WRITTEN PERSONAL HISTORY OF THE FDNY IN THE ROCKAWAYS
1961 TO 1976
BY JOHN R.KELLY
My name is John R. Kelly and I am 61 years old living in Tampa, Florida. I always wanted to write down the FDNY history I witnessed growing up in the Rockaway’s as a young man. I was a fire buff and Auxilary FF from 1961 to 1976 at Engine 265 at the old Arverne firehouse located at 58-03 Rockaway Beach Blvd.
Some of what I have written is humorous, sad, heroic and unbelievable by today’s standards in the FDNY. I hope this history is enjoyed by others who may know of some place, person or event I have written about. If you know an older Rockaway fireman or his family member, please pass this writing on, they may enjoy reading it.
Where to begin?
January 1961 my family moved to the Rockaway Beach Edgemere Housing Projects for a better life. We had 6 kids and my mom and dad. The projects gave us 4 bedrooms, one bathroom, a kitchen and a living room and the famous 6 th floor terrace complete with a view of the Atlantic Ocean. Moving from Dyckman Street in Manhattan to the Rockaways was like going to heaven. We finally had an ocean to swim in rather than the open fire hydrants and nights of sleeping on the fire escapes in Manhattan in the summer heat. This was also the beginning point for my dad’s officer’s career with the FDNY, John F. Kelly, who was a newly appointed Lieutenant assigned to Engine Company 328 in Far Rockaway on Central Ave. My dad served in the FDNY for 37 years, retiring in the early 1980’s as the Battalion Commander for the 47 Battalion. He worked in L.25, L.36, E.328, L.137, E.318 and Battalion 47. He passed away in 2004.
At age 11, I spent a lot of time with my dad at E.328’s firehouse on Central Ave in Far Rockaway. (“The Big House” as it is now called ).
Some of the names of the members I remember were Lt. Bat Masterson Eng.264, Lt. Uhlendale Eng. 328, Lt. Bertram Eng.264, FF Jim Metz Eng.328, Lt. Walter Lehman L.134, FF John Mahoney L.134, who died too early in life from Lou Gerigh’s disease, the famous Buff/Auxilary Fireman, Ralph Stein, who by the way, typed every fire report that Eng.328 and Eng.264 went on, then it was signed by the officer in ink. Ralph was only 20 years old then, but boy, could he type fast and he knew the name and location of every street in Far Rockaway, which was a godsend when a out of area fire company was relocating in the fire house on Central Ave, Ralph rode with them and got them to the fire.
Who could forget the gentle hearted Fireman from Ladder 134 named Nick Masterides, Nick was the best and being a professional Golden Gloves Champion also helped.
In 1961, Engine 264 always responded with two pieces of apparatus, the regular engine company and also a hose wagon.
JULY 2, 1963 –TRAGIC DAY FOR LADDER 134 AND ENGINE 328
My dad (John F. Kelly) had now transferred to Ladder 137 on Beach 116 Street and our whole family was attending the annual L.137 and E. 268 Company Picnic at Hempstead Lake State Park, when someone made a phone call back to the fire house ( no cell phones in those days ) and was informed that FF.Ray Meyer of Ladder 134 had just been killed in a ice house fire on Redfern Ave. in Far Rockaway (across from the Redfern Projects). Two other fireman from Engine 328 were seriously injured, one was operating a hand line on a portable ladder, dove thru the window and rode the wall down when it fell and a second firefighter was crushed by the falling wall while working on the outside of the building, both firefighters were very seriously injured for the rest of their lives.
In 1963 I started to hang around and buff at the fire house on Beach 58 street and Rockaway Beach Blvd, Engine 265 and Ladder 121.
I remember the first day I went to this fire house. I introduced myself to Fireman Ray McDermott L.121 who was on house watch and asked if I could come in and look around, I stayed at that fire house til I married in 1975. What a look around!!!
Most of my life’s “real world” education came from the experiences I had with this fire house and the officers and men of both companies.
Most of the older firemen I meet in 1963 at Ladder 121 and Engine 265 are no longer with us but here are just a few names with some side notes about them. In 1968 I became an auxiliary fireman assigned to E.265. Back them you needed to be 18 years old to join the FDNY Auxilary Fire Corp.
From Ladder Company 121 :
FF Milty Shapiro, big strapping Jewish firefighter.
FF Sam Greenberg, another Jewish firefighter, chauffeur L.121.
