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July 08, 2020
Captain's Corner 2007 Volume 9
Updated On: Mar 02, 2008

 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.  


The first shot for this edition of Captain's Corner is a group shot taken in front of the Highland Avenue Station. From l-r are: Tony McDaid, Joe Delponte and Lt. Jim Donahue. Tony McDaid was appointed in 1967 and retired in 1981. Joe Delponte was appointed in 1953, retired in 1984 and passed away on February 15, 2004. Jim Donahue was appointed in 1947, promoted to Lt. in 1959 and retired in 1976. The station is still there but the Pepsi thermometer and brass plaque are both long gone. (Photo courtesy of Frank DePaola)
Photo #2 is another shot from Highland Avenue. Shown from l-r: Lt. Richard Mullane, Frank DePaola and Harold MacDonald. Richard Mullane was appointed in 1949 and promoted to Lt. in 1963. He died while still active on the job on February 12, 1976. Frank DePaola (wearing the Lt. helmet) was appointed in 1967 and retired in 1991. Harold MacDonald was appointed in 1949 and retired in 1980. Harold passed away on December 11, 1988. (Photo courtesy of Frank DePaola).
"IT'S LONELY AT THE TOP"   Deputy Chief Dave Salvi waits for arriving companies during an early morning blaze at 202 Highland Avenue on December 6, 1986. The first of four alarms was struck at 0354 hours for a fire in a ground floor apartment which extended throughout the occupied apartment house. Ladder Two rescued two occupants over aerial. Off duty Somerville Fire Alarm Operator Frank Lee along with two fellow sparks Mike Salvi and Ted Pendergast pulled the street box opposite the fire building and conducted a search of most of the building.
(Frank Lee photo)
Photo #4 shows an occupant being rescued over Ladder Two's aerial. The occupants were trapped in heavy smoke.
(Frank Lee photo)
"FLASHOVER"   Heavy fire vents out the ground floor apartment on the "B" side of 202 Highland Avenue. Deputy Chief Dave Salvi directs operations while Ff Bill Hallinan and Captain Joe Higgins prepare to place an attack line into operation. Bill Hallinan is now a Captain assigned to Ladder 2, Gr.3. Joe Higgins retired in 1996. (Frank Lee photo)
Another shot of "Probie" Bill Hallinan. Bill was appointed in July, 1986 and assigned to Tower One. Gone are the days of the fire coats from ALB Rubber in Union Square and MSA breathing apparatus. (Frank Lee photo)
Photo #7 is a shot of Ff George Invernizzi and George Patten of the Rescue Company taken circa 1947. George Invernizzi was appointed in 1935 and retired in 1965. He passed away on April 16, 1969. George Patten (wearing the gas mask) was appointed in 1935, promoted to Lt. in 1948, promoted to Captain in 1953 and to District Chief in 1961. He retired in 1966 and passed away on August 27, 1969.
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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