The Strand Theatre Fire: The 1941 Brockton Tragedy and the Fallen Thirteen

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On March 10, 1941, at 12:38 a.m., the Brockton Fire Department responded to Fire Alarm Box 1311, which was pulled for a fire at the Strand Theatre. Fire Alarm dispatched the deputy chief, three engine companies, a ladder company and Squad A. Within six minutes, a second alarm was struck. Less than one hour after the first alarm, the roof of the Strand collapsed, and what appeared to be a routine fire turned into a disaster that killed thirteen firefighters and injured more than twenty others. The disaster marks one of the largest losses of life to firefighters from a burning building collapse in the United States. Jim Benson and Nicole Casper chronicle this devastating tragedy and celebrate the community's heroes and resilience in the face of adversity.
ISBN: 9781467135276
Format: Paperback
Publisher: The History Press
State: Massachusetts
Series: Disaster
Images: 70
Pages: 128
Dimensions: 6 (w) x 9 (h)
James E. Benson is the past president of the Brockton Historical Society and Fire Museum and serves as the organization's official city historian. Benson has a BA in history from Muhlenberg College and is currently the parish administrator at Brockton's historic First Lutheran Church. A resident of West Bridgewater, he serves as chairman of that town's historical commission and is an active member of several civic organizations locally and regionally. Benson coauthored The Swedes of Greater Brockton in Arcadia Publishing's Images of America series and has authored West Bridgewater, Brockton and Brockton Revisited in the same series, as well as Along Old Canada Road and Brockton in the Postcard History series published by Arcadia Publishing. Nicole B. Casper has worked as the director of archives and special collections and assistant professor at Stonehill College since 2001. She received her BA in history from Stonehill College and MLS from Simmons College. She also serves on the board of the trustees at the Brockton Historical Society. She is the author of Stonehill publications A Historical Profile of Stonehill College and A Look Back: Celebrating the Centennial of Donahue and Alumni Halls. A native of Rhode Island, she currently lives in Attleboro, Massachusetts, with her husband. In addition to her love of history, she enjoys quilting and combined the two in 2008 with the completion of a photo quilt titled the Brockton “Shoe” Fly quilt, featuring historical images of the Brockton Shoe Industry, which was part of the exhibit The Perfect Fit, organized by the Fuller Craft Museum, Brockton, Massachusetts.
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