remember.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Child Dies In Accidental Fire

On December 10, 1993 at 7:05 p.m. firefighters were alerted to a townhouse fire at145 Meadowcreek Drive, Hamilton Township Franklin County. A tablecloth to close to electric baseboard heat caused a fire that killed a three-year-old boy. The blaze destroyed one 2-½-story frame town houses and caused smoke and water damage to two others. Damages were estimated at over $180,000. Over 100 firefighters from 15 fire companies battled the blaze for nearly six hours. Four firefighters were injured. The newspapers did not list the responding companies but some of the 15 responding were the Franklin’s, St. Thomas, Chambersburg, Fayetteville, Letterkenny, Vigilant Hose, Cumberland Valley Hose and West End Fire and Rescue companies operated at the scene.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Penn Street House Burns During Strong Winds

On December 9, 1876 in the morning hours firemen raced to Penn Street for a house fire. A fire of undetermined origin was discovered on the roof of an occupied frame dwelling. A strong wind was prevailing from the west threatening the other frame houses in the area. Firemen and citizens removed the belongings from numerous houses. The Vigilant and Cumberland Valley engines each secured water sources from wells and cisterns and did good work in keeping the fire from spreading. A damage estimate was not available. Temperatures were only six degrees during the blaze and the hoses quickly froze when the water was stopped.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Sawmill Shop Destroyed By Fire

On December 8, 1984 at 9:45 a.m. firefighters responded to a building fire at 2015 Orrstown Road, Forrester’s Sawmill. A cutting torch ignited gasoline sparking a fire that gutted the interior of a large one-story block building. Firefighters had the blaze under control in 20 minutes and remained on the scene about two hours. WEFR firefighter Randy O’Donnell suffered second-degree burns battling the blaze. Damages were estimated at $20,000. The Vigilant Hose, Cumberland Valley Hose, West End Fire and Rescue, Pleasant Hall and Newburg fire companies answered the alarm.

Monday, December 7, 2009

Towing And Detail Shop Damaged In Blaze

On December 7, 2002 at 1:11 p.m. firefighters were sent to 408 S. Fayette Street, Shannon’s Towing and Detail Shop for a building fire. A fire caused by spilled gasoline caused heavy fire damage to the first floor of a large 2-½-story frame and masonry building. A couple of cars were also lost in the two-alarm fire that took 20 minutes to control. A damage estimate was not available. This same building burnt in the 1970’s(I didn’t feel like looking up the exact date, it burnt worse that time but only required the use of the three Shippensburg companies). The Vigilant Hose, Cumberland Valley Hose, West End Fire and Rescue, Pleasant Hall, Newburg, South Newton, Newville and Franklin fire companies battled the blaze. Squad 15 was involved in an accident when they struck a car at the intersection of Orange and Fayette Streets while responding to the incident.

Shippensburg companies also answered a reported structure fire on the Walnut Dale Road and a working house fire at 2915 Roosevelt Drive on this day.

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Fire Damages Mongul Home

On December 6, 1938 at 12:00 p.m. firemen responded to the Roxbury Road, just north of Mongul for a house fire. A fire that started in the area of the chimney destroyed two rooms on the first and second floors of an occupied house. Damages were estimated at several thousand dollars. Neighbors quickly carried furnishings from the home saving most and fought the blaze on the first floor with water from a nearby cistern until firemen arrived. The Vigilant Hose Company extinguished the fire.

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Route 11 House Damaged By Fire

On December 5, 1970 at 3:15 p.m. firemen responded to house fire at Route 11, Shippensburg R. D. 1, near Foltz’s Service Station. A fire that was caused by a faulty chimney damaged a wall in an occupied 2-½ story home. Firefighters were on the scene two and a half hours. A damage estimate was not available. The Vigilant’s Stations 1 & 2 and the West End Fire and Rescue Companies answered the alarm.

At 4:11 p.m. the Vigilant Hose and West End Fire and Rescue companies responded to a mountain fire at Shippensburg R.D. 2 near the Walnut Dale Speedway. The CV ambulance also answered one call for the day.


December 5, 2004 Jackson Gerhart, 65, died of his injuries at 5:17 p.m. at York Hospital. Jackson was injured on November 30 while helping the Chambersburg Fire Department at the scene of a house fire. Jackson was surrounded by his family and friends in his final hours.

Jackson had dedicated his life to the fire service having started his career as a volunteer with the Junior Hook and Ladder Company in Chambersburg. Jack was employed by the Chambersburg Fire Department for about two years before being hired in Washington, D.C. as a fireman where he worked for 32 years (most as the driver on 17 engine) before retiring in 1994. While in D.C. Jack was the secretary of IAFF Local 36 for 17 years.

While living in Maryland Jack was active with the Mt. Rainier Volunteer Fire Department and the Hyattsville Volunteer Fire Department serving as Assistant Chief and Deputy Fire Chief. After retirement Jackson returned to Shippensburg where he was an active volunteer with the West End Fire and Rescue Company and the Cumberland Valley Hose Company.

Jackson was a member of many other volunteer fire companies in the area including a life member of the Fayetteville, Pleasant Hall, Metal Township, West End Fire and Rescue and New Franklin Volunteer Fire Companies.

Jackson had a major impact on the careers of many young firefighters in the area, assisting them in getting career jobs and mentoring. Jack loved to help people and assisted numerous fire companies in getting started or anything else they needed. He was also very active in his church and delivered meals on wheels.

Jackson was well known for his large collection of fire toys. He loved photographing fire apparatus and assisted in numerous publications and books.

This is a post that is made every year and I will continue to do so as long as I publish the blog. I miss you Jack, you were a great friend.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Mid Day Fire Displaces Family

On December 3, 2004 at 12:30 p.m. Cumberland County 911 alerted firefighters to a mobile home fire at 217 Neil Road, Southampton Cumberland. An accidental fire possible started by a ceiling light/fan destroyed a mobile home displacing a family of six. Firefighter from four companies had the fire under control quickly and remained on the scene about 1-½ hours. A damage estimate was not available. The Vigilant Hose, Cumberland Valley Hose, West End Fire and Rescue and South Newton Twp. fire companies operated at the scene. Later in the evening all three Shippensburg Fire companies answered a furnace malfunction at 4386 Orrstown Road.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Township House Destroyed


On December 2, 1988 at 8:24 a.m. firefighters responded to a house fire on the Walnut Bottom Road (just past Leesburg), Southampton Township. A fire that originated in a faulty pipe to a wood stove destroyed an occupied 2-½-story brick and frame house. Approximately 40 firefighters from six fire companies had the blaze under control in 20 minutes and remained on the scene until 11:00 a.m. One firefighter was injured. A damage estimate was not available. The Vigilant Hose, Cumberland Valley Hose, West End Fire and Rescue, South Newton Twp., Penn Twp. and Pleasant Hall fire companies battled the blaze.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Fire Destroys Downtown Shed

On December 1, 1962 at 7:00 a.m. firemen responded to Box 222, 44-50 West King Street (now the post office) for a shed fire. A fire of undetermined origin completely destroyed a shed and its contents. Before being extinguished by firemen it badly scorched the outside of a garage at 52 W. King Street. A damage estimate was not available. The Vigilant Hose, Cumberland Valley Hose and West End Fire and Rescue companies answered the alarm. Firemen no sooner went in quarters when they responded to a furniture van fire at South Earl Street extended. The Cumberland Valley Community ambulance also made two runs for the day.

