Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Bus Crash Injures 18

On June 30, 1979 10:40 a.m. firefighters were dispatched to a bus crash on Pa. 641 in Roxbury. A church bus was traveling south on Pa 997 when the brakes failed at the intersection of Pa. 641 in Roxbury. The bus traveled across 641 into the graveyard and careened more that 40 feet down an embankment before coming to rest in the Conodoguinet Creek. A total of 18 people were injured, 15 teenagers and three adults. All were treated and released from Chambersburg Hospital except for one adult that was transported to Washington County Hospital in fair condition. Pleasant Hall fire chief Darrell Creamer was in charge of the scene and said that seven ambulances from Pleasant Hall, Letterkenny, Fayetteville, Cumberland Valley Hose and Fannett-Metal transported the patients. Creamer also reported that 50 firefighters were on the scene for nearly four hours working to remove victims, locating personnel belongings and helping to pull the bus from the creek. The companies responding were not listed in the articles but I have to believe that more than Pleasant Hal answered the rescue local. I remember the incident but not well enough to recall who responded.

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

An Alarm Of Fire

On this day June 29, 1914, reprinted here exactly as it appeared in The Shippensburg News.

An Alarm Of Fire
About 9 o'clock Monday morning, an alarm of fire was given, when fire was discovered in the third story of the McNulty building, on North Earl street. The house is occupied by Mrs. Emily C. Clever and Miss Rachel Vance. In a room on the third floor, which was used as a storage room, were some carpets, bedding's, unused furniture and so forth. Through some cause, these became ignited and smoke was seen issuing from the window. An alarm was given but before the fire department arrived, the fire was put out with very little damage done. The report that the fire started from a gasoline stove is not true, according to information handed us and the real origin of the same is a mystery.

Monday, June 28, 2010

A Midnight Fire

On June 28, 1925 at midnight an alarm of fire was sounded for a blaze in the office and coal sheds belonging to S. E. Kitzmiller lumber yard, to the rear of the Western Maryland Passenger station. The origin of the fire was unknown, the inside of the office and sheds were badly damaged. Local firemen quickly controlled the blaze and damages were estimated at $1,000. The Vigilant Hose and Cumberland Valley Hose companies answered the alarm.

Sunday, June 27, 2010

$30,000 Fire Destroys Barn

On June 27, 1961 at 5:45 p.m. firemen were sent to Shippensburg Star Route 2, the Adam Chamberlin farm for a barn fire. Spontaneous combustion was the cause of a fire that destroyed the barn and most of its contents. Lost in the fire was 380 laying hens, 5,000 bales of straw, 150 bushels of barley and numerous pieces of machinery. Firemen were able to save a three-car garage attached to the barn and the milk house. Damages were estimated at $25,000 to $30,000. The Vigilant Hose Company answered the alarm and remained on the scene until 10:30 p.m., they returned one more time to wet down smoldering debris.

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Vigilant Hose Company Chartered

On June 26, 1899 an application for Charter of Corporation was made to the Court of Common Pleas in Cumberland County. The purpose was for the name change to the Vigilant Hose Company, the object of which are the maintenance of a company in the Borough of Shippensburg, for the control of fire and to afford protection against the same, by use of hose and other practical apparatus; and for the purpose to have, posses, and enjoy all the rights and privileges of the Corporation Act of 1874 and its supplements. The charter was effective on June 27. Previously the company was known as the Vigilant Fire Company.

Friday, June 25, 2010

Barn Destroyed By Fire

On June 25, 1901 between noon and 1 p.m. word reached Shippensburg that a large barn belonging to Mr. David Foglesonger, Secretary of the Centennial Fire Insurance Company located about ½ mile south of Newburg was on fire. The barn was filled with crops and everything was destroyed. The cause was listed as spontaneous combustion.

