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August 20, 2019
Updated On: Jan 11, 2010


100 yrs ago- December 23, 1909- Alfred Higgins retires and John Robinson is
                   December 23, 1909- An elderly female, Mrs. Lizzie Kenny, is
                   overcome by smoke and rescued from her burning second
                   floor apartment at 31 Burnside Avenue. Sadly, her injuries
                   proved fatal.
75 yrs ago- December 12, 1934- Two Alarms are sounded for a fire in Loews
                 Theatre located at 50 Day Street. Fire above the projection booth
                 spread into the attic of the former church. 
                 December 22, 1934- A Second Alarm is sounded for a fire in the
                 Hill Building at 299 Somerville Avenue. Fire in a second floor
                 club spread to the 3rd floor of the four story brick building.
                 December 27, 1934- Two Alarms are struck for a fire at 242 Elm
                 Street. Fire in the basement of Cole's Drug Store spread to the
                 first floor.
50 yrs ago- December 12, 1959- A Second Alarm damages a dwelling at 11
                 Radcliffe Road. Fire in the cellar spread to the roof.
25 yrs ago- December 8, 1984- Ff Gerald Walsh retires.
                 December 10, 1984- A Working Fire at Dapper Dan's in the
                 Assembly Sq. Mall spreads from the kitchen to the roof.
                 December 28, 1984- Two Alarms are sounded for a fire at 1
                 Ossipee Rd. A second floor kitchen fire spreads to the attic.

100 yrs ago - November 11, 1909- William F. Brady, Frederick Kimball and
                    Charles McNamara are appointed.
75 yrs ago- November 1, 1934- Leon N. Arbeene, Albert Harmon and Bernard
                 King are appointed.
                  November 13, 1934- Two males are rescued over ladder from the
                  2nd floor of 14 Wilton Street. The 1st floor was heavily involved.
50 yrs ago- November 2, 1959- Two Alarms are struck for a fire at the Handy
                 Card Co. located at 170-174 School Street. A cellar fire spread to
                 the roof.
                 November 20, 1959- John Brosnahan is promoted to District Chief.
25 yrs ago- November 5, 1984- A Working fire damages a vacant building at
                 30 Holland Street. The arson fire spread from the cellar to a rear
                 November 24, 1984- Two Alarms are struck for an arson fire in a
                 vacant building at 38 Holland Street. Fire on the first floor spread
                 to the second.

125 yrs ago - October 22, 1884- Frank Langer is appointed.
                    October 22, 1884 - The Lincoln School is destroyed by fire.
                    The two story, four room school was located at 1194
                    Broadway. A defective flue was the suspected cause.
75 yrs ago -  October 4, 1934 - Roswell Hill is appointed.
50 yrs ago- October 11, 1959- Captain William Mahoney (E4) retires.
25 yrs ago- October 14, 1984 - Kevin Kelleher is appointed to Captain.
                 October 26, 1984 - Two Alarms are sounded for a fire on the
                 third floor of 35-37 Sydney St. Two elderly occupants were
                 assisted out through heavy smoke by Ff/Aide Joe Mammola.
                 October 28, 1984- James King, Dennis Murphy and Peter St.
                 Clair are promoted to Lieutenant.
September 2009
125 years ago - September 22, 1884: Box 228 is sounded at 1245 hrs for a fire at the Middlesex Bleachery and Dye Works on Somerville Avenue. The fire, which started in  the two story dye house, engulfed several buildings inside the complex. A Second Alarm was sounded. This was the second fire to strike the company this year, the last fire being in March. Flying brands, carried by a breeze, ignited a barn on the corner of Summer and Central Streets and also a dwelling at Somerville Avenue and Laurel Street. Large embers were seen falling as far as Winter Hill. Firefighter William H. Bonner reported the theft of $20 from a coat pocket which he had left on the hose carriage while fighting the blaze
75 yrs ago - September 1, 1934: A 65 year old male suffers severe burns to his face, arms and hands in the basement of 110-112 Hancock Street. The occupant was boiling asphalt on a stove in order to fix a leaking roof when it violently boiled over burning him and igniting a blaze in the cellar.
September 27, 1934 - John P. Bowe is appointed.
September 28, 1934 - Two Alarms are sounded at 145 a.m. for a fire at 67 Adams Street caused by careless smoking. The fire began in a 1st floor living room and spread throughout the apartment. One occupant dove through a window to escape the fire and severely cut their leg. 
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------50 yrs ago - September 17, 1959: Three Alarms are sounded for the Adams Coal Company located at 283 Beacon Street. The fire engulfed two large coal hoppers and spread to an adjacent two story brick building. Nine other buildings on Beacon Street and Kent Court were damaged as well.
September 28, 1959: retired Firefighter John F. McKenzie passes away.
September 30, 1959: active Firefighter Samuel Burns of Engine 4 passes away.
25 yrs ago- September 7, 1984: retired Firefighter Clarence W. Doherty passes away.
September 10, 1984- an arson fire in a second floor bedroom at 5 Cameron Avenue results in the escape of five female juveniles from this group home. Two of the girls had previously escaped from a home in Brockton under the same circumstances.

