Hamden Fire Department Encourages Residents to “Adopt a Hydrant”
HAMDEN – The Hamden Fire Department encourages residents to “Adopt a fire hydrant”. When fire hydrants are covered by plowed snow, our Firefighters do their best to clear them as quickly as possible. With over 1000 fire hydrants in the Town of Hamden and an annual call volume of over 10,000 calls, the task of clearing fire hydrants is sometimes extended and of course time consuming. The department asks that residents, who are physically able, to assist your Firefighters in clearing fire hydrants close to your home or business.
Late on a bitter cold Tuesday afternoon, the personnel of Platoon 4 were looking forward to heading home after completing the first day of their three-day truck. At five o'clock it was already pitch dark when the bell hit for a reported structure fire at 295 Treadwell Street, the Treadwell Industrial Park.
Engine 2, Engine 1, Truck 2, Rescue 2 and Car 30 were on the first alarm. Lt. Dan O'Connell arrived on Engine 2 and gave a signal "10-8" for a working fire. Fire in the 20,000-square foot building at the western end of the complex had gotten into the void between the ceiling of the second floor and the roof and began spreading laterally across the width of the building.
Deputy Chief Francis "Chalky" Leddy arrived shortly thereafter in Car 30 and called for a second alarm, which brought Engine 3, Engine 4, Truck 1, and Rescue 1.
Contrary to the last paragraph in the news article below, all of the department's running assignments provided for a third alarm, which was called when Chief V. Paul Leddy arrived on scene, bringing Engines 5 and 9 to the scene along with volunteer Cos. 8 and 7. Cheshire responded on a mutual aid request to provide additional Scott bottles and other support.
Attempts to confine and compartmentalize the fire proved to be a nightmare. Adding to firefighters' difficulties was a frozen yard hydrant inside the complex. Although the Chief considered the building "a total loss," only the top floor was destroyed. On a Sunday morning eight years later, fire did considerable damage to another building on the opposite side of the complex.
New Haven Journal-Courier, Wednesday, January 5, 1983 (CLICK TO READ ARTICLE)
Tuesday, January 4, 1983
Two news accounts of the January 4, 1983 general alarm fire at the Treadwell Office Park. Interviews with Chief V. Paul Leddy and several occupants. See quick glimpses of pump operator Paul Frodel and Art Heriot.
Click on the photo at right to watch the YouTube video.
Originally posted 8/6/09
CLICK photo to view video
New Haven Journal-Courier, Wednesday, January 5, 1983
January 5, 2018 - The day after a major blizzard struck the northeast, HFRA president Bobby Mordecai spotted Firefighter/Paramedics Matt Kellick and Scott Blake of Rescue 1 shoveling out this hydrant across from Whitney Donut. All other Platoon personnel were out doing the same thing, an important part of the job that brings back some mixed memories for all of us. Nice work guys. Thank you!
Rescue 1 Guys Shoveling Out on Whitney Avenue
Firefighter/Paramedics Matt Kellick and Scott Blake
Photo by Bob Mordecai
Hydrant shoveling must give way to responses, of course. Shortly after snapping the photos of Ffs. Kellick and Blake shoveling out hydrants in the Norwood area, Bob came upon Engine 5 on this medical call near the corner of Whitney and Shepard Avenues.
Like so many other cars and trucks before and since, the early 1950's Oldsmobile in this news photo somehow ended up in Lake Whitney on Monday, January 5, 1958. Its youthful driver, lucky get out alive, suffered only minor injuries. The photo caption tells the story, the rest can be read between the lines.
New Haven Evening Register, Tuesday, January 6, 1958 (Courtesy of Chan Brainard)
Firefighter-Paramedic John Spencer, assigned to Rescue 2 on Platoon 1, sustained second degrees burns to his face during a valiant attempt by first due firefighters to rescue a 14-year old youth believed to be trapped on the second floor of a Bradley Avenue house in January 1988. It turned out that the youth was actually at school.
Firefighter Spencer, now Battalion Chief Spencer, at the time was the youngest member of the department, having been appointed a year earlier. Spencer's helmet is graphic evidence of the intense heat to which he was exposed.
These five started on the job 70 years ago last Tuesday. Each served at least 30 years.
Five new firefighters began their recruit training with department drillmaster Lieut. Roland Ruwet seventy years ago this week on January 2, 1948. Recruit Firefighters Frank Eitler, Russ Norman, Daniel O'Connell, David Howe, and Howard Hurlburt Sr., all veterans of World War II, had been appointed the month before. The appointments allowed the department to go from an 84-hour workweek to a 67.1-hour workweek.
Most of us worked with these guys at one time or another. All five served at least thirty years on the job. The last one to retire, Lieut. Danny O'Connell, worked until the end of 1986.
Firefighter Dan O'Connell in the front seat of the Squad (CLICK TO ENLARGE)
The Squad is shown parked in front of 61 Jesswig Drive in this December 22, 1951 photo taken by Chan Brainard. Firefighter Daniel O'Connell, sitting in the front seat, is talking to an unidentified civilian, probably the home owner. O'Connell, who came on the job 70 years ago this week, was promoted to lieutenant in late 1963 with Firefighters Joe McDermott and Ken Harrington, when the department added a second lieutenant on each of the three platoons. Dan O'Connell retired at the end of 1986. He died in November 1990.
The exact nature of the call is not known, but the Squad, which was stationed at Headquarters (now Station 4), responded on almost all calls in those days. 61 Jesswig is located on a ninety-degree bend. The house in the background is #60 Jesswig.
January 5, 2018 - Same location on Jesswig Drive
December 22, 1951 - The Squad parked in front of 61 Jesswig Drive (CLICK TO ENLARGE)
61 Jesswig Drive today, the background of the above photo. A tree has been added.