This year the HFRA website will be on an abbreviated summer schedule. There will be a regular weekly update next Friday, June 28, but during July and August the website will be updated bi-weekly on the second and fourth Fridays - July 12, 26, August 9 and 23. Regular weekly website updates will resume on September 6th. As always, important interim announcements will be posted above the masthead.
CLICK HERE to view more photos and newspaper accounts.
Rite Box Co.
2317 Whitney Avenue
Thursday, June 20, 1963
Rite Box, a Hamden company that manufactured cardboard boxes, was located off the east side of Whitney Avenue, south of Dixwell Avenue, in a complex that housed several other manufacturing concerns. The fire got started in the warehouse portion of the building. The alarm came in at 6:48 in the evening and a second alarm was sounded at 7.
The building was located approximately where Hamden Center One is located now. The company eventually moved to Sherman Avenue.
Click on the photo at left to view newspaper accounts and more photos of the fire.
This 1965 aerial view confirms that lots of changes have occurred in Centerville since the 1960s. The Hamden Center high rises and a parking garage now stand where Rite Box (#2317 Whitney Avenue) and many other businesses were located years ago.
1965 aerial view of Centerville - East side of Whitney Avenue, south of Dixwell. Nos. 2305 and 2313 are still standing. Nos. 2311, 2315 and 2317 and the other buildings near them were razed in the early-1980s to make way for the two Hamden Center buildings and a parking garage. CLICK to enlarge.
June 20, 1963 - Photo by Bill Brainard, courtesy of Chan Brainard
Rite Box, June 20, 1963 - Firefighters Burt Hillocks (foreground) and Dave Howe overhauling with booster lines. Dave served from January 2, 1948 until his retirement 29 years ago this week. He passed away in 1989. Burt served from September 11, 1950 until he retired in February 1981 at the rank of captain. Burt passed away last September at the age of 91.
184 Greenway Street
March 17, 1964
Chief V. Paul Leddy and Dep. Chief James Strain (Old Platoon 3) inspect aftermath of house fire at 184 Greenway Street to determine cause. (Photo from HFRA archives - photographer unknown)
Ancient communications hardware from Station 5
donated to the Connecticut Fire Museum in Manchester
(No, it's not the Gamewell tape register.)
1953 - Firefighters Jack Laffin and Fred Fletcher with three volunteers on apparatus floor (Gilbert Spencer.)
Career Firefighters Jack Laffin (second from left) and Fred Fletcher (second from right) posed with three Co. 5 volunteers in this 1953 photo taken at Station 5.
On the shelf above the Gamewell tape register sits a modern desk telephone for 1953, a Western Electric Model 500 (still manufactured until the 1980s).
On the wall right above the modern phone is a c. 1910 Western Electric 295 walnut subscriber set with exposed gongs (see arrow). Known more familiarly as a "bell box," it was once connected to a Western Electric 51AL dial desk stand ("candlestick") telephone.
The old wooden bell box in the 1953 photo was removed from the wall in the early 1970s during a repaint of the apparatus floor and was fully restored years later.
In 2002, that same walnut bell box was donated to the Connecticut Fire Museum in Manchester along with the same type of candlestick telephone that was connected to it before the more modern telephone was installed.
The old dial desk stand telephone and bell box (below) still work perfectly at the Connecticut Fire Museum in Manchester.
Fully restored bell box from Station 5, with candlestick phone, donated to the Connecticut Fire Museum in 2002.
It is with deep regret that we announce the passing on June 16th of Tracy Ann Tramontano, wife of former fire chief and brother retiree, John Tramontano.
Calling hours will be held Saturday, June 22nd from 2:00 to 5:00 p.m. at the William F. Smart Sr. Memorial Home, Franklin-Tilton Road in Tilton, NH. A committal service will be held Monday, June 24th at 11:00 a.m. at the New Hampshire State Veterans Cemetery, 110 D. W. Highway in Boscawen, NH. Those wishing may make memorial contributions in Tracy’s name to the Hawk Composite Squadron, Civil Air Patrol, Laconia Airport, 65 Aviation Drive, Gilford, NH 03249.
Our thoughts and prayers are with Chief Tramontano and his family: