FDNY 1909 Fire

From the Vault:
This fire at 130 West 14th Street on December 20, 1909 took five hours and 3 million gallons to extinguish. The fire was in a 7-story factory and loft building. This showed just how effective the high pressure hydrant system was! Note the brother on the water tower with a cup of coffee!
Paul Hashagen Res1cue FDNY ret- Author.
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Rescue Company 3

FDNY Rescue Company 3 got it’s newly refurbished rig (Reg# 1009, Rescue 1s rig between 1931 and 1940) in May of 1941. The rig was redone at the shops including a roof made of sheet steel and wood with a felt lining, that covered the front over the chauffeur and officer and continues across the rear compartment. A radio was placed just above and behind the officer. The sides are open but curtains can be quickly dropped to provide shelter from the weather. The 24-foot long rig is now 11-feet high and 8’9″ wide. Capt. Beliakoff and his men worked hand in hand with Capt. Kuch of the shops to design the changes to their rig. It went in service on May 19, 1941 and served until 1953 when it became a spare rescue rig for 2 years.

Slice of Old New York

From the Vault:
Just love this slice of Old New York. Sadly I have very little information. Just that it was in 1915 and the location was First Ave. & E. 76 Street. It did not become a multiple alarm (no listing in the Annual Report). That wonderful gas-lamp street light makes the shot! Paul Hashagen Res1cue FDNY ret Author. Stay Low and Go 👉Check us out at www.gettinsaltyapparel.com 🔥

Iron Men FDNY

From the Vault:
I am often asked “Where do you get your stories from?” Well I was going through some photos and saw this one. It was dated Jan. 10, 1900. The caption mentioned Chiefs Smoky Joe Martin (R) and John O’Hara (L) wish Lt. Tom Kain of Engine 212 a Happy 44th Birthday. Well I know a lot about “Smoky Joe” and some about Chief O’Hara. But Lt. Kain was new to me. A quick search of my files told me: Kain joined the FD in 1882 and died as a result of smoke inhalation at the age of 70 in 1931. He died hours after starting his 50th year in the FD. Chief O’Hara would become deputy chief in charge of Brooklyn and Queens before he died as a result of smoke injuries in 1926. Smoky Joe was forced to retire due to smoke injuries in 1930. He out-lived them all passing in 1941.
50 years on the line! Iron men indeed!
They, and the photo, will be a chapter in my new book “Stories of Fire 2.” Hopefully a year or so away. Paul Hashagen Res1cue FDNY
Back to the research!

FDNY Life Saving Corps

From the Vault:
The FDNY Life Saving Corps. In 1882 the FDNY purchased the first scaling ladders from Chris Hoell of the St. Louis Fire Department. He was brought in to teach the first classes.
In 1883 General Orders #4 stated: The Life Saving Corps, will be devoted tom instruction and training in handling and using scaling ladders, life lines, etc. and all other life saving appliances now in use or here in after introduced.
This was half of the School of Instruction, the other part was general instruction in the duties of a fireman. There was also classes for engineers (steam engine pump operators), company commanders and other officers.
The engraving schools the Corps during a demonstration, scaling ladders and a roof rope rescue. The ladders are gone…but the ropes remain! Paul Hashagen

First Motorized Apparatus of the FDNY

From the Vault:
The first motorized apparatus of the FDNY was a 1909 Knox high-pressure hose wagon, shown here in front of Engine Company No. 72 at 22 East 12th Street (today the Cinema Village theater). This hose wagon was one of the first three firefighting vehicles to simultaneously arrive on the scene of the Triangle Shirtwaist fire on March 25, 1911. Pretty salty guys. By Lou Rufrano. Check us out www.gettinsaltyapparel.com

Mugging for the camera 1955

From the Vault:
Aug. 29, 1955: A relieved mugging for the camera, after two firemen, Malachy Cox, left, and Gilbert O’Neill rescued Eugenie Ward of Chicago from her burning room at the Madison Hotel on 58th Street. While the two men were making their dramatic rescue, Otto H. Knocenhauer, deputy fire chief in command of the Fire Department’s Third Division, was overcome by smoke in a vain attempt to reach Mrs. Ward’s locked room.

FDNY Rescue Lyle Gun

From the Vault:
A member of Rescue 1 drilling with a Lyle Gun in 1940. This rope rifle was used to shoot a small line to a distant point, (roof of a building etc.) attached to the cord was a thicker rope. That rope could be used for rescue purposes or to haul equipment. In 1915 the rope rifle also became one of the insignia of the newly formed rescue company. Traditionally the engine officer wore a badge with silver trumpets, the ladder companies wore silver axes, and now the rescue wore a rope rifle, a smoke helmet and a coil of rope. The captains had two rifles, trumpets or axes. Paul Hashagen FDNY Author

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FDNY Straus Department Store Fire

From the Vault:
March 6, 1964 Brooklyn. The initial alarm was received at 10:30 in the morning. Five alarms were transmitted for Box 491, for a fire in the Straus department store at 173 Plymouth Street. This stubborn and very smoky fire severely tested the FDNY and refused to go out. In addition to the five alarm response, a Borough Call was requested at 5:08 pm, sending three additional alarms worth of companies to the scene from Manhattan. (77-491-66-33-367- in English that’s Manhattan third alarm assignment to Box 367 goes to Brooklyn Box 491). Later, the wall and roof collapsed, wrecking Engine 208 and damaging Engine 207. The flames burned out of control for more than 20 hours.  Paul Hashagen -Author  www.gettinsaltyapparel.com


The Equitable Building Fire 1912

From the Vault:
January 9, 1912 Five alarms and a Borough Call responded to Manhattan Box 24, the Equitable Building, at Broadway, Cedar, Pine and Nassau Streets. It took up the entire square block. Chief John Kenlon and Commissioner Joseph Johnson watch as FDNY firemen battle the flames and the freezing temperatures. Battalion Chief Walsh lost his life when the building collapsed. Five members were awarded medals for their heroic actions at this monumental blaze.

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