Sunday, October 31, 2010

Walnut Street Garage Burns

On October 31, 1976 at 9:09 p.m. Shippensburg firefighters were sent to 304 Walnut Street for a garage fire. A fire of undetermined origin destroyed a 1-½ story frame garage. A damage estimate was not available. The Vigilant Hose, Cumberland Valley Hose and West End Fire and Rescue companies battled the blaze.

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Fire Damages Mobile Home

On October 30, 2007 at 5:25 p.m. firefighters were alerted to a mobile home fire at 30 Thompson Creek Drive, Southampton Cumberland, Box 252-01. The initial dispatch indicated possible trapped occupants. Units arrived to find everyone out of the home with smoke and fire showing and neighbors attacking the blaze with garden hoses. Firefighters quickly extinguished the blaze confining the fire to the outside with extension into the ceiling and roof. Firefighters remained on the scene for about two hours. A damage estimate was not available. The Vigilant Hose, Cumberland Valley Hose, West End Fire and Rescue and South Newton Twp. fire companies answered the alarm.

Friday, October 29, 2010

More Photos From Dave

Today I have a couple more photos sent to me recently by Dave Myers. I only know what I can see about the photos so I will be guessing here. The first one is Danny Byers operating Engine 152, I do not know where it was taken or if it was a real fire or training but he has one cross lay flowing and two three inch lines coming off discharges. The second photo is John "Chet" Sommerville, setting in front of the Vigilant's. I can only assume that the Dalmatian belonged to Larry Kerns. Like I said a week or so ago if you like these and want to see more send me what you have and I will be glad to post them. They make life easier on me also when I am looking for something to post. Thanks again Dave.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Fire Apparatus

I am out of major incidents for this date so the following article is reprinted in its entirety from the Saturday October 28, 1854 edition of The Shippensburg News.

Fire Apparatus
The Town Council have recently had our Fire Engines repaired, and are now in first rate working order. We hope our Fire Companies will reorganize, as the season for fires is approaching.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Central Presbyterian Church Burns In Chambersburg

On October 27, 1938 in the morning hours firemen were sent to street box 25, the Central Presbyterian Church, on the square in Chambersburg for a fire. A blaze that started in the ceiling in the area of the chimney caused heavy damage to the interior and rood of the church. Most of the roof was burnt off the church but firemen were able to protect the 186-foot steeple and the bulk of the church itself although falling debris and water damaged much of the interior. First in firemen made their way into the auditorium where they found fire in the ceiling but flames quickly broke out in other parts of the ceiling forcing them to retreat. Less than 30 minutes after the Chambersburg companies arrived 10 streams of water were being played on the church and steeple. About 45 minutes into the incident help was summoned from Greencastle and shortly after Shippensburg was requested. At times the strong southern winds fanned the blaze over the National Bank building but it was spared damage. Firemen raced to the tops of nearby buildings to direct streams onto the steeple. Firemen began leaving the scene about 1 p.m. but two streams continued to play on the steeple until after 2 p.m., by 3 p.m. all fire companies had left the scene except for the Juniors who remained on the scene until 7 p.m., four of the company members kept a vigil all night to insure no flare ups occurred.

It took firemen over three hours to control the blaze. Damages were estimated at more than $50,000. The Friendship's, Juniors, Good Will, Cumberland Valley and Franklin's all of Chambersburg along with the Greencastle and the Cumberland Valley Hose of Shippensburg battled the blaze the blaze.

I have 5 or 6 real photos from this fire but I was not able to figure out which folder I have them in so when I find them I will post them and link back to this incident.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Shed Destroyed Near Roxbury

On October 26, 1968 at 2:15 p.m. firemen were sent to Orrstown R. D. 1 (near Roxbury) for a building fire. A fire of undetermined origin destroyed a large frame shed and damaged another. A damage estimate was not available. The Vigilant Hose, Pleasant Hall and Newburg-Hopewell fire companies answered the alarm and remained on the scene about one and a half hours. The Cumberland Valley community ambulance made three runs for the day.

Monday, October 25, 2010

Hopewell Twp. Barn Burns

On October 25, 1983 at 5:32 a.m. firefighters were alerted to a barn fire on Fox Hill Road, Hopewell Township. A fire of suspicious origin destroyed a large barn, some machinery and 90 tons of hay. By the time firefighters arrived the barn was already well involved and nothing could be done to save the structure. Damages were estimated at $75,000. The Vigilant Hose, West End Fire and Rescue, Newburg-Hopewell, Pleasant Hall, Newville, South Newton and Letterkenny fire companies operated at the scene with about 50 firefighters. Before firefighters would leave the scene they were responding to another barn fire in Newburg (that post was made in 2008).