FF Charlie Snowhite, worked in busy Squad 4 in Brownsville before coming to Rockawy, broken his leg in two places at a serious Rockaway fire.
FF Jack Frain, could back in a hook and ladder truck into the fire house at 20 mph and never hit anything. Nobody wanted to drive the tiller when Jack was driving the hook and ladder truck up front.
FF Fred Rabuse, the quietest man I ever knew.
FF Joe Doherty, one of the great ones.
FF Lester Roselle, worked in busy L.26 in Harlem, overcame an alcohol issue, rose to be a Lieutenant only to die early of a heart attack after a busy night at L.118 in Brooklyn as a covering Lieutenant. Lester was only in his early 40’s at the time of his death.
FF Arthur Buell, Chauffeur L.121, his brother Joe Buell was a Captain and worked with my dad in CANS. (Community and News Service – Car 71).
FF Jim Mc Nally, one of the best, worked in busy L.17 in the Bronx them came to Rockaway
FF Ray Sutton, Ray worked as a waiter in a few of the famous LI catering halls during his off duty time.
FF Jack Cannon, Jack was always tanning in the sun and when going to fire calls never wore a t shirt or regular shirt under his turnout coat, worked at Lafayette Radio Company in his off time selling electronics on Jamaica Ave.
FF Jim Gillen, Jim was always the student, made a great rescue with Jack Frain L.121 in the early 1960’s in an early morning Edgemere bungalow fire – saved two kids from a fiery death without the protection of a fire hose. Both received medals of valor from the FDNY.
FF Eddie Mills, Eddie never let anything bother him, he had 8 children and lived in Broad Channel, one of the oldest members of L. 121 at this time
FF Chuck Funke, built like a pro wrestler, nobody bothered Chuck.
FF Jerry Heffernan, one of the best, believe Jerry went on to be a Captain at E 268.
FF John Schneider, “Jake the Snake” as he was called around the fire house, was one of the most aggressive firefighters I have ever seen in action.
FF John McGlone, “Junior” was his fire house nickname. He always wore white socks which was not department policy.
FF James Lavin, I witnessed Jim rescue 3 small children and their mother from a house fire on Beach 69 St and Hillmeyer Ave on a cold winter night in the late 1960’s.
Ladder 121 was operating at another alarm in Far Rockaway at the time of the fire, I responded with first due E.265, E. 265 stretched the first line on the fire and the hose line burst and had to be replaced, delaying water getting on the fire. FF Bill Denton E. 265 was the company MPO for this fire. For about 5 minutes E.265 was the only unit on scene and working hard at getting the fire out from the interior stairs, when Ladder 121 finally arrived late, Jim Lavin effected the 4 rescues via a portable ladder from the front living room window. It seemed like forever watching FF Jim Lavin L.121 hand down 4 bodies to FF Dan Coughlin L.121 who was on the portable ladder backing him up. FDNY members performed CPR on all 4 victims but they all died at Peninsula General Hospital. The fire started about 6:30 PM and was caused by a TV set in the living room. This tragic fire made the front page of the Long Island Press newspaper the next day. I believe the family that died in this blaze was the Hale family.
The heartbreak continues, FF James Lavin L.121 lost his own life several years later in the line of duty, when he lost his grip on the safety rail of the Hook and Ladder and fell off the fire truck and hit his head on the street while responding on L.121 to a working fire on Beach 20 st and Seagirt Blvd.
FF Dan Coughlin, the most respected and senior of members of L. 121. Dan had a strong Irish accent and always was a talker. Although Dan was in his 60’s during the above mentioned rescue (Beach 69 st and Hillmeyer Ave) with FF Jim Lavin he performed like a 20 year old young man during the rescue attempt. He was a Rockaway icon during his day.
FF Jim Wheeler, Jim was a seasoned and veteran FF and worked at L. 121 for many years. He was a true friend of mine who helped me greatly when I was in my teen years.
FF John Weir and FF Don Weir, two brothers in the same fire house, John worked at L.121 and Donald worked at E. 265.
Capt. John Acerno, a very short man to be a Captain of a Ladder Company, heart of gold.
Lt. Augie Horvath, stern but reliable line officer. Lt. Horvath was working one night tour when the man on watch duty fell asleep at the house watch desk, around 4 am, an alarm rang out on the bell system for a fire alarm at Beach 73 st and the Rockaway Freeway, when Lt. Horvath did not hear the man on watch turn on all the lights in the fire house and shout out the alarm to the other men, he slide down the fire pole from his
2nd floor office, looked up the alarm box number on the assignment cards and shouted out the alarm to all the men sleeping in the bunk room and the man on watch.