Monday, November 30, 2009

Fire Damages National Distributing Co.

On November 30, 1997 at 1:00 p.m. Franklin County 911 alerted units to a building fire at 39 N. Third Street, Chambersburg, National Distributing Co. Inc. An accidental fire caused heavy damage to a first floor garage area and smoke damage to the second and third floors of the three-story brick building. A damage estimate was not available. The Chambersburg Fire Department, Franklin’s and West End Fire and Rescue Company operated at the scene, the local papers did not give a listing of responding companies so some may have been missed.

On November 30, 2004 Jackson Gerhart a retired fireman from the Washington D.C. fire department and a Shippensburg volunteer was severely injured when he apparently fell from the rear of an engine and struck his head while attempting to lay a supply line on a house fire. Jack was flown to York hospital in serious condition. The alarm was turned in at 1006 hours for 541 E. Washington Street and gutted a second floor bedroom causing $10,000 in damages. This has been a post the last three years and will continue to be posted as long as this blog is active.


Sunday, November 29, 2009

1998 Incidents

The only major incidents to occur on this date were in 1960 and 1923 with those posted the past two years once again it leaves me looking for a post. Eventually I will get back to entering in the database so I will have Cumberland and Franklin fire company histories and detailed accounts of Shippensburg fire apparatus, but until then this is what you get.

On November 29, 1998 at 1:32 p.m. WEFR, Vigilant’s and CV EMS responded to a motorcycle accident at the intersection of Prince and Fort Streets. At 6:58 p.m. the Vigilant’s answered a call for a natural cover fire at 239 Walnut Dale Road.

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Building Fire Brings Firefighters From Two Counties

On November 28, 2000 at 4:27 p.m. firefighters were sent to Route 233, southwest Madison Township, Perry County at Bishop Lumber for a building fire. A large fire ripped through a 100 by 30 foot building used for storage causing $75,000 in damage. A cause of the fire is not known. Four firefighters were injured battling the blaze. The Landisburg, Shermans Dale, New Bloomfield, Ickesburg, Newville, North Middleton, Bloserville, Vigilant Hose, Cumberland Valley Hose and West End Fire and Rescue companies battled the blaze. The articles were sketchy on the Shippensburg companies that responded.

Friday, November 27, 2009

Cracked Flue Causes Fire

On November 27, 1982 at 2:30 p.m. a 51 box was alerted for a house fire on the Ridge Road, Hopewell Township. A cracked flue started a fire that caused $3,000 damage to an occupied 2-½-story frame house. Most of the fire damage was contained to the voids. Firefighters from six companies had the blaze under control in 30 minutes and remained on the scene for three hours. The Newburg, South Newton, Newville, Vigilant Hose and Cumberland Valley Hose companies operated at the scene.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Fireman Overcome At Earl Street Fire

On November 26, 1931 at 2:00 p.m. Shippensburg firemen were alerted to a building fire on North Earl Street. A blaze that began in a furnace room caused $1,000 damage to a 2-story frame structure occupied by a restaurant and residence. One fireman Paul Snoke, was overcome by smoke and carried to an adjoining roof. Firemen administered first aid to him and after sometime were able to revive him at the scene. The Vigilant Hose and Cumberland Valley Hose companies answered the alarm.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Barn Destroyed In Metal Twp.

On November 25, 2004 (Thanksgiving Day) at 12:16 p.m. firefighters were alerted to a barn fire at 1747 Creek Road, Metal Township box 21-01. A fire of undetermined origin destroyed the barn and milking equipment. Firefighter from 10 companies battled the blaze for nearly three hours. A damage estimate was not available. The Metal Twp., Fannett-Metal, St. Thomas, Pleasant Hall, Mercersburg, McConnellsburg, Shade Gap, Hustontown, West End Fire and Rescue and Cumberland Valley Hose companies operated at the scene. The Vigilant Hose Company transferred to Pleasant Hall during the incident.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Vigilant’s Extinguish Rural Fire Friday PM

On this day the only major incident to occur was in 2006, so I had to dig something else up. This incident occurred in 1950 and is reprinted here exactly as it appeared in The News Chronicle.

The Vigilant’s extinguished a chimney fire at the home of Raymond Rebuck Jr., Newburg R. R., Friday evening (November 24, 1950). Firemen said that a tin roof prevented the fire from causing real damage before they arrived on the scene. The fire broke out early Friday evening before the rains and winds started.

Monday, November 23, 2009

Train Starts House Fire

On November 23, 1922 at 2:30 p.m. firemen responded to a house fire at 109 South Earl Street. A spark from a passing train started a fire that destroyed a roof. A damage estimate was not available. The Vigilant Hose and Cumberland Valley Hose companies answered the alarm and extinguished the blaze with chemical lines.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Our Fire Apparatus

The previous two years I posted incidents that occurred in 1972 and 2006, with no more to report on this date the following article appeared in The Shippensburg News on Saturday November 21, 1874.

Our Fire Apparatus

OUR FIRE APPARATUS-The authorities this week had the fire apparatus entirely overhauled, and placed in complete repair. The fire engines have been thoroughly cleaned, and the pumps and suctions placed in the best possible working condition, by J. P. Matthews, a proficient in hydraulic mechanism. Both engines, since repaired, have been tried, and throw water in the most admirable and satisfactory manner. The hose belonging to both engines have been cleaned and well oiled, and are accordingly in the best possible condition. Should a fire occur, no blame can now be attached to the authorities for not having the apparatus in proper order for its extinguishment.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Greene Twp. House Burns

On November 21, 2006 at 7:22 p.m. Franklin County 911 alerted firefighters to a house fire at 5732 Elser Drive, Greene Township. An electrical problem sparked a fire that gutted a bedroom and displaced a family of five. Firefighter from six companies had the blaze under control in 10 minutes and remained on the scene for one and a half hours. A damage estimate was not available. The Vigilant Hose, Cumberland Valley Hose, West End Fire and Rescue, Pleasant Hall, Letterkenny and Franklin fire companies operated at the scene.

Friday, November 20, 2009

Firemen Called

What the heck while I am on a roll using 1939’s minor incidents as space fillers on days when I am out of major incidents I might as well use it again today. The only major incident to occur on this date was in 1951. This incident is reprinted entirely as it appeared in The News Chronicle on Tuesday November 21, 1939.

