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 (started in 1922)

1922Walter Scott WattMarch 17, 192230 Lyman Street
1923George Hickson (police officer)
1924Archibald Malcolm
Daniel Cavanaugh
March 12 1923High and Essex
1929Roger Donoghue
Louis Desilets
Second Level Canal
1931Thomas McMahonJan 21 1931113 Lyman Street
1932Daniel McLean
1935Christopher ManningMay 1 1935High Street
1945Arthur H LaneOct 26393-9 Main St
1946Wilfred Cote
Thomas McGough
April 3099 Essex
1947Raymond Collins (captain)Nov 726-28 Ely Street
1956William HartApril 9High and Cabot
1958William Fay
1961Gerald O’Connor
2017Philip Brian Kraus
Anthony Deroy
Jan 1106 North East St

(no awards 1923 – 1927 – 1928 – 1930 – 1933 – 1934 – 1936 to 1944 – 1951 from the Walter Scott Medal Board of Awards)

Only Boston, Detroit, New York City, Worcester, and Holyoke are the locations that have such an award. Argentine and Ireland also have the Scott medal.

29 Nov 1922 HTT

18 Nov 1933 HTT

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