Fire Department Sleighs Used During Heavy Snow in New England

Fire Department Sleighs Used During Heavy Snow in New England

The recent heavy nows in New England have made many streets impassable to motor driven fire apparatus and as a result of the existing conditions a considerable number of fires gained headway and in some cases destroyed property which could have been saved under normal circumstances. There were frequent cases of engines, becoming stalled in the snow. Some of the city fire departments installed “pungs” or horse drawn sleighs equipped with hose and chemical extinguishers to respond to alarms in hilly sections and over snow clogged roads.

Among the municipalities using this form of emergency equipment were Boston. Quincy, Everett, Beverly, Newburyport, Randolph, and Woburn, all in Massachusetts.

hire apparatus of the Braintree department became stuck in drifts while responding to an alarm for a fire that destroyed the home of Dominic Caramanica. Two boys and two girls, cut off by fire from doors and stairways in a house at Point Shirley, Winthrop, leaped from a second story window into a snow bank and escaped unhurt. Fire apparatus became blocked a quarter of a mile away and_ firemen had to stretch in hose lines by hand.

Engine 1. of East Woburn, Mass., ran into a snow bank and was delayed for a half hour while responding to the general alarm for the fire in the Gorin Block on Main Street, Woburn. Engine 4 was also delayed.

In Quincy, Mass., Engine 1 became stalled in the snow while responding to an alarm for a blaze in the house of John Callahan in South Quincy. The preceding night Engine 2 and Ladder 1 became stalled while going to a fire in the Montclair section of Quincy.

In Hull, Mass., Engines 2 and 3 and Chemicals 5 and 7 became stalled in deep snow while answering a call from Nantasket Avenue and Main Street and were two hours being dug out.

The house of Dana A. Brewster, situated two iniles from the center of Haverhill, Mass., was burned to the ground as city apparatus was unable to get within a quarter of a mile of the burning building owing to snow drifts.

In Newburyport Engine 7 became stalled while going to a fire that caused heavy damage in the home of Ernest Boudreau at the junction of Merrimac and Kent Streets.

A garage on Sydney street in the Dorchester district of Boston was burned to the ground when motor apparatus was unable to proceed nearer to the fire than Dorchester Avenue because of deep snow.

Fire destroyed a 2 story frame building of the Catholic Mission School in Duxbury, Mass., while apparatus attempting to reach the scene from Duxbury and Kingston was held up bysnow blocked roads.

In Woburn a pung carrying hose to a fire in the Greek Orthodox Church came to grief when the two horses drawing it became frightened at the alarm siren and ran away spilling the hose and equipment along the road. In Randolph a horse obtained for fire service was stabled in an old barn the floor of which collapsed during the night and the animal was only rescued alter great difficulty.

The storm showed the necessity of detailing men to shovel the snow clear of hydrants which in manf cases were completely buried It also made evident the fact that even the most powerful motor apparatus cannot be depended upon to plow through deep snow and that under blizzard conditions nothing can take the place of horse drawn equipment on runners.

Sioux City, la., to Vote on Firemen’s Wage Increase—A petition is being circulated about Sioux City, la., to place the question of an increase in the firemen’s salary before the voters on March 29.

Milford, Neb., Firemen Have Banquet—The fire department of Milford, Neb., held their twenty-second annual banquet in a building which was decorated with animals’ heads to represent a hunting lodge.

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