We deeply regret to announce the passing on December 24, 2016 of former Hamden Firefighter Walter R. Vining of Wallingford, formerly of Hamden. Walt is survived by his wife, Barbara, six children, fifteen grandchildren, and nine great-grandchildren.
Walt joined the Hamden Fire Department in August 1966, and was assigned to Platoon 1. With the 42-hour workweek, he was assigned to Platoon 2 at Station 3. He left the department in 1971 for the private sector.
Our thoughts and prayers are with Walter's family at this sad time.
Commencing immediately, access to all HFRA website pages will be open only to HFRA members in good standing, including all Honorary Members.
We continue to welcome our non-member visitors, who will continue to have access to all future current Friday HOME page updates, as well as the four previous weekly updates. Several other tabs on the top menu will also continue to be available to non-members.
HFRA members' current personalized user names and passwords will still open any password-protected page, but a new common user name and password has been created and sent to all members in good standing and all Honorary Members. Once a password-protected page is unlocked, all protected pages will remain unlocked for that visit.
Eligible prospective HFRA members - any retired or former career member of the HFD - may receive access to all pages by remitting the current $15.00 dues fee for 2017.
The HFRA welcomes non-members who wish to have access to the archives of this website, which includes all password-protected pages except the "Member Only" pages. Monthly and annual access fees for non-members will be established at the upcoming meeting of the HFRA and will be announced here.
Two two-baggers in as many days. This was the first . . .
Empire Kitchens 1188 Dixwell Avenue Thursday, December 30, 1965
According to newspaper accounts, a gas heater in the third floor apartment sparked this two-alarm fire on the second to last day of 1965. The third floor occupant went to turn on the heater shortly after 7 p.m., found it enveloped in flames and fled the building. Fortunately, the second floor apartment occupants were away. The first floor housed Empire Kitchens, Inc., which suffered extensive water and smoke damage.
Responding on the first alarm were Engine 2, Engine 3, Ladder 1, Rescue 1 and Car 30 (Dep. Chief Joe Hromadka). Chief V. Paul Leddy reported that flames were coming through the roof when the first apparatus arrived from Station 2, only a short distance away.
Firefighter Stanley Brown, on the turntable with a hose line, was later injured by flying glass.
The fire went immediately to a second alarm, which brought Engine 6, Engine 4, Rescue 2, and Car 40 (Chief Leddy). Engine 5, with Ffs. Bucky Serafino, Gerry Wolf and Co. 5 volunteers covered in at Station 4. Volunteer Cos. 7 and 8 covered Station 2. Volunteer Co. 9 covered Station 5. The fire was brought under control in about an hour. Today, it is illegal to have a gas or kerosene space heater in a multiple family occupancy.
From the New Haven Register, "Two firefighters were injured fighting the blaze. Lt. Joseph McDermott fell throuygh the third floor to the second floor and was being xrayed at the Hospital of St. Raphael late Thursday night. Fireman Stanley Brown was treated at the scene for cuts from flying glass."
A fire believed to have started in a bedroom gutted the interior of this two-family house at 39 Ives on the last day of 1965. The 8:50 a.m. first alarm brought Engine 5, Engine 4, Rescue 2, Ladder 2 and Car 30 (Dep. Chief James Strain). The second alarm brought Engine 3, Engine 2, Rescue 1 and Car 40 (Chief Leddy). The fire was brought under control about 10 and firefighters remained on the scene until after 3 p.m.
According to the newspaper account, a mother and her young son were rescued from a low-hanging second story roof. It appears from the account that once the aerial ladder was raised, Deputy Chief James Strain went up the ladder to guide them safely down. Ironically, Deputy Chief James Strain once owned the house. The damage was such that the house had to be razed.
The New Haven Register, January 1, 1966 (Brainard Collection)