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

Thursday, November 10, 2016


On Nov. 29, 1899, Paterson firefighters wielding axes freed passengers from wreck of the Buffalo Express at the Van Winkle Street rail crossing.

A local train bound for Hoboken sped through a signal and crashed into the express as it waited near the Delaware, Lackawanna and Western Railroad station - killing six people and injuring 21 others, The New York Times reported.

The local train shattered the rear day coach of the express and sent it telescoping into the next car.

A fire ensued.

"Within a few moments, police reserves , firemen and crowds of people  came to the rescue of those in the terrible tangle of wood and iron" and ripped "the fearful pile to pieces," according to a dispatch in the Sacramento Daily Union.

The fire was also extinguished.