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Images of America, Historic Fires of New York City


By John M. Malecky January, 2023

Images of America
Historic Fires of New York City
By Glenn P. Corbett and Donald J. Cannon

Available from:
FSP Books & Videos
433 Main Street, Suite 2A
Hudson, MA 01749
1-800 522-8528
E-mail: support@fire-police-ems.com

Price: $19.99

This is a soft cover book measuring 6 ½ inches by 9 ¼ inches, with 128 pages. It is a compilation of New York City fires from 1696 through 2001. It was released in 2005 and although it covers the Twin Towers terrorist attack, the Freedom Tower is proposed on a map because it was not yet built. A page each of acknowledgements and introduction are the only ones without black and white photos or drawings. Each photo or drawing is accompanied by a story of the event. This makes reading easier, but certainly not comforting. Fires and disasters of all kinds are covered with whatever information was available to the two authors. Some fires that you may or may not remember might not be in this book, but it is a work in progress for the future. The reading is interesting, but certainly not enjoyable in my opinion only because it involves loss of life and property. Do not get me wrong. There is much in heroics done by the firefighters in many of the incidents. Part of the heroics in my opinion also is the relentless perseverance of the firefighters, especially in the massive fires from long ago that were fought with what we today would consider antiquated equipment, but at the time it was all that technology had. There are four chapters to cover the different eras. Some of the major fires are the Dutch Reformed Church in 1835, the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory, the General Slocum fire, the Normandie, the TWA and United Airlines midair collision resulting in one plane crashing in Staten Island and the other in Brooklyn, the Alva Cape collision, the USS Constellation fire, the 1 New York Plaza fire, the crash of a B-25 bomber into the Empire State Building in 1945, the New York Telephone Building fire, the Happy Land Social Club fire and of course the bombing of the World trade center in 1993 and the terrorist attack in 2001 to name a few. There is a fire in this book, the Boston Excelsior Warehouse (1903), in which one of the authors lost a great grand uncle who was a well respected captain. These two authors did a tremendous job of putting this book together with the help of those acknowledged. It is more than worth the price!

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John MaleckySenior Columnist

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