When the units arrived at Beach 73 st and the Freeway, they were meet by a fully involved 3 story wooden frame building on fire. This fire went to an “all hands” and burnt the concrete side of the Freeway subway structure. Talk about sleeping with “one eye open”
Lt. Bill McLoughlin, VIP in veteran affairs for the whole USA, responded to a sad medical call at his own home with L. 121 while on duty to find his wife having a heart attack and passing away at the scene.
Lt. Richard Galenick, feisty line officer, would give you the shirt off his back.
Lt. John Murphy, quite the character, liked his liquor. I remember Lt. Murphy asking me to get him a bottle of whiskey on a Christmas morning in the late 1960’s after he and the men of Ladder 121 had just returned from an all night Christmas Eve working fire on Beach 129 where a whole family died in the fire. After he told me about this, I went and got him the whiskey, he had a tough night.
From Engine Company 265 :
FF Lou Schilling, Lou was the senior man in Engine 265 when I meet him in 1963. He was big into Boy Scouts. He was the best mentor a young person could have. I remember me and him melting lead in a smelting pot on the kitchen stove in the fire house to make home made ammo for his hunting rifles, he was always hunting or fishing.
FF John O’ Leary, John was a MPO for E. 265 and always worked with Lt. Paul Kazoricz, when I was riding with him to fires and we pulled into the smokey fire block, all he kept saying to me was “ John find me a hydrant, John fine me a hydrant”
John drove the big charter buses during his off hours. Lt. Paul Kazoricz E. 265 was my best friend, he always let me ride the fire truck when he was working, he never worried about me not be 18 years old and legal to ride.
FF Tony Krizel, Tony was a nice guy, always came to work with his own lunch or dinner and one bottle of beer. He was never in on the “company meal”.
FF Jack Kelly, Jack was a MPO for E.265 and always drove the Company Captain. He was a hard working, hard drinking, hard smoking fireman. If ever there was a “leatherneck” it was Jack Kelly.
FF Tony DiResta, Tony was also one of the senior guys, he was always a “acting Lieutenant when needed by the chief. Cool under pressure and knew his fire stuff.
Tony’s brother Joey Di Resta E.266 was also a Rockaway fireman and drove my father (BC John Kelly) as battalion aide. I once witnessed Joey DiResta carry a 200 lb. women over his shoulders and injured in a fire in the Hammel Projects from the interior of the projects to Beach 81 st and Rockaway Beach Blvd where the EMS ambulance was located.
FF Bill Denton, Bill was a Marine in WW2 and nothing got in his way as a firefighter.
I remember once at a DOA fire scene , Chief of Dept Hartnett yelled at him for not having on his helmet, coat and boots ( hours after the fire was out ) Bill did not blink a eye.
FF Pete Ferrante, Pete came to E.265 after years of working with the Rescue companies thru out the city. He was one of the most trained FF I ever saw in action.
FF George Marlowe, George was a MPO operator at E.265 and went on to be a chief’s aide to BC Golden of the 47 Battalion. George knew FDNY politics better than anybody.
If you worked in the 47 Battalion and needed something done, George was the guy to go to. His son also followed in his dad’s steps and became a member of the FDNY.
FF Bill Terra, Bill was a young FF assigned to E. 265 and was a trained pilot and flew many planes back and forth from NYC to the state of Maine. Bill was always a lady’s man.
FF Sam Feinberg, Sam was only a 3 rd or 4th grade FF when his short FDNY career was ended early one morning as he was fighting a fire at a junkyard on Beach 84 street and Jamaica Bay. The men of E. 265 had advanced a hand line on the junkyard fire and were waiting for the MPO to charge the line when a large propane tank just exploded and the top of the propane tank surged into the air and hit Sam in his leg, severing a major artery in his leg. He was rushed to the hospital and nearly died from the loss of blood. He never worked another tour. The men of E.265 saved one of their own that day.
FF John Paul Rodgers, was called Packey in the firehouse. Packey was in the army reserve thru out most of his FDNY career. He was always on Military Leave it seemed.
I would take his car when he was working at E. 265 and go to Fort Hamilton for him and pickup his army uniforms from the base dry cleaners and return them to him at the firehouse. He also let me use his car at night to go on dates with girls into Manhattan.
