A two-alarm fire at the Saxony Coat Co. at 1443 Dixwell Avenue broke out right after midnight on September 15, 1984. The news photo below shows the crew of Engine 3, the 1973 Maxim Telesqurt. The fire was thought to have been of suspicious origin, but the subsequent report of the fire marshal was that the fire was electrical in nature.
The Hamden Chronicle, Thursday, September 20, 1984 (Courtesy of Gil Spencer)
New Haven Register, Saturday, September 15, 1984
New Haven Register, Sunday, September 16, 1984
The Hamden Chronicle, Thursday, September 20, 1984
The HPD "arson squad" mentioned in the above article was quite a contentious issue at the time. However, the unit was relatively short-lived as Connecticut state law mandated that the role of fire marshal was a fire department function. When needed, additional fire investigative resources were always available from the Connecticut State Police.
Officer Rick Orser, Asst. Chief Walt Macdowall and Cmdr. (B/C) Tom Doherty
Website thanks to retired Deputy Chief Clark Hurlburt for providing these
two color photos taken at the Saxony Coat Company fire (photographer unknown).
Those who can be identified: Asst. Chief Walt Macdowall (yellow coat), Ff. Ralph Tomaselli talking to Chief John Tramontano (white coat), unknown, Ff. Rick Kenyon (facing left), Ff. Harry Cubbellotti (in helmet), and Ff. Doug Yocher by Engine 3 door.