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NORTH JERSEY and WASHINGTON, DC


 

In February of 2010 I was off to the East Coast for a little R & R, visiting family and friends, and of course chasing a few fires. While the weather kept reminding me that it was still winter, a good time was had for the 10 days I spent on the road.





Montclair, NJ Firehouses

 

While traveling through Montclair, NJ I was struck with how beautiful two of their outlying firehouses were. This was the first road trip with the new camera, a Sony Cyber-Shot® DSC-H50. I’m still working on the intricacies of digital photography, and these impressive structures provided a photographic opportunity. Fire Station #2 is located at 588 Valley Road and Fire Station #3 is located at 151 Harrison Avenue.



447 North 7th Street, Newark, NJ - Working Fire

 

Newark, NJ Fire’s Tour 1 firefighters responded to a fire at 447 North 7th Street on the rainy morning of February 23rd, 2010. The fire occurred just before noon in a 2½ story wood frame dwelling and was brought under control shortly before my arrival. It was good to run into Deputy Chief Jim Smith, the Citywide Tour Commander. Jim was the Captain at Engine Company 6 when I was an Auxiliary Firefighter there back in the late 70’s. The other thing that was great to see was red fire apparatus!


CLICK THUMBNAIL TO ENLARGE PHOTO

 


Millburn, NJ Fire Department - Engine 5-3

 

I managed to get a shot of Engine 5-3 leaving Millburn, NJ Fire Headquarters on Essex Street making a response. The video capabilities of the Sony H50 camera are very cool, but I’m still learning the ins and outs of digital videography.



Washington, DC Fire Department

 

Again, I owe a huge debt of gratitude to DCFD Firefighter Chris Oliphant and Retired DCFD Communications Supervisor Elliot Goodman for putting up with me during the Washington portion of the trip. In typical fashion, fire activity in our Nation’s Capital came to a screeching halt while I was in town. Chris and I managed to catch a few jobs in the District, as well as Prince George’s County. Of course the DC area offers an eclectic collection of fire station architecture to photograph, as well as other fire service sights. Elliot was kind enough to get me in to do a ride-along with Rescue Squad 1, which provided a glimpse into the inter-workings of the DCFD from the perspective of company level operations.


The Shops

 

We made a stop by DCFD’s Apparatus Division Shops, located in the 1000 block of Half Street, SW. Here we found Engine 70’s Seagrave apparatus parked on L Street, SW awaiting an unknown fate. It did however provide an opportunity to try the new camera in a night setting.



3209 Rhode Island Avenue, NE, PG County, MD - Working Fire

 

On 02/25/10, shortly before noon, Prince George’s County Fire dispatched a working fire assignment for the apartment fire at 3209 Rhode Island Avenue, NE. Units had the fire under control before our arrival. This address is adjacent to the District of Columbia’s border.



Engine Company #26 - Then

 

Engine Company #26’s original firehouse was placed in service on July 9th, 1913 and was utilized until they moved into Truck Company #15’s firehouse on June 10th, 1940. The building still stands at 2715 22nd Street, NE.



Truck Company #15

 

Truck Company #15’s firehouse (including Engine Company #26 and Ambulance #26) is located at 1340 Rhode Island Avenue, NE. On April 21st, 1937 Truck Company 15 was organized and placed in service at 1340 Brentwood Road NE (the address was later changed to 1340 Rhode Island Avenue, NE). In June of 1940 Engine Company #26 joined them at this location.



Engine Company #12

 

Engine Company #12’s firehouse (including the Hazardous Materials Unit, Battalion Chief #1, and Ambulance #12) is located at 2225 5th Street, NE. On April 30th, 1987 the company moved to this location.



Engine Company #17

 

Engine Company #17’s firehouse is located at 1227 Monroe Street, NE. On April 22, 1905, the District of Columbia Fire Department placed Engine Company #17 in service at their present location. The firehouse was renovated in 2007 and dedicated in the memory of the company’s longest serving member, Wagon Driver Jackson Gerhart.



Engine Company #24 - Then

 

Engine Company #24 was placed in service on November 29, 1911 at 3702 Georgia Avenue, NW. The fire house was sold to the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority and the site was turned into a Metro Subway Station. The front of the original fire house was moved around the corner to the 3600 block of New Hampshire Avenue, NW and was incorporated into the Transit Authority’s Chiller Plant for the Georgia Avenue – Petworth station.



