Another report on the 1967 Jamaica Gas Fire from the Bell Club Newsletter Thanks to JOR.... QUOTE...50 years ago this month, on Friday January 13, 1967 a major gas explosion occurred at 101 Avenue and Creskill Place in Queens. This incident resulted in the transmission of 13 alarms. The following is an edited and abbreviated version of the run-down that appeared in the January-February-March 1967 issue of the “Third Alarmer”. I have also taken the liberty of using some of the abbreviations I use in summaries of the current rundowns. See WNYF 1967 2nd issue for additional information regarding this incident.
5:19AM: Box 4758 - E270, E298, L127, BC51 (first due units E303, L126 & BC50 were on another run). 5:31AM: 22-4758 - B/O BC51 “for a massive gas rupture. Precautionary 2nd alarm transmitted to utilize companies to evacuate the neighborhood in conjunction with the NYPD. All units to report 1 block west of Cresskill Pl and 101 Ave and meet BC51. Citizens in immediate area are being evacuated. Brooklyn Union Gas urgently requested to respond immediately”. Response: E308, E302, E275, R4, L155, DC13, Searchlight 24, Safety Unit Car 500, Photo Unit, FC2, SAT3 and Car 956 (Satellite Officer). 5:36AM: Third alarm B/O DC13 (DC Winegar) - E315, E305, E301, L125, BC54...FD Ambulance 3, Superpumper System and Assistant Chief on duty – Francis J Love (Car
...DC13 reported gas leak had erupted into a flaming holocaust!!! ”Flaming fire now erupting from manholes”...DOUBTFUL... 5:39AM: Fourth Alarm B/O DC13...E293, E317, E299 & L142...”BC51 to Queens----Have all 4th alarm companies respond in to fire and use heavy caliber streams in any direction possible. Special call two additional BC’s (BC50, BC39) and have them assume control on east side of fire at Allendale. Also notify Con Edison....” 5:47AM: Via Radio – “DC13 to Queens --- All 4th alarm units to respond North and West and assume defensive positions...TRANSMIT A FIFTH ALARM and have units approach from the East...SEVERAL BUILDINGS NOW INVOLVED!!” FIFTH ALARM: E319, E236, E252, E232 & L151...5:50AM: Car 5 – Chief of Department JOHN T. O’HAGAN... ”Responding to Fifth alarm...notify gas utility companies to respond...emphasize this is a major incident...will require abnormal response of
(utilities)...everything available to be sent...Have high officials of such companies also respond 5:51AM: AC FRANCIS LOVE...”Have arrived at scene at 101 Avenue and Liverpool Street body of fire approximately 100’ in diameter...Car 8 located 100’ East of fire...approximately half a dozen buildings involved...practically impossible to enter the fire area...” 5:55AM: Car 8 – “Recommend to Car 5 (en-route) that a 3rd alarm Boro Call be transmitted”. Car 5 agreed and advised that instructions be given to units responding on Boro Call to have a chief in command of each sector and have them anticipate the arrival and control of companies responding...5:56AM: A 3rd alarm response of engines only normally assigned to Brooklyn Box 958 – Atlantic & Bedford Aves. responded to Queens Box 4758...5:58AM: Car 8...”Have (Boro Call) companies respond in on Liberty & approximately 100 Ave. Send 4 companies to 101 Ave and Allendale”...1st alarm E235, E219, E280...2nd alarm: E214, E234, E209...3rd alarm: E249, E256, E230, E210...6:04AM: Car 8 – “Recommend to Car 5 that Boro Call be increased to a FIFTH ALARM & have these units respond in to 101 Ave. and Brisbin St.” Car 5 approved recommendation & radioed dispatcher to transmit 5th alarm Boro Call and to stand-by to receive instructions to set up a defense...Requested radio be kept clear for urgent fire traffic from Car 5 – Chief of Dept. O’HAGAN. At 6:05AM the following report received from Car 5...”Center of fire incident is to be taken as 101 Ave & Brisbin St...East Front – Allendale St; West Front – Sanders Pl; North Front – Atlantic Ave; South Front – Liberty Av...Have one Staff Officer on each (of above) sectors or fronts... 6:06AM: 4th alarm: E211, E226, E217, E207; 5th alarm: E269, E222, E248, E220...6:14AM: TOWER LADDER #1 special called to scene by orders of Car 5...6:15AM: Satellite 1 to respond to 101 Ave & Brisbin; Satellite 2 to approach from North end of fire and stretch lines two blocks below fire area... 6:20AM: SUPERPUMPER responding to Sutphin Blvd & 103 Ave where a large 48” main was available for water supply...6:35AM: “Car 5 to CITY-WIDE ”Prepare to transmit an additional Boro Call...will give order when required...have all utility companies respond to 101 Ave & Brisbin St“. 6:37AM: “CITY-WIDE to Car 5”...CON ED and all
utilities notified and are responding...6:50AM: Car 5 advised all incoming Boro Call units & Tower Ladder to respond to Liverpool and 101 Aves. 6:56AM: “BY ORDERS OF CAR 5 – TRANSMIT AN ADDITIONAL 3RD ALARM BORO CALL”.6:57AM: A 3rd alarm response of engines only due to respond to Manhattan Box 174 Bowery and Canal St, were to respond instead to Queens Box 4758...1st alarm; E9, E55, E31...2nd alarm; E17, E15, E7, E32...3rd alarm; E27, E33, E13 and E10. 6:59AM: “CITY-WIDE TO FIELD COMM UNIT” ”The American Red Cross requests all evacuees to respond to St Pius Church, 106 Ave & Liverpool St”...Field Comm 2 complied with this request and presently hundreds of men women and children – in various stages of shock and fright – came to the Church seeking help and comfort which was quickly forthcoming....7:03AM: (Via Manhattan Radio)...”All 3rd alarm engine companies responding from Manhattan are to proceed to Sutphin Blvd and 103 Ave and prepare to relay water (from Superpumper)...”7:13AM: PROGRESS REPORT from Car 5: “Fire front on 97 Ave., Allendale St, Liberty Ave & Cresskill Pl. Center of fire is a large gas main break at Brisbin & 101 Ave. There are an undetermined number of private residential homes that have been involved in fire. Unable to extinguish main body of fire which is caused by a large column of illuminating gas which is burning at a height of approximately 50 to 75 feet...Defensive lines have been established to attempt to confine fire to present involvement. 8:11AM: BY ORDER OF CAR 5: All companies up to and including the (original) 5th alarm assigned on Box 4758 are to be relieved at the scene & their relief are to report to 101 Ave. and Allendale St. Relief of all Boro Call units are to remain in quarters unless receiving special instructions...9:51AM: PROGRESS REPORT #8 FROM CAR 5: “Structural fires under control...gas fires extinguished...gas leakage has not been controlled...overall control will not be given until gas leak is stopped.10:05AM: SOCONY GAS & OIL UNIT to respond...11:16AM: Satellite 1 in service... Satellites 2 & 3 still
operating...12:02PM: SUPERPUMPER SYSTEM leaving scene by orders of DAC Ratner...3:21PM: PROGRESS REPORT #9 FROM CAR 5: “Gas leakage stopped...overall problem under control. Car 5 leaving the scene...END OF REPORT. UNQUOTE.