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August 19, 2019
Captain's Corner 2009 Volume 2
Updated On: Jun 16, 2009

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. 

This is a picture of Engine Five's crew circa 1976. (l-r) Lt. Tom Graney, Skip Mullane and Phil Crispo. Tom Graney was appointed in December, 1967 and retired on March 1, 2007 as a Deputy Chief. Skip Mullane was appointed in May, 1973 and retired on August 23, 2003. Phil Crispo was appointed in December, 1966 and retired on January 20, 1998. (Photographer unknown - photo courtesy of Ed Morrissey).

Firefighter Dick Lee of Ladder 4 and Firefighter/Aide Fred Harvey Jr. are seen operating on an exterior fire escape during a 2nd Alarm at 25 Kidder Avenue on November 23, 1976. Dick Lee and Fred Harvey were both appointed in July, 1947. Dick Lee retired on January 9, 1977 and is the father of Captain Bill Lee. Fred Harvey Jr. retired on May 24, 1981 and passed away on February 7, 1999. Fred was a second generation Somerville firefighter. His father, Fred Sr. was a member of the SFD from 1917 to 1954.  (Photo by Senior Fire Alarm Operator Jimmy Swanton)

Master Mechanic George Tripp posing alongside what was then the SFD's version of a "shop truck". George was appointed in November, 1912 and promoted to Master Mechanic in October, 1916. George retired on October 5, 1950 and passed away on September 10, 1968.

Photo #4 was taken in the rear of the old Union Square fire station in the 1950's. From (l-r) are: William Bassette, John L. "Larry" Sullivan and Mark Wall Sr.  Bill Bassette was appointed in January, 1937 and retired on April 5, 1964. Bill passed away on June 9, 1965. John L. "Larry" Sullivan was appointed in June, 1942 and retired on February 1, 1976. Larry passed away on September 12, 1991. Mark Wall was appointed in February, 1942 and retired on February 28, 1981. Mark passed away on November 17, 1983. Mark Wall was the father of Lt. Mark Wall Jr. (E3) and the grandfather of Lt. Matt Wall (E3), Firefighter Mark M. Wall (E2) and Firefighter Mike Powes (E1). (Photo courtesy of Lt. Mark Wall Jr.)

A young boy views the results of an explosion at the Handy Card Company located at 250 Pearl Street. Box 331 was struck at 0255 hours on April 22, 1971. The explosion blew out a side wall and resulted in heavy interior and structural damage. A small fire resulted. This building was torn down and the Pearl Street Park Apartments now occupies the site. 

Firefighters work to control a Second Alarm fire at the Sloane's Furniture store located in Magoun Square. The fire, which started in the basement, extended throughout the building. Box 37 was struck at 0936 on October 14, 1956 followed by a Second Alarm at 0939 hrs. This building would be torn down and replaced by a municipal parking lot. The block of stores to the left were torn down several years ago and replaced by a CVS.


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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