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November 30, 2022
51 Church Street - 10/5/1987
Updated On: Mar 06, 2012

Deputy Chief Dave Salvi supervises operations at 51 Church Street. Fire in a second floor apartment spread throughout the occupied 2 1/2 story multiple dwelling. The building was a total loss.
Heavy fire vents from second floor windows during the third alarm at 51 Church Street which resulted in serious injuries to Lt. Mark Wall who fell from a third floor window escaping a flashover.   Photos by Jim Swanton.


These audio files are from tapes that were used in a voice activated recorder. Prior to Somerville Fire going to a UHF frequency, they operated without a repeater. Therefore some of the radio traffic was not picked by the voice activated recorder. These and future files have also been edited to remove some of the dead air that would take up alot of time. These files reflect the busiest time on the Somerville Fire Department for fires.

Note: You will need to have Quick Time Player installed on your computer to listed to the Audio Files.  If you do not have Quick Time Player and would like to download it for free CLICK HERE


Lt. Mark Wall was assigned to Engine 2.  Enigne 2 had a line from Engine 3 and were operating on a stairway in the building.  What was unknown at the time was that Engine Three did not go into pump because of mechanical reasons.  The only pressure that they were getting was off the hydrant. Upon a third engine company opening their line (Engine 7) Lt. Wall lost water in his line.  At the same time the fire that they were containing blew out at them. Lt. Wall fell forward while FF Tom Carroll and FF Robert Connelly fell down the stairs. As the room Lt. Wall was in began to flashover he saw a window and was forced to jump out the 3rd floor window to escape the fire.  Lt. Wall fell the 3 stories and narrowly missed falling on members operating on the ground. He landed on his SCBA tank and was severly injuried. Although burned and suffering from a broken pelvis, Lt. Wall was able to overcome the injuries and return to the Somerville Fire Department.

*Because of the size of these files, it may take a minute or so before the audio starts playing.*

Church Street Fire Part 1 CLICK HERE

Church Street Fire Part 2 CLICK HERE


IAFF Somerville Fire Local 76
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