FF Bobby Watkins, Bobby worked with my dad at E.74 and L.25 in Manhattan before coming to E. 265 in the Rockaways. It turned out my future father in law had some pull and got him transferred to E. 265. Bobby was the first person to invent the RV. He purchased a old yellow school bus and converted it into a RV. He would take his whole family on it for trips around the US. He would leave it parked in the back of the fire house when not in use. Bobby was also one of the greatest cooks of E.265.
FF Hank Granau, Hank was a former Navy sailor and really looked like a sailor.
Hank had a very big nose and this was cause for many a joke. I hear that he was not retired for a long time and had a accident on a bike and was killed.
FF Walter Houseman, Walter was another of the great FF I remember from E. 265. He was always a good friend of my father’s when my dad was a BC in the 47 Battalion.
FF Walter Moran, Walter was a former sandhog who worked in the big tunnel projects in NYC before joining the FDNY. Walter never wore a coat even when the temperature was below freezing. He would operate as a MPO for E. 265 in his t shirt all year long.
He always had a cigar in his mouth. His son went on to become a BC in the FDNY and was lost on 9/11.
FF Lou Depasquale, Lou owned a lawn care company on the side and I remember working for him part time cutting lawns of the homes on Beach 20 th street and Seagirt Blvd.
FF Donald O’Shaunessy, joined the FDNY late in life and was always a very nervous guy. He was always worried about making a mistake on the job.
FF Frank Ambroisio, Frank was the commissar for the house and was in charge of stocking the coffee, soda machine and other items. I always remembered when Frank was on housewatch, I used to tap the companies back in service for him after a run with the telegraph key because he was afraid to use it.
FF John Mallon, Jack was the proby at E. 265, in those days not many probies were assigned to the Rockaways.
FF John Trainor, John was one of the old salty FF of his day. His turnout coat, helmet and boots looked like they had gone thru WW2. He was always holding the knob at the fires and the most trusted interior man to be with.
FF Lou Einbinder, I remember meeting Lou for the first time around 1961, he was a very religious Jewish man and was quite along in years in 1961. He retired in the mid 1960’s and I was recently astonished to read his recent obit this year. This man lived a long, long, long life.
FF Eric Bressler, Eric was a Rockaway native for years and worked out of E.265. I vividly remember in the mid 1960’s Eric was on light duty (broke his leg) medical leave and worked as a fire security guard, securing the firehouse of L.123 and E.227 on Ralph Ave in Brooklyn during the riots. I would go to work with him and the men of E. 227 would let me ride the rig with them all day and get in on the lunch meal.
FF Ed Segur, Ed worked at E.54 in Manhattan before coming to the Rockaways. He owned a bar business at Rockaway Beach Blvd and Beach 44 st. I believe the bar was called the “The Blue Waters”
Captain Robert Keller, was the commanding officer for E. 265, went on to become a Division Chief. He always looked and acted like a Division Chief before being one.
Lt. Paul Kazoriz, Paul was a very easy going guy, nothing bother him in life. I remember riding with him one night with L.121 and he was in the officer’s front seat standing up holding on to the windshield, as the rig turned Beach 54 st and Edgemere Ave Paul could see a roaring fire in progress on Beach 32 st and transmitted a third alarm when the rig was still on Beach 54 street. The fire was in one of those big 4 and 5 story old wooden hotels.
Lt. Yale, I cannot remember his first name but he was a great guy.
Lt. Herb Sussman, Herb always had a Florida tan year round and would never be seen without his uniform hat, shirt and tie on in the firehouse. Always looked like a gentleman no matter how dirty he got at a fire.
Lt. Tom Bayer, Tom always had a short military haircut and was a very aggressive fire officer. He went on to be a Captain in the South Bronx during the war years.
Captain George Behr, was the skipper of E. 265 during the tough “war years” came out of Engine 50 in the South Bronx to work in the Rockaways.
Historical Rockaway Fire Facts:
Did the FDNY ever have a part time engine company working in Rockaway?
Yes, in the 1960’s an engine company was put in service with a officer and 5 men that worked out of the Broad Channel Volunteer fire house on Saturday, Sundays and Holidays during the summer months. This was needed because the traffic going to and leaving from the beach on Cross Bay Blvd was so heavy and with the old Cross Bay draw bridge, if a fire happened in Broad Channel it would take a very long time for fire units to arrive at the Broad Channel fire.