This is just one of many fires that appeared in the local papers back in the day that burnt without the response of fire apparatus. Before motor driven fire apparatus it was just not possible or firemen to respond. Even after motor driven apparatus was purchased if no water supply was present or permission was not given apparatus still did not respond. It wasn’t until the 1930’s that rural service began to come into play in the Cumberland and Franklin County areas. In the 1950’s the small villages in the two counties began to get their own fire protection.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Shippensburg Fire Alarm Responses For June 24, 1995

12:03 a.m. 501 Brenton Street: medical emergency, CV ambulance, Medic 1; medical assist, Vigilant.
1:23 a.m. 27 South Earl Street: medical emergency, CV ambulance; medical assist, Vigilant.

10:03 a.m. Route 533 and Oakville Roads: auto accident: Newville, Medic 83 and CV ambulance.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Newburg Barn Burns, Livestock Lost

On June 23, 1961 at 9 p.m. firemen were sent to the Harry Rhone farm, Newburg R. D. 1 for a barn fire. A severe thunderstorm passed through the area around the time of the blaze and it was believed the barn was struck by lightning. The barns wall remained standing however the interior was badly damaged in the blaze. Shortly after Newburg Fire Chief Clifford Swope assistance was requested from Shippensburg. Lost in the blaze was a stallion and cow along with most of the machinery. Firemen had to remove 18 tons of burning hay and straw to extinguish the fire. Water was obtained from a nearby pond to battle the blaze. Damages were estimated at $7,500. The Newburg-Hopewell and Vigilant Hose companies answered the alarm and remained on the scene until about 1 a.m.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Arson Fire Burns Hardee’s Store

On June 22, 2003 at 4:45 a.m. firefighters were dispatched to a building fire at Hardee’s, 9966 Molly Pitcher Highway, Southampton Franklin. When firefighters arrived the rear of the one story steel and masonry structure was heavily involved in fire. For the first 15 minutes an interior attack was attempted before it was determined that the building was unsafe and firefighters were evacuated. A partial building collapse occurred about 10-15 minutes after firefighters were called out of the structure. Approximately 50-75 firefighters had the blaze under control by 5:50 a.m. and remained on the scene until about 10:30 a.m. The fire was later ruled arson and an employee was arrested and convicted of the crime. Damages were estimated at $500,000. The West End Fire and Rescue, Cumberland Valley Hose, Vigilant Hose, South Newton, Pleasant Hall, Fayetteville and Franklin fire companies answered the alarm.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Path Valley Rd. Home Burns

On June 20, 1989 at 11:20 p.m. firefighters were dispatched to 20178 Path Valley Road for a house fire. A lightning strike started a fire that caused extensive fire smoke and water damage to the two and a half story frame house. Firefighters had the blaze under control in just under an hour. The majority of the fire was contained to the rear wall on both floors. Damages were estimated at $18,000 and no injuries were reported. About 45 firefighters from Fannett-Metal, Shade Gap, Mercersburg, Pleasant Hall, Newburg and the Vigilant Hose companies answered the alarm and remained on the scene for more than two hours. WEFR transferred to Pleasant Hall's station while they operated at the scene.

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Doc Norcross Building Burns

On June 19, 1978 at 8:42 a.m. Shippensburg firefighters were dispatched to a building fire at the Doc Norcross baseball field on South Fayette Street. Firefighters arrived to find heavy smoke showing from the garage portion of the building and had the blaze under control in short time. The cause was undetermined but it was not considered suspicious. A damage estimate was not available. The Vigilant Hose, Cumberland Valley Hose and West End Fire and Rescue companies answered the alarm.

