FIRESIDE RESTAURANT 3307 Whitney Avenue Thanksgiving Day (and Night) Thursday, November 23, 1967
The Fireside Restaurant lived up to its name on Thanksgiving Day 1967. Shortly after noontime, Capt. Don Steele of the Mt. Carmel Volunteer Fire Co. was driving south on Whitney Avenue in his '65 Dodge wagon. As he approached the "Big Y" (Yantic Beef Co.), just north of Sherman Avenue, he thought he saw smoke coming from the Fireside Restaurant right across the street.
As he drove past, Don took another look. It was smoke, and it wasn't coming from the chimney. Fortunately, Box 17 was right on the corner of Whitney and Sherman. Don wasted no time turning in the alarm. Engines 5, 4, Rescue 2, Ladder 1 and Car 30 responded on the box; Engine 59 (Co. 9) and Car 53 (Shop) responded on special call.
Don made the following entry in his notebook, "11/23 - 12:30 ± - Fireside Restaurant, Whitney Avenue. Tone sounded when [Fred] Fletcher, [Dave] Howe and I were laying a line after I pulled the box! 9 [Co. 5 volunteers] responded: Steele, Steele, Pedersen, Pedersen, Spencer, Johnson, Dougan, Hurlburt (Sr), and Clemons. Caught it just in time. Tim and I were late for Thanksgiving Dinner!" The two Steeles were Don and his son, Tim. The two Pedersen's were Find and his brother, Anders.
Don's follow-up notation: "11/24/67 - 1:20 AM - Almost exact ditto of above except someone else pulled the box - and a lot more fire." The early morning rekindle was seen as suspcious.