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August 20, 2019
Captain's Corner 2007 Volume 4
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 this month is a shot of Deputy Chief Tom Graney carrying one of man's best friends from a burning home at 26 Hinckley Street on March 22, 2000. Firefighters rescued a dog and four cats during the working fire and unfortunately one cat also perished. The fire is believed to have started by one of the pets chewing on an electrical cord. Tom Graney retired in March after a forty year career with the SFD.  (Photo by Capt. Charlie Breen - SFD)
Photo #2 is a group shot of members of Engine 3 & Ladder 1 (Group 3) taken around 1979 at the Union Square fire station. Rear row l-r: Lt. Jim Welch, Bob Beckwith and Dick Tierney. Front row l-r: Kevin Kelleher, Lt. George "Dukey" Doyle, Tom Carroll, Bob Loan and John Whelan. Lt. Jim Welch retired in 1981, Bob Beckwith left the SFD in 1983 to begin a career as an MDC police officer, Dick Tierney retired in 2002, Kevin Kelleher is now Chief of Department, Lt. George Doyle retired in 1980 and passed away in 1996, Tom Carroll is currently assigned to Ladder 2 - Group 3, Bob Loan retired in 1983 and John Whelan retired in 1980 and passed away in 2001.  (Photo courtesy of Bob Beckwith)
Photo #3 is a Second Alarm which occurred on February 6, 1940. Box 225 was struck at 0140 followed by a Second Alarm at 0148. The fire heavily damaged the Hill Building located in Union Square at the intersection of Somerville Avenue and Bow Street. A fire in the basement under Nick's Shoe Repair (#37 Union Sq.) spread up into the store and then to the second floor via a stairway. The fire was listed of undetermined origin. The building was also occupied by the Green Tower Restaurant (#2 Bow St), Sam's Shoe Store (#4 Bow), Pop's Variety Store (#6 Bow), #8 Bow St was vacant, #295 Somerville Ave - Leonard's Jewelers and the 2nd floor housed two lawyers offices, a dentist office and the Corbett Dance Studio.
Photo #4 is a shot of members of Ladder 4 in front of their quarters in August, 1970. From l-r: Ff John Gover, Ff Joe Galvin and Lt. William Blake. John Gover would go on to move through the ranks and retire as Acting Chief of Department in January, 1995. Joe Galvin is now a Lieutenant assigned to Engine 7, Group 4 still working out of the Highland Avenue fire station. Lt. William Blake retired in January, 1981.  
Photo #5 is of a Second Alarm at 35 Banks Street on January 28, 1956. A cellar fire, caused by a furnace, spread throughout the two and one half story dwelling. Box 425 was struck at 1618 followed by a Second Alarm at 1626.
Photo #6 is a shot of Firefighter Timothy Reynolds operating Engine One during a job. Tim Reynolds was appointed in 1949, retired in 1982 and passed away in July, 2003.
Photo #7 is a shot of Lt. Tom Kneeland in the SCBA Repair Shop located in Headquarters. As Tech Services Lieutenant, Tom took great care of the SFD's breathing apparatus. Tom retired on January 22, 2007.
 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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