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A 1953 fire department tragedy on a summer night

Accident at 196th and 76th took five lives


Last updated 11/29/2020 at 12:13pm

Betty Lou Gaeng

Volunteer fire fighters from Station No. 1, Snohomish County Fire Protection District No. 1, stand beside one of the district's fire trucks in front of Eisen's Garage on the northeast corner of today's 2l2th Street SW and Highway 99. The two men on the left appear to be District Fire Chief Clarence Crary (in the light-colored jacket) with Assistant Fire Chief Carl Eisen, next to him.

It was a routine call for Fire Station No. 1 late Sunday evening, July 26, 1953 – a brush fire was burning at Talbot Park near Meadowdale.

Answering the call from Station No. 1: Fire Captain Carl Gohm and six volunteer crew members – Lt. Ray Meyer, Fred Mahoney, Fred Dolder, Ted Farr, and brothers Dan and Floyd Matthews.

Piling onto the department's 1951 Kenworth firetruck, with Mahoney driving, the seven men headed for Talbot Park.

Pulling away from their Seattle Heights station, the firetruck headed west across Highway 99 and as it raced past Middleton's Grocery Store at the northw...

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