READY TO ROLL AT PATERSON RIVERSIDE STATION - PHOTO BY DR. THOMAS DAYSPRING

READY TO ROLL AT PATERSON RIVERSIDE STATION - PHOTO BY DR. THOMAS DAYSPRING

Sunday, June 22, 2008

CITY ABLAZE

Photo: Bill Tompkins, FireRescue1.com
On Aug. 13, 2006, a general alarm swept stacks of pallets in a lumber yard on Fulton Street. ``Firefighters faced a heavy fire condition, water problems, access problems and many exposure problems,'' according to FireRescue1.com.


Photo: Firehouse.com
Flames swept 334-334 Market St. on Nov. 3, 2003.
"After an aggressive interior attack, companies were forced to evacuate the building and operate from the exterior as the structure became fully involved on the top floor," according to Firehouse.com
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SELECTED RUNS & WORKERS
  • On March 29, 1901, fire destroyed the offices of the Daily Guardian newspaper at Broadway and Washington Street. ``The Guardian did not miss publication,'' as the rival Morning Call lent its presses, according to The New York Times. Both papers are now defunct. Acting Assistant Fire Chief Sweeney and Fireman Peter Shane were injured at the blazes. Sweeney sprained his ankle in a fall and Shane was overcome by smoke and tumbled from a ladder, The Times said.
  • On June 21, 1901, fireworks exploded in a shop and tenement at 440 Main St., killing 17 people. (Read separate article entitled "Fireworks Blast.")
  • On Feb. 9, 1902, The Great Fire of Paterson swept the city's business district. The flames, which broke out at a trolley barn, were fed by the wind. (Read separate article entitled "Great Fire of 1902.")
  • On April 1903, fire destroyed tenements at 919, 921, 923, and 925 Main Street, The New York Times said.
  • On July 11, 1909, ``All the fire engines of the city but one were at work fighting a fire on River Street, in the heart of the business district, this afternoon, when a false alarm drew the remaining engine across the river,'' The New York Times said. ``Immediately came an alarm for a fire in the southern section of the city.''
  • On March 18, 1911, fire destroyed the Folly Theatre ``soon after the matinee audience had dispersed,'' The New York Times said. ``Pat White and His Gaiety Burlesquers were playing a three-day engagement at the house, and all their costumes and other properties were burned.''
  • On Dec. 15, 1912, ``a fire started in some of the flimsy Christmas stuff which filled the J.S. Diskon Department Store, at the northwest corner of Main and Van Houten Streets,'' according to The New York Times said.
  • On Jan. 16, 1914, fire destroyed the Paterson Opera House. (Read separate article entitled "Opera House.")
  • On Dec. 22. 1915, ``Eight persons, five of them women, were rescued from the fourth story in a $30,000 fire in a store and tenement house,'' The New York Times said. ``One woman, Mrs. Abram Smith, became hysterical and jumped to the third story roof of an adjoining building and suffered several minor bruises.''
  • On June 6, 1927, ``Thirty patients, all men, of St. Joseph's Hospital were carried tonight by seven policemen and twelve citizens from the west wing of the building while firemen called by two alarms extinguished a fire in the wall of the basement below,'' The New York Times said.
  • On June 23, 1930, eight workers suffered burns in a benzine explosion at the Paterson Fur Dressing Co. at 196 Madison St., according to The New York Times.
  • On Sept. 9, 1930 -Fire destroyed the Lamond Robertson Carpet Mill on East Fifth Street.
  • On Dec. 10, 1934, fire swept the St. Bonaventure Monastery on Ramsey Street. Firefighters used ladders to rescue three friars from the roof, The New York Times said. Box 413 was sounded at 1:37 p.m. and went to four alarms.
  • On Nov. 10, 1936 - Paterson police arrested a 26-year-old unemployed waiter after ``five fires in the early morning and nineteen others, one of which caused the death of a man, had terrorized part of this city since last May,'' The New York Times said.
  • On Dec. 23, 1937, heavy smoke poured from a basement fire and routed shoppers at the Silver Rod Drug Store, 133 Main St., The New York Times said.
  • On Feb. 17, 1949, ``Seventeen persons were felled today by chlorine gas in the Young Men's and Young Women's Hebrew Association building,'' The New York Times said. ``Police said a pipe connection came loose while workmen were removing the chlorination system, used to purify water in the swimming pool.''