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Another Borough Stable Destroyed

On October 24, 1866 at an unknown time a fire of undetermined origin destroyed the stable of David Kenower’s located along Prince Street between the alley and Orange Street. The Vigilant Fire and Cumberland Valley Fire companies answered the alarm. Refer back to my October 19Th post for the reason that I have little information on this incident.

Friday, October 22, 2010

Baltimore Road Fire Photos

These photographs were sent to me by David Myers (Co.52), thanks Dave. These make for a great space filler when I am out of runs and do not have time to type new things in. If anyone else has any photos they would like to share like this feel free to send them to me and I will be more than happy to use them. This fire occurred in the Bowers house on the Baltimore Road April 23, 1982, I posted the incident on April 23, 2008, click this link to take you to the post. I do not remember the amount of LDH laid on this call but I think it was around 3,300 feet. If my memory is correct I think this is the only time the Vigilant's used all three of their engines in a relay, I think E152 was on the plug at Queen and Walnut Sts., E352 was at the bridge and E252 was at the scene. I do remember the call because I worked the midnight to 8 shift at Sheetz at the time and was working, I had to listen on my pager and watch all the apparatus go by. This bridge was also mentioned in a recent post on October 5, 2010 and referred to a fire that occurred on October 5, 1979 that call can be found by clicking this link.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Late Night Blaze Destroys House

On October 21, 1990 at 11:17 p.m. firefighters were dispatched to a house fire at 6974 Sunset Road Lurgan Township. A wood-burning stove started a fire that caused heavy damage to an occupied 2-½-story frame house. Firefighters from six companies battled the blaze for 30 minutes before bring it under control and remained on the scene until about 3 a.m. Damages were estimated at $75,000. The Vigilant Hose, Cumberland Valley Hose, West End Fire and Rescue, Newburg-Hopewell, Pleasant Hall and South Newton Twp. fire companies operated at the scene.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

The Last Of The Juniors Posts...

This is my last post on the Juniors, I don't think anyone got bored with it. If they did they did not speak up only the ones that liked it did. These photographs were taken in the early 1900's at a parade just off the square in Chambersburg. What a time it must have been seeing many firemen marching in line and drilling during the parade along with fire apparatus that had a flavor to them unlike today's big box style rigs. Wouldn't it be great to go back in time just for a day or two to experience this?

I started yesterday to make a new post to vent on happenings in the city in the wake of the fatal fire we worked Monday night that took the lives of four children and an adult but deleted the post before hitting publish. I still may in the near future but because of my anger towards the comments from the city spokesman about us the same day and the chief and mayor wanting to lay some of us off and close stations I didn't think I could type anything that would allow me to keep my job. So for now I won't be a nasty individual like the mayor said I was and take the high road (someone in the city needs to). I feel a little better just posting this.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Borough Stable Destroyed

On October 19, 1866 fire destroyed a stable on the Joseph Mahon property in the borough of Shippensburg. The time of alarm, origin and dollars loss are not know. The Vigilant Fire and Cumberland Valley Fire companies answered the alarm of fire. Fires and information on the Shippensburg fire service is scarce for the years 1863 to 1866 because of the Civil War and the fact that no Shippensburg news papers are available for those years. All information I have on the department for those years came from other news papers and council's minutes.

Monday, October 18, 2010

Mainsville House Burns

On October 18, 1967 in the evening hours, firemen were sent to Shippensburg R. D. 2, just northeast of Mainsville for a house fire. A fire believed caused by lightning or an electrical short gutted a vacant 2-½-story brick house. It took firefighters from four fire companies three hours to extinguish the fire. Damages were estimated at $15,000. The Vigilant Hose, West End Fire and Rescue, Fayetteville and Newburg-Hopewell fire companies answered the alarm.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Former Borough fire chief enjoys Florida

I am out of incidents for this date so the following article that appeared in the October 17, 1975 edition of the News Chronicle is reprinted here in it's entirety.

A year ago Bob Jones was Borough fire chief in Shippensburg.

Last December, Bob left the Cumberland Valley to become fire coordinator in the county which surrounds St. Augustine, Fla.

Now he has received statewide recognition for the outstanding job he has done improving the fire protection of the rural areas of St. Augustine.

The biggest problem faced when he arrived was a shortage of money to purchase fire equipment. Some of the rural companies had only $200 a year to spend on equipment. Through the use of revenue sharing and the institution of a half-mill tax, Bob has upped the income of his county-wide system to over $200,000 for the next year, and has doubled the number of stations serving the county.