August 2009

125 years ago - August 4, 1884: A six year old girl is fatally burned in the area of Wallace Street. Her clothing was ignited while playing too close to a burning hay pile.
100 years ago - August 27, 1909: Two occupants of 1-3 Beacon Street are injured during an arson fire which started in the basement of the three story tenement. The fire spread up a kerosene soaked stairway. Firefighters assisted an invalid out and another occupant was carried out by his roommate.
75 years ago- August 16, 1934: A bomb explosion destroys a barber shop at 26A Mystic Avenue. The owner of the shop had recently been threatened when he refused to join a "barbers association" which would have regulated the prices he could charge. His shop may have been targeted after he recently lowered his prices to 25 cents for a haircut and 15 cents for a shave.
25 years ago - August 6, 1984: Ff Lawrence McAnneny retires.
August 7, 1984 - A Working fire at 16 Concord Avenue heavily involves the second floor of an occupied dwelling. An 18 year old male occupant suffered smoke inhalation and burns.
August 17, 1984 - retired Ff John Carney passes away.
August 19, 1984- Ff Peter Griffin retires.
August 21, 1984- Ff Richard MacKenzie retires.
August 25, 1984- A Working Fire on the third floor of 16 Cross Street East results in burns and smoke inhalation to a 56 year old male occupant.   
July 2009

125 years ago - July 4, 1884 :  Box 48 is sounded at 1 p.m. for a fire at 16 Newbury Street. A $1200 loss resulted to the blacksmith shop of J.W. Averill.
100 years ago - July 1, 1909: 11 horses are rescued by firefighters and onlokkers from a burning stable in the rear of 30 Bond Street. Fire damage was estimated at $2000.
July 5, 1909: While being given a tour of the Union Square fire station, a female from Wakefield falls down a pole hole to the floor below. She suffered a fractured shoulder, three fractured ribs and numerous bruises.
July 8, 1909: Charles Fowler is appointed.
July 29, 1909: Fire destroys the B&M Roundhouse including five locomotives inside. Box 113 was sounded at 0412 hrs. Lines of hose had to be stretched over 1000 feet over tracks and through lines of freight cars.
Later that morning, a Second Alarm is sounded for a fire involving a stable at 107 Cross Street. Box 14 was pulled at 0900 hrs. Flames spread to an adjacent barn.
75 years ago- July 1, 1934: Firefighters rescue an unconscious female from her burning apartment on the first floor of 17 South Street.
July 12, 1934 - Clarence Doherty, Clarence Marchant, Arthur Nugent and Charles Sliney are appointed.
July 17, 1934- Lt. Charles Spike and Ff John Dowd retire.
25 years ago - July 10, 1984: retired Ff Bernard "Barney" King passes away.
July 28, 1984 - A Second Alarm heavily damages the occupied dwelling at 129 Sycamore Street. Heavy fire on the second floor spread to the third floor and roof.

