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Local Brooklyn Firehouse

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Posted by Nate Goldman on Friday, January 25th 2019:

Our neighborhood (Westminster Rd., and Avenue H), was serviced by Engine 281, and Ladder 147 on Cortelyou Rd. I believe that firehouse is still located there. I remember in the early 1950's, at about 9PM, at night, during the summer, there was an electrical fire, which appeared to be coming from a manhole at the corner of Westminster Rd., and Ave. H. The firefighters poured many gallons of water into that fire. The flames kept shooting out, whenever the water was pumped in. Finally, the flames were extinguished. However, there was a lot of smoke in the air, after the flames died down. Some twelve years later, in January, 1963, on a bitterly cold winter day. I don't recall street number, but a neighbor's home (the third home on the northeast side of Westminster Rd., just to the north of Avenue H, caught fire. Again, it was an electrical fire, with the flames coming from the attic area. I saw a large ladder truck drive up the driveway of that home. It was in the early afternoon, and quite a few spectators gathered outside. Some of them came into our driveway, and were actually trying to tell the firefighters their business (i.e. where the fires were coming from). The fire was finally extinguished, but it took months to rebuild that house. One of the occupants told me that he had to live in the Oak Hotel, during the rebuilding process. He told me that it was not a pleasant experience to stay there. Last, in the winter of 1968, I was awakened at 3AM in the morning, and told that there was a fire downstairs in another unit of our building. I didn't smell any flames, but within minutes I heard the fire engines. The residents downstairs heard what they appeared to be a crackling in the walls, and assumed that it was a fire. The firefighters came in with their axes, but couldn't find any evidence of a fire. In any event, a relative of mine gave the firefighters coffee. They stated "Lady, you make good coffee". Thankfully, even though there was no fire, it was a good drill to have gotten up when we did, since those were the days, we didn't have smoke detectors in our homes.

Reference ID: BK95682


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