Quick Work by Hamden Fire Personnel Minimizes Damage to Forest Street Home
Photo courtesy of D/C Gary Merwede
The Hamden Chronicle reported that this fire at 134 Forest Street was among thirteen alarms received during a very busy week for Hamden firefighters.
"Firemen say the blaze started on the roof of the two-and-a-half story building, destroying most of the roof and a portion of the attic. Water damage to lower portions of the house was kept to a minimum when firemen spread tarpaulin coverings over furniture.
"Chief Spencer directed 12 paid firemen from three town fire companies in bringing the fire under control." Homeowner Joseph Longobardi expressed his gratitude for the department's efforts in an eloquent letter published in the Chronicle the following week.
55 Years Ago Hamden's Annual Firemen's Ball Was Still a Big Deal
The New Haven Evening Register, Thursday, October 27, 1960
From 1934 to 1974, the Hamden Firemen's Ball was held annually in November. Fifty-five years ago this week the 1960 Annual Ball Committee was announced. Co-Chairmen were John O'Hare and Gene Maturo, who were assisted by Dick Carney and Bob "Ace" Callahan.
Each year the Board of Fire Commissioners gave permission to members of the Hamden Paid Firemen's Sick Benefit Association to sell tickets and program ads in uniform while off duty. The Ball was the single largest fundraiser for the Association.
Gene Maturo (1923-1997) joined the department in 1957 and retired in 1989. Ace Callahan (1925-1982) joined in 1959 and retired in 1980. The 90th anniversary of Ace's birth is next Friday.
John O'Hare and Dick Carney both retired in the early 1990s with a total of 70 years of service between them. They are both currently members of the HFRA.
John's 89th birthday is next Wednesday; Dick's birthday is Tuesday, although his cake will have a lot fewer candles. (The rumor is that the Orange Fire Marshal has issued a permit for O'Hare's birthday cake, but an engine must stand by.)
The website wishes to acknowledge the passing last Sunday of retired Chief John B. Stewart of the Hartford Fire Department, a fire service pioneer in many respects. Hamden Fire Department retirees may recall Chief Stewart's thoughtful and memorable orientation class for Hamden fire officers in September 1987, followingthe hiring of the department's first female career firefighter.
From Chief Stewart's online obituary, "During his tenure as fire chief, the [Hartford Fire] department experienced many 'firsts', which included the hiring of the first Hispanic and female firefighters. Engine Company #14 on Blue Hills Avenue was renamed in his honor. Chief [Stewart] was a founding member and first president of the Phoenix Society and a founding member of the International Association of Black Professional Firefighters. He published a biography about his life and career in the fire department; 'A Hard Climb Up the Ladder'."
The HFRA membership offer their sincere condolences to Chief Stewart's family, friends and colleagues in the Hartford Fire Department.
This is the second of seven images from a catalog of Maxim fire apparatus that were marketed in the mid-1960s. Except for the rear compartment booster reel, dual bells and airhorns, this Model F "cab-forward" pumper is quite similar in appearance to Hamden's 1959 cab-forward, which was among the first to be manufactured by Maxim.