Firemen of the Vigilant Hose Company answered two calls to a chimney fire at 201-03 High Street between 11 and 11:30 Monday morning (November 20, 1939). There was no damage to the building, which is a double wide house occupied by Had Marpoe and C. W. Willhide.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Furnace Malfunction Causes PennTwp. House Fire

On November 19, 1998 at 6:08 p.m. firefighters responded to 80 Farm Road, Penn Township for a house fire. A furnace malfunction started a fire in an occupied 2-½-story brick farmhouse. The basement and first floor suffered heavy fire damage. Firefighters had the blaze under control in 20 minutes and were on the scene for three hours. A damage estimate was not available. The Penn Twp., South Newton Twp., Newville, West Pennsboro, South Middelton and Cumberland Valley Hose companies battled the blaze. Earlier in the day the Vigilant’s answered an auto fire on the Interstate and later in the evening the Vigilant’s answered a wild fire in South Newton Twp.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Select Frohn Assistant Fire Chief In Boro

The only major incidents to occur on this day were in 1980 and 2006, with those posted the previous two years this article was ran in the Tuesday November 22, 1949 edition of The News Chronicle and is for the Vigilant’s meeting that occurred on this date November 18, 1949.

Select Frohn Assistant Fire Chief In Boro

Vigilant’s Select Slate Of Nominees for Fire Company Posts

Elect in December

John Frohm was the unanimous choice of the Vigilant Hose Company Friday night to serve as assistant borough chief for the next two years.

The Vigilant members selected Frohm and a list of nominees for company office at a meeting held Friday evening in the municipal building. The company will hold its election at the Dec. 2 meeting.

List Nominees
The candidates for office nominated Friday evening are as follows:

President-M. Garfield Barbour, J. William Barbour; vice president, Arthur Commerer, Glenn Bitner; secretary, Charles Mour, Charles Cover; assistant secretary, Charles Helm, Galen Rhone; treasurer, Elmer Flemming; financial secretary, Charles Mastalski; chaplain, the Rev. Paul Horn.

Rural fire chief, M. Garfield Barbour, Glenn Bitner; assistant rural fire chief, Charles Mour; assistant borough fire chief, John Frohm; chief engineer, Walter Dubbs, Glenn Bitner.

Trustee, Sam Garrett, Charles Helm; delegates to the Cumberland County Firemen’s association, Harold Holtry, Harold Funston; alternates, Tom Murray, Charles Cover; delegate to state association, Charles Helm; alternate, Charles Mastalski; chief director, Galen Rhone, Sam Garrett; assistant chief director, Charles Helm, Tom Murray; representatives to the Shippensburg Relief association, M. Garfield Barbour, Lester Angle.

Alternate Selections
Mr. Frohm has served as borough fire chief for the last two years under the borough plan whereby the Vigilant’s and the CV Hose Company alternate every two years in selecting the borough chief. The CV has named Ted Hockersmith as the new borough fire chief for the next two years.

The members voted to purchase a $5 Christmas TB bond, and okayed buying 12 firemen’s coats from D. Edwin Hamilton store.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Amish Store Burns In Lurgan Twp.

On November 17, 2002 at 10:11 p.m. firefighters were sent to 6352 McClays Mill Road for a building fire. A fire of undetermined origin completely destroyed a 2-story block and frame Amish store (Rachel’s Country Store). When the first units arrived the building was well involved and a defensive attack was made along with protecting the exposures. Two firefighters suffered minor injuries battling the blaze. A house suffered melted siding from the radiant heat. A damage estimate was not available. The Vigilant Hose, Cumberland Valley Hose, West End Fire and Rescue, Newburg, Pleasant Hall, South Newton, Fannett-Metal, Letterkenny and Franklin County Air Wagon answered the alarm.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Afternoon Blaze Destroys Borough Shed

On November 16, 1972 at 4:40 p.m. firemen were dispatched to a shed fire at 38 N. Earl Street. An arson fire destroyed a one-story frame shed and its contents. Three juveniles admitted to setting the fire. Firefighters were on the scene 45 minutes. WEFR fireman Budd Montague was treated at the scene for smoke inhalation. A damage estimate was not available. The Vigilant Hose, Cumberland Valley Hose and West End Fire and Rescue companies battled the blaze. Later in the evening WEFR firemen answered a house fire in Stringtown and the Cumberland Valley ambulance made two runs during the day.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Called To Chimney Fire

Today I had the same problem as I had three days ago, the only major incident on this date occurred in 2004. Like Thursday this article is reprinted entirely as it appeared in The News Chronicle.

Vigilant firemen were called to a chimney fire at the Paul Flora home, 28 South Washington Street at 7:15 o’clock Wednesday evening (November 15, 1939). There was slight damage to the house. The house is owned by Mrs. George McCalb of Queen Street.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Barn Burns In Borough

On November 14, 1866 time and exact location unknown, fire destroyed Robert B. McClure’s barn. An arson fire destroyed a barn and its contents. Two young boys were arrested the same day for the crime. A damage estimate was not available. The Vigilant Fire and Cumberland Valley Fire companies answered the alarm.

Friday, November 13, 2009

Garage Burns In Newburg

On November 13, 1990 at 5:19 p.m. firefighters responded to a garage fire at 103 N. High Street, Newburg. A spark from a burn barrel started a fire that heavily damaged a shed and one car garage. Damages were estimated at $6,000. Firefighters from Newburg, Vigilant Hose and West End Fire and Rescue companies operated at the scene.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Called Twice To Fire

With only one major incident occurring on this day (1893) I was grasping at straws for a post, and here is the one I pulled.

The Vigilant Hose Company made two runs Sunday morning (November 12, 1939) to Lees Cross Roads to put out a chimney fire at the home of Jay Stine. The first alarm was sounded at 8:30. At 10:45 the chimney began burning again and firemen returned. The house is owned by Jerry Myers.


The following incident was reprinted here exactly as it appeared in The Shippensburg News on Tuesday November 14, 1939.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Barn Destroyed On Ritner Highway

On November 11, 1944 at 4:30 p.m. firemen responded to the Ritner Highway for a barn fire. A fire of undetermined origin destroyed a barn, wagon shed, hog pen and chicken coop. Lost in the fire were three horses, 14 hogs, one steer, one bull, one heifer, grain and machinery. A damage estimate was not available. The Vigilant Hose Company battled the blaze.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

House Burns In Stoughstown

On November 10, 1949 at 1:40 p.m. firemen raced to Stoughstown on the Ritner Highway for a house fire. An oil stove exploded causing a fire that destroyed an occupied 2-½-story frame house. Some of the families’ possessions were saved but the house was a total loss. Damages were estimated at $5,000. The Vigilant Hose Company, Letterkenny and Friendship’s of Newville battled the blaze. Earlier in the morning both Shippensburg fire companies responded to 117 South Penn Street for a fire that was quickly extinguished.

Monday, November 9, 2009

Candy Store Burns On Railroad Street

On November 9, 1886 at 1:30 a.m. an alarm of fire was reported for South Railroad Street and Stumbaugh’s Alley at A. L. Ebersole’s candy factory and store. A blaze believed to be accidental destroyed a one-story frame 30 X 20 foot building. Firemen were on the scene quickly and the Cumberland Valley took the plug just opposite the burning building and the Vigilant’s attached to a plug at the intersection of Main and Railroad Streets. The building was already heavily involved by the time water was flowing so most of the attention was directed to the Shippensburg News building across the alley that had already caught fire numerous times. Once that building was safe both streams were directed towards the burning candy store. Damages were estimated at $1,900. The Vigilant Fire and Cumberland Valley Hose companies answered the alarm.

It was noted that this was the first opportunity to test the efficiency of the newly installed water works in town. All agreed that the test proved satisfactory. The fire was out within one half hour after the fire companies arrived. The article went on to say that the streams thrown were large, and shot from the nozzles with great force, showing a powerful pressure, and sufficient for the highest building in town. Upon seeing the flames turn to steam the spectators felt inclined to break out in applause.

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Borough House Damaged In Morning Blaze

On November 8, 1967 in the morning hours firemen responded to a house fire at 309-311 East King Street. A malfunctioning oil space heater caused a fire that gutted one side of an occupied 2-½-story brick duplex. The blaze began in the first floor of 311 and gutted the inside, 309 suffered smoke damage throughout. It took firefighters an hour to control the blaze. The Vigilant Hose, Cumberland Valley Hose and West End Fire and Rescue companies answered the alarm. Shippensburg firemen answered two other alarms for the day and the C.V.’s ambulance answered two calls also.

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Firemen Get $138,000

Only one major incident (1963) occurred on this date and that was posted the first two years ago. The following article is reprinted entirely as it appeared in The Shippensburg Chronicle on Thursday November 7, 1912.

Firemen Get $138,000

The distribution of $138,000 by the State Treasury to cities and boroughs for the relief of firemen injured or made sick while on duty has recently been made. This money comes from insurance taxes and over 500 warrants were issued.

Cumberland County—Camp Hill, $8.89; Carlisle, $254.03; Lemoyne, $13.59; Mechanicsburg, $99.93; Mount Holly, $5.07; New Cumberland, $36.05; Newville, $9.56; Shippensburg, $50.75; Shiremanstown, $2.43; Wormleysburg, $3.81.


Harrisburg received $1,710.81, the largest in this section.

Friday, November 6, 2009

Shippensburg Township House Destroyed

On November 6, 1984 at 10:53 p.m. firefighters were dispatched to a house fire on the Britton Road in Shippensburg Township. An arson fire destroyed a vacant 2-½-story frame house. The house was located almost next to Burd’s Run stream; LDH was laid from the hydrant at the corner of Britton Rd. and Queen Street. Firefighters were on the scene two and a half hours. The Vigilant Hose, Cumberland Valley Hose, West End Fire and Rescue and South Newton Twp. fire companies answered the alarm.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Electric Blanket Starts Fire

On November 5, 1997 at 3:41 a.m. firefighters were dispatched to a mobile home fire at 18 Lenwood Park, Southampton Township Franklin County. A short in an electric blanket started a fire that did heavy damage to an occupied mobile home. One firefighter Ryan Gochenauer suffered second-degree burns to the ears, neck and shoulder and was treated at Chambersburg Hospital. A damage estimate was not available. The West End Fire and Rescue, Vigilant Hose and Cumberland Valley Hose companies answered the alarm.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Cumberland Valley Fire Company Changes Name

The only major incidents to occur on this day were in 1978 and 1926; those were posted the last two years. The following article is reprinted in its entirety from the Friday November 12, 1886 edition of The Shippensburg News (event would have taken place on November 8). With this being the 150TH anniversary year of the Cumberland Valley Hose Company it seemed a fitting entry for today.

The Cumberland Valley Fire Company, at its last meeting, adopted a revised Constitution and By-Laws, and among other changes was that of the title of the company, which will be known hereafter as the “Cumberland Valley Hose Company.” The company, on Monday evening, at seven o’clock, assembled for the purpose of having a run and testing the fire plugs. The first run was to the plug at the terminal of Main Street on the south, a distance of four squares or more. They made several other tests of speed and made attachments in very good time. The Cumberland boys, with this little experience, never imagined that in a few hours they would be called upon to put in practice the knowledge they were then acquiring. The candy store was burned early Tuesday morning.


The candy store fire will be posted on Monday November 9.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

House And Cars Destroyed In Fire


On November 3, 2003 at 8:55 a.m. Franklin County 911 alerted firefighters to a house fire at 7228 Lincoln Way East, Greene Township. A fire of undetermined origin destroyed a house, two cars and a boat. One firefighter was injured and transported to Chambersburg Hospital. Firefighters from eight companies and 18 pieces of fire apparatus battled the two-alarm blaze for 45 minutes before bringing it under control. Damages were estimated at $150,000. The Fayetteville, Mont Alto, Marion, South Mountain, New Franklin, Franklin County Air 10, Franklin’s, Vigilant Hose and West End Fire and Rescue companies operated at the scene.

Later in the evening all three Shippensburg fire companies assisted numerous other companies on an odor investigation at Thompson Institute on Philadelphia Avenue.

Monday, November 2, 2009

Chambersburg Tidbits

The previous two years I posted incidents that occurred in 1973 and 1935, with no more to report on this date the following article appeared in The Shippensburg News on Saturday November 3, 1877.

Chambersburg Tidbits

--A new hose company in Chambersburg has adopted the name “Cumberland Valley,” and the hook and ladder truck is named “Vigilant.” We next expect to hear of some of these firemen pilfering the names of our young ladies.

--Chambersburg has five hose, one hook and ladder, and one steam engine company-seven in all.

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Mobile Home Destroyed In Adams County

On November 1, 1990 at 10:26 p.m. firefighters responded to a mobile home fire at 263M Shippensburg Road, Adams County. A fire caused by heating tape on pipes destroyed an occupied mobile home. A damage estimate was not available. The Vigilant Hose, Arendtsville and West End Fire and Rescue companies assisted at the scene.

Saturday, October 31, 2009

Mainsville Area House Burns

On October 31, 1950 in the morning hour’s firemen were alerted to a house fire, one mile south of Mainsville. A fire of undetermined origin completely destroyed an occupied 2-½-story frame house and all its contents. A damage estimate was not available. The Vigilant Hose Company answered the alarm.

Friday, October 30, 2009

Fire Truck Driver Shot By Deranged Man

The previous two years I posted incidents that occurred in 1954 and 1928, with no more to report on this date the following was taken from numerous articles to appear in The Public Opinion on October 31, 1939, November 1,2,3,4 and 6, 1939 and The News Chronicle November 3 and 7, 1939.

