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 shows Ff Joe Delponte of Engine 7 operating an exterior attack line into the ruins of the Middlesex Toy Store located at 145 Fellsway. A Second Alarm in the early morning hours of December 21, 1970 destroyed the building. The box was struck at 0323 followed by the Second at 0328 hours. The building was torn down to make way for construction of the District Courthouse. Joe Delponte was a 31 year veteran of the SFD serving from 1953 to 1984. Joe passed away in 2004.
Photo # 2 shows companies operating at at Third Alarm in the early morning hours of February 7, 1963. The fire destroyed a one story block located at the corner of Broadway & Langmaid Avenue. The fire originated in the basement and extended throughout the building occupied by a laundromat, First National supermarket and the Liberty Radio shop. The box was struck at 0124 followed by a Second at 0154 and the Third at 0217. The building was razed and amazingly has remained a vacant lot to this day.
Photo #3 shows Firefighter James Hooley operating Engine Two's 1916 Ahrens-Fox pump during a fire (unknown date or location). Firefighter Hooley was appointed in 1927 and retired in 1954. Jim passed away in 1989.
Photo #4 is a shot of Lt. John V. Sloane in front of Engine 7. Lt. Sloane was appointed in 1923 and promoted to Lt. in 1935. He died while an active member of the department at the age of 58 in 1948. Lt. Sloane was the uncle of retired Sr. Fire Alarm Operator Bill Sloane.
Photo #5 and the last for this month is a shot of a Third Alarm at 627 Somerville Avenue in the early morning of April 29, 1990. A fully involved first floor apartment extended throughout the two story brick apartment building. The fire was believed to be of electrical origin. The box was ordered struck at 0151 after occupants of the building ran to the Lowell Street Station to report the fire. The Second was struck at 0152 followed by a Third at 0158. The occupants were fortunate to have had Engine 4 in service on a full time basis unlike today. On the left is Lt. Jim Covino of Engine 3 and on the right with the tip is Lt. Jim King of Engine 4. Lt. Covino retired in 1991 after 22 years service and Jim King is now a District Chief assigned to Group 2. (Photo by Mike 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