Was Hook and Ladder Company 121 ever housed at the Beach 92 st firehouse?
Yes, see the attached photo. Looks like the late 1940’s or early 1950’s.
Backing the rig into the firehouse from a call. NYPD 100 th Pct to the left of the firehouse.
Did Queens Rockaway fire companies ever work in Manhattan?
Yes, in the 1960’s war years L. 121 (Beach 58 st fire house) relocated to L.15 in the Wall St area during the night time hours as part of an interchange program where busy companies (L.121) were relocated to slower companies (L.15) to give the men some relief from heavy fire duty.
What fire alarm box did Rockaway fire fighters dread to come in on a cold windy winter night in the 1960’s?
Lewmay Road and Beach 29 Street. This area was heavily populated with 4 and 5 story old unoccupied wooden hotels from the beach hotel boom era in early Rockaway. It was routine to have a 5 alarm fire or a borough call for structures on this block thru out the 1960’s. Some Rockaway fire companies operated for 2 or 3 days straight at these fires.
The famous FDNY Super Pumper saw many nights of action in this area ( Lewmay Rd and Beach 29 th Street ) in the Rockaways during the 1960’s.
What 1960’s Rockaway ladder company was assigned to the west end of Rockaway Beach?
Ladder Company 171 was assigned to be housed with E. 329 at Beach 169 St. They actually spent little time fighting fires in Rockaway. They would always get called to go to the south section of the borough of Brooklyn to fight big fires because Brooklyn was always so busy with fire duty. L.171 was disbanded a few years after it came to be.
Having only 3 Hook and Ladder Companies in the Rockaways, what Rockaway Engine Company was a dual Engine and Truck Company in the 1960’s?
E. 267, located at the Beach 92 street fire house was a “Quad” engine company. Fully supplies with portable ladders, it operated as either a ladder company or an engine company. This unit was disbanded in the 1970’s. This unit was a great source of additional manpower and supplies to the Rockaways during serious fires. The length of this engine company was very long as to allow the portable ladders to be stored under the hose bed.
Before the age of computers and fire alarm transmission by printers, how did Rockaway fire units respond quickly to fire calls?
Rockaway fire companies used the old bell system just like the rest of the city fire units. One short cut that was used in conjunction with the bell system was that when a civilian called in a fire via a telephone to the fire dispatcher, the dispatcher would first alert the first due engine and truck company by ringing in the fire house, the “Department” phones with 3 short rings of the phone bell rather than the long regular ring folks would expect. All the “department” phones ( there could be as many as 4 in the fire house ) would be heard to ring “3 short rings” and the “first due” firemen knew they had a actual phone call from a civilian reporting a real fire. The fireman on house watch duty would answer the phone from the calling fire dispatcher and write down the address of the fire, then shout it out to the other firemen and they were out the fire house door with the fire truck responding to the fire even BEFORE the bell system was activated to notify all the other fire companies assigned to respond to the fire.
Did Rockaway fire units ever respond Mutual Aid outside of Rockaway to help at other fires?
It is very rare that Rockaway units are called to respond outside of Rockaway due to how remote the Rockaway peninsula is, but on March 14, 1960 several Rockaway units responded on a Mutual Aid to Nassau County. Rockaway fire units responded to a major fire in progress in Atlantic Beach (just west of Long Beach, L.I. ). The fire was in a large boardwalk hotel (6 stories in height and taking up a full block). The fire had been discovered about 10 am and Nassau County fire units were in dire need of more units when the afternoon came around for firefighting and relief purposes. More than likely E.328, E.264 and L.134 were the first units in due to the fact they are so close to Atlantic Beach. I have attached 3 old photos of this fire. One photo shows FDNY Fire Commissioner Ed Cavenaugh talking to Inwood, L.I. Fire Chief Jesse Mistero about fire conditons. The Inwood Fire Dept. was responsible for fire protection to Atlantic Beach on this date. Just about every volunteer Fire Dept. on the south shore of Long Island had been called to the scene before the FDNY arrived.
Photo below shows Inwood LI Fire Chief Jessie Mistero (white turnout coat) with FDNY Fire Commissioner Ed Cavenaugh (2 nd man to his right ).
Nautilus Hotel Fire – Atlantic Beach, Long Island – 3/14/60.
Nassau County Fire Depts from the Five Towns, South Shore and FDNY responded to this fire. Inwood Fire Dept was the first to arrive on scene.
