The victims in Boston are in our thoughts and prayers.
Please keep them in yours.
The Bridgeport Telegram, Thursday, April 17, 1947 (CLICK to enlarge)
It has been a tough week. The Boston Marathon bombing on Monday, an act of terror that will be avenged, brought us together once again as a country steeled with resolve. Now, a few days later, our thoughts and prayers are also with the people of West Texas, Texas, following a devastating explosion in a fertilizer plant located there. Many lives were lost, including several members of the fire department.
This week's Texas explosion was reminiscent of another horrendous Texas disaster, exactly 66 years earlier (April 16-17, 1947), when the freighter Grand Camp, loaded with ammonium nitrate, caught fire and exploded in the harbor at Texas City. It was the worst industrial disaster in American history. Hundreds of lives were lost and the entire Texas City Fire Department was wiped out.
Click below to view a 50th anniversary YouTube video account of the 1947 Texas City disaster.
1972 - At Station 3, Joe Rahl (left), leaning on Doug Yocher's 1971 Chevy, watches as Ray Dobbs gives his 1972 Datsun 240-Z a bath. (Photo by Doug Yocher)
This May 1982 photo by future fire chief John Tramontano shows Asst. Supt. of Alarms (and future fire chief) Paul Wetmore, Sr. in the "bucket" of Car 53, a 1969 Ford.
CLICK TO ENLARGE
Department Bulletin - April 19, 1982 reveals lots of changes in 31 years.
The Hamden Fire Department Communications Bulletins, issued from 1982 until 1989, are among the Department's many time capsules. Of all the buildings mentioned in the bulletin issued on April 19, 1982, only the new Miller Library at 2901 Dixwell Avenue is still standing. The other seven buildings (and even one street) are but a memory.
Not only is the apartment building at 10 Prescott Street gone, but so is the entire street. What was Prescott Street is now part of the S.C.S.U. campus. 251 Leeder Hill Road was replaced by condos. The building at 1881 Dixwell Avenue was razed to make way for the shopping plaza located just north of where Home Depot is today.
Long after the W.I. Clark Company moved to Wallingford, their old building at 2195 Dixwell Avenue was transformed into a roller skating facility during the "Disco Era." A Wendy's restaurant stands there today.
Chimney Square, at 1125 Dixwell Avenue, was a small group of businesses (and one very popular gin mill) that was originally part of the Safety Electric Company, a large complex that ran from the corner of Putnam Avenue, south to opposite Third Street.
The original Spring Glen School was razed several years ago and replaced by a new school.
Finally, the "old" Miller Library, mentioned in the final entry at the bottom, was torn down only a couple of months ago to make way for the new police parking garage.