Author Topic: Remembrance  (Read 11199 times)

Offline *******

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Re: Remembrance
« Reply #15 on: November 26, 2018, 07:42:36 PM »
Whenever Thanksgiving comes around I can't help but remembering 1961, the Times Tower Fire that Thanksgiving eve. From WNYF Winter 1962- The Times Tower is a 25 story building with a cellar and 3 sub-cellars, the 4th cellar being 70' below the street and was where the fire originated.  This cellar 110' wide was being used for the storage of stuffed toys made from kapok, excelsior and plastics. On arrival units were informed that two cleaning women were trapped on the top floor Two firefighters from Ladder 24  FF Charles A. Lange and FF Robert R. Hurst took an elevator under the control of a building porter a Mr. Frank Washington to an upper floor to begin their rescue search. Both members were overcome by rising toxic gases when exiting the elevator, both firefighters succumbed to their injuries. Mr. Washington's body was found in the stuck elevator the next day. It took eleven hand-lines to extinguish the fire.

I was working a 6x9 tour in Engine 74 that night. 74 responded on the 5th alarm. At this time we only carried two Scott masks on the engine and one MSA (filter) mask. On arrival my company officer Captain Harry Waldron (RIP) was told to mask up and relieve on a stretched line. Waldron and another firefighter donned 74's two Scotts and descended down the 7th Avenue stairway. Around 15 minutes later Waldron came back up and I donned the his mask with a fresh tank. The Scott's at this time had no low air PAK alarm nor a pressure gauge on the mask hose assembly. The only gauge was on the cylinder.  We were told/trained that a full cylinder had approximately 20 minutes of work time air and for you to "estimate" how much time you had used and had left at a job. I went down the stairway and followed a 2 1/2 " line down. I don't know what level I reached 3rd or the 4th when the line took me into a doorway and I found a shut down nozzle lying on the the ground. I picked the nozzle up and opened the line into smoke. A few minutes later a firefighter backed me up and we continued to hit smoke. A few minutes later a Battalion Chief crawled up and told us to shut down and report back up to the street. We were there another hour or so taking up a few of the lines. Didn't do much at this fire but it has never left me.

May Firefighters Lange and Hurst continue to Rest in Peace. never forget their last full measure of devotion.

Nycfire.net

Re: Remembrance
« Reply #15 on: November 26, 2018, 07:42:36 PM »

Offline mack

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Re: Remembrance
« Reply #16 on: November 27, 2018, 12:45:41 PM »
     

     RIP.  Never forget.

Offline *******

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Re: Remembrance
« Reply #17 on: November 30, 2018, 11:08:07 AM »
Over the past few years I wrote of the following . I would like to tie these memories together in this one History category, while I can.

The Bravest of the Brave. In my 37 years I never worked with a FDNY coward. They were, to the man, the bravest.But one firefighter did stand alone, FF Thomas Neary. I worked with Tommy when he was a firefighter in L31. One summer night in 1975 the Division 6 Deputy came into qtrs (82,31,B27) with a photographer from Life magazine. Dennis Smith's book "Report From Engine 82" had been on the best seller list for several months and Life wanted to do a pictorial about the house/men in the magazine as a human interest article. As we lined up for a chief's roll call a first due box for 82&31 came in. We responded with the deputy and photographer following us in the division car. E94 and L48 were returning from a box in the area and saw the column of smoke from the fire and responded. Normally second due on the box they both arrived in first. On arrival I saw that we had a fire in a 5 story, top floor, of a fully occupied OLT. There were 3 windows fronting the top floor fire apartment, 2 in the same large room and the third in a small bedroom which the fire escape served. Fire was venting from the FE room with heavy smoke showing from the remaining 2 windows. In the farthest window over a woman was screaming hanging out the window holding a small child out in front of her. E94 was stretching, L48 was raising their aerial. The ladder was malfunctioning, it would elevate and extend but was jamming on rotation, the tip of the ladder was several feet from the window. We carried a life net on 82, I told my guys to get it,but, the OLT had an outside front cellar entrance directly under the fire apartment line of windows guarded by a steel sharp metal fence with spikes. If/when the woman threw the child out and down most likely the child as would she if she jumped be impaled on the spikes. There were several hundred people in the street half yelling her to throw the child the other half yelling for her to stay put. Fire now began to show in the second window over. L31 arrived, 4 of the guys went for their roof rope. FF Neary and his Lt. Donald Butler went up the fire buildings stoop. Moments later fire was venting from the 2nd window and beginning to show at the top of the 3rd window. The woman reached out and was beginning to throw the child when a firefighter embraced her. FF Neary. A second later Lt. Butler also came into view grabbed the child and dove out the window onto the tip of the aerial still a few feet from the window. Neary then took the woman and threw her out onto the aerial caught by a L48 firefighter. Neary then dove out onto the aerial (no bunker gear then) with his turnout coat smoldering and his pant legs showing fire. You could hear a pin drop in the now quiet street.  All 4 went to the hospital, Neary and Butler were both out on medical leave for several months due to the burns. Later L48 said they "felt like shit" when Neary then Butler went over them into the fully involved apartment hallway to rescue the woman and child, neither with a mask. No one faulted them. Butler himself said that he would not have done so but when Tommy went in "he had to go also." After, I went over to the Life photographer and asked if he had gotten any pictures of the rescue. He said that he was so taken by what he was seeing that he didn't take a single picture.

Neary and Butler were both awarded a Class One award, a rescue made under extreme personal danger. That year Neary was awarded the oldest FDNY medal the Bennett medal which is the FDNY's Medal of Honor.

Neary was promoted to Lieutenant and assigned to L28 in Harlem. Another fire and another child trapped in a rear bedroom with a fully involved room blocking a rescue. Neary took a door off an apartment door, laid on the floor with the door over him, slid across the floor to the trapped child's room, rescued the child and then slid back out. No mask, wore gloves, but still received severe burns to both hands from holding the door. Neary received a Class One award and his second Bennett medal.

« Last Edit: December 06, 2018, 09:23:05 AM by ******* »

Offline mikeindabronx

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Re: Remembrance
« Reply #18 on: November 30, 2018, 12:38:01 PM »
Lt. Tom Neary, L-28, in the center:



Lt. Tom Neary L-28 after a job:



Lt. Tom Neary & members of L-28 operating
at a store fire with occupied tenement above:


Offline mack

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Re: Remembrance
« Reply #19 on: December 05, 2018, 09:36:12 PM »
LT Thomas J. Neary -1980

     

     



Offline *******

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Re: Remembrance
« Reply #20 on: December 20, 2018, 04:53:33 PM »
One of the brothers who must be remembered in this History section, BC Pete Valenzano, the father of the FDNY foam system/coordinators. I thought of Pete when I saw on D.O.112 the department is looking for a BC to assume the duties of the Foam Program Manager. One of my first assignments on the staff was that of Deputy Boro Cmdr Brooklyn, car 7B. One of the duties of car 7B  was the Long Island Pipeline Coordinator. For those unfamiliar the Long Island Pipeline is the supply line for aircraft fuel for JFK and LGA  airports. The pipeline originates in Bayonne, NJ runs underground to Staten Island then into Brooklyn and Queens where it branches off one branch to JFK and one to LGA.

I was working a day tour in the Bklyn Boro when a second alarm came in for a "leak" in the pipeline in Staten Island. The "leak" turned out to be 21,000 gallons of gasoline running down a major Blvd in S.I. The pipeline company doing a repair had knocked off a valve on the pipeline causing a geyser of gasoline 30 feet high spraying a number of near-by homes and creating a river of gasoline running down the blvd. We began to foam the river. A wood plank was thrown over the geyser to stop the spray. I grabbed an engine officer going by and told him he was my foam control guy to make sure we had all the foam cans on hand ready for use, I never saw him again. A pipeline worker with balls of steel went into the hole with gasoline up to his waist and was able to tap the valve hole. We had 4 foam lines protecting him but if there was ignition he was toast, literally. The incident went to 4 alarms without ignition.

The next day I was at headquarters and was talking to AC Bishop, Chief of Ops and AC Harris Ass't Chief of Ops. I said to them that we have to have  a chief in charge of our foam system. The next day in the bag I received a letter from Ops that I was now the FDNY Foam Coordinator. I knew nothing about foam delivery other than put a foam nozzle on a line, dip the nozzle wand into a foam can and spray the foam. Talking to some chiefs I was told that there was a BC in the Bx that loved foam, his nickname was bubbles, Pete Valenzano. I called Pete and asked him if he would take a detail to Training to develop foam delivery procedures and train foam coordinators. He said sure. I went to the Chief of Department John O'Rourke and asked him for Pete's detail. O'Rourke said I could have him for 2 weeks, Pete was there for 6 years before he retired. He was such an asset at Training that they wouldn't give him up. The FDNY foam program/coordinators was born. Within a year we had a number of different city chief's come to NY to see first hand his foam program/procedures.

Pete worked in busy companies throughout the war years. As did many, retired around 1990, retired but a few years he developed cancer, suffered greatly,  and passed away. Rest in Peace Pete, what you gave birth to in 1985 is alive and well.

Offline raybrag

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Re: Remembrance
« Reply #21 on: December 20, 2018, 04:57:23 PM »
Thanks for that, Chief.  As always, your stories are great.  Merry Christmas to you and yours.
Ray Braguglia
Newport News VA


Offline hosewagon

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Re: Remembrance
« Reply #22 on: December 20, 2018, 06:13:11 PM »
Another Great and interesting story!!! Thanks Chief!!!

Online 68jk09

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Re: Remembrance
« Reply #23 on: December 20, 2018, 07:54:46 PM »
*******  Question. Could that worker waist deep in the hole been FF Pete B. from R*2 ?

Offline *******

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Re: Remembrance
« Reply #24 on: December 21, 2018, 09:35:51 AM »
It may have been 68jk09, been a lot of years. But I believe it was a L I Pipeline worker. When I first was given Pipeline Coordinator at the boro I went over to Bayonne to familiarize myself with the companies procedures. Had a nice visit with their plant supervisor, fellow named Russ. He was very proud and confident in their safety procedures. He assured me that any pipeline leak would be immediately detected by their flow system and shut down immediately with the maximum loss of only 50 gallons of fuel. At the incident he came walking by me and I called his name. When he looked over I pointed to the geyser. He just shrugged, shook his head and kept walking. But all in all the L I Pipeline is a good, and safe (hopefully) system. 

Offline 69 METS

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Re: Remembrance
« Reply #25 on: December 23, 2018, 01:06:09 AM »
Thanks for sharing the story of how our job ended up with a foam coordinator, Chief. BC Valenzano was well thought of by the Brothers.

Offline *******

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Re: Remembrance
« Reply #26 on: January 05, 2019, 01:00:02 PM »
1960 the Division of Training AKA The Rock. A few months before I was appointed to the department in 1960 the NY Daily News wrote an article about the FDNY Unions being at war with the then Fire Commissioner Edward Cavanaugh. This war was over fire companies being brought to the Division of Training for performance evaluation. Companies were called to the rock to be tested for "by the book" evolutions (hose stretch, fitting use, special equip etc.). Usually 5 evolutions were performed, if a company failed 3 or more they were delinquent. Captains of companies who had failed were being lifted to covering assignments. The company was retested a few weeks later and God help all the company officers if the company failed again. When I was appointed 3/30/60 the first month and a half I rode with different Bronx companies until my class started in May. The training was 2 weeks first at the Fire College in Long Island City, book learning laws, insp. procedures etc. (where the shops are) then 2 weeks at the ladder school in Manhattan (behind 39/16 qtrs). We finished up with 4 weeks at the rock basically mask use, smoke house, stretching etc. The rock was on Welfare/Roosevelt Island.

I was assigned to Engine 74 then quartered next to L25 on 77th street and Broadway in Manhattan. I can only remember being called once to the rock for evaluation. We passed 4 out of the 5 tests. The way you were called to the rock was by the bells. If you worked in any of the boro's other than Manhattan the bells would hit with the signal 66-5-920-265 for 265 engine in Queens or 66-7-920-41 for 41 engine in the Bronx. These rock bells came in right after the AM 11-11 bells. When we would hear the 5-920-?? everyone would hold their breath waiting and hoping we were spared. If your company was called everyone in the house (both companies if double house and even off going guys) would immediately wash the rig, check the masks, properly stow the equipment etc. as apparatus, tools and equipment was evaluated for cleanliness etc. and part of your overall mark. A short written test was also given.

I was assigned to 50 engine as a Lt. 1/70. I don't remember being called to the rock as a Lt. Of course with Cavanaugh long gone a lot of the evaluations pressure was off. But still if you "failed" you would be given a "smack" by the boro and told to shape up. I was assigned to 82 engine as Captain 9/73. I was only called to the rock once while in 82, the summer of 75. I was a little concerned as we never by the book drilled in 82, was to busy. But the guys did great. Many years but I think we only failed one of the evolutions. We finished up our last evolution on a pathway next to the East River. As the guys finished putting the hose back I told them the great job they did and how I appreciated it. I heard a big boat going by and looked over. It was the Circle Line boat loaded with tourists lining the deck. I believe that when the boat was passing the rock the tourists were told "on your right is the training academy for the FDNY." Some of the tourists were waving, I waved back. I still remember, pictures in my head, of many of the events that I experienced in the FDNY during my 37 years. One of these was after waving at the tourists I looked back at my guys and found one of them up on the seawall railing mooning the tourists.


Offline nfd2004

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Re: Remembrance
« Reply #27 on: January 05, 2019, 03:45:10 PM »
 Chief, once again, Thank you for that story. Such a different time. Those of us that were around that time often still talk about it.

 One of the things that a few of us recently talked about was the ground breaking ceremony for the "Tin House" in the Bronx. It had been posted by a member here in the "FDNY and NYC Firehouses and Fire Companies - 2nd section" (page 49, reply # 729) that the ground breaking ceremony for that "Tin House" was originally planned for Engine Co 50. That member also posted a picture of that taking place in October, 1970.

 As a Lt in Eng 50 in January, 1970, do you remember if that was the case ? Of course later once it was opened it became the quarters of Eng 85 and TCU 712.

 Your stories here, as well as so many other stories, etc., from so many members on the history of the FDNY is needed to be preserved for future generations to come. Many stories such as yours, are unimaginable today. 

Offline mack

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Re: Remembrance
« Reply #28 on: January 05, 2019, 03:53:16 PM »
1960 the Division of Training AKA The Rock. A few months before I was appointed to the department in 1960 the NY Daily News wrote an article about the FDNY Unions being at war with the then Fire Commissioner Edward Cavanaugh. This war was over fire companies being brought to the Division of Training for performance evaluation. Companies were called to the rock to be tested for "by the book" evolutions (hose stretch, fitting use, special equip etc.). Usually 5 evolutions were performed, if a company failed 3 or more they were delinquent. Captains of companies who had failed were being lifted to covering assignments. The company was retested a few weeks later and God help all the company officers if the company failed again. When I was appointed 3/30/60 the first month and a half I rode with different Bronx companies until my class started in May. The training was 2 weeks first at the Fire College in Long Island City, book learning laws, insp. procedures etc. (where the shops are) then 2 weeks at the ladder school in Manhattan (behind 39/16 qtrs). We finished up with 4 weeks at the rock basically mask use, smoke house, stretching etc. The rock was on Welfare/Roosevelt Island.

I was assigned to Engine 74 then quartered next to L25 on 77th street and Broadway in Manhattan. I can only remember being called once to the rock for evaluation. We passed 4 out of the 5 tests. The way you were called to the rock was by the bells. If you worked in any of the boro's other than Manhattan the bells would hit with the signal 66-5-920-265 for 265 engine in Queens or 66-7-920-41 for 41 engine in the Bronx. These rock bells came in right after the AM 11-11 bells. When we would hear the 5-920-?? everyone would hold their breath waiting and hoping we were spared. If your company was called everyone in the house (both companies if double house and even off going guys) would immediately wash the rig, check the masks, properly stow the equipment etc. as apparatus, tools and equipment was evaluated for cleanliness etc. and part of your overall mark. A short written test was also given.

I was assigned to 50 engine as a Lt. 1/70. I don't remember being called to the rock as a Lt. Of course with Cavanaugh long gone a lot of the evaluations pressure was off. But still if you "failed" you would be given a "smack" by the boro and told to shape up. I was assigned to 82 engine as Captain 9/73. I was only called to the rock once while in 82, the summer of 75. I was a little concerned as we never by the book drilled in 82, was to busy. But the guys did great. Many years but I think we only failed one of the evolutions. We finished up our last evolution on a pathway next to the East River. As the guys finished putting the hose back I told them the great job they did and how I appreciated it. I heard a big boat going by and looked over. It was the Circle Line boat loaded with tourists lining the deck. I believe that when the boat was passing the rock the tourists were told "on your right is the training academy for the FDNY." Some of the tourists were waving, I waved back. I still remember, pictures in my head, of many of the events that I experienced in the FDNY during my 37 years. One of these was after waving at the tourists I looked back at my guys and found one of them up on the seawall railing mooning the tourists.


Thanks Chief for Welfare Island :The Rock" info.  Here are some pictures of 1964 FDNY Welfare Island Training:


     http://www.flickr.com/photos/95364995@N00/sets/72157604056697044/with/2315252460/

Offline memory master

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Re: Remembrance
« Reply #29 on: January 05, 2019, 04:27:29 PM »
Nice photos Mack, thank you. I a couple of them, Battalion Chief Marty Kehayas (Spelling may be incorrect) who was in charge of the Proby school during that time. Lt. Frank Screder was in charge of the chauffeur training.