Fire personnel are shown assisting Fr. James H. Smith of St. Rita's Church, who offered consolation to the terrified victim of the collapse.
Tuesday, December 15, 1964 - Armando Teixeira, 40-year old Rossotto Company employee, was trapped twenty-five feet below Skiff Street when the sandy walls of a trench Teixeira was working in collapsed around him. While fire department personnel were responding to the scene, fellow workers scurried to dig around Teixeira's head to clear away enough sand for him to breathe. The incident occurred while workers were installing a new sewer pipe near the old entrance to Eastern Industries, just west of the parkway underpass.
Hamden Fire Department personnel, assisted by Hamden police and Public Works employees, worked tirelessly for three hours to free the man, who sustained a broken leg and some minor injuries.
The Hamden Chronicle reported, "At one point the Rev. James H. Smith of St. Rita's Church crawled down into the dangerous pit to console the trapped worker," who was described as "terrified."
This was the second major incident during the short careers of three recruit firefighters, Charlie Carson, Ed Doiron and Harold Mangler, who started on the job in late November. The week before, the three new men helped fight one of the biggest fires of the previous forty years at the Weather Vane Restauant. Lieut. Luke Tobin, who commanded the incident, and two of the recruits later attended an American Legion awards presentation that recognized the efforts of those who participated in Mr. Teixeira's rescue (see photo below).
On a stretcher, trench collapse victim Armando Teixeira is about to be removed and transported to the Hospital of St. Raphael by Murray's Ambulance Service.
Hamden Firefighters Honored for Below Grade Rescue
March 16, 1965 - CLICK to enlarge (Photo by I.A. Sneiderman)
On March 16, 1965, Hamden Post 88 of the American Legion honored each of four Hamden firefighters with their Meritorious Award for the below grade rescue of a trapped workman following a road collapse on Skiff Street a few months earlier.
Honored were Lieut. Luke Tobin and rookie Firefighters Charles Carlson, Harold Mangler and Ed Doiron (not pictured), all three of whom began their careers on the Department the previous November.
American Legion Post 88 Meritorious Award recipients (L-R): Michael Iezzi, HPD Lieut. Daniel Liston, Frank Gamache, Ff. Charles Carlson, Ff. Harold Mangler, Lieut. Luke Tobin, Betsy Wollensack, and Comm. Charles Noonan. (Photo by I.A. Sneiderman)
Originally posted 3/15/13
In addition to those fire personnel pictured above, these HFD personnel also contributed to the successful rescue of Armando Teixeira.
December 2014 - The scene of the collapse 50 years later
The Honored Fire Personnel Who Performed the Rescue
Retired HFD Hydrant Maintainer Larry Gershman, an avid fire photo collector, acquired this newspaper glossy several years ago. The majority of the personnel in this photo were on duty and unable to attend the Rotary Club ceremony that honored them.
L to R: Firefighters Tom Doherty, Harold Mangler, Charles Carlson, Dick Stacey, Lieut. Luke Tobin, Firefighters Burt Hillocks, Hugh McLean, and Ed Doiron. (John Mongillo Sr. photo, courtesy of Larry Gershman) - CLICK TO ENLARGE