  • On March 22, 1952, four children died in a fire at 27-29 Peach St. Fire Chief G. Hobart Strathearn said youngsters playing with matches apparently started the fire, The New York Times said.
  • On Feb. 18, 1960, a private plane crashed on the front lawn of a house, killing two persons ``as gale winds and a blinding downpour of rain and snow'' lashed the region, The New York Times said.
  • On March 11, 1962, a pregnant woman ``clung to a third-floor tenement window'' to escape a fire and ``plunged to the pavement seconds before a rescue ladder could reach her,'' The New York Times said. She survived the fall as did her fetus.
  • May 18, 1963, ``Three prisoners in a cell block in the Paterson police headquarters died of smoke poisoning in a fire early today,'' The New Yoek Times said. ``Thirteen other persons, including two firemen, were overcome and required hospital treatment.''
  • On Oct. 21, 1963, explosions demolished Franklin Finishing Co., a textile dyeing factory, and damaged nearby homes. Box 656 for 178 Keen Street was transmitted at 12:33 p.m. and went to a general alarm.
  • Aug. 14, 1964, rioting erupted, and police and firefighters contended with rioters hurling fire bombs and debris. Paterson Mayor Frank Graves warned that he would "meet force with force."
  • On May 14-15, 1965, a general alarm fire burned out of control in a neighborhood of homes and factories. Box 268, at 256 Marshall Street, was sounded at 10:33 p.m.
  • On Oct. 22, 1966, fire destroyed seven stores in downtown Paterson and damaged several others at 190-194 Market St. and 1-11 Clark St. Box 145 was transmitted at 2:45 a.m. and went to four alarms.
  • On Oct. 27, 1966, construcion worker Robert Penn, 44, rescued six people from a burning building, leaped from a third floor window - and caught his wife after she jumped, according to United Press International.
  • In June and July 1968, rioting broke out.
  • On Dec., 10, 1968, an arson fire killed six people at the Midtown Hotel on Park Avenue.
  • In, October 1971, the city was the scene of another outbreak of rioting.
  • On Aug. 2, 1977, a stainless-steel vat exploded at a dye house, killing three workers and injuring about a dozen more.
  • On April 29, 1978, the Fulton Street Fire - a general alarm at Box 151 - devoured mills and adjacent buildings as well as three fire department vehicles - Engine 2, Engine 5 and Battalion 2. Hundreds of firefighters from across North Jersey provided mutual aid.
  • On July 4, 1978, fire swept five downtown apartment buildings, injuring three residents and three firefighters and leaving 40 families homeless, The New York Times said.
  • On Feb. 8, 1980, fire destroyed police headquarters.
  • In February 1980, the city was plagued by the ``arson alley'' fatal fires.
  • On Oct. 15, 1981 an arson fire killed eight people at an apartment building at 89 Park Ave.
  • On Oct. 18, 1984, a general fire at the Alexander Hamilton Hotel and killed 15 people. The fire was set by a resident. (Read separate article entitled "Alexander Hamilton.")
  • On Oct. 8, 1985, a three-alarm fire broke out at the Kirker Chemical Co. in the city's Riverside district and forced the evacuation of 200 residents.
  • On Jan. 17, 1991, a general alarm fire broke out at 161 Main Street - the building that once housed the Meyer Brothers department store - and spread to about a dozen other businesses. The conflagration claimed the life of a Paterson firefighter. The body of John A. Nicosia, 28, a member of Engine 4, was recovered two days later. (For a complete list of Paterson firefighters lost in the line of duty, see the article entitled "Last Alarm.")
  • On Oct. 20, 1997, a tractor-trailer loaded with chemicals caught fire on I-80 in Paterson ``sending rocketlike bursts of flame and a cloud of gray smoke into the air and creating a 10-mile traffic jam,'' according to The New York Times.
  • On Oct. 29, 2000, winds turned a house fire into a conflagration - destroying three dwellings, damaging six others and leaving 55 people homeless, The New York Times said. The general alarm fire started at about 2:05 p.m. in a two-and-a-half-story wood-frame row house at 559 Main Street, Battalion Chief Edward McLaughlin told The Times.