Daw Packing Co. School Street and Washington Avenue Friday, February 3, 1978
Three days before one of Connecticut's worst blizzards of the 20th century, an early morning gas-fed fire destroyed a meat packing plant that was built about 1921 at the corner of School Street and Washington Avenue in Centerville, where Hamden District 5 schoolhouse once stood. Bitter cold temperatures and a build-up of ice from an earlier snowfall prevented gas company employees from locating the gas main to shut off service.
Three truck company firefighters narrowly escaped when the roof collapsed only seconds after they were ordered off. Firefighter Dan Murphy can be seen working the ladder pipe of Truck 2 after firefighters were forced into a defensive mode following the collapse.
More photos are available by clicking on the link below.
Myth Refuted: "The Baloney Shop" was never a school. (Added 4/6/2018)
After fire destroyed the Daw Packing Company at the corner of Washington Avenue and School Street, the New Haven Register and Hamden Chronicle both reported that the building was once Hamden's District School No. 5. Indeed, the burned-out brick structure in the New Haven Register news photo (above), nicknamed "the Baloney Factory," certainly looked like an old school.
1914 - District School No. 5 Class Photo
However, a District School No. 5 class photo from the Hamden Historical Society, published in theChronicle at the time of the fire, casts doubt on the schoolhouse story.
Unlike Daw Packing's brick building that was destroyed by fire, the schoolhouse in the old class photo was obviously of wood-frame construction with clapboard siding. After researching some old Hamden town reports, the website came up with some answers.
In 1910, the original 53-year old District No. 5 School, located on the north side of School Street between Whitney and Washington Avenues, was replaced by a brand new four-room wood-frame building on Washington Avenue (photo below) at the corner of School Street - the same building pictured in the old class photo.
District School No. 5, Washington Ave., corner of School St.
Hamden Provision Company, 9 School St.
The schoolhouse at Washington Avenue and School School closed eight years later when the new Centerville School (now Miller Library) opened on Dixwell Avenue. During the 1920-21 fiscal year, the old schoolhouse was purchased by the Hamden Provision Company, which tore it down it to construct their new brick building (at right). Daw Packing Co. purchased the building in the 1950s, and it was destroyed by fire in February 1978.
Mystery solved: The "Baloney Shop" was never a school.
Edward Quimby's 1910 and 1914 photos are courtesy of the Hamden Historical Society.
Once in a while you find a pearl in the oyster . . .
May 30, 1969 - L to R: Firefighters Sam Jones, Austin Williams, Warren Blake, Mario "Bucky" Serafino, Bob Slater (camera shy), Charlie Cargan, Roger Sullivan, Ed Badamo, Hugh McLean, and Gil Spencer - CLICK TO ENLARGE
While sorting through some of Eddy Doiron's miscellaneous 35mm slides earlier this week, this one surfaced from the 1969 Memorial Day parade. Looks like everyone's in step and Bob Slater may be hiding from the cops. (Must've been that 1953 jaywalking incident at Putnam Avenue School.)
Last Tuesday morning at 6:21, Hamden firefighters responded to the parking lot at 1351 Dixwell Avenue for this well-involved Yale University shuttle bus. Bus company employees managed to moved nearby buses away from the flames after calling 9-1-1.
A box alarm was dispatched, but the crew of Engine 2 managed to knock it down in short order. As of Tuesday the cause was undetermined. There were no injuries.
The website thanks the Fire Chief's Office and Dep. Chief Gary Merwede for providing all info and photos.
Last week's photo of the two firefighters resting on the running board of an out-of-town aerial ladder truck elicited several guesses, most of them correct.
These two Wallingford Firefighters had just rescued an unconscious teenage girl from the small third floor window in a Meadow Street building in late December 1981.
Firefighter Pete Larese (right) retired about six years ago. The then-mustachioed Firefighter David Berardesca retired from the Wallingford Fire Department eleven years ago last summer to accept a fire service leadership role in a neighboring community.