Author Topic: 10-26-62...MASPETH FIRE 6 LODDs.  (Read 3745 times)

Offline 68jk09

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10-26-62...MASPETH FIRE 6 LODDs.
« on: October 25, 2014, 10:16:53 PM »
Today 10-26-15 is the 53rd Anniversary of the Maspeth Fire........CONTINUED RIP TO ALL.......These postings & links are a compilation of previous years submissions by several posters on here....the dates may not be relevant but the stories all pertain to the Fire....  QUOTE FROM D.O. 70 10-18-12 PARAGRAPH 2.3.................PLAQUE DEDICATION & 50TH ANNIVERSARY.............. On Fri 10-26-12 at 1300 hrs a Plaque dedication will be held commemorating the 50th Anniversary of the Maspeth Fire which occurred on 10-26-62 where 6 FDNY Members made the Supreme Sacrifice. the dedication will take place at 44-07 56 Road QNS NY. All Off Duty Members & their Families are invited to attend. Members are requested to attend in Dress Uniform. UNQUOTE............................This is a Plaque that was initiated & provided by the current business owner at the location.....it is occurring 50 yrs to the date (which incidentally also fell on a Friday).....this is an event that all should make an attempt to attend if possible.....please pass the word around.
...........................................................................................
NY Newsday story on the Plaque. ..... For more than 20 years, Peter Keane ran his auto body shop in Maspeth, Queens, without realizing it was the site of one of New York City's deadliest fires, which claimed the lives of six firefighters.

The businessman only learned of the five-alarm blaze recently while renovating the building. He came across charred wood and a collapsed elevator shaft -- remnants of the old soap factory destroyed in the Oct. 26, 1962, inferno.

Keane said he was surprised that no one in the area knew of the fire when he asked around.

"We have to do something for them," he said of the firefighters who died in the line of duty, including two from Long Island.

Keane, 50, of Bayside, plans to remind others of the first responders' ultimate sacrifice by putting up a plaque and marking the 50th anniversary of the blaze.

His V.I.P. Auto Body shop has been at the site since 1990 and he bought the building in 2007.

When he came across evidence of the fire, he called a friend at the FDNY who helped him with the research. They were both stunned at the results.

"There are a few fires . . . that are pretty well-known and spoken about," said firefighter Michael Sarro, Keane's friend. "It's definitely one of them for sure."

The first firefighters arrived at the Sefu Soap and Fat Co., 44-15 56th Rd., about 9 p.m. Rendered fat and soap inside the two-story building had created huge flames, thick smoke and intense heat.

As crews battled the blaze, a metal roof came crashing down, causing a brick side wall to collapse on top of 20 firefighters. Fellow firefighters were able to dig out 14 of the injured men, but the others were buried under 6 feet of debris and could not be saved.

Killed were Capt. William Russell, 43, of Wantagh; and firefighters Richard Andrews, 25, of Jamaica; James Marino, 29, of Corona; Richard Gifford, 24, of Bellerose; George Zahn, 25, of Jackson Heights, and Francis Egan, 29, of Merrick.

New York Mayor Robert Wagner, who rushed to the scene, called it a "terrible tragedy." More than 3,000 firemen from as far away as Montreal later paid their respects in a funeral procession down Fifth Avenue.

Earlier that day, a factory worker using an acetylene torch to cut up old machinery had accidentally started a couple of small fires. The employee thought he'd put them out but they continued to smolder, igniting the blaze hours later, investigators said.

Tom Russell, who was 10 when his father died, said an annual memorial service was held for the six firefighters for about 20 years. But with fewer firefighters around who had known them, the observances faded.

Russell, who has a brother and two sisters, said his father had been with the department for 20 years.

"My father . . . wouldn't send his men to do anything he wouldn't do himself, so he went in with them," he said of the tragic fire.

Informed of Keane's plan to install a memorial plaque at the site, Russell said, "It's a really nice idea."

Keane has ordered the plaque with the names of the firefighters inscribed and plans to mount it at the entrance of his building. He's working with the fire department to organize a dedication ceremony.

FDNY officials did not respond to a request for comment.

Firefighter Matt Desjardin said he was gratified to hear about Keane's plan.

"That's a stand-up act by Mr. Keane," he said.

The 13-year veteran of Engine Company 325 in Woodside, which lost three men in the 1962 fire, said the victims of that night are memorialized with markers at the firehouse.

"It's our tradition to remember those who gave their lives," he said. "It's the right thing for those in the community to remember as well."

http://www.newsday.com/long-island/nassa....-1962-1.4023638


.................................................................................

Some more history on the Fire...... 6 FIREMEN DIE AS SOAP PLANT WALL CRUMBLES.

New York (AP) -- Six dead firemen were pulled early today from the debris of a collapsed wall at a fire-gutted soap factory in Queens.
More than 20 firemen were trapped Friday night when the side wall and part of the second floor gave way during the blaze. Five were hospitalized.
The whereabouts of the building's watchman and his assistant were not known, but firemen said they were not believed to be in the building.
The fire department identified the six dead as:
CAPT. WILLIAM RUSSELL, of Wantagh, N.Y.
Fireman FRANCIS EGAN, Merrick, N.Y.
Fireman GEORGE ZAHN, Jackson Heights.
Fireman RICHARD GIFFORD, Belrose.
Fireman JAMES MARINO, Corona.
Probationary Fireman RICHARD ANDREWS, Queens.
The fire broke out from an unknown cause around 9 p.m. in the two-story brick, 73-by-50-foot building housing the Sefu Fat and Soap Co.
The four-alarm fire was brought under control at 10:50 p.m., and shortly thereafter the wall fell. A fifth alarm was sounded to bring emergency equipment to the scene.
Firemen were walking in and out of the first floor of the building from a loading platform outside.
Then a voice cried out: "Look out, there goes ......"
The sentence was never finished.
The wall and ceiling tumbled down, burying the fireman under tons of bricks and other debris.

Charleston Daily Mail West Virginia 1962-10-27

.......REST IN PEACE BROTHERS.........Prayers for you & for the comfort of your Families......NEVER FORGET ! Queens box 7027 was transmitted at 2133 for a fire at the Sefu Soap and Fat Co., at 44-15 56th Road in Maspeth. 4 alarms were transmitted. The fire was declared under control at 2242. Approximately 20 members were overhauling underneath a loading shed when a wall and ceiling collapsed without warning. A Fifth Alarm was then transmitted.



FIREFIGHTER RICHARD ANDREWS ENGINE 325
FIREFIGHTER FRANCIS X. EGAN (2) LADDER 115
FIREFIGHTER RICHARD P. GIFFORD ENGINE 238
FIREFIGHTER JAMES F. MARINO ENGINE 325
CAPTAIN WILLIAM F. RUSSELL ENGINE 325
FIREFIGHTER GEORGE J. ZAHN (2) ENGINE 238
...FF Andrews had less than 6 months on the Job.... aside from the CPT...all of the other FF s had less than 3 yrs on the Job..... - The 7th LODD Firefighter depicted on the autum WNYF cover was Firefighter James J. Ruane, Engine 69, November 17, 1962 (died from smoke and burns at 535 W. 150th Street)
...................................................................................

Link to a recent Queens Ledger story w/copy of WNYF page....the 7th FF was from a separate Fire in Harlem ..... http://www.timesledger.com/stories/2012/42/honormaspethfire_fh_2012_10_18_q.html
« Last Edit: October 26, 2015, 06:09:06 PM by 68jk09 »

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10-26-62...MASPETH FIRE 6 LODDs.
« on: October 25, 2014, 10:16:53 PM »

Offline mack

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Re: 10-26-62...MASPETH FIRE 6 LODDs.
« Reply #1 on: October 25, 2014, 11:06:42 PM »



Offline mack

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Re: 10-26-62...MASPETH FIRE 6 LODDs.
« Reply #2 on: October 25, 2014, 11:08:05 PM »





Offline mack

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Re: 10-26-62...MASPETH FIRE 6 LODDs.
« Reply #3 on: October 25, 2014, 11:16:39 PM »
They came because they always do. Maspeth Remembers and Dedicates Site of Tragic Fire 50 Years ago:
http://www.junipercivic.com/historyArticle.asp?nid=95


NY Daily News:


Offline fdny1075k

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Re: 10-26-62...MASPETH FIRE 6 LODDs.
« Reply #4 on: October 26, 2014, 01:19:25 PM »
Continued R.I.P. to these 6 fallen brothers.