Fire Truck Driver Shot By Deranged Man

On Tuesday October 31, 1939 Elmer Heller of West Liberty Street, Chambersburg threatened to kill his father in is home, leaving the home he then threatened to shoot a taxi cab driver before arriving at the Good Will firehouse. Upon entering the station he confronted engine driver Russell Kyle, 49 before shooting him in the upper thigh with a .38-55 caliber rifle. Upon hearing the shot three men upstairs playing cards came to the aid of the apparatus driver, disarming the man and holding him down until police arrived. The man was said to be acting strange and mentally disturbed for the last five days. Driver Kyle was taken to Chambersburg Hospital by the Good Will ambulance and Heller was transported to the county jail. At the jail he said he resented taunts he believed he was subjected to at the firehouse.

On November 1 at 8:45 a.m. Heller was removed from his cell and taken to Chambersburg Hospital after jail turnkey Bert Gerbig found Heller laying in his bed almost completely enveloped in flames from a burning mattress. His condition was said to be serious. Later in the day Heller was transferred to the Harrisburg State Hospital by the Good Will ambulance.

On November 2 at approximately 1:30 p.m. Heller died from his injuries in the State Hospital. In Chambersburg Hospital surgeons had to amputate the left leg of apparatus driver Kyle to prevent the spread of infection. At 7:30 p.m. Kyle died from his injuries in the hospital. A member of the company since 1907 Kyle served in World War I and became the regular driver shortly after returning from France. Kyle drove the horse drawn hose wagon before moving to the steamer and then in 1921 he began driving the motorized engine and ambulance. Mr. Kyle was survived by his widow, four daughters and a grandchild.


An inquest was held on November 6 to hear the facts surrounding the incident. It was mentioned then that Heller had been a member of the company but that no one knew of any problems between him and Kyle.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Borough Garage Damaged In Accidental Fire

On October 29, 1992 at 11:59 p.m. firefighters were dispatched to a structure fire at 223 E. King Street. Sparks from a welder’s torch started a fire that caused extensive damage to a 2-½-story frame garage. The first floor was gutted with extension to the second floor. Destroyed in the building were a motorcycle, truck and auto parts. Firefighters had the blaze under control in 30 minutes and remained on the scene one and a half hours. Damages were estimated at $16,000. The Vigilant Hose, Cumberland Valley Hose and West End Fire and Rescue companies answered the alarm.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Early Morning Fire Destroys Barn

On October 27, 1930 at 3:30 a.m. firemen responded to a barn fire near Cherry Grove School about three miles south of town. A fire of undetermined origin destroyed a large barn and its contents. The owner was able to free the livestock before firemen arrived but a large amount of hay, straw, fodder and machinery were destroyed. Damages were estimated at $3,000. The Cumberland Valley Hose Company extinguished the blaze.

Monday, October 26, 2009

Fire Damages Stable At The Sherman House

On October 26, 1910 at 10:30 p.m. the firehall bells rang out an alarm of fire for the James A. Sharp’s Livery stable adjacent the Sherman House. A fire of undetermined origin started in a corncrib next to the stable and extended to the roof of the stable by the time firemen arrived. Firemen had the blaze under control in a few minutes. A damage estimate was not available. The Vigilant Hose and Cumberland Valley Hose companies answered the alarm.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Civilian Injured In Apartment Fire

On October 25, 1950 at 6:15 a.m. fireman responded to a building fire on East King Street at the Viener apartment building. An oil stove exploded in a three-room apartment destroying the kitchen. One civilian was treated for smoke inhalation. A damage estimate was not available. The blaze was extinguished with a chemical line. The Vigilant Hose and Cumberland Valley Hose companies answered the alarm.

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Family Of 7 Homeless After Fire

On October 24, 2003 at 8:31 p.m. firefighters were alerted to a house fire at 6490 Rock Hill Road, Quincy Township. An accidental fire caused heavy damage to a 2-1/2-story frame house displacing a family of seven. Firefighter from 12 companies operated at the scene for four and a half hours. A damage estimate was not available. Firefighters from New Franklin, Mont Alto, Waynesboro, Blue Ridge Summit, Fayetteville, Marion, Greencastle, Franklins, Letterkenny, Vigilant Hose and additional tankers from Adams and Washington counties answered the alarm. All three Shippensburg fire companies along with other units responded to Box 15-1, 127 Meadow Drive, Roxbury Ridge apartments at 4:32 p.m. for a smoldering fire in a second floor bedroom.

Friday, October 23, 2009

Hopewell Township Home Destroyed

On October 23, 1980 at 4:30 p.m. Cumberland County communications dispatched units to a house fire on the Three Square Hollow Road, Hopewell Township. An overheated wood stove caused a fire that destroyed an occupied 1-½ story frame house. It took firefighters 10 minutes to control the blaze and they remained on the scene until 7:30 p.m. Damages were estimated at $5,000. The Newburg-Hopewell, Newville and Vigilant Hose companies extinguished the fire.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Wood Stove Causes House Fire

On October 21, 2006 at 4:00 p.m. firefighters responded to a house fire on Route 233, Southwest Madison Township, Landisburg, Perry County. A faulty wood stove sparked a fire that destroyed a double wide modular home. About 40 firefighters from eight companies had the blaze under control in 40 minutes. A damage estimate was not available. The Blain, New Bloomfield, Ickesburg, Upper Frankford, Newville, North Middleton Twp. and Cumberland Valley Hose companies operated at the scene.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Two Killed, One Pinned In Auto Accident


On October 20, 2003 at 1:01 p.m. firefighters were dispatched to Interstate 81 North bound just south of Exit 29 in Southampton Cumberland for an auto accident with entrapment. For unknown reasons a car crossed the median and collided with a tractor-trailer, the car was torn apart and despite wearing seat belts both occupants were ejected from the car and killed. The tractor-trailer jackknifed and came to rest on top of another car trapping the driver and his cat. Crews remained on the scene until after 4 p.m. The Vigilant Hose and West End Fire and Rescue companies operated at the scene.

Monday, October 19, 2009

East Penn Street House Destroyed

On October 19, 1875 at 11:15 p.m. the town citizens were aroused by the cry of “fire”. It was soon learned that the location was on North Prince Street in Shippensburg Township for a house fire. A fire of undetermined origin (believed accidental) completely destroyed a large brick house and everything inside. The house was to be rather large with wings and gables and located on a commanding elevation. Firefighters had trouble battling the blaze because of a lack of water. Damages were estimated at $12,000. The Vigilant and Cumberland Valley Fire companies answered the alarm.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Garage Destroyed On East King Street

On October 18, 1939 in the afternoon hours firemen were set to the rear of the Viener building, East King Street for a fire. A fire of undetermined origin destroyed a frame shed and garage. The garage was empty at the time and the shed contained some rubbish. Damages were estimated at a few hundred dollars. The Cumberland Valley Hose Company extinguished the fire. It is hard to believe the Vigilant Hose Company would not have responded to the incident but the article only mentioned the C.V.’s.