Friday, June 18, 2010

Lightning Strikes Lurgan Barn

On June 18, 1984 at 5 p.m. firefighters were alerted for a barn fire at 10894 Weaver Road, Lurgan Township. Firefighters arrived to find the barn heavily involved in fire. By the time the blaze was extinguished the fire consumed the barn, a grain wagon, corn planter, grain elevator, hay and corn. Firefighter were able to save a new barn located about 50 feet away, the house and numerous out buildings. Water was obtained from a creek located about 1,000 feet from the blaze. A damage estimate was not available and the fire was determined to be caused by a lightning strike. About 60 firefighters battles the blaze some retuning to their stations about 7 p.m. while two remained on the scene until 11:30 p.m. The Pleasant Hall, Newburg-Hopewell, Letterkenny, Franklin, Fayetteville, West End Fire and Rescue, Vigilant Hose and Cumberland Valley Hose companies battled the blaze. Pleasant Hall returned to the scene overnight to extinguish a rekindle.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Spring Street Stable Burns

On June 17, 1920 at 2 a.m. firemen were sent to Spring Street for a stable fire at the A. C. Cressler property. The stable was not burnt down but was rendered useless by the fire. Firemen were on the scene quickly and prevented further destruction. Damages were estimated at $2,000 and the cause was undetermined. The Vigilant Hose and Cumberland Valley Hose companies battled the blaze. Remember unlike many communities the size of Shippensburg and even smaller the SFD was still not motorized at this time. The blaze would have been fought with the CV's chemical wagon and the Vigilant's hose wagon.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Barn Struck By Lightning

On June 16, 1957 at in the afternoon hours firemen were alerted to a barn fire on the farm of Leroy McKelvey, Orrstown R.R. 1. The barn was to be located along Rt. 333 (Pleasant Hall-Roxbury Road) a short distance from Stouffer's garage. A bolt of lightning from a fast moving thunderstorm struck the barn starting a fire that destroyed the building. When firemen arrived the old frame and log barn was well involved. The men concentrated their efforts on protecting the house and gasoline supply for the farm. Lost in the blaze was a bull, tractor, 20 chickens, many pieces of farm machinery and crops. Firemen obtained water from a stream about a quarter mile from the scene. A damage estimate was not available. The Vigilant Hose, Pleasant Hall and Letterkenny fire companies answered the alarm.

Monday, June 14, 2010

Presbyterian Church Burns Down

On June 14, 1885 shortly after 4 p.m. fire was discovered on the west side of the roof of the Presbyterian Church located at the corner of Main Street and Normal Avenue. The flames spread rapidly and in no time the entire roof and steeple was a mass of flames. Eventually the steeple collapsed across Normal Avenue, had it fallen to the west it would have come down on numerous structures and had it collapsed across Main Street it could have crashed into the Council House. As the flames spread the dwelling belonging to Misses Duncan and a stable on the Wilson lot and out building on Mrs. Ruby's property along with the Church and its out buildings were either destroyed or badly damage in the blaze. A small mare in the old Wilson stable was also killed in the fire.

The Vigilant Fire Company engine (1860 Button and Blake) located across the street from the blaze was quickly on the scene and had a stream of water in play after obtaining water from the cistern located at the Bethel Church. The Cumberland Valley Fire Company engine (Philadelphia style engine purchased in 1877 named the "pioneer") arrived after an uphill run but was of little use because it had to be filled with buckets of water. At one point it looked like the Duncan property may have been saved but then the Vigilant engine lost water. It was determined that the pump packing was worn out causing the hand engine to draw air. Firemen had the engine fixed and working again in 15 minutes but not before flames destroyed the Duncan residence also. When the Vigilant engine went down telegrams were sent to Carlisle and Chambersburg requesting aid from their fire companies. In Carlisle the Good Will, Cumberland and Union fire companies quickly responded to the rail yard. Only two companies could leave town so the hose carriages of the Good Will and Union were loaded on a rail car and at 5:20 p.m. the cars pulled out along with the regular train. A very fast run was made to Newville when word was received that their services were no longer needed. The carriages were removed and loaded onto another car awaiting the arrival of another locomotive from Shippensburg. The companies were back in Carlisle by 7 p.m. Chambersburg's streamer was out of service at the time and a telegram was sent to Shippensburg stating that they would not be able to respond.

