Line roster nearly complete following recent retirements
Photos by Bob Mordecai
Mayor Scott Jackson and Chief David Berardesca looked on as Hamden Town Clerk Vera Morrison administered oaths to Hamden's four newest firefighters Friday morning in the town hall rotunda. From left to right are Ff. Matthew Kellick, Ff./EMT John Paul Cristini, Ff./EMT Zachary Criscuolo and Ff./EMT Michael Colandrea.
Firefighter Kellick comes to Hamden from service in the UConn Health Center Fire Department and American Medical Response, and Firefighter Cristini served previously with the Willimantic Fire Department.
Firefighter Criscuolo is a North Haven volunteer and a recent Connecticut Fire Academy graduate. He is a United States Navy Submarine Veteran. North Haven Fire Chief Vincent Landisio and other North Haven fire personnel also attended the swearing-in ceremony.
Firefighter Colandrea, the department's former hydrant maintainer, is a North Branford volunteer and also a recent Connecticut Fire Academy graduate. A contingent of firefighters from North Branford also attended.
Ff. Colandrea's dad pins on his badge
Ff. Criscuolo's grandmother does the honors
Ff. Cristini's dad pins on his badge
Ff. Kellick dad pins it on
The members of the Hamden Fire Retirees Association wish Firefighters Colandrea, Criscuolo, Cristini and Kellick long, fulfilling and safe careers with the Hamden Fire Department.
Family, friends, new colleagues and even a few retirees were all on hand to give the four new recruits a warm welcome to the HFD.
30 Years Ago!
1206-1216 Dixwell Avenue Thursday, January 24, 1985
(This article originally posted on January 24, 2010)
A multi-alarm fire in the bank section of Hamden heavily damaged the two-story commercial building popularly known as the French-Italian Building. The fire started in an electrical panel in the rear of the second floor and quickly spread into the voids above.
Firefighters quickly initiated an interior attack but were hindered in their efforts to confine the blaze. A common cockloft above false ceilings allowed the fire to extend into confined spaces that were impossible to reach. After about an hour, a very large air-conditioning unit atop the already weakened roof necessitated the evacuation of all firefighters from the building. Shortly thereafter the air-conditioning unit fell through. The fire was finally extinguished with master streams from both ladder trucks. Four firefighters received minor injuries.
Erected in 1948, the classic Art Deco design building housed six stores on the first floor and ten commercial offices on the second. The French-Italian Importing Company, a one-story liquor store that was partitioned from the main building, was located right on the corner of Dixwell and Helen.
The building was rebuilt within a year. The French-Italian Importing Company is still in business today. At least three Hamden firefighters, Fred Knudsen, Danny O'Connell, and Burt Hillocks, worked there part-time on their days off from the fire department. Burt recently recalled that he used to make local deliveries for the liquor store and noted that the folks who owned French-Italian Imports were nice folks to work for.
Firefighter Clark Hurlburt and an unidentified firefighter during overhaul - CLICK on the photo to see the caption added by D/C Walt Macdowall
Clark wrote,"Looking carefully at the photo you can see [Cmdr.] Joe McDermott in back [white helmet - lower left]. The story behind this is we were in the back pulling ceilings when the ladder pipe was turned back on. Went from clear to zero in about ten seconds. Those were the days when you removed your pack during overhaul and long before everyone had a portable radio to hear bailout orders." And "bail out" was ordered shortly thereafter - watch the video.
CLICK for all photos and articles
French-Italian Fire 1206-1216 Dixwell Avenue Thursday, January 24, 1985
CLICK on the photo at LEFT to view a webpage devoted to the fire at the
Hoffmeister Barn on Wintergreen Avenue Tuesday, January 25, 1955
Two alarms - 3,000 foot lay of 2-1/2"
OK, calculate the friction loss w/100 GPM flowing (How about 200 GPM?)
Ff. Ken Harrington is atop the ladder of the 1952 Dodge maintenance truck.
From the January 26, 1955 edition of the New Haven Evening Register (courtesy of the New Haven Free Public Library microfilm collection)
(Photo by Thomas Waite, Jr.)
January 25, 1955 - Firefighter Bill Hines pumping the new 1954 Maxim 750 pumper from the hydrant at Wintergreen Avenue and Pleasant Drive, not Geen Hill Road, as the article stated (Green Hill does not intersect with Wintergreen).
Bill Hines was promoted to lieutenant the following year and was still an active department member when he passed away in May 1979 following a brief illness.
It is with deep regret that we announce the passing on January 21st of HFRA Honorary Member Mae Bellemore, widow of our brother retiree Hamden Firefighter Lawrence Bellemore, Sr. (1921-1989). Mae was 91. Funeral services were held Friday morning in the Sisk Brothers Funeral Home, 3105 Whitney Avenue, Hamden. Burial to followed in Centerville Cemetery. For complete details go to the Register webpage for Mae's obituary: