09/18/10 140 W, 3 I - + 8 - 3 Mystery Incident

Here are a trio of vintage photos from a fire at a tire store. Was ready to post with details of the Hunt General Tire Company fire in 1980, but noticed the haz-mat guys in the third picture. The team hadn't been formed yet! And that's one of the two 1986 EEI/Pemfab pumpers in the second shot, so it's a mid-decade incident or later. Ring any, ahem, bells?

In the second picture, that's Raleigh's old Rescue 1, which was repainted from all-white and placed in service as an air and light unit. There's also the Six Forks Fire Department brush truck and cascade trailer. They provided air service to Raleigh and other departments for many years. In the bottom photo, the apparatus operator is easy to identify. That's the legendary "Tramp" Dunn, of course. Click to enlarge:

Drivers wore red lids????
Silver - 09/18/10 - 19:48

Engine company firefighters wore red. In March 1984, fiberglass helmets replaced the traditional plastic lids. Those had been used since about 1950. They were black, with red for Captains (I think), and white for Chiefs. The new helmets in 1984 were color-coded by rank. Engines wore red. Truckies wore black. Captains wore yellow. Rescue wore blue. Chiefs wore white. Not sure when that system stopped. In the above photo, “Tramp” must have been a First Class at the time.
Legeros - 09/18/10 - 20:28

Definitely 1986 or very shortly after and it appears they were still under the Chief Kuster helmet color coding scheme. As I understand, that helmet color scheme departed when Chief Pickard arrived and the colors became what we know now. Mike you probably remember, but our academy wore old yellow 660 helmets and many had “captain” sticker insignias on the fronts. Hazmat was formed in 1983 and the yellow jumpsuits are consistent with the time – looks like a C-Shift day and that’s Connie Altman in the HM jumpsuit facing the camera. Also, Tramp was a FF-II (Engineer) then. Finally, note the hose deployment from the rear of E-3…. 1 3/4” on the driver’s side and the 1.5” on the passenger’s side (the old horseshoe lays). Interesting history!
A.C. Rich - 09/18/10 - 23:53

Here’s a history of Raleigh helmets, that we blogged upon previously, http://www.legeros.com/ralwake/photos/we..
Legeros - 09/19/10 - 06:01

Here’s a little more detective work, AC. Engine 3 was placed in service with the EEI/Pemfab on January 13, 1987. So the fire dates after that date. Folks look like they’re warmer than cooler in the shots, so it’s not dead winter. And you don’t see people falling out everywhere, so it’s probably not high summer.

Looking through my list of major fires from 1987, the Watson’s fire of March 28 jumps out at me as a possibility. We blogged about that one, http://legeros.com/ralwake/photos/weblog.., along with their other fires. That’s my next stop, before I check the timeline details on my RFD history site.

That posting about Waston’s fires contained this chart, http://legeros.com/ralwake/photos/weblog.., that listed… Keene’s Tire Company, which we see as a sign on the building in these pictures. Ta-da!

This reinforces an action item of mine, to archive all the RFD history blog posts in another area, or on another web site. Make them easier to find and read outside of the blog format. Even have a sticky note on my calendar to do same! History never sleeps.

Now to find to my master copies of those pictures, and rename them with the correct dates.
Legeros - 09/19/10 - 06:21

Randall Cooper in the other yellow suit talking to RPD?
RescueRanger - 09/19/10 - 10:03

Could be Randall… or maybe Sonny Bridges (Randall is a little taller… maybe all in the view perspective). I believe that crew was Capt. Eudy, Sonny, Connie, and Randall. Who knows, but it is fun to see these photos and guess!! Cool detective work Mike! There’s not many leaves on the trees so it’s probably early spring and would align with the March 28, 1987 date.
A.C. Rich - 09/19/10 - 22:18

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