June 2009

125 yrs ago -
June 13, 1884- Box 27 is sounded around 8 p.m. for a fire in the basement of the Advent Church at 73 Bow Street. An arsonist set fire to a pile of wood under a set of stairs resulting in heavy smoke throughout the church.
June 18, 1884 - one horse is killed during a fire involving a stable in the rear of 201 Washington Street.
June 20, 1884 - Box 12 is sounded at 330 pm for a serious fire at the Walker Oil Works located at 86 Somerville Avenue. A Second Alarm was sounded and help was requested from Cambridge, Boston, Medford and Malden. A four story building containing hundreds of barrels of oil was destroyed and spread to an adjacent storehouse and an empty, large oil tank.
100 yrs ago -
June 25, 1909 - After a hearing before the Board of Aldermen, Call Firefighter Melvin Underwood is removed from the fire department. He was charged with assaulting a fellow member of the department, neglect of duty for not answering alarms and intoxication several times in the past three years.
75 yrs ago -
June 18, 1934 - A Second Alarm blaze heavily damages a dwelling at 10A Boston Street. The suspicious fire started on the front porch and nearly trapped an elderly occupant inside. A Somerville Police Seargeant who discovered the blaze fired three warning shots from his revolver to warn the occupant of the fire!
50 yrs ago -
June 18, 1959 - A Second Alarm blaze at 47 Webster Avenue heavily damages the main garage of the Anthony Iron Works.
25 yrs ago -
June 1, 1984- Provisional District Chief Joseph Moccia retires.
June 6, 1984 - A Two Alarm blaze heavily damages the Yellow Cab Co. garage located a 30 Marshall Street. A welder accidentally ignited gasoline and fire spread throughout the two story building.
June 9, 1984 - Two occupants are rescued from the third floor of 23 Dell Street over Ladder Two's aerial during a Second Alarm. Lt. Herbie Bennett along with Ff's Steve Longo and Bob Trahan made the rescues.
June 16, 1984 - Louis Ferretti of Ladder Two retires.
June 17, 1984 - Two occupants suffer smoke inhalation and burns during a Second Alarm at 307 Medford Street. Heavy fire spread from the first floor throughout the occupied three story brick apartments.
June 23, 1984 - A Third Alarm fire spreads throughout an occupied 2 1/2 story dwelling at 12 Harvard Street.
Later the same day, 5 Alarms are sounded for a fire at 7 Elm Street. Rear porches were fully involved and spread into all three floors of the occupied building. The fire spread to several adjacent exposures and involved a total of six buildings.
June 30, 1984- Three Alarms are sounded for a smoky fire involving  tire storage inside a vacant building at 438 Washington Street known as the Kirkland Garage.

May 2009

125 yrs ago - May 11, 1884: An arson fire involving old timber and debris blackens the interior walls of the old Powderhouse. Engine 4 extinguished the fire on a still alarm.
May 14, 1884: Ff E.J. Brown is injured while attempting to board Ladder 1 as it responded down Somerville Avenue to a chimney fire on Garden Court. He missed his hold and was thrown to the street. He was then struck by the rear wheel and badly bruised on the face and nose. His chest barely missed being struck by the wheel.
100 years ago- May15, 1909: A female occupant of 301Beacon Street receives facial burns after an oil stove explodes. The fire causes damage of $100.
May 27, 1909: Ff Patrick Fallon retires and George F. Patten and William Warner are appointed.
75 years ago- May 5, 1934: A Second Alarm destroys a building at 25 Water Street occupied by the Standard Charcoal Co. and Barker Steel. Strong winds created a serious flying brand hazard and flames spread to six outbuildings on the property. Cambridge also struck 2 alarms for the fire. Six firefighters were overcome by carbon monoxide while overhauling the smoldering charcoal. They were Lt. Edward Murray, Charles Donovan and Charles Dolan of Engine 3 and Lt. William Larsen, Edward J. Lynch and Joseph Gearaughty of Ladder 1.
May 11, 1934- Ff Jeremiah J. Sullivan retires.
May 30, 1934- Ff Edgar Blamy of Engine 2 is knocked unconscious by an out of control hoseline during a fire at 54 Derby Street. The fire involved a stable and shed.  
50 Years ago- May 17, 1959: Firefighters are called to extinguish a small fire involving a pile of books inside a pet store at 400 Highland Avenue. The books were ignited after they were knocked off a shelf by a caged monkey and then landed atop a floor furnace. Also on this date Ff Patrick Loan retires. He was the father of Lt. Paul, and firefighters Bob and John Loan.
May 31, 1959: Edward Callan, Patrick Connolly, James Donohue, William Duffy, Irving Peterson, Leo reardon and Chester Timmons are promoted to Lt. 
25 years ago- May 1, 1984: A Working Fire heavily damages an auto body shop at 68 Webster Avenue. The roof collapsed and eight vehicles were destroyed and eleven others damaged.
April 2009

