Firefighting in Holyoke

The history of fire fighting in Holyoke is vast. There are still many of the old stations around Holyoke along with the new. The first motor fire truck (steam-driven) was in 1901. The last horse driven fire truck was in 1922.

Engine 9 is a 1935 Mack with a 750 GPM pumper. By 1965 it is in reserve only.

The types of jobs found in the Holyoke Fire department are: foreman, first assistant, clerk, driver, engineer, stoker, and hose driver.

A fire college was started in Holyoke in 1946.

In 1888 the fire hydrants are separated by 500 feet but workers installed more so that there was now 250 feet between them.

Firemen deaths from work:

Capt James J Long of Pumping Co 3 dies Aug 29 1922 four days after fighting a fire at the Parsons Paper Mill. Smoke inhalation caused a heart attack.

Fireman John J O’Connell dies June 24 1933 while at a fire at 858 Hampden Street for a motor horse van. He died of an acute heart attack. (appt Dec 28 1926)

Fireman James P Kiely dies Dec 23 1938 a day after fighting a fire at 84 Hampshire Street. He had become a fireman on Oct 25 of that same year. Died of monoxide.

James F Lacey (appt September 28 1923) and dies in the line of duty on May 6 1960.

Lieutenant Joseph F Riley dies May 2 1968 at a 96 High Street fire.

Tragic Fires:

Precious Blood Church fire of 1875

West Street fire of 1964

Walter Scott medal

yeardatelocations
1945Arthur H LaneOct 26393-9 Main St
1946Wilfred Cote
Thomas McGough
April 3099 Essex
1947Raymond Collins (captain)Nov 726-28 Ely Street

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