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

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

Friday, October 7, 2011

QUACKENBUSH FIRE



On March 12, 1938, five Paterson firemen died at a four-alarm fire at the Quackenbush Co. department store warehouse.

Deputy Chief James Sweeney and the crew of Engine Co. 5 were buried in the rubble of a collapsed wall at Box 474 - 51-55 Prospect St.

``Only two or three fire crews were at the scene when tonight's tragedy occured, their job being not only to wet down the ruins but also to remove debris that might endanger public safety,'' The New York Times reported.

``At the time the wall collapsed, the firemen were devising a means to to pull it down because they knew it was in danger of falling.''

The fallen:

•Deputy Chief James Sweeny, 58
•Capt. John Davenport, 44, of Engine 5
•Fireman Louis Rodesky, 49, of Engine 5
•Fireman Matthew O'Neill, 45, of Engine 5
•Fireman William Lynch, 37, of Engine 5