125 years ago :  April 20, 1884 - Box 25 is sounded at 0330 hours for a fire involving the C.H. Dimond Fancy Goods store located at 18 Union Square. The fire, which involved a 1 1/2 story building resulted in a loss of $1300.
100 years ago : April 3, 1909 - Firefighter George R. Dale of Engine Six is killed after being thrown from his wagon seat on Broadway near Russell Road while exercising the fire horses. Firefighter Dale was 38 years old and left behind a wife and four young children.

April 17, 1909 - Box 219 is sounded at 1900 hours for a stable fire in the rear of 73 Oak Street occupied by a charcoal dealer. The occupant, while trying to give his horse some medicine, was kicked causing him to drop his lantern. He was knocked to the floor and dropped his lantern igniting a fire. Suffering a broken arm and leg, he was rescued from the burning stable by his wife who heard his yells for help.
75 years ago : April 12, 1934 - three children are rescued by neighbors from a fire at 69 Elm Street which was caused by spontaneous combustion.

April 14, 1934 - Firefighter John P.M. Smith retires.
50 years ago : April 1, 1959 - a five year old boy is fatally burned in the basement of 131 Josephine Avenue while playing with matches.

April 8, 1959 - firefighters searching the burning 1st floor apartment at 6-8 Dickinson Street find the body of a 55 year old male dead in the kitchen. The fire fully engulfed the livingroom and was the result of careless smoking.
25 years ago : April 5, 1984 - retired Firefighter Frederick H. Murphy passes away.

April 23, 1984 -  Firefighters Michael Bennett, John Craghead, Robert Connelly, Charles Houghton, Elliot Kerner, Frederick Popken, Francis Sharpe and Martin Trahan are appointed.

March 2009

125 yrs ago - March 3, 1884  Fire breaks out in a two story wooden building known as the "drying house" at the Middlesex Bleachery located on Somerville Avenue. The entire building was destroyed with a loss of $20,000 to the building and its contents. An adjacent stable and building were saved. (The Middlesex Bleachery occupied land now the site of Conway Park).
March 12, 1884 - The explosion of a kerosene can in a house on Poplar Street results in a woman badly burned.
100 yrs ago - March 4, 1909 - A bedroom fire at 121 Morrison Avenue at approximately 0330 hrs claims the life of 36 year old Gertrude Folan. An overturned kerosene lamp on a bedside table is the suspected cause.
March 29, 1909 - A female housekeeper at 316 Beacon Street suffers severe burns to the neck and shoulders after a kerosene can explodes. She had carelessly used the kerosene to revive a fire inside a stove. The fire was quickly extinguished with a loss of $100.
75 yrs ago - March 26, 1934 - A fire at the city incinerator located at 275 Cedar Street results in dense smoke from burning bales of rubbish and paper inside the two story, brick building. Firefighter Joseph Campbell of Engine 7 suffers a severe cut to his head during the blaze.
50 yrs ago - March 7, 1959 - A Third Alarm fire originates in the rear of the Family Wine Store at 78 Broadway. Flames spread up the rear exterior and into all floors of the three story building. The fire quickly engulfs the house at 5 Hathorn Street and causes damage to exposures at 68, 74, and 80-82 Broadway.
25 years ago - March 3, 1984 - Firefighter Barney McGahan rescues a female occupant of 11 Putnam Street from a third floor window over Ladder Two's aerial during a Second Alarm. The fire which fully involved a 1st floor bedroom and kitchen spread to the second floor of the three story dwelling.
March 4, 1984 - Captain John Gallagher, Lt. Al Gournaris and Firefighters John Coffey and Bruce McKenzie are pensioned.

