As we begin the New Year and approach the 10th anniversary of the website's creation, we are going to try something new. We will continue to feature a new HOME page every Friday, but occasionally new material will be added to the HOME page during the week. Regular website visitors may have noticed this has happened a few times in recent weeks.
Occasionally tweaking the HOME page during the week will make those self-imposed Thursday night deadlines a lot easier on your webmeister, while keeping things fresher between Fridays. And, as always, a fresh HOME page will continue to be posted every Friday (except during the summer). Enjoy!
"Neither snow nor rain nor heat nor gloom of night stays these couriers from the swift completion of their appointed rounds," has been the unofficial creed of the American postman for over a hundred years. But there's no mention of fire.
Mail deliveries in northern Hamden were suspended for the day on Friday, January 7, 1994, following a two-alarm fire in the Landmarks Office Building at 35 Worth Avenue, where the Centerville-Mount Carmel Post Office occupied the entire first floor.
Around 8:30 that morning some of the 30 post office employees working in the building noticed flames shooting from the second floor. Fire department personnel from four engine companies and two truck companies, as well as twenty Hamden volunteers and a crew from North Haven confined the fire damage to the second and third floors.
Post office employees were the only building occupants at the time of the fire and were safely evacuated, but three fire personnel sustained minor injuries. No mail was damaged, and a temporary postal facility was established the next day at 2330 Whitney Avenue.
- CLICK ON ALL IMAGES TO ENLARGE FOR EASIER READING -
The New Haven Register, Saturday, January 8, 1994 - CLICK TO ENLARGE (Courtesy of Jim Koutsopolos)
The Worth Avenue post office replaced the postal facility formerly located in the small strip mall on the southeast corner of Whitney and Ives in Mt. Carmel, which originally included the Mt. Carmel Pharmacy, the Mt. Carmel Hardware Store, and numerous other stores since it was built in 1949. The post office was added in the mid-1950s. The post office moved to Worth Avenue in 1968 and the strip mall was demolished in 1975 to make way for the Mt. Carmel Connector.
The "temporary" post office located at 2330 Whitney Avenue, which was expected to be open for only three to six weeks following the 1994 fire, remained open until the present Centerville-Mt. Carmel post office opened a couple of years later at the former site of American Appliance, on Whitney Avenue opposite Lincoln Street.
The Connecticut Post, Saturday, January 8, 1994 - CLICK TO ENLARGE (Courtesy of Jim Koutsopolos)
The fire at the Landmarks Building occurred on Platoon 4's second day shift. Six days later, on their second night-shift, the personnel of Platoon 4 had an even nastier fire to contend with, in a seven story mid-rise apartment building on Mix Avenue. More on that in next week's update.
Burton Benham, son of retired Firefighter Milner Benham, who passed away last October, sent this beautiful color photo of the 1965 Mack 750 g.p.m. to retired B/C Gil Spencer.
The Mack was delivered in the summer of 1965. After a brief stint subbing as Engine 2 while the 1959 Maxim underwent repairs, the Mack was assigned to Station 4, where it would remain for three years.
Photo courtesy of Burton Benham - CLICK TO ENLARGE
Seen in the background, on the northeast corner of Whitney Avenue and School Street, was an Atlantic-Richfield service station. Just beyond was the Pepsi-Cola bottling plant which occupied the former Centerville Inn building. Both structures were razed around 1972 to make way for Whitney Tower at 2405 Whitney Avenue.