06/13/20 Shelton, CT – Multiple departments in the valley battled this fire at the former Star Pin Company that consumed several multi-story, mill buildings.
The fire was reported shortly after 7 p.m. and by the time first-due companies arrived, they had a portion of the complex with heavy fire throughout. The fire quickly spread to the other buildings within the complex, followed by several structural collapses. Companies had access problems since the factory was built river side and there was only a narrow street where they could operate.
A heads up move by one of the Shelton MPOs involved drafting from the canal under the street through a manhole. Several ladders, multi-versals, and hand lines worked for hours to darken down the fire. It was not brought under control until eight hours later.
The buildings were built in 1875 and the company operated until 1975 making hair pins. The Star Pin Company was founded on September 25, 1866 and originally ten employees produced pins and hair pins within a 5,000 square foot, frame mill in the Wells Hollow section of Shelton. One of the founders and early officers of the company, James C. Hubbard, initially operated a pin shop in North Haven and is credited with inventing one of the first automated hair pin making machines in the United States. Hubbard’s son, Henry Franklin Hubbard, joined the company during the 1890s and was active with the firm for 57 years. During this time he attained the title of ‘dean of American pin makers,’ after designing the machine that produced the first bobby pins. The company’s early success caused it to outgrow its initial factory and in 1875 they erected a three-and-a-half-story, brick mill along the Housatonic Water Company’s recently constructed canal. This structure comprises the first three stories of the present complex’s central block. It was raised to four stories in 1906. By this time the firm employed over 125 workers. The company’s peak came during the 1920’s, whereupon 400 employees toiled within 125,000 feet of total floor space. By the early 1950’s, the company also produced folding paper boxes and grew to 140 employees. In 1973, a Hartford Courant article highlighted the fact that the Star Pin Company was one of the last firms in the state continuing to employ water powered generation, which it used to generate lighting. Following the closure of the Star Pin Company, its Canal Street plant passed to the Genie Manufacturing Company, a division of North American Philips.
New Haven 1319 Ella T. Grasso Blvd dwelling fire 06/26/20 New Haven, CT -Companies were clearing up from a small fire in a dwelling not far away when this box was transmitted. Engine 9 arrived first- due reporting heavy fire, in the rear number two floor of this large, occupied, private dwelling. Multiple lines were stretched as trucks opened up and performed topside ventilation. The fire quickly traveled into the third floor and attic before being brought under control. All hands operated for about an hour to bring the fire under control. All searches proved negative, with no reported injuries. The fire is being investigated by the marshals.
03/21/20 New Haven, CT – As companies turned out from quarters they reported that they could see it and looks like a job. Engine 9 arrived and reported a two and a half story, occupied dwelling with heavy fire showing from the second and third floors. Companies stretched multiple lines with an aggressive intent to bring this fire under control. A second alarm was transmitted upon the arrival of the battalion. The fire took about an hour to bring under control. Several occupants of the dwelling were left homeless. The cause of the fire is under investigation.
03/04/20 Southington, CT – Firefighters arrived to find heavy fire issuing from the attached garage of a one-story, private dwelling. Companies operated numerous hand lines to knock the heavy volume of fire down. The fire quickly extended to the dwelling and spread throughout due to numerous voids created from remodeling over the years. The blaze took over an hour to bring under control. One civilian was burned in the fire and transported to the hospital. The other escaped uninjured. The cause of the fire is under investigation by the Southington FMO. Glenn Duda, CFPA
New Haven 2nd alarm 31-33 Sheffield Ave three dwellings 03/06/20
New Haven, CT – Engine Company Eight rolled into the block to find a three-story, dwelling well-involved on the number one side and quickly extending to similar exposures on both sides. A second alarm was transmitted on the arrival of Rescue 1. Companies were hampered in placing lines into operation by multiple power lines down in the street. A quick primary in the original fire building proved negative as companies went defensive on the original dwelling and stretched into both exposures. The blaze took about an hour to bring under control. One firefighter was treated for minor injuries and transported to the hospital. The fire marshal’s office is investigating the cause. Glenn Duda, CFPA
New Haven 2nd alarm 1303 Chapel St. vacant dwelling 12/25/19 New Haven, CT – New Haven firefighters hoped for a quiet Christmas as they came on shift. Instead, as they pulled out of quarters for the box alarm, companies reported they could see it. Engine Company 6 arrived reporting a top floor fire. Multiple hand lines were stretched as the fire continued to grow. Companies made an interior attack, but were chased out due to deteriorating conditions. A 2nd alarm was transmitted as companies transitioned to exterior operations. Truck companies went to work with a tower ladder and ladder pipe operations. Additional two and half hand lines also flanked the dwelling on all sides to darken down the fire. It took companies about two hours to bring the fire under control. The cause of the fire is being investigated by the fire marshals office. Glenn Duda, CFPA
New Haven 3rd alarm 55 Benton St. dwelling fire 01/05/20 New Haven, CT – A reported basement fire in the city’s Westville section turned out firefighters just before eight p.m. Engine 15 arrived reporting smoke showing from a 1 1/2-story private dwelling. As companies began their operations, they were soon hampered by Collyers Mansion conditions in the basement. Companies tried to make a push, but were unable to gain headway on the fire. A second alarm was transmitted as a heavy smoke condition pushed from the entire dwelling. Companies were withdrawn from the dwelling to regroup with a new attack. Members of Rescue 1 soon reported they were trying to make a push in the basement, but had fire over their heads. Chief of Department Alston immediately ordered the emergency evacuation of the basement. Several members narrowly escaped the flash over-like conditions in the basement as maydays were transmitted. A third alarm was transmitted on the box as members were now ordered to go to defensive operations. The fire soon took hold of the first floor and extended throughout. Multiple hand lines worked for more than two hours to bring the fire under control. One firefighter and one civilian were transported to local hospitals. The cause of the fire is under investigation. Glenn Duda, CFPA