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Tuesday, November 28 2023 @ 05:17 pm EST
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Forest Fire News Article 1963


 Forest Fire 1963 News Article

Spring 1963 was probably the worst for fires we ever had. Dry with high winds. As I recall the big  fire started in Newtonville and spread toward Elwood in addition to other fires around the township.  Jumped the Black Horse pike and headed our way.  Was one of the first times I could recall all apparatus was constantly rolling and the fire house empty. 

The fire came as close as the current post office to the center of Elwood and to north west side of Locust Street at Nathan Morgan's field.  (Before the Post office the site was an open air road side drive-in known as the Sip n Snack.) 
We had trucks from everywhere lined up along Locust Street, practically the full length.  As trucks did not have radios then CBer's came to aid and followed the trucks for communication and dispatch.  The attached newspaper article, explains what was done and was a great benefit for coordination.  In addition to Atlantic County, we had help from Camden, Gloucester and Cumberland Counties (I am probably forgetting some). There was a long list of towns who sent trucks our way.  I even remember some street sweeper trucks (with water) coming over the bridge from Philadelphia. 
Both Salvation Army and Red Cross had canteens set up at the fire house to feed the troops. 
The CBer's proved to me what the term "Community Resources" really means in times of need. 
Joe Sorrentino


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EVFC Incident #89 08/26/2023 at 8:16am - Elwood Rd and Rt 30 in Elwood for a Motor Vehicle Crash with Entrapment

IncidentsAssisted police with traffic control extricated after coroner examination.
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EVFC Building Circa 1960's



Joe Sorrentino sent us this photo and said: This shows the front view of the building.  The two bays housed four (maybe 5) trucks:
The original model A pumper, Model "A tanker, An International open cab, surplus I think we got from NAFEC, known as the "Crash Truck" (my favorite-load -open exhaust); An open cab GMC pumper/ladder truck, I think was a hand me down from Hammonton. I think we also purchased a new Ford pumper truck.  Needless to say a full house. 
The original building is the front block.  The concete block addition in the back ( mid to late 50's) was built as the fire hall, for dinners, dances, meetings etc.  In the north east corner of the hall was a radio room where Mullica Township Civil Defense was located.  Our call sign was "Mike Tango". Still remember the "Yellow" radio with the CD insignia. Later it became the control center when we went modern and equipped all the trucks with radios. All the electronic installations was done by one of our own firemen George Holbrook (a master technician in my book).   At the rear of the original building was the service kitchen.  Any given Friday night Firemen would gather, fry up deer meat, onion and peppers and play cards (great smells from the stove). 
Notice the box (far left) on the building front.  That was the start and stop buttons for the siren.  In those days if anyone saw a woods or other fire they would blow the whistle themselves and wait for the volunteers to arrive for directions to the fire. 
Inside the side door was another set of start stop button and a black board so you could write the fire address.  The siren at the top of the two poles was loud and could shake the ground.  Was known as a seven  mile whistle. Don't recall what size motor it was, but a big one.  On a good day they said you could hear it in Nesco (was never there to prove it).  Before I  could be a member, I would run down to the firehouse and open the overhead doors, so there would be no lost time (I lived two door away).  Heavy things (solid lumber construction).
Notice the low rectangular block construction along the side.  That was the chicken barbecue pit for dinners we did to raise money. 
Good Friday we would always have an Fried Oyster and Ham dinner.  The place was always jamb packed with eat in and take outs.  Ladies Auxiliary was key to the success of those operations. (you have a picture posted of the group).   Always a great community spirit. 
Notice the Apparatus fund was just getting off the ground. 


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EVFC Incident #88 08/23/2023 at 4:31pm - 2657 Route 50 (Laureldale Fire House) in Laureldale for a Cover Assignment

IncidentsCalled for a cover up assignment at Laureldale fire house while they were at a structure fire. No other calls while covering station.
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Elwood Vol. Fire Company 1960s


 Thank you to Joe Sorrentino for this photo


Taken early 60's. 
Notice the apparatus fund posted on the building. Joe says If memory serves, They were working toward the new Mack Fire truck purchased when Jerry Critelli Sr. became chief. 
The original Model "A" is behind the group for those standing on the running board. 
Back Row Left to Right: Carmen Martino, Leo Nace (Joe's grand father), Harold Barrows (father of Bobby Barrows -State Forrest Fire service C-8), Charles Cirillo jr. , Chief Charles Cirillio (Joe's Uncle), Artur Foster (Owner of Fosters Store, where the Deli is now), John Milne (his wife Helen was the Elwood Post Master), Bill Hickman.
Front Row Left to Right: Frank Siciliano, Harry Wild (Harry would become chief), Pepper Martin, Jimmy Dilulio, Joe Sorrentino Sr.(Joe's father - He had the Esso Station across the pike, where the Country Cottage Gift Shop is now). 
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EVFC Incident #87 08/20/2023 at 8:18am - 3 Holly Dr in Elwood for an activated CO alarm

IncidentsCalled for an activated CO alarm. First truck was EHC Engine 10-1. Command on location limited the response to Engine 10-1. Checked with CO meter, no CO found. Faulty detector.
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EVFC Incident #86 08/16/2023 at 11:49am - 2780 7th Ave in Sweetwater for an Activated Fire Alarm

IncidentsFaulty smoke detector head at the bar
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