Chelsea fire, 1973
Chelsea fire, 1973
Oct. 14, 1973: View from the Mystic River Bridge as fire raced through Chelsea. Box 215, the same box which sounded the alarm for the Chelsea fire of 1908 was pulled from the street at 3:56 p.m. "We've got a working fire. Heavy smoke, Arlington and Third Street," was the next transmission, from Lieutenant Ernest Copello of Chelsea's Engine 5 - the first man on the scene. Just minutes later Chelsea Fire Chief Herbert Fothergill declared the fire a conflagration.
Oct. 14, 1973: Chelsea firemen fight the blaze at some junk shop businesses on Second Avenue. The fire devastated 18 city blocks and destroyed an estimated 303 buildings leaving more than 600 people unemployed.
Oct. 14, 1973: John White, district fire chief of Boston, got his eye treated as other firefighters lined up for aid. More than 2,000 firefighters from 85 communities converged on Chelsea to battle the fire.
Oct. 14, 1973: The American Red Cross with volunteers from as far as Nashua, N.H. established headquarters at the Chelsea National Guard Armory to feed the homeless and the hundreds of firefighters, to offer medical care to the elderly, and to register displaced victims. By midnight 150 had settled in. Their homes were destroyed and they, unlike others, had no place else to go.
Oct. 15, 1973: Smoke still rose from buildings that burned in the wind-swept fire that leveled 18 city blocks and destroyed an area 1 mile long and a half-mile wide in this historic port city.
Oct. 15, 1973: The day-after picture of the Great Chelsea Fire of 1973 showed the total devastation caused by the fire. The fire area was almost entirely within the perimeters of two urban renewal projects - a planned $14.6 million industrial park and a proposed $2.3 million residential project.
Oct. 15, 1973: Skeletons of buildings remained standing in Chelsea as National Guardsmen patrolled the area to prevent looting.
Oct. 15, 1973: Mrs. William Meuse and her son Jim were burned out of their 125 Spruce St. home. They talked with with Philip Spelman, the mayor of Chelsea.
Oct. 15, 1973: John Adams, 14, looked at the remains of his Vale Street home. Fire also swept the family's repair shop which was located next door.