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August 20, 2019
Captain's Corner 2007 Volume 3
Updated On: Mar 02, 2008

Welcome to "Captain's Corner" which is a periodic production created by Captain Charlie Breen.  "Captain's Corner" will take a look back into the history of the Somerville Fire Department and spotlight the fires and the firefighters who fought them. 

Photo #1 was taken on April 9, 1971 during a fire in Yard #8 of the B&M Railroad. The fire involved oil burning in a culvert alongside and under the railroad tracks. Foam had to be used to extinguish the fire. Boston F.D. also responded. In the photo from L-R are: Lt. Tom Connolly, Ff Barney McGahan, Ff/Mechanic Bob Cidado, Ff Joe Flahive and Deputy Chief Ed Callan.
Photo #2 is a picture of a Second Alarm at 513 Medford Street (Magoun Square) on April 29, 1962. Box 37 was struck at 0559 hours followed by the Second at 0603. The fire originated in the rear of Joe & Nemo's restaurant and extended throughout the one story block. The other stores involved were the North End Meat Market and Mendell's Mens Store. This same building had a Third Alarm on January 18, 1989 (Group 3).
The Class of  December 26,1967 is shown in this photo taken at City Hall.  Sitting at the desk from left to right are retired Cambridge Fire Lieutenant Joseph Higgins (he was there to take the oath for his son Joseph Higgins Jr. who was serving with the US Navy) and Acting Mayor John Havican.  Standing from L-R are: John Cataldo, Francis DePaola, Thomas Graney, Leo Crowe, Anthony McDaid, David Stagnone, Ronald Lennon and Paul Savage. Missing from the photo are Joseph Higgins, Robert Barletta and Donald Sullivan. Tom Graney, presently a Deputy Chief and the SFD's Chief of Operations, is the last of the group still active with the SFD and is scheduled to retire this March.
John Cataldo retired in January, 2000; Frank DePaola retired in February, 1991; Leo Crowe retired in January, 2000; Tony McDaid retired in August, 1981; Dave Stagnone retired in January, 1987; Ronnie Lennon retired as a Lt. in July, 1989 and sadly passed away on August 31, 1991 following a back operation; Paul Savage retired as a Lt. in April, 1980; Joe Higgins retired a Captain in February, 1996; Bob Barletta retired a Lt. in July, 1983 and Donald Sullivan retired in August, 1977.  
Photo #4 is of a Third Alarm at 267-273 Broadway (corner of Wheatland St.) on April 12, 1970. Box 322 was struck at 1556 hours followed by a Second at 1557 and a Third at 1603. The fire involved a one story brick block of stores with a 2 1/2 story house above. The fire started in the Columbia Food Store and spread across ceilings into the Manhattan Market, Mystic Tailors and Primo's Pizza as well as into the dwelling above. Three occupants of the dwelling were rescued off the roof of the stores by ladder. The dwelling was razed after the fire and Primo's and Mystic Tailors relocated across the street. The fire was listed as of electrical origin. (Photo courtesy of Anthony Accardi)
Photo #5 and the last for this month is a photo of Engine 2 & Ladder 2 Group 1 at the Cross Street Station circa 1975. In the rear row from l-r are: John Nicosia, John Canty, Barney McGahan, Jim Burns and Tony Aurilio. Front row from l-r are: Lt. Dan Sarno, Bill Castle, Charlie Layton and Dave Salvi.
John Nicosia retired in January, 1976 and passed away on October 4, 1991; John Canty retired a Lt. in January, 1983 and recently passed away on December 23, 2006; Barney McGahan retired in January, 2002; Jim Burns is still assigned to Ladder 2, Group 1; Tony Aurilio retired in July, 1981 and passed away on April 3, 1989; Lt. Dan Sarno retired in January, 1980; Bill Castle retired as a Captain in January, 2002; Charlie Layton retired as a Lt. in February, 1986 and recently passed away on February 5, 2007; Dave Salvi is currently a Deputy Chief in command of Group 3.   (A note of thanks to Dave Salvi for the photo) 
Anyone who has any old photos or newspaper clippings and would like to share

them for a future posting of "Captain's Corner" can contact Capt. Charlie Breen at Engine 7's quarters or via email at





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