Valley Stream volunteer firemen receiving a well deserve hot “cup of joe” after the fire. Nautilus Hotel Fire – 3/14/60 – Atlantic Beach, LI – Nassau County - FDNY Mutual Aid.
Another Mutual Aid FDNY and Nassau County occurred in 1975 on Rockaway Blvd on the Nassau County - NYC Queens border line. Many of the Nassau County 5 Town’s Fire Depts responded along with FDNY units from the 47 Battalion and 54 Battalion.
Chiefs of the 47 Battalion :
BC Walter Seegan – Short stocky man always had a cigar in his mouth. Commanded some of the largest fires in the last 1950’s and early 1960’s.
BC James Maloney – picked up most of the big ones in the war arson years in the Rockaways. Always calm and never panicked at some of the biggest fires I have ever seen.
BC John Griffith – worked along side Chief Maloney during the arson years in the Rockaway.
My dad, BC John Kelly – noted for reducing the high number of false alarm calls from fire alarm street boxes by having many of them removed in vacant areas. Also famous for putting “dog poop” on the handles of the alarm boxes to reduce the number of kids pulling the false alarms. He also was able to get the brass to allow only a single engine company to respond on high false alarm fire alarm box locations instead of the normal 5 companies responding.
The Rockaway firemen of this era lived the following.
No apparatus floor ventilation system was in place once the fire trucks were started when responding to a fire call. The dangerous fumes from the mufflers on the fire trucks filled the entire fire house with dangerous chemicals that the men breathed going to and returning from alarms. Solution – just open a lot of windows in the fire house and hope for a breeze.
No personal PASS audible life safety devices were used, they were not invented yet.
Very few firefighters had portable radios in those days to call out a MAYDAY signal. Firemen where instructed to toss their helmet into the street from the burning building as a signal they were in trouble and needed help.
Very few firefighters used Scott air packs, this was a new technology in the 1960’s, most engine companies simply advanced hose lines and hoped they did not pass out from the smoke.
Tower Ladders were few and far between, most hook and ladder companies used ladder pipes at big fires which required firemen to stand on the extended ladders and direct water streams on the fire for hours.
Most engine companies carried about 20 lengths of cotton hose (each length was 50 feet long ), after a big fire and back at the fire house, the men needed to hoist up by rope and pulley 20 lengths of wet hose up a hose tower to “dry out”. Then they needed to hoist down 20 reserve dry lengths of clean hose down from the hose tower. Then the clean dry hose needed to be packed neatly on the engine company ready for the next fire. This whole process took about 2 hours from start to finish. If this was not enough work, every length of hose had a serial number stamped into the brass fitting at both ends of the hose and these serial numbers needed to be recorded in the company journal as well ( the company officer usually had this job ) – beats hauling 40 lengths of hose up and down the hose tower! If the engine company was housed with a hook and ladder company in the same fire house, the men of the hook and ladder company usually felt sorry for the engine company men and helped them with this big task.
Enclosed cab fire trucks with heat and air conditioning for the firemen? Was not even on the drawing board. Officers and men responded on fire trucks by hanging onto the back open step of engine companies and on the sides of hook and ladder companies. Seatbelts were no were to be found.
The Arson years in Rockaway. From about 1966 to the late 1970’s arson surged in Rockaway as it did in most other areas of New York City. Larkin Ave between Beach 61 street and Beach 68 street from the Boulevard to Ocean Promenade was the home of large numerous wooden “Queen Ann” buildings from the glory beach days of the 1940’s and 1950’s. In the 1960’s this area became very depressed and the population shifted drastically. It was not unusual on a Friday or Saturday night after the sun went down for two or three “second alarm fires” to be raging in this area at the same time. Hundreds of people would fill the street greeting the fire due fire companies with the slogan “burn baby burn”
To make matters worse, more arson fires shifted to the “bungalow colonies” up in the forty and fifty streets south of Edgemere Ave to Ocean Promenade. Fire units would be operating at serious fires on Larkin Ave in the sixty blocks and look east toward Edgemere and see hugh wooden bungalow fires being fought by Brooklyn FDNY units at the same time.
My only regret about this writing is that I never took or collected any old black and white or color fire photos during this era in the Rockaways. If you have any photos and can share them with me, please send them to my email firstname.lastname@example.org or mail to my home – John Kelly 9742 Fox Chapel Road, Tampa, Florida 33647. I would appreciate it very much.
Photos credits for this writing go to Frank Parise of the Inwood Fire Dept.
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