06/26/09 289 W, 1 I - + 11 - 15 Fire Station Explosion and Fire, 1983

For your Friday reading, here's another interesting item for sale on eBay, a magazine article about an explosion at the Number 3 Volunteer Fire Department in Grover, N.C., on September 28, 1983. The explosion caused some $400,000 damage, destroyed nearly all of the department's equipment, and required some 75 firefighters to control.

One volunteer member was on duty at the station when the 8:40 a.m. explosion shook the building and threw him out of bed. Seeing flames showing from the basement when he looked out the window, he grabbed his radio to alert dispatchers. Smoke started seeping through the floor at this point. He ran to the only engine parked on the main floor, manually raised the door due to the absent electricity, and pulled the "bright yellow 1974 pumper" to safety.

What magazine featured same? Unknown, but perhaps the eBay seller does. Nothing is readily found using Google, either. Some of our statewide readers surely remember the incident, however. And even if they're not named Shirley. The Google Maps Street View of the current fire station suggests that the replacement was built beside the site of the destroyed structure. And it looks like a marker and flag was constructed in front of the old station location.

Wonder how many other North Carolina fire stations have been destroyed by fire, over the years or decades? In Raleigh, the house of the volunteer Victor Company at the corner of Salisbury and Davie streets burned on April 7, 1897. The building was partially consumed, along with two horses, a hose reel, and 100-feet of hose. The fire started when one of the lamps on the apparatus exploded. Wonder what other such incidents have happened around the state? Click to enlarge:

They rebuilt the station that burnt. They just moved into a new station across the street earlier this year. In the Google Maps Street View, if you move the picture around you can see them grading the lot. The magazine is Firehouse Magazine if i’m not mistaken.
[bcfd424] - 06/26/09 - 23:10

In my past job as an apparatus salesman in the early 1990’s I sold Number 3 FD a bright yellow air/rescue truck. They were a great bunch of guys. If I recall correctly a gasoline leak from one of the engines made its way to the gas fired hot water heater.
D.Cates - 06/28/09 - 23:28

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