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 of Ladder 3 in front of the Teele Square Station circa the 1920's. The driver is identified as Andrew Drane. Ff Drane was appointed in February, 1920 and retired in June of 1949. He passed away on December 11, 1957. The truck is a 1920 Seagrave city service ladder truck. It was also equipped with a 40 gallon chemical tank and 200 feet of chemical hose. The purchase price was $9800!
I would have loved to see them throw that wooden ground ladder on the side of the truck!
Photo #2 is a group shot of members of Ladder 3 circa 1947. From left to right are: Lt. Timothy Dempsey, Gus Anderson, Philip Roderick, Raymond Gosselin and Frank Johnston. Timothy Dempsey was appointed in July, 1918, promoted to Lt. in August, 1930, promoted to Captain in July, 1949 and retired the next month in August, 1949. He passed away on March 13, 1953. Gus Anderson was appointed in April, 1943 and retired in January, 1976. Gus passed away on March 17, 2006. Philip Roderick was appointed in June, 1942 and resigned in September, 1946. He passed away on March 14, 1970. Raymond Gosselin was appointed in September, 1943. He was promoted to Lt. in September, 1949 and retired in January, 1973. Raymond passed away on December 30, 2006. Frank Johnston was appointed in February, 1920 and retired in May, 1953. He passed away on February 23, 1966.
Photo # 3 is a Teele Square group shot circa 1979. Rear row from left to right are: Larry Whelan, Dick Peters, Lt. Frank McClellan, Harry LaCount and District Chief Bill Doherty. Front row l-r are: Paul Matthews, Lt. Jim Welch and Phil Giampa. Larry Whelan was appointed in December, 1950 and retired in July, 1982. Dick Peters was appointed in May, 1973 and retired in March, 1996. Frank McClellan was appointed in July, 1951, promoted to Lt. in December, 1961 and retired in August, 1979. Frank passed away on December 10, 2002. Harry LaCount was appointed in December, 1959 and retired in March, 1981.Bill Doherty was appointed in June, 1953 and promoted to Lt. in October, 1968, to Captain in August, 1976 and District Chief in April, 1979. He was promoted to Deputy Chief in February, 1987 and retired in February, 1989. Paul Matthews was appointed in April, 1972 and retired in May, 1999. Jim Welch was appointed in July, 1947 and promoted to Lt. in February, 1957. Jim retired in December, 1981. Phil Giampa was appointed in December, 1965 and retired in January, 1992.
Photo #4 is a nice shot of the Teele Square fire station circa 1949. Engine Six's 1932 Seagrave pump and Ladder 3's 1948 American LaFrance 75 foot aerial can be seen in quarters. The top portion of the bell tower has long been removed. The auto repair garage in the rear of the station has been replaced by what else but high priced condos and the house with attached storefront to the left was destroyed by a third alarm arson job on the early morning of April 19, 1976. The Somerville Municipal Credit Union now occupies that spot. Hard to believe but Newbury Street was a two way back then.
Photo #5 is a shot of what was then a state of the art resuscitator being placed on the SFD's ambulance in 1949. From l-r are: Sherman Giles, Jeremiah Langone and District Chief Louis Larkin. Sherman Giles was appointed in December, 1937 and retired in January, 1968. He passed away on May 28, 1978. He was also the father of Dick Giles who served on the SFD from 1961-1986. Jerry Langone was appointed in July, 1947 and retired in February, 1976. He passed away on April 23, 1979. Louis Larkin was appointed in November, 1924 and promoted to Lt. in June, 1930, to Captain in July, 1942 and District Chief in October, 1947. He was promoted to Deputy Chief in November, 1949 and retired in September, 1960. Louis passed away on July 10, 1972.
Photo #6 is a shot of Ff Dan Sarno behind the wheel of Engine 2's 1932 Seagrave hose wagon at the old Cross Street station. Dan was appointed in September, 1947 and promoted to Lt. in April, 1970. Dan retired in January, 1980.
Photo #7 and the last for this month is a shot of Ff Guido Salvi of Engine 5 taken on October 20, 1971. As can be seen from the background, things are not going well.This was the fire which destroyed the Bargain Center and numerous other businesses from 212-228 Elm Street in Davis Square. Guido was appointed in June, 1949 and retired in August, 1979. He passed away on October 27, 1988. Guido was the father of Deputy Chief Dave Salvi.
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 CBSFD@aol.com