The county-wide system, which is run totally by volunteer help, has been modernized so that fire stations are evenly spaced and each station will act as a back-up unit for neighboring stations which have responded to a fire.

All of this is a lot of activity for one year's work but Bob has not confined himself to administration. He has also branched out into education as well.

Last May, the St. Augustine Technical Center introduced a new fire science school, which was pushed by Bob into becoming a huge successes. The school is certified by the Florida State Fire Standards Council and offers everything from a basic 30-hour course for volunteers to a 200-hour course for professional firefighters.

There is no law requiring such training, but since the school opened, 160 of the county's 200 volunteers, who are under Bob's direction, have taken the basic course.

Another 16 firefighters have enrolled in the course in officer's training, 18 are taking forestry fire fighting, and another 14 are taking radiological monitoring.

Upcoming courses include a seminar in arson detection. About 309 men and women have also taken the certification course to become paid firefighters.

Bob Jones served with the Shippensburg volunteer fire companies for 31 years, and was Borough fire chief for over five years of that time.

He worked for the Pennsylvania Power and Light Company for 28 years, and sold fire equipment for 22 years.

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Wrapping Up The Junior's...

I am wrapping up my post on the Juniors of Chambersburg. All the apparatus have been posted along with the written history so now I am just posting a few random photographs that I find interesting. The first is the company's buildings as it appeared a few years ago followed by the interior of the building showing the Ward LaFrance with the gamewell system in in background. The last photo is the station decorated more than likely for the CVVFA convention in 1950.

I have one more post featuring two photographs from the Juniors before I am finished with the subject. Now to figure out what to fill space with in the future when I have no calls to post.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Trailer Destroyed In Morning Blaze

On October 14, 1975 at 10:28 a.m. firemen were dispatched to a mobile home fire on the Orrstown Road (next to KADE auction). A fire of undetermined origin completely destroyed an occupied mobile home leaving two people displaced. A damage estimate was not available. The West End Fire and Rescue, Vigilant Hose and Pleasant Hall fire companies battled the blaze.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Multiple Buildings Burn In Leesburg

On October 13, 1931 in the morning hours firemen were sent to Lees Cross Roads for a building fire. A chicken house and hog pen was destroyed in a fire believed to have been incendiary in origin. Local fireman Beattie Watson noticed the blaze while driving through the village and awakened residents before contacting the C.V.'s, they arrived within 20 minutes. Damages were estimated at several hundred dollars. The Cumberland Valley Hose Company battled the blaze.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Chief Wiestling Resigns To Accept New Job

On October 12, 1977 W.E.F.R. Chief Crawford Wiestling’s resignation was effective this day. Crawford resigned because he was hired as a fire investigator with a Minneapolis law firm. Herb Cassidy was appointed to finish out the term of chief and Jeff Washinger moved into the assistant fire chiefs position.

Monday, October 11, 2010

Fire At Peerless Plant Kills One Worker

On October 11, 1922 at 11:45 a.m. firemen were sent to the Peerless Table Works on Lurgan Avenue for a fire in the building. A bucket filled with coach painter’s oil caught on fire and was then spilled. Two employees were burned one jumped from a second floor window to the ground below before other workers were able to extinguish him. He died the following day. Plant employees had the fire extinguished using factory fire extinguishing apparatus prior to the arrival of local firemen. The Vigilant Hose and Cumberland Valley Hose companies answered the alarm.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

3RD Anniversary

I had nothing prepared for today and I am out of working incidents for this date but when I realized that it was the 3RD anniversary of the blog I didn't want to miss today's post. It is hard to believe that I have been at this now for three years, with today's post this is number 1,044. It has not gotten easier as the years past by, it has gotten harder for the days that I am out of incidents. Those days are coming around more often yet there is still days that I can post another 15 to 20 years without running out of major incidents. As long as people keep looking I will keep posting, here is to another three years.

Saturday, October 9, 2010

More Junior Apparatus...

Progressing through the Junior's fire apparatus the 1965 Pirsch pumper was replaced in 1977 with a 1977 Pierce/Hendrickson 1250 gpm engine. In 1998 the 1975 Pierce/Hendrickson LTI ladder truck was replaced with a 1998 E-One 95 foot ladder tower that is presently still in service. In 2004 the Pierce engine shown here was replaced with a 2004 Pierce enforcer engine that is also still in service. With this post that takes you through the history of the Junior Hose & Truck Company No. 2. With the exception of a couple of hand drawn rigs everything has been posted here in photos. I still plan two more post with miscellaneous photographs from the company in the next couple of weeks.

