The Enterprise of Brockton, Mass.
Edward Burrell, the last surviving firefighter to have helped fight the Strand Theatre fire in Brockton on March 10, 1941, recalls that fateful day.
Burrell heard the desperate cries of a firefighter trapped underneath the Strand Theatre roof after it caved in during the roaring early-morning fire on March 10,1941.
Firefighter Burrell, then 26, had rushed to the downtown theatre with Ladder Co. 2 from the city's Campello station.
As other fire crews poured water on the burning movie house, Burrell and a team of firefighters were ordered to open the theater's roof from the outside to relieve the heavy smoke and intense heat inside the structure.
As flames tore through the Strand, the firefighters perched themselves high on the roof of an adjoining building. Then, as they placed a ladder over the roof's edge, the west section of the Strand's roof crashed down.
Thirteen city firefighters were lost in the Strand Theatre blaze — 12 perished that early morning and one more died later. More than 20 others were injured.
It ranks among the worst documented U.S. fires in terms of firefighters killed, according to the National Fire Protection Association.
Brockton Firefighters, Strand Collapse
Add a Comment