Four Pumpers Force Water Up Hill
Fire fighting history was written into the records of the Waterbury, Conn., Fire Department on June 7, when four pumpers were hooked up as one unit to force water twothirds of a mile and save a home in the village of Oakville, a suburb of Waterbury. Thirty-six hundred feet of 2 1/2-inch hose line was stretched in to get water from the last hydrant on Colonial Avenue, Waterbury, to a fire on the property of Peter Vaichus, at the extreme end of Sunnyside Avenue, in Oakville.
When two and then three pumpers failed to force water up a steep hill that leads from the last Waterbury hydrant to the property, a fourth one was put in service with the result that a stream under 100 pounds pressure, was available.
By this method the home was saved after a barn, two garages, chicken coops and a hayloft had been destroyed. When the alarm for the fire was received at Headquarters in Waterbury, two pumpers and a chemical company from that city responded. Two pumpers from Watertown, another Waterbury suburb, were also called to aid.
The paid city firemen and the town volunteers worked as one unit, under the direction of Deputy Chief Thomas Cavanaugh and Acting Deputy Chief Martin Campion, of the Waterbury department, and Chief Raymond Palmer, of Watertown.
Water was pumped continuously by the four-pumper hook-up from 5 a.m. to 10 a.m. Engine 9, of the Waterbury department, connected the last city hydrant, and with 180 pounds pressure, forced the water up the hill through 950 feet of 2 1/2-inch hose. This line was picked up by Engine 8, which, with 160 pounds pressure, propelled the water 700 additional feet to Watertown’s No. 1 pumper, which, with 140 pounds pressure, forced the stream 950 more feet. Watertown’s No. 2 pumper picked the line up at this point and with 100 pounds pressure, completed the circuit by forcing water through 600 more feet of hose to give firemen at the nozzle as forceful a stream as would have been afforded by a pumper in the dooryard. The nozzle pressure was 60 pounds.