Offline mack

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Re: 10-26-62...MASPETH FIRE 6 LODDs.
« Reply #5 on: October 26, 2014, 03:54:48 PM »



Offline STAjo

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Re: 10-26-62...MASPETH FIRE 6 LODDs.
« Reply #6 on: October 26, 2017, 02:22:29 AM »

  God Bless Those Who Serve and, Those Who Mourn.

Offline 1261Truckie

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Re: 10-26-62...MASPETH FIRE 6 LODDs.
« Reply #7 on: October 26, 2017, 07:21:30 AM »
Continued Rest in Peace for the six lost that night. Continued thoughts and prayers for their families and friends at home and on the job.

Offline mack

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Re: 10-26-62...MASPETH FIRE 6 LODDs.
« Reply #8 on: October 26, 2017, 09:43:23 AM »
Today 10-26-15 is the 53rd Anniversary of the Maspeth Fire........CONTINUED RIP TO ALL.......These postings & links are a compilation of previous years submissions by several posters on here....the dates may not be relevant but the stories all pertain to the Fire....  QUOTE FROM D.O. 70 10-18-12 PARAGRAPH 2.3.................PLAQUE DEDICATION & 50TH ANNIVERSARY.............. On Fri 10-26-12 at 1300 hrs a Plaque dedication will be held commemorating the 50th Anniversary of the Maspeth Fire which occurred on 10-26-62 where 6 FDNY Members made the Supreme Sacrifice. the dedication will take place at 44-07 56 Road QNS NY. All Off Duty Members & their Families are invited to attend. Members are requested to attend in Dress Uniform. UNQUOTE............................This is a Plaque that was initiated & provided by the current business owner at the location.....it is occurring 50 yrs to the date (which incidentally also fell on a Friday).....this is an event that all should make an attempt to attend if possible.....please pass the word around.
...........................................................................................
NY Newsday story on the Plaque. ..... For more than 20 years, Peter Keane ran his auto body shop in Maspeth, Queens, without realizing it was the site of one of New York City's deadliest fires, which claimed the lives of six firefighters.

The businessman only learned of the five-alarm blaze recently while renovating the building. He came across charred wood and a collapsed elevator shaft -- remnants of the old soap factory destroyed in the Oct. 26, 1962, inferno.

Keane said he was surprised that no one in the area knew of the fire when he asked around.

"We have to do something for them," he said of the firefighters who died in the line of duty, including two from Long Island.

Keane, 50, of Bayside, plans to remind others of the first responders' ultimate sacrifice by putting up a plaque and marking the 50th anniversary of the blaze.

His V.I.P. Auto Body shop has been at the site since 1990 and he bought the building in 2007.

When he came across evidence of the fire, he called a friend at the FDNY who helped him with the research. They were both stunned at the results.

"There are a few fires . . . that are pretty well-known and spoken about," said firefighter Michael Sarro, Keane's friend. "It's definitely one of them for sure."

The first firefighters arrived at the Sefu Soap and Fat Co., 44-15 56th Rd., about 9 p.m. Rendered fat and soap inside the two-story building had created huge flames, thick smoke and intense heat.

As crews battled the blaze, a metal roof came crashing down, causing a brick side wall to collapse on top of 20 firefighters. Fellow firefighters were able to dig out 14 of the injured men, but the others were buried under 6 feet of debris and could not be saved.

Killed were Capt. William Russell, 43, of Wantagh; and firefighters Richard Andrews, 25, of Jamaica; James Marino, 29, of Corona; Richard Gifford, 24, of Bellerose; George Zahn, 25, of Jackson Heights, and Francis Egan, 29, of Merrick.

New York Mayor Robert Wagner, who rushed to the scene, called it a "terrible tragedy." More than 3,000 firemen from as far away as Montreal later paid their respects in a funeral procession down Fifth Avenue.

Earlier that day, a factory worker using an acetylene torch to cut up old machinery had accidentally started a couple of small fires. The employee thought he'd put them out but they continued to smolder, igniting the blaze hours later, investigators said.

Tom Russell, who was 10 when his father died, said an annual memorial service was held for the six firefighters for about 20 years. But with fewer firefighters around who had known them, the observances faded.

Russell, who has a brother and two sisters, said his father had been with the department for 20 years.

