Monday, July 7, 2008

Memorial to 3 firefighters killed in 1938 in Massachusetts

I ran across this article in the Cape Cod Times about some firefighters fatalities that occurred in 1938. I maintain the list of Infamous World Fires for the International Association of Wildland Fire and this was new to me.

Three firefighters — Thomas E. Adams, Ervin Draber and Gordon King — lost their lives in a forest fire that burned 5,000 acres on the Massachusetts Military Reservation.

Here is an excerpt:

The 1938 fire was detailed in the April 28, 1938, Cape Cod edition of the New Bedford Standard Times: “Fighting the blaze on the edge of the Shawme State Forest on the edge of the Forestdale Road, the men were building a back fire when a shift in the wind caused by heat from the head blaze created a blazing circle that engulfed the quartet," the newspaper reported.

"Gibbs, Adams and Draber fell prone to the ground and attempted to crawl to the nearest haven — a dirt road running through Shawme Forest and constructed by the CCC workers. Fire shooting through dry brush enveloped the men igniting their clothes and burning their bodies."

Adams, 42, a volunteer firefighter from Sandwich who owned a wholesale meat business, died the next day. King, 35, the son of the Sandwich fire warden and who worked in forestry, died April 30. Draber, 32, of Buzzards Bay died June 10 from complications surrounding a blood transfusion. He was on Cape Cod to help dredge the canal.”

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