Friday, October 8, 2010

One Killed, 6 Injured In Two Car Accident

On October 8, 1977 at 3:00 a.m. firefighters were sent to Rt. 696 one mile North of Shippensburg for a serious auto accident. Two cars were involved in a head on collision killing one passenger at the scene and sending 10 people to the hospital, six of which were injured. The Vigilant Hose and West End Fire and Rescue companies worked the incident. Firefighters also responded to a working mobile home fire in the afternoon but that is a post for another year.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Barn Fire In Hopewell Twp.

On October 7, 1994 at 9:57 p.m. firefighters were dispatched to 425 Enola Lane, Hopewell Township for a barn fire. A fire of undetermined origin destroyed a barn and its contents. Firefighters from seven companies were on the scene for three hours. Damages were estimated at $20,000. The Newburg-Hopewell, Vigilant Hose, Cumberland Valley Hose, West End Fire and Rescue, Newville, Pleasant Hall and Fannett-Metal companies operated at the scene.

Sorry guys I have been away again chasing whitetails, if there were any questions or comments that I need to get to I will do so tonight. By the way if you didn't know it I have another blog, one that I post photographs to. Most of the photos are wildlife and recently I have been photographing the elk rut and this week checking out the deer before they rut next month. Check them out, they can be found here.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Juniors Engines

If is seems like with this post that I am jumping around it is because I did. The hand engine should have been the first rig photo I posted but it didn't work out that way. The hand engine was first purchased in 1855 for the Friendship Fire Company No 1 Chambersburg and was used by them until 1869 when it was placed out of service. In 1872 the Borough of Chambersburg transferred the hand tub to the newly formed Junior's, this was their first engine. The rig was in service until 1882 when like many Franklin and Cumberland County rigs it stayed local and was sold to the McConnelsburg Fire Company (does anyone know if they still have it?). The first photograph shows three generation of Junior's engines, from left to right the 1977 Pierce, 1965 Peter Pirsch and the 1936 Ward LaFrance. One more installment coming on the Junior's to get you up to the present.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Unoccupied House Burns On Whitmer Road

On October 5, 1979 at 1:33 a.m. firefighters responded to a house fire on the Whitmer Road. A fire of undetermined origin destroyed an unoccupied 24 X 24 foot one story house. Strong winds fanning the flames and fire apparatus having to take a longer route because they were unable to cross the Baltimore bridge contributed the house being a total loss. This was the first fire in that area since the local fire departments quit crossing the bridge in August because of the 12 ton weight limit. A damage estimate was not available. The Vigilant Hose, South Newton Twp. and West End Fire and Rescue companies answered the alarm.

Monday, October 4, 2010

Junior Hose & Truck Apparatus Continued

In my last installment on the Juniors apparatus I left you with the Ward LaFrance and Peter Pirsch ladder truck purchases. The first photograph is the 1965 Peter Pirsch engine that replaced the Ward LaFrance service truck. The second photograph is that rig along with the 1940 Peter Pirsch ladder truck in front of the company's quarters after it received its new 1967 Peter Pirsch cab. The last photograph is the 1975 Pierce-LTI truck that replaced the Pirsch tiller truck. If you came into the middle of the Juniors post go back over the past two weeks to read additional details on these rigs.

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Lightning Strikes Upper Mifflin Barn

On October 3, 1979 at 12:37 a.m. firefighters were dispatched to a barn fire on Lay Road, Upper Mifflin Township. Lightning struck a barn causing it to burn to the ground. Approximately 90 firefighters fought the blaze for seven hours. Two thunderstorms rolled through the area while firefighters were battling the blaze. Damages were estimated at $90,000. The Newville, Newburg-Hopewell, Upper Frankford, Empire, Vigilant Hose and Cumberland Valley Hose companies operated at the scene.

Friday, October 1, 2010

Stable And Warehouse Destroyed

On October 1, 1867 in the morning hours fire house bells alerted the citizens to a fire in the rear of East Main Street. Fire started in the stable on the Criswell property and extended to his warehouse. Both hand engines were quickly on the scene throwing water but the buildings were to far gone and efforts were made to protect exposures and keep the fire from spreading. Both buildings were destroyed along with another stable. The Shippensburg News building was scorched and a roof was burnt on a home after embers landed on it. The fire was ruled arson and a former employee of Criswell was arrested for starting the blaze. A damage estimate was not available. The Vigilant Fire and Cumberland Valley Fire companies answered the alarm.