"My father . . . wouldn't send his men to do anything he wouldn't do himself, so he went in with them," he said of the tragic fire.

Informed of Keane's plan to install a memorial plaque at the site, Russell said, "It's a really nice idea."

Keane has ordered the plaque with the names of the firefighters inscribed and plans to mount it at the entrance of his building. He's working with the fire department to organize a dedication ceremony.

FDNY officials did not respond to a request for comment.

Firefighter Matt Desjardin said he was gratified to hear about Keane's plan.

"That's a stand-up act by Mr. Keane," he said.

The 13-year veteran of Engine Company 325 in Woodside, which lost three men in the 1962 fire, said the victims of that night are memorialized with markers at the firehouse.

"It's our tradition to remember those who gave their lives," he said. "It's the right thing for those in the community to remember as well."

http://www.newsday.com/long-island/nassa....-1962-1.4023638


.................................................................................

Some more history on the Fire...... 6 FIREMEN DIE AS SOAP PLANT WALL CRUMBLES.

New York (AP) -- Six dead firemen were pulled early today from the debris of a collapsed wall at a fire-gutted soap factory in Queens.
More than 20 firemen were trapped Friday night when the side wall and part of the second floor gave way during the blaze. Five were hospitalized.
The whereabouts of the building's watchman and his assistant were not known, but firemen said they were not believed to be in the building.
The fire department identified the six dead as:
CAPT. WILLIAM RUSSELL, of Wantagh, N.Y.
Fireman FRANCIS EGAN, Merrick, N.Y.
Fireman GEORGE ZAHN, Jackson Heights.
Fireman RICHARD GIFFORD, Belrose.
Fireman JAMES MARINO, Corona.
Probationary Fireman RICHARD ANDREWS, Queens.
The fire broke out from an unknown cause around 9 p.m. in the two-story brick, 73-by-50-foot building housing the Sefu Fat and Soap Co.
The four-alarm fire was brought under control at 10:50 p.m., and shortly thereafter the wall fell. A fifth alarm was sounded to bring emergency equipment to the scene.
Firemen were walking in and out of the first floor of the building from a loading platform outside.
Then a voice cried out: "Look out, there goes ......"
The sentence was never finished.
The wall and ceiling tumbled down, burying the fireman under tons of bricks and other debris.

Charleston Daily Mail West Virginia 1962-10-27

.......REST IN PEACE BROTHERS.........Prayers for you & for the comfort of your Families......NEVER FORGET ! Queens box 7027 was transmitted at 2133 for a fire at the Sefu Soap and Fat Co., at 44-15 56th Road in Maspeth. 4 alarms were transmitted. The fire was declared under control at 2242. Approximately 20 members were overhauling underneath a loading shed when a wall and ceiling collapsed without warning. A Fifth Alarm was then transmitted.



FIREFIGHTER RICHARD ANDREWS ENGINE 325
FIREFIGHTER FRANCIS X. EGAN (2) LADDER 115
FIREFIGHTER RICHARD P. GIFFORD ENGINE 238
FIREFIGHTER JAMES F. MARINO ENGINE 325
CAPTAIN WILLIAM F. RUSSELL ENGINE 325
FIREFIGHTER GEORGE J. ZAHN (2) ENGINE 238
...FF Andrews had less than 6 months on the Job.... aside from the CPT...all of the other FF s had less than 3 yrs on the Job..... - The 7th LODD Firefighter depicted on the autum WNYF cover was Firefighter James J. Ruane, Engine 69, November 17, 1962 (died from smoke and burns at 535 W. 150th Street)
...................................................................................

Link to a recent Queens Ledger story w/copy of WNYF page....the 7th FF was from a separate Fire in Harlem ..... http://www.timesledger.com/stories/2012/42/honormaspethfire_fh_2012_10_18_q.html


As the Chief pointed out, everyone except Captain Russell had been appointed two years or less.  Even the 7th firefighter, FF Ruane Engine 69 killed in Harlem, also had been a firefighter for only two years. RIP.

There were also approximately 20 other firefighters buried under the collapsed walls.

http://www.junipercivic.com/historyArticle.asp?nid=95#.WfHnSLpFyUk
« Last Edit: October 26, 2017, 09:55:02 AM by mack »

 

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