A Co. 5 Volunteer Arrives First (Photo by John Mongillo, Jr.) - CLICK to enlarge
Engine 5 arrives and an interior attack begins (Photo by John Mongillo, Jr.)
From the New Haven Register, March 25, 1966:
The caption under the photo at left read, "A Mt. Carmel Company fireman was the first to arrive at the scene of the blaze [on] Bolton St. Thursday afternoon. Though the blaze was intense enough to melt a storm door on the porch and metal sheathing on the house, fieremen brought it under control within 15 minutes."
HAMDEN - Damage of several thousand dollars to a Bolton Street home Thursday afternoon was apparently caused by some teenagers playing with rocket fuel. Extensive damage occurred to the rear porch and roof and lesser damage to the living room at [the] Bolton St. residence. Engines 4 and 5 from Mt. Carmel and Centerville and Ladder and Rescue 2 responded under the commands of Fire Chief V. Paul Leddy and Deputy Chiefs James Strain and Daniel Hume. Police included Deputy Chief Hugh Mulhern and Patrolmen John Collake and William Earley. The flame melted an aluminum storm door inside the porch at an entrance to the living room. It spread to the roof of [the] house and climbed to the peak by a side chimney. Aluminum sheathing on the roof melted from the heat. Fire Marshal Albert Purce is continuing the investigation. Preliminary investigation reports indicate that the three boys were playing with some rocket fuel and a small propane tank. [One of them] attempted to put out the fire with an extinguisher but it did not operate. Firemen put the roaring blaze out within 15 minutes of their arrival.
About Bolton Street
Bolton Street is among a few Hamden streets that have been cut short, reconfigured, or have disappeared altogether. It ran west off #2902 Whitney Avenue in Mt. Carmel, up a steep hill to just beyond Villa Road. The portion of Bolton Street between Whitney and Villa was eliminated when the Rt. 40 Connector was built in the mid-1970s. Several houses on the street were either razed or moved. Ironically, the house that caught fire in 1966 is one of two original Bolton Street houses still standing today.
What's left of Bolton Street today is accessible only from the end of Villa Road, off Dickerman Street. The street was extended west and south to a cul-de-sac after 1990, and there are more houses on Bolton Street today than before the Connector.
Originally posted 10/2/10
(For more about other Hamden streets that have changed or disappeared over the years,
At 11:09 a.m. last Tuesday, March 22nd, the Hamden Fire Department was dispatched to the intersection of Whitney Avenue and Waite Street for a reported motor vehicle accident with a car into the front of a house. The first arriving company (11:12) reported one vehicle in the intersection and a second vehicle into the residence at 1548 Whitney Avenue, on the west side just north of Waite.
Each vehicle had a single occupant and minor injuries were reported. The HFD initiated medical care on scene and the patients were both transported to YNHH via AMR. No extrication was required. Two residents of 1548 Whitney Avenue were home at the time of the accident and both were uninjured. The home sustained heavy exterior damage including the collapse of the front porch.
Hamden's Building Inspector was called to the scene to examine the structural integrity of the home. It was determined that the residents would not have to leave their home during repairs. The Hamden Police Department is investigating the cause of this accident.
[The website thanks the Fire Chief's Office and Dep. Chief Gary Merwede for providing the information and photos of this incident.]
Hamden purchased its first motorized ladder truck and a "matching" 500 g.p.m. rotary gear pumper ninety years ago this week from the Maxim Motor Company of Middleboro, Massachusetts. Both units were assigned to the Highwood station at Dixwell Avenue and Morse Street.
The pumper replaced Highwood's 1918 Stewart chemical truck, which was handed down to the Mix District Volunteer Fire Co. No. 7. The ladder truck replaced Highwood's hand-drawn ladder truck that was built by the company during the winter of 1907-08.
MAY 1939 - 1926 Maxim City Service Ladder and 1926 Maxim 500 GPM pumper (Copy of original photo courtesy of Chan Brainard)
Hook & Ladder Co. 1 (Highwood) - 1926 Maxim City Service Ladder Truck. Weight: 10,100 lbs. Purchased March 23, 1926. Windshield installed February 15, 1938.
Engine 1 (Highwood) - 1926 Maxim 500 GPM rotary gear pumper. Purchased March 23, 1926. Purchase price for both apparatus was $12,500.
From personal notes of Chief Charles Loller (courtesy of his great grandson, Russell Loller)
. . . and then 75 Years Ago!
When new in 1926
On March 19, 1941 at 4:31 p.m., Hamden's 1926 Maxim city service ladder truck was struck by a Connecticut Company trolley car at the corner of Dixwell and Mather. Driver David F. Howe was responding with Engines 4 and 5 and the Squad to a reported oil burner fire at 2316 Dixwell Avenue. There were no other riders. Miraculously, Howe was uninjured.
The truck was deemed unsalvageable and was traded in for a brand new 1941 Diamond-T city service ladder truck from the Woods Engineering Co. in Topsfield, Massachuetts. The new truck was delivered in February of the following year.
Originally posted March 19, 2011
Ladder truck on its side on Dixwell, just north of Mather Street. (Photo courtesy of Local 2687)
Back on all fours, the truck's damage is more evident. But was it really totaled? (Photo courtesy of Local 2687)
Then and Now
Hamden has changed enormously in 75 years, but those Dixwell Avenue houses in the background in the photo at left are still here and, except for new paint and some minor structural tweaks, they look very much the same today as in 1941.
New Photos Show Extent of Interior Damage to School Bus
Amazing the Driver Survived
HFD Lieut. Daryl Osiecki sent these interior shots of the school bus involved in last week's accident on Brook Street near Wintergreen Avenue. This photo was taken after the driver, the lone occupant, was removed from the bus in an extrication that took approximately 28 minutes.
Lt. Carl Backus (HFD Ret.) was the AMR medic at last week's school bus crash on Brook Street.
CLICK to enlarge
Note the position of the Hurst tool and the very small space between the driver's seat and the steering wheel and dashboard. The driver struck a set of trees following what may have been a medical emergency.
Rotary's Irfan Ahmed and Firework's Chmn. Karl Olson - (CLICK on the photo to visit the HVFF website)
Rotary's Irfan Ahmed and CERT's Bob Freeman - (CLICK on the photo to visit the Hamden CERT website)
This week the Hamden Rotary Club presented checks to two organizations that are close to the Hamden Fire Department. The Hamden Volunteer Firefighters Fireworks Committee received $750 to help finance this year's annual Fourth of July fireworks display, scheduled for Friday, July 1st. Hamden's Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) received a $500 check that will be going toward the purchase a new radio system for the group.