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Vigilant's Elect Two Women Members

On October 17, 1977 at the Vigilant Hose Company’s regular monthly meeting two females were accepted into the company for the first time. Dolores Myers was accepted as an active member and Doris Wik, honorary. Two more women applied for membership at the same meeting.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Fire Prevention Past...

I am out of major incidents for the day, the last two years I posted calls from 2006 and 2000. This photograph appeared in The News Chronicle on October 14, 1975. Don't forget to click the photo to make it larger.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Late Night Fire Destroys Cabin

On October 14, 2004 at 11:58 p.m. firefighters responded to a cabin fire at 1900 Stillhouse Hollow Road, Greene Township. A fire of undetermined origin destroyed a 2-story frame-hunting cabin. Firefighter from five companies battled the blaze and remained on the scene until 2:30 a.m. A damage estimate was not available. The West End Fire and Rescue, Cumberland Valley Hose, Fayetteville, Franklin’s and Letterkenny fire companies operated at the scene.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Arson Fire Destroys Home

On October 13, 1979 at 3:21 p.m. firefighters were sent to 1343 Mainsville Road for a house fire with reported entrapment. An arson fire destroyed an occupied mobile home with several additions built on displacing a family of six. The male occupant in a dispute with his wife went through the home destroying items and knocking things over, while doing so he knocked over the wood stove starting the blaze. He left the mobile home and was found later in the fields to the rear of the residence. A family dog perished in the blaze. Damages were estimated at $25,000. The Vigilant Hose, Cumberland Valley Hose, West End Fire and Rescue and Fayetteville fire companies battled the blaze.

Monday, October 12, 2009

Borough House Damaged By Fire

On October 12, 1982 at 8:48 p.m. firefighters were dispatched to 218 West King Street for a house fire. A fire believed to have been caused by a defective flue caused heavy damage to an occupied 2-½-story frame dwelling. Most of the fire was confined to the east wall on the first and second floors and the floor in the second floor. The second floor also sustained heavy heat damage. Firefighters had the blaze under control in 30 minutes and remained on the scene two and a half hours. Damages were estimated at $10,000. The Vigilant Hose, Cumberland Valley Hose and West End Fire and Rescue companies battled the blaze.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Fire Police Unit Reorganized

On October 11, 1940 the Shippensburg Fire Police held a reorganization meeting in the Vigilant Hose Company rooms. Officers were elected and by-laws for the organization were drawn up. The organization was comprised of 10 men from each of the two fire companies. Meetings were to be held the first Monday of every month. Elmer Fleming, Sr. was elected president. A seven-man advisory board was also named consisting of the borough Burgess, chief of police, borough chief and assistant chief, presidents of each of the two companies and the Fire Police secretary/treasurer.

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Mobile Home Burns Second Time

On October 10, 1983 at 8:32 p.m. firefighters were sent to 14 Wyrick Avenue, Shippensburg Township for a mobile home fire. Firefighter arrived to find a fire in the same mobile home they extinguished on October 8TH. This incident was determined to be arson just like the first. Firefighters operated at the scene for over 90 minutes. The Vigilant Hose, Cumberland Valley Hose and West End Fire and Rescue companies answered the alarm.

Today marks the second anniversary of this blog, with today’s post I am starting the third round of fire alarms to occur on this day in history. With that being said it will become more difficult to find incidents to report on some days. I want to thank everyone that makes this a regular stop each day.

Friday, October 9, 2009

Auto Accident Kills Two

On October 9, 1996 at 12:37 p.m. a rescue local was sent to Rt. 174 near Exit 10 for an auto accident. Two vehicles were involved in a head on collision killing both drivers. The drivers of each vehicle had to be extricated by the fire department. Firefighters had the extrication completed in 30 minutes. The Vigilant Hose and West End Fire and Rescue companies worked the incident.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Mobile Home Destroyed

On October 8, 1983 at 1:48 p.m. firefighters were dispatched to 14 Wyrick Avenue, Shippensburg Township for a mobile home fire. A fire of undetermined origin destroyed an unoccupied mobile home. Firefighters had the blaze under control in 15 minutes and remained on the scene for over one hour. A damage estimate was not available. The Vigilant Hose, Cumberland Valley Hose and West End Fire and Rescue companies answered the alarm.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Multiple Buildings Destroyed In Upper Strasburg

On October 7, 1963 at 3:27 p.m. firemen were alerted to a building fire in Upper Strasburg. A fire of undetermined origin destroyed a 12-room farmhouse leaving two families homeless. A barn and wagon shed were also destroyed. Lost in the barn were two head of cattle, two hogs, 6,000 bales of hay and farm equipment. It took firefighters from five companies three hours to control the blaze. Most firemen left the scene by 8 p.m. but the Pleasant Hall boys remained overnight. Damages were estimated at $45,000. Firemen from Pleasant Hall, Vigilant Hose, Franklins, Fayetteville and Letterkenny responded to the scene.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Fire Destroys Home, Injures Civilian

On October 6, 1985 at 10:54 p.m. firefighters responded to Hershey Road for a mobile home fire. A fire of undetermined origin destroyed an occupied 12 X 65 foot mobile home. Firefighters had the blaze under control in 13 minutes. One male occupant was treated for smoke inhalation. A damage estimate was not available. The Vigilant Hose, Cumberland Valley Hose, West End Fire and Rescue and South Newton Township Fire companies answered the alarm.

Monday, October 5, 2009

Seven Left Homeless In Fire

On October 5, 1944 at 4:00 a.m. firemen responded to the Roxbury Road near Mongul for a house fire. A fire of undetermined origin completely destroyed an occupied 2-story log and brick house. Because of a lack of water firemen were unable to save the house but were able to protect the barn and out buildings. Seven people were displaced. Damages were estimated at $5,000. The Vigilant Hose Company extinguished the blaze.

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Newville Home Burns

On October 4, 1980 in the afternoon hours firefighters responded to 3 Cedar Street Newville for a house fire. Fire completely destroyed an occupied 2-½-story frame house. An improperly installed wood stove caused the fire. One firefighter was injured. Damages were estimated at $20,000. The Friendships (Newville), Upper Frankford, Penn Twp. and Cumberland Valley Hose companies operated at the scene. The Vigilant’s and C.V.’s also responded to an auto accident on Earl Street by the college at 6:25 p.m.

Saturday, October 3, 2009

North Fayette Street Home Burns

On October 3, 1997 at 2:35 p.m., Cumberland County Headquarters alerted Task Force 4 to a house fire at 215 North Fayette Street. An electrical short in a garage caused heavy fire damage to the garage and attic of an occupied 1-½ story frame house and minor damage to the living area of the home. A damage estimate was not available. The Vigilant Hose, Cumberland Valley Hose and West End Fire and Rescue companies answered the alarm.

Thursday, October 1, 2009

House Damaged In Blaze

On October 1, 1975 at 8:33 a.m. Pleasant Hall. A malfunctioning heating unit started a fire that caused $4,000 damage to an occupied 1-½ story frame dwelling. The home is owned by Ross Faust and rented to Richard White. The blaze started in the basement and spread thru the voids to the attic. The fire was confined to the walls and attic. Firefighters were on the scene one and a half hours. The Pleasant Hall, Franklins and West End Fire and Rescue companies operated at the scene. The Cumberland Valley Community ambulance answered two calls for the day.

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Barn And Shed Destroyed In Afternoon Fire

On September 30, 1967 in the afternoon hours, firemen responded to the Frank Novotny farm, Shippensburg R. D. 2 for a building fire. A fire of undetermined origin destroyed a barn and shed. Radiant heat from the fire cracked windows in the house. A damage estimate was not available. Firemen remained on the scene over five hours. Units returned to the scene at 10:30 p.m. for a rekindle. The Vigilant Hose Company station 1 and 2, West End Fire and Rescue, Fayetteville and Newburg-Hopewell fire companies answered the alarm. The Cumberland Valley Community ambulance answered one call for the day.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Ambulance Overturns Responding To Call

On September 29, 1985 at 1:31 p.m. while responding to an injured person at Valley Quarries the C. V. Hose Co. ambulance (153) was struck broadside causing it to roll on its side at King and Prince Streets. The ambulance was driven by Gary “Plummer” Rotz when a car pulled from the intersection striking the ambulance in the side causing it to flip on its side striking another car. No one was injured. The call at Valley Quarries was a suicide; a man jumped 60 feet into the pit. The Vigilant Hose Company stood by at the accident scene.

Monday, September 28, 2009

S.G. Breckenridge Elected Borough Chief

On September 28, 1894 a joint committee of the two Hose Companies met and elected S. G. Breckenridge, of the C. V. Hose Co., Chief, and Charles Fridinger, of the Vigilant Hose Co., assistant borough Chief.

Someone asked once before if I have a list of Fire Marshalls and Chiefs in the borough of Shippensburg. That would be a yes and no, the information is in over 100 books I just need to take the time to dig them out and put them in one data base.

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Juniata Tire Recycler Burns

On September 27, 1996 at about 6 a.m. Juniata County 911 sent firefighters to Mahantango Industries a tire recycling plant for a fire. First arriving firefighter found a building housing the business well involved and a 100 by 200 foot pile of tires involved. More than 20 fire companies from seven counties were called into fight the fire most of them sending tank trucks. An HIA rig was also sent to flow foam along with a hazardous materials team. The fire continues to burn overnight in 2 ½ acres of tires. The following day at approximately 9:35 p.m. the Vigilant Hose and South Newton Township fire companies sent tankers to the scene. A cause and damage estimate was not available.

Sorry for the run of calls in 1996 but I have to post what I have ready.

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Unattended Cooking Causes Fire

On September 26, 1996 at 7:44 a.m. Franklin County 911 alerted firefighters to a building fire at 1460 Lincoln Way East, cottage no. 3. An oven left on when the occupants went to work caused a fire that completely destroyed a 1-½ story house. Damages were estimated at $30,000. Firefighters had the blaze under control in 12 minutes and remained on the scene almost three hours. The Fayetteville, Franklin’s, New Franklin’s, Marion, St. Thomas and West End Fire and Rescue Company operated at the scene.

Friday, September 25, 2009

Oil Stove Explodes Causing Fire

On September 25, 1965 at 8:25 a.m. firemen were dispatched to two miles south of Shippensburg near the Mainsville Road for a house fire. An oil stove exploded destroying a 2-½ story occupied frame house. A family of seven was displaced. A damage estimate was not available. The Vigilant Hose and West End Fire and Rescue companies battled the blaze. Later in the day firemen responded to a car fire on East King Street and an oven fire on East King Street. The Cumberland Valley community ambulance also answered two calls during the day.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Small Fire At Store Causes Concern

On September 24, 1996 at 5:11 p.m. Franklin County 911 alerted units to a fire at the Franklin Feed and Supply Co., 1977 Philadelphia Avenue. A motor on an auger in the warehouse behind the store caught fire and created little damage but allot of smoke. Firefighter had to remain on the scene almost two hours because they were concerned from the fire would ignite the dust in the warehouse. The Franklin’s, Chambersburg, Pleasant Hall and West End Fire and Rescue companies answered the alarm.

The last two days were not major incidents but I needed something for a post. I have a few days throughout the year that no major incidents occurred and some days with as many as 20 major incidents. With the second anniversary of the blog approaching it will occur more often that I have no incidents to post but with winter coming hopefully I will have time to get more apparatus and other companies histories entered in the data base.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

26,000 Pounds Of Rubber Burn

On September 23, 1996 at 10:43 p.m. Chambersburg firefighters were dispatched to a box-trailer fire at Baker Rubber Inc., 810 Progress Road. According to Chief Baldwin tires were shredded in Toronto and packed in 2,200-pound bags. The heat generated from the shredding lingered and sparked the fire in the trailer. Between 12 and 16 bags of shredded tires burned. The blaze was under control in three hours. The West End Fire and Rescue Company assisted the Chambersburg firefighters at the scene.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Five Displaced In Mobile Home Fire

On September 22, 2005 at 3:26 a.m. firefighters responded to the first block of Gutshall Road for a mobile home fire. A family cat awoke a resident alerting her to the blaze in her mobile home. Fire destroyed the residence displacing a family of five. Three smoke detectors were located in the home all with dead batteries. Five fire companies battled the blaze for about 90 minutes. A damage estimate was not available. The Vigilant Hose, Cumberland Valley Hose, West End Fire and Rescue and Newburg-Hopewell and Penn Township fire companies operated at the scene. The Shippensburg fire companies answered at least three other alarms during the day including a working fire in Penn Township’s area.

Monday, September 21, 2009

Saddler Shop Damaged By Fire

On September 21, 1902 at 7:00 a.m. Bridges Building, West Main Street. A fire of unknown origin burnt stock in a saddler shop; smoke and water damaged the other goods. Damages were estimated at $800. The Cumberland Valley was on the scene quickly and played a steam of water in the room but had trouble locating the blaze because of the smoke. The Vigilant Hose and Cumberland Valley Hose companies answered the alarm.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

150 Firemen Battle Barn Fire

On September 20, 1974 at 1207 a.m. firemen responded to a barn fire at Culbertson R. D. 2. A fire of undetermined origin destroyed a L-shaped barn and its contents. Lost in the fire were a bull, three heifers, and one cow, 150 tons of hay, a hay baler, binder, corn picker and four wagons. Over 150 firefighters from eight companies battled the blaze. One firefighter was injured and transported to Chambersburg Hospital; five others were treated at the scene for smoke inhalation. Damages were estimated at between $100,000 and $150,000. The West End Fire and Rescue Company, Letterkenny, Pleasant Hall, Franklins, Newburg, Marion, Fayetteville and St. Thomas responded to the call. Firemen returned later in the day to extinguish a rekindle. During the day all three-borough companies responded to a fire alarm at SKF industries.

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Small Stable Burns

On September 19, 1933 at 11:00 p.m. firemen were sent to a stable fire near the Oak Grove schoolhouse. A small frame stable full of hay was destroyed in a fire of undetermined origin. A damage estimate was not available. The Vigilant Hose Company extinguished the blaze but not before the building was destroyed, they were able to protect the house just 50 feet away from the small barn.

Friday, September 18, 2009

Sawmill Burns In Upper Strasburg

On September 18, 1971 at 3:46 a.m. units were alerted to a sawmill fire in Upper Strasburg. A fire of undetermined origin destroyed a 100 X 30 foot sawmill operated by Garnet Rosenberry. Lost in the fire were 15 electric motors, saws and other equipment. The fire was declared out at 7 a.m. Damages were estimated at $50,000. The Pleasant Hall, West End Fire and Rescue, Franklins and Vigilant Hose Company operated at the scene.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

9,000 Peeps Killed In Fire

On September 17, 1993 at 11:00 p.m. firefighters responded to 2991 Keefer Road for a barn fire. A fire caused by a malfunctioning oil furnace destroyed a 200-foot chicken house and killed 9,000 peps. Water had to be shuttled to the scene from a hydrant at Lawyer and Edenville Roads. A damage estimate was not available. Twelve fire companies battled the blaze for hours. Units on the scene were from the Franklins, Fayetteville, Marion, Rescue Hose of Greencastle, Chambersburg, New Franklin, St. Thomas, Mont Alto, Letterkenny, Mercersburg, Franklin County Air Wagon and the Vigilant Hose. St. Thomas Township Co. 18 crashed their 1980 Ford engine enroute to the scene. The driver and passenger had to be cut from the cab. Both were treated and released at Chambersburg Hospital. The West End Fire and Rescue Company assisted at the scene of the accident after transferring to Station 4.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Fire Damages The Sherman Hotel

On September 16, 1870 at 4:00 a.m. firemen raced to the W. N. Shoop’s Drug Store (located in the Sherman Hotel building). An arson fire was contained to the basement under the drug store. The engineer of a passing freight train turned in the alarm after he spotted smoke. A damage estimate was not available. The Vigilant and Cumberland Valley Fire companies answered the alarm.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Two Houses Burn

On September 15, 1877 just before midnight an alarm of fire was sounded for North Queen Street, by the African American M. E. Church. Two occupied 2-story log houses were destroyed in a fire of unknown origin. The Vigilant’s button engine pumped water from Birds Run to the buildings. A damage estimate was not available although most of the furniture was removed before flames could destroy the houses. The Vigilant and Cumberland Valley Fire companies answered the alarm.

Monday, September 14, 2009

Richard Avenue Home Burns

On September 14, 2000 at 2:37 p.m. Cumberland County 911 sent units to 31 Richard Avenue, Shippensburg Township for a house fire. A short circuit in a stereo caused a fire that damaged a second floor bedroom in an occupied 2-½-story frame duplex. Firefighters were on the scene one hour. A damage estimate was not available. The Vigilant Hose, Cumberland Valley Hose and West End Fire and Rescue companies answered the alarm.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Wash House Gutted By Fire

On September 13, 1955 at 10:00 a.m. firemen raced to Newburg R. R. 1 for a wash house fire. An oil stove exploded setting fire to a wash house. The wash house was completely destroyed. A damage estimate was not available. The Vigilant Hose Company responded.

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Man Dies In Auto Accident

On September 12, 1970 at 9:45 p.m. firemen responded to an auto accident with fire and entrapment on East King street at the bottom of tollgate hill. A car being driven at a high rate of speed sideswiped a car before crashing into five parked cars and bursting into flames. One other car was destroyed by fire. The driver died at the scene. Cause of death was listed as suffocation and third degree burns. Damages were estimated at $8,165. The Vigilant Hose, Cumberland Valley Hose and West End Fire and Rescue companies responded. Also on this day the Vigilant’s and Newburg-Hopewell responded to a minor fire in a wagon shed on Newburg R. D. 1 at 2:45 p.m. An hour later the Vigilant’s, WEFR and Fayetteville extinguished a fire in a lower stable at a farm in Mainsville and at 10:13 p.m. the Vigilant and C. V.’s put out a minor shed fire on East Martin Avenue. The Cumberland Valley community ambulance also answered three calls for the day.

Friday, September 11, 2009

Shed Destroyed On Star Rout 1

On September 11, 1966 in evening hours firemen responded to a shed fire at Shippensburg Star Route 1. Fire destroyed a 9 X 12 foot shed and everything inside but firemen were able to prevent the fire from spreading to other nearby buildings. A damages estimate and cause were not available. The Vigilant Hose, Cumberland Valley Hose and West End Fire and Rescue companies battled the blaze. While firemen were battling the blaze the Cumberland Valley Hose Company also responded to a short circuit in an iron at 5 South Penn Street. At 10:30 a.m. the Vigilant’s and Cumberland Valley responded to a grass fire along the Reading Railroad tracks on the Baltimore Road and later in the afternoon answered another grass fire near Mountain View Estates on the Baltimore Road.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Apple Avenue House Burns

On September 10, 1949 at 7:00 a.m. firemen were sent to 131 Apple Avenue for a house fire. An overheated kitchen stove caused a fire that did heavy damage to a 2-½-story frame occupied dwelling. The fire extended to the outside wall and roof of the exposure building (another occupied house). Damages were estimated at $2,500. The Vigilant Hose and Cumberland Valley Hose companies answered the alarm.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Crash Involving Gasoline Tanker Kills 2

On September 9, 1972 at 10:40 a.m. firemen were sent to an auto accident at Lincoln Way West at West Point. A car pulled into the path of a H. J. Tanner gasoline tanker. Following the impact the tanker and its 2000 gallons of gasoline overturned and burst into flames. Both drivers were killed. Seven other cars were destroyed and four others damaged in the used car lot of Shively Motors. Firemen wearing proximity suits flowed water and foam on the fire and pumped off gasoline from the tanker to prevent additional fire and reduce the risk of explosion. Four firemen from the Juniors and Franklin's were injured. All five Chambersburg borough fire companies along with the Vigilant Hose Company assisted at the scene. The Cumberland Valley community ambulance answered two calls for the day.