Engine Company #24 - Now

 

Engine Company #24’s firehouse (including Rescue Squad #2 and Ambulance #24) is located at 5101 Georgia Avenue, NW. In May of 1994 the company moved into their new fire house at 5101 Georgia Avenue, NW. The new fire house was designed by member of the company and built by the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority.



DCFD Special Operations

 

DCFD’s Special Operations Division building is located directly behind Engine Company #24’s quarters in the 1000 block of Gallatin Street, NW.



Engine Company #2

 

Engine Company #2’s firehouse (including Rescue Squad #1, the Deputy Fire Chief, the Command Unit, & Medic #2) is located at 500 F Street, NW. On May 31st, 1979 Engine Company #2 moved into this two-story firehouse. The company logo artwork on the apparatus doors was recently redone.



Benjamin C. Grenup Memorial

 

Benjamin C. Grenup’s (the first firefighter believed to have been killed in the line of duty in the District of Columbia) Memorial is located in the Historic Glenwood Cemetery at 2219 Lincoln Road, NE. On May 6th, 1856 Volunteer Fireman Benjamin C. Grenup of Columbia Fire Company # 1 (now DCFD Engine Company #3) was killed as a result of being thrown from the apparatus and run over while enroute to a fire call at Shreeve's Stable on 7th Street, NW. According to the cemetery’s website, a fire engine bearing new recruits moves reverently through their gates to honor the grave of young Benjamin Grenup and visit the monument his Fire Company erected in his memory. The monument was sculpted by Charles Rousseau.



4759 Reservoir Road, NW, Washington, DC - Haz-Mat Assignment

 

On February 26th, 2010 at 0930 hours DCFD units were dispatched to the Lab School of Washington at 4759 Reservoir Road, NW for a report of 20 to 30 children that had been exposed to pepper spray. The Lab School is a facility for the learning disabled. A Hazardous Materials Assignment augmented by the North Mass Causality Task Force operated at the scene. Units identified the source of the chemical, and evaluated the children that had been affected. Approximately 26 Code 3 patients and 4 Code 2’s were transported to Children’s National Medical Center by the Medical Ambulance Bus. 23 Engine was enroute to Prince George County Fire Station #1 for a mutual aid move-up when it was reassigned to this incident.



6119 Davis Boulevard, PG County, MD - Working Fire

 

On the afternoon of February 26th, 2010 Prince George’s County firefighters were responded to a working fire assignment for the chimney fire at 6119 Davis Boulevard. Fire companies from Morningside, Clinton, Forestville, and Boulevard Heights operated at the scene. PG County units had the incident under control shortly after arrival.



Rescue Squad 1 Ride-Along

 

On the evening of February 26th, 2010 Elliot Goodman was kind enough to get be hooked up at Rescue 1 for a ride along. I got to run on an Elevator Emergency, a Medical Local, and two Box Alarms. Ironically, Chris Oliphant cut out early so he could catch some sleep before his shift at 29 Engine in the morning. The last Box Alarm I ran was on King Place, less than a block from his house. While Chris was first due to that address, I ended up coming from across town in the back of the big box. The incident turned out to be minor, which saved me from looking at photos of what I missed had it been a working fire. A tip of the Leather Helmet to the brothers from Rescue Squad 1 for allowing me the honor of joining them for the evening!




615 East First Avenue, Roselle, NJ - Second Alarm

 

On February 27th, 2010 shortly before 1800 hours, Roselle, NJ firefighters were dispatched to the Roselle Paper Company at 615 East First Avenue on a report of a fire in the structure. Shortly after arrival, a Second Alarm was transmitted for a working fire in the interconnected buildings of the paper factory. At one point, fire companies requested permission to shut down the fixed fire protection system to assist in locating the seat of the fire.




 

Units had the fire, which involved bails of paper, controlled in less than an hour. Mutual aid was provided at the scene by Linden, Cranford, Roselle Park, Elizabeth, and Kenilworth fire departments. Mutual Aid move-ups and on-scene companies were supported by the Union County OEM’s Mutual Aid Coordinators.