11/04/10 169 W, 1 I - + 11 - 3 Durham Firefighters Hurt in Aerial Accident, 1955

From late last year's Hose & Nozzle magazine research, here's one of the more dramatic vintage apparatus accident photos that we've come across. That's Durham's 1949 American LaFrance 700 Series aerial ladder on Avondale Drive, where it struck a railing on Sunday, July 31, 1955. The time of the accident was 12:20 p.m.

The ladder was responding to a house fire at 7022 E. Trinity Avenue, along with two pumpers. The speed was estimated at 15-20 miles per hour. The driver told investigators that he "made a close turn" to avoid a car was "pulled over on side of the bridge." Three firefighters were aboard, and one was thrown from the vehicle onto the bridge.

He and a second were transported and admitted with injuries described as "not serious." The Captain suffered a badly bruised thigh, while the Driver received a sprained back. Damage to the truck was estimated at $4,000. Click once or twice to slightly enlarge:

Hose & Nozzle Photo

The photo and article certainly help to illustrate the changing value of the dollar. Damage “estimated at $4,000.” I wonder what it would cost to fix today?
RWECC - 11/05/10 - 17:48

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