Fire Buffs promote the general welfare of the fire and rescue service and protect its heritage and history. Famous Fire Buffs through the years include New York Fire Surgeon Harry Archer, Boston Pops Conductor Arthur Fiedler, New York Mayor Fiorello LaGuardia and - legend has it - President George Washington.

Paterson Riverside Station - Photo by Dr. Thomas Dayspring

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

JAIL FIRE - 1963

On May 18, 1963, a fire in a padded cell at the Paterson City Jail killed three inmates, according to an Associated Press dispatch in the Virgin Islands Daily News. Fumes from foam rubber padding also injured 14 inmates and two firemen. Police said an inmate set the fire, according to the AP.


On Jan. 23, 1903, a Paterson firefighter, Felix McCann of Truck 2, was injured by a falling chimney at a fire at River Lawn Sanitarium, a psychiatric hospital.

"Both arms are broken and his skull is fractured," The New York Times reported. Three other firefighters were also hurt.

The sanitarium's 30 patients were evacuated from the three-story brick brick and frame structure, and "some of the more recently admitted had to be carried out," according to the newspaper.

An oil stove used for heating "burst or was upset," the Times said.