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WALLINGFORD, CT: JULY 21, 1911 – During morning Mass at Holy Trinity Catholic Church, a bolt of lightning struck the spire just below the gold cross and burned downward, igniting the 150-foot wooden steeple. The priest and congregants escaped as the fire began to fill the spire above. Wallingford firemen were on the scene quickly and a request for help was immediately sent to nearby Meriden. The mutual aid fire company was on scene in an amazing 11-minute response. But despite their combined efforts, the steeple collapsed through the church’s roof, injuring three firemen. The church, built in 1876, suffered $40,000 in damage.
ROSELLE, NJ: JULY 22, 1911 – The sounds of the fire alarm rang in the distance. Realizing that most of the volunteer firemen were out of town on an excursion, Mrs. Charles McQuad broke up a bridge party at her home and hurried her eight guests into her car. She drove to the fire station where several men had assembled, but not enough to pull the apparatus. She told the men to attach the rig to her car and she pulled it to the scene of a house fire on Fourth Avenue. She then directed the other women on various tasks to help the undermanned fire crew attack the flames. Hoses were stretched and the fire was quickly extinguished. The women, in smoke-stained dresses, returned to finish their game of bridge.
TOLEDO, OH: JULY 23, 1911 – Eight firemen were injured battling a morning fire at a company that manufactured billiard balls and pool tables. Four buildings and eight homes were lost as flames leapt from structure to structure. Firemen battled walls of flames and intense radiant heat generated by the frame buildings.