The New Haven Register, October 28, 1989 (CLICK to enlarge)
The Bike Rack
Skiff & Whitney, North Haven
Friday, October 27, 1989
From Mill River by the parkway, south to Short Hill Road, the Hamden-North Haven town line runs right down the middle of Whitney Avenue.
The Bike Rack was located on the south side of Skiff Street just east of Whitney, which meant that it was in North Haven. But when the 9-1-1 call was received at Central from a Hamden caller, Hamden responded with Engines 3 and 4, Truck 1 and Rescue 1. North Haven arrived shortly after Hamden and both towns extinguished the fire, which was well underway before the arrival of the first apparatus.
Hamden's Platoon 3, under the command of B/C Tom Doherty, was just finishing its third night. Tom recalled that his company officers that night were Capt. Mike Ambriscoe, Lieut. Don LaBanca and Lieut. Paul Wetmore, Jr.
The 1958 Maxim 75' ladder truck, seen in the newspaper photo at left, was acting as Truck 1 because the ladder on the 1970 Maxim 100' aerial truck had just been inspected and was deemed unsafe. The new Pierce 105' rear-mount aerial truck arrived a few months later.
This fire occurred just as The Bike Rack building was about to be taken by the State of Connecticut through eminent domain in order to widen Skiff Street. Ironically, following the fire the owner's insurance company actually had to pay to have a new building constructed on the site in order for the state to pay the owner a fair value for his property. The new building, apparently never occupied, was then acquired by the state and razed.