BFD Journal

The BFD Journal contains short articles about unique incidents in the history of the Boston Fire Department. In addition, it highlights major fires from the past and special pieces of fire department apparatus.

  • Paramount Hotel Fire

    Friday evening, January 28, 1966 was one of those bone chilling nights that we get once or twice every winter in Boston.

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  • History of Boston Rescue Companies

    The New York City Fire Dept. established the first Rescue Company in the country in 1915. Boston followed in June 1917 when Rescue Company 1 was organized at the quarters of Engine Co. 25 and Ladder Co. 8 in Fort Hill Square.

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  • The Trumbull Street Fire 35 Years Later

    On the night of October 1, 1964, a passerby spotted a fire on Trumbull Street and pulled Box 1671 located at Shawmut Ave. and West Brookline Street. Fire Alarm transmitted the box at 1232 hours. Engine Co. 3 with Fire Lieut. Steve Fraser in command, and Ladder Co. 3 with Fire Lieut. John Campbell in command, responded from quarters on Harrison Ave.

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  • Boston Engine-Squads

    During 1954, two of the three Boston heavy rescue companies had been disbanded. Rescue Companies 1 and 2 were disbanded; Rescue Co 3, located in Bowdoin Square, became the Rescue Company.

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  • Arcadia Lodging House Fire

    The South End of Boston was a busy, congested area at the turn of the century. Laconia Street was located only a couple of blocks from the busy Dover Street stop on the old "Boston Elevated."

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  • The White Elephant

    How many of you thought that Boston's apparatus was always red? Back in 1941 the city purchased a 1941 American La France 125' metal aerial with five aerial sections that was painted white. There are several rumors as to why it was white; all of it is speculation.

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  • Merrimac Street Fire

    On the February 5, 1898 at about 0355 hours Box 412, Causeway and Lowell Streets, was pulled by Patrolman Sheehan of Division 3 for a fire at the George Bent Bedding Company at 116-126 Merrimac Street. Fire and smoke were showing when the first companies arrived.

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  • Fenway Park Fire

    Everyone knows that the Red Sox play baseball at Fenway Park, but did you know about the huge fire there in 1934?

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  • Dynamite It

    When the use of dynamite on the fireground is discussed the San Francisco earthquake of 1906 or the Great Chicago fire immediately comes to mind. Few are aware that the Boston Fire Department used over two tons of dynamite during a pier fire in 1961. This was one of the most unusual firefighting tactics employed by this Department since the Great Boston Fire of 1872.

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  • Merciless Conditions

    The Boston Fire Department has fought many memorable fires under merciless conditions during its long history but few tours of duty in modern history measure up to the night tour of January 22-January 23, 1976. Many members consider this night the benchmark for firefighting under severe weather conditions. When group 1 reported for duty the temperature hovered around 0 with a steady wind of 35 mph. Wind chill factors were an appalling minus 55.

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  • Luongo Restaurant Fire

    What? You never heard of the Luongo Restaurant Fire. Why was it so terrible? On November 15, 1942, six firefighters were killed, 43 injured, and many were trapped under debris for up to 18 hours. The story of the East Boston fire has been forgotten, if not lost, by many, pushed off the front pages by the terrible loss of life at the Cocoanut Grove only two weeks later on November 28, 1942.

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