On The Job - Massachusetts

George Hall reports on a fiery explosion in a gigantic clothing production complex in Methuen. Coverage of major fires in Lawrence and Holyoke also is featured.


METHUEN FIRE DEPARTMENT Chief Keith Bourassa Personnel: 95 career firefighters Apparatus: Five engines, one ladder, one rescue unit, three ambulances Population: 40,000 Area: 28 square miles It has been called the " Titanic Syndrome." An amazing number of things all go wrong at once...


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George Hall

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Photo by Marc Breault
A ladder pipe is positioned to hit the rapidly spreading fire. Flames burned two vacant buildings and spread to two occupied stores.


8_96_mass14.jpg
Photo by Marc Breault
The rear of this building and most of the upper floors have collapsed, minutes before the collapse shown in the photo sequence below.

6 Departments Battle Fires At Holyoke Industrial Sites

Holyoke, MA, Nov. 23, 1995 A general-alarm fire destroyed four industrial buildings, requiring the response of firefighters from six departments. Several nearby exposures were protected by firefighters using13 engines and five ladder companies.

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Photo by Marc Breault


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Photo by Marc Breault


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Photo by Marc Breault

Above: With most of the floors burned away and the rear wall gone, the front of the building separates from the side walls and collapses into the street.

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Photo by Marc Breault
The fire originated in a vacant mill and spread to three other buildings.


George Hall, a Firehouse® correspondent, is a California-based fire service writer and photographer.