The origin of the fire is unknown, depending on what account you read of the blaze it ranges from a lightning strike to the steeple to a spark from a neighboring chimney to spontaneous combustion. Painters had been at work on the steeple for some time leaving paint, oil turpentine and benzene soaked rags lay in the area. Damages were estimate at almost $30,000 quite a large sum for 125 years ago.

Firemen lost numerous sections of hose at the incidents and the only reported injuries were numerous men with blistered hands from working the brakes for hours at a time. After the incident the cry for better fire protection in the form of a water works once again heard in the town. It would only be about another year before hydrants and a water system would be installed in the community. The lack of streamers and the use of only hand engines and hose reels were the cry in out of town news papers as other communities the size of Shippensburg all operated with steamers at this time.

Sunday, June 13, 2010

5 Injured When Bus Overturns

On June 13, 1964 at about 9 a.m. firemen were sent to the Walnut Bottom Road near Orange Street for an overturned charter bus. Forty eight people were on the bus, 39 of them children, five were injured and transported to Chambersburg Hospital by the Cumberland Valley ambulances. Shippensburg's Dr. William Nickles was called to the scene and examined many of the passengers. The Vigilant Hose, Cumberland Valley Hose and West End Fire and Rescue companies operated at the scene.

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Blaze Damages Scotland House

On June 12, 1996 at 9:55 p.m. firefighters were alerted to a house fire at 1239 Fourth Avenue, Scotland. A kitchen stove left on unattended sparked a blaze that caused $15,000 in damages to the dwelling. First arriving firefighters encountered flames from the kitchen and were able to contain the blaze to that room in a short time. The remainder of the house suffered heat and smoke damage. Units remained on the scene until 11:35 p.m. The Fayetteville, West End Fire and Rescue, Cumberland Valley Hose and Franklin fire companies answered the alarm.

Friday, June 11, 2010

WEFR Dedicates New Engine

On June 11, 2006 the West End Fire and Rescue Company housed its new 2006 KME Rescue engine in conjunction with the closing ceremonies of their 9TH annual Child's Dream weekend. WEFR members with 30 or more years of service pushed the engine into it's bay as Atha Jones sat in the officers seat and Robert "Pork" Stevens sat behind the wheel. The engine was then pulled back out and pushed into the station by members with less than 30 years in the department followed by the children from child's dream pushing the engine into it's bay representing the past, present and future of the company. The engine was christened with a bottle of Champaign by Assistant Chief Mark Cleck.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

New Layout...

I hope you like the new blog layout. I plan to make a few more changes but it may take some time. Our newer home system uses Windows 7 (why didn't I purchase a Mac?), like other issues that have come up the newer Windows 7 it does not want to play nice and I keep getting errors and shutting down. I had to finish this on an itouch. Not an easy accomplishment for the site impaired. Tomorrow night I am going to try it with my laptop that uses Vista (that is a whole other issue). With any luck it will work and I will be able to give my photo blog (stop by and visit it) a face lift also. Maybe these changes will stir some more interest and I can post more often and stop skipping days. Hey T.J. GO BEARS!

White Church Road House Burns

On June 10, 1994 at 4:45 p.m. Franklin County 911 alerted firefighters to a dwelling fire at 5290 White Church Road. When first arriving WEFR units arrived they encountered heavy fire from the rear of the house with flames starting to break through the roof. Chief Randy O'Donnell reported that an aggressive attack by firefighters utilizing booster tank water allowed them to gain control by 5:10 p.m. A family of three were displaced by the blaze. The cause was undetermined but believed to be accidental. A damage estimate was not available. The West End Fire and Rescue, Vigilant Hose, Cumberland Valley Hose and Fayetteville Volunteer fire companies battled the blaze.