February 2009

100 Yrs ago- February 11, 1909 : An explosion inside a two story cabinet factory at 8 Adelaide Road results in an alarm from Box 46. The explosion blew out one entire side of the building and was the result of varnish fumes being ignited by a gas engine in use on the first floor. Four employees working inside at the time were injured suffering bruises and one received burns to the face and head. The easterly end of the building was gutted from the ensuing fire.
February 24, 1909: Andrew Kearins, age 28, of 324 Lowell Street is arrested following a foot chase by the Somerville Police just after midnight. He is charged with an attempted arson at 321 Lowell Street and is a suspect in numerous other fires in the vicinity during the past year.
75 yrs ago - February 14, 1934:  A fire in the basement of the wooden apartment building at 18 Sanborn Avenue spreads into the first floor. Deputy Chief Horace Hutchins struck a Second Alarm upon his arrival. Mrs. Frank Dolliver and her two daughters, Katherine and Louise are rescued over ladder from the third floor by Ladder Four's crew. After frantic pleas from the girls, their dog is taken down over ladder as well. Captain Frank Rametti and Firefighters Hector Doucet, Paul Willwerth, John Walsh and Harry Dearborn made the saves.
50 yrs ago - February 6, 1959: Box 217 is struck at 0404 hrs followed by a Second Alarm at 0408 hrs for a fire involving a third floor apartment at 37 Summer Street. Firefighters David Clough and Attilio Re of Ladder One rescue an adult male over ladder from a third floor window. Tragically, Jeannette Hennessey, age 10, and her brothers Daniel, age 9 and Lawrence, age 6  are found dead inside the apartment by firefighters. Their mother suffered smoke inhalation.
February 8, 1959: Firefighter Lincoln Moore retires.
25 yrs ago - February 27, 1984: Box 445 is struck for a Working Fire at 38 Meacham Road claims the life of a 71 year old female. Lt. Dan Matthews, Lt. Ronnie Lennon and Firefighter Skip Mullane found and removed the victim from her burning 1st floor bedroom. Tragically, she died from severe burns later that evening.
February 1, 1984: Firefighter Joseph DelPonte retires.

January 2009

125 YEARS AGO - January 12, 1884: A fourteen year old girl is taken into custody suspected of lighting a fire in a pile of old mattresses in the basement of the Forster School. The fire was confined to the basement room of origin.

100 YEARS AGO - January 26, 1909: An arsonist ignites a fire at the Boston Elevated Railway car barn on Washington Street (site of the current police station) in the early a.m. hours. A police officer discovered the blaze which was started by someone stuffing burning papers into a mail slot of an office door. The fire was extinguishing with a chemical line. Three weeks earlier, an attempt was made using rags soaked with kerosene.

75 YEARS AGO - January 27, 1934: Three occupants are rescued from the roof of 14 Edgar Avenue in the early a.m.. Ladder Two's crew made the rescues over ladders. The fire gutted the third floor of the occupied, 5 apartment dwelling. One of those rescued suffered burns and smoke inhalation. Making the rescues were Lt. Charles Cruise and Firefighters George Drew, John Gordon, Frank O'Leary and Michael McKenna.  Firefighter George Drew was the father of former Somerville Firefighter Donald Drew.   Firefighter Frank O'Leary was the grandfather of former Deputy Chiefs John and Robert Gover and the great grandfather of current Fire Lieutenant Girard Gover.

50 YEARS AGO - January 2, 1959: Fire damages the front office of Rigazzio Bros. at 169 Beacon Street. Fire spread into a wall and up to the roof of the one story building.

25 YEARS AGO - January 14, 1984: Box 435 is struck at 0053 hrs for a fire involving a third floor bedroom at 108 Bristol Road. A mother and infant are rescued from the roof of the three story, brick apartment building over Ladder Three's aerial by Firefighter Dick Tierney. 

IAFF Somerville Fire Local 76
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