Every piece of Hamden career apparatus responds to 125 Putnam Avenue
Many Evacuated - Fire Contained - No Injuries
Mar. 17 - Memories of May 25, 1988 had to be going through Batt. Chief Ron Desroches' mind at 6:42 this morning, when a box assignment was dispatched to Davenport Residence at 125 Putnam Avenue on a reported fire on the 3rd floor.
According to a press release from the office of Chief David Berardesca, B/C Desroches and the first due engine arrived simultaneously at 6:46. Multiple elderly residents were evacuating the building and required assistance.
Cause was most likely an overheated extension cord
The fire was determined to be in apartment 313. Simultaneous suppression and evacuation operations were initiated. Several residents were physically carried from stairwells by firefighters.
Incident Commander Ronald Desroches called for a second alarm and all remaining Hamden Fire companies were dispatched to the scene. The fire was under control at approximately 7:25.
American Medical Response was asked to set-up a triage center in the adjoining 135 Putnam Dunbar Residence. AMR paramedics triaged more than 40 elderly residents, with one elderly female patient requiring transport for exposure to smoke and cold temperatures.
The Hamden CERT Team was activated and assisted with displaced residents during operations. Several disabled residents were protected in place in apartments or designated areas of refuge by firefighters above the fire floor.
The fire was contained to the room of origin. Companies worked to ventilate smoke, carbon monoxide and the other products of combustion on floors 3 – 8. The ventilation operation took more than an hour following suppression. After firefighters metered for a safe atmosphere, residents were escorted back to their apartments by Hamden CERT.
Activation of the building’s sprinkler system held the fire in check and allowed firefighters to stop the fire spread to additional floors and apartments. The fire alarm system performed according to design and alerted the occupant of the fire apartment and all building residents of the emergency.
Due to these fire protection systems, the resident in 313 and others on the fire floor were able to make their way to the stairwell to either self-evacuate or await assistance from firefighters.
Deputy Fire Marshal Tim Lunn determined during his investigation that the origin of this fire was most likely an overheated extension cord (see inset photo).
The management of the Davenport Residence is relocating any resident displaced by this emergency due to fire, water or smoke damage to vacant apartments elsewhere in the complex.
HFD Response: Engine 2, Rescue 2, Engine 3, Tower 1, Squad 1, Engine 5, Rescue 1, Engine 9, Car 1, Car 2, Car 3 (IC), Car 4 (Operations) Hamden CERT. Hamden Vol. Engine 7 was staffed for coverage and additional calls.
(The website thanks the Fire Chief's Office and Dep. Chief Gary Merwede for providing the article and photos.)
Posted 3/17/17 - 1404 hrs.
Lieut. Jack Mordecai (left) and Firefighter Ron Desroches (right) assist and elderly resident during the May 25, 1988 fire at Davenport Residence.
March 17 - The IC for today's fire at Davenport Residence was also there for the May 25, 1988 fire that presented the department with one of its worst scenarios ever.
In this still, taken from the department's video, "Davenport Residence Fire," then-Firefighter Ronald Desroches (right) and Lieut. Jack Mordecai (left) assist an elderly resident. In another clip, Desroches, Capt. Bill Coppola and NHFD Lt. Clyde Stewart were videoed removing an unconscious resident from one of the exits.
Experience is a good teacher. When dealing with a fire in this type of occupancy, pulling out the stops for all available equipment was correct in 1988, and it was today. Nice going Platoon 2!
During a June 1971 visit to Fire Headquarters, kids from Centerville School are shown many of the features of Engine 4 by Lieut. Tom Doherty, who points to an 1-1/2" preconnected crosslay while an unidentified firefighter in the hose bed cleans the rear window of the cab.
Centerville School closed two years later. The Chief's Office was located there from 1974 until 1977. After extensive alterations in the late 1970's, the former school was converted into the new Miller Library. The old Miller Library across the street from the old school became an annex of the old police headquarters next door, housing Central Communications beginning in 1981. Both of those buildings were razed five years ago to make way for the new police headquarters and parking garage.
A great many past and present department members, including your webmeister, can trace at least some or all their ancestral roots to Ireland. It is not unusual, therefore, that some of us might observe March 17th by adding a little green to the blue. In 1985, a few guys at HQ brought their ancestral pride to a whole new level. Worth seeing again . . .
Photo by Ed Doiron, Jr.
Ff. J O'D
St. Patrick's Day 2017 would not be complete without re-posting these previously published photos of Donny Buechele, Jimmy Moore and John O'Dea outside Station 4 in their Uniforms of the Day on March 17, 1985.
John informed the website awhile back that shortly after donning these adornments to their regular HFD attire, the boys got a phone call from the chief's office: "Knock it off!"
If the boys had done this only one year earlier, we believe no such a call would have come from the boss at that time. On every St. Patrick's Day until his retirement in April 1984, Chief V. Paul Leddy would proudly sport a bright green necktie with his dress blues.
Firefighter Guy White was a Platoon 3 man at Station 3 when he was photographed sitting in Truck 2 in May 1978. Guy joined the department in 1971. Shortly after this photo was taken, Guy left the department to work in the insurance industry in Georgia. Now retired, Guy lives in Florida and is a longtime member of the HFRA.
Great pic of Dan Murphy in the parking lot behind 3's. If it looks like Danny and the photographer were goofing around - or goofing on someone else - you'd be right.
Anyway, the reason for posting this photo this week is simple. Dan Murphy celebrates his birthday today - March 17th. Perfect date for Dan, a great guy and fine firefighter.
Dan used to tease Lieut. Frank Eitler because the lieutenant was a passionate golfer. "Whatcha doin' chasing that stupid little white ball around for?" Dan would ask. Now, forty years later, Dan chases that little white ball around every chance he gets.
Lieut. Frank Eitler (1917-2000), affectionately known in the firehouse as "Ike," was the kind of company officer whose main concern was the well-being of his crew. Ike was fair and always had your back, but he never allowed himself to be snookered, either.
Every morning after the usual housekeeping chores were done and everyone had their coffee, Ike handed a 20-question test to every member of his crew, even the extra-duty guys.
"What is a carboy?" "What part of town will you find the boxes numbered in the 20's?" "What is the friction loss in a 400-foot length of 2-1/2" with 350 gallons flowing?" "Give me the formula." And so on - a different test, every day of every day shift.
Lieut. Eitler's firefighters moaned and groaned, of course. But Ike's tests prepared several of his crew well for future advancement. More about "Ike" this coming July, when we note the centennial of his birth.
June 9, 1978
With all the day's work done and the afternoon winding down toward change of shift, Ff. Dan Murphy and Lieut. Frank Eitler are seen here engaging in some strategy training at the kitchen table at 3's.