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

House Fire In Roxbury

On June 9, 1930 in the morning hours an alarm of fire was received from Roxbury. The Cumberland Valley Hose Company was sent to a house fire just south of the two bridges south of Roxbury and arrived within 20 minutes of receiving the alarm. Sparks ignited carpet in an upstairs room. The blaze gained some headway before it was noticed. Road workers formed a bucket brigade and had the fire under control before the arrival of firemen. Firemen obtained water from a nearby spring to battle the blaze. The room was destroyed and the house sustained water damage. A damage estimate was not available.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Mobile Home Destroyed

On June 8, 1986 at 12:26 a.m. firefighters were dispatched to a mobile home fire at 6541 Roxbury Road, Lurgan Township. First arriving fire apparatus found the home to be well involved upon their arrival. Firefighters remained on the scene until 2 a.m. No injuries were reported and a the cause was under investigation but believed to be accidental. Damages were estimated at $13,000. The Pleasant Hall, Vigilant Hose, Cumberland Valley Hose and West End Fire and Rescue companies battled the blaze.

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Long Time Volunteers Recognized

The above photograph appeared in the June 6, 1981 edition of the News Chronicle. I remember all these men, some more than others. Like what Charlie would do when you goosed him and visiting Roy Dubbs house on Penn Street as a kid. I am sure the younger guys did not know these men, but this may bring back memories for the older group. Remember to click the photo like any on this site for a larger version.

Friday, June 4, 2010

Run Records For June 4, 1995

The only incidents in my database for today were in 1930 and 2000; they were posted the last two years. If any others occurred they will need to wait for another year. Sorry for all the EMS runs but I needed a break from entering fire apparatus.

On this day June 4, 1995 (a Sunday) the SFD responded to the following incidents.
12:13 a.m., 11097 Spring Ridge Road for a medical emergency, CV ambulance
2:30 a.m., 560 Walnut Bottom Road for a medical emergency, Vigilant's and CV ambulance.
10:34 a.m., 20 North Prince Street for a medical emergency, Vigilant's and CV ambulance.
5:24 p.m., 499 Newville Road for a medical emergency, CV ambulance.

9:53 p.m., 459 W. Main Street, Newburg for a car fire, CV ambulance.

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Chief Fire Marshall In Charge Of All Apparatus

On June 2, 1922 the Burgess and Town Council passed an ordinance "Borough Code" Chapter 7, Article 1, Section 6.


RESOLVE, by the Burgess and Town Council of the Borough of Shippensburg, Pa. that from and after the date of this resolution the Fire Fighting Apparatus of the Shippensburg Fire Department shall be under the direction and subject to the regulations of the Chief Fire Marshall and the Property Committee of Council, at all times; and resolved further that when calls for aid are received by either Fire Company from country districts or neighboring towns, none of the Fire Fighting Equipment shall be taken out without the consent and under the direction of the Chief Fire Marshall or the Property Committee of Council, and then only when driven and operated by one of the most experienced and competent drivers of the Company whose apparatus is called, and it shall be the duty of the Chief Fire Marshall or the Property Committee of Council to refuse to permit the Equipment to go out until he or they are satisfied that such experienced and competent driver is in charge.
Passed this 1st day of June, A.D. 1922
D. A. Sheaffer, President, Approved this 2nd day of June, A.D. 1922.
J. Mifflin, Burgess
Paul B. Noftsker
Secretary of Council

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Jumper Barn Burns Down

On June 1, 1969 at 5:40 p.m. firemen were sent to the Glen Jumper farm, Shippensburg R.D. 1, South Newton Township for a barn fire. Firemen arrived to find the barn well involved and concentrated their efforts on protecting the exposures. Firefighter hauled water from a nearby farm and the stream at Brookside to battle the fire. Lost in the blaze were 16 goats, four hogs, two antique buggies and sleighs and numerous tolls and implements. A bolt of lighting caused the fire. The Vigilant Hose Company stations 1 & 2; Newville and Penn Twp. fire companies battled the blaze until 9:15 p.m. The CV’s ambulance made two runs for the day.