Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Chambersburg Fire Alarm System

Out of major incidents to report for this date I will stick with a subject I started on last month, the Chambersburg Fire Department.

A resolution authorizing a contract with the Gamewell Company for the installation of a fire alarm system in Chambersburg was passed by Borough Council October 3, 1904, and approved by the Burgess October 12, 1904.

This system was installed in 1904 and 1905, when eleven fire alarm boxes were placed at the following locations:

No. 123 at Second and Grant Streets
No. 124 at Philadelphia Avenue and Vine Streets
No. 23 at Third and Market Streets
No. 24 at Fifth and Market Streets
No. 25 at Memorial Square
No. 32 at Main and Washington Streets
No. 33 at Lincoln (now Derbyshire) and Fairground Avenue
No. 34 at Main and South Streets
No. 35 at Third and Washington Streets
No. 42 at Market and Hood Streets
No. 43 at Market and Federal Streets

Additional fire alarm boxes have been placed year to year in other locations until today (1944) there are sixty alarm boxes in the city. When the alarm system was first installed, there were indicators locating the box numbers in the Cumberland Valley and Good Will houses.

The first alarm of fire over the Gamewell system came in at 1:05 p.m. July 1, 1905, form Box No. 43. The fire was in a double house owned by Christian Burkhart and located in Gas Alley (now Burkhart Avenue).

The alarm was turned in by Preston B. White. Coming down the hill, the Friendship and Good Will reels traveled too fast, almost causing serious injury to several firemen. The Good Wills ran into a pole at Brant’s Hotel (now location of Mill’s Filling Station (1944)) and a man at the tongue had a narrow escape. After the fire was over, someone sent in a false alarm from Box 42 at Brant’s Hotel.

The following was taken from Backward Glances written by Philip Bietsch II in 1944. I will be using this book for more upcoming articles. Does anyone know when the boxes were removed from Chambersburg? I do not know if I have that information in my files.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

If memory serves me I believe it was in the early 70's. We put the Franklin County Comm Center on the air in 1971. We had a game well ticker in the center for a short period of time. I don't have exact time when Borough Council terminated the system. It was maintained by the borough's electric dept.