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Safety forces battle fires in Warren, Niles in 1922

This week in history

99 years ago in 1922

Local firefighters had chilly rides to three fires, two in Warren and a third in Niles. None of the blazes did significant damage.

The first alarm was at 9:10 o’clock when a Ford automobile, owned by Dr. Gauchat, caught fire on Laird Avenue. Chemicals extinguished the blaze, which burned the wiring and scorched the paint.

A short circuit was the cause of the fire.

After an hour back at the department, another alarm rang in. This was from Box 416. A chimney burning at an Oak Knoll Drive residence threw showers of sparks upon the shingle roof and a blaze started. The fire rapidly was spreading along the roof when the department arrived.

The third fire, in the tool room of the Niles Pressed Steel Car Co., threatened to spread into the plant and the Niles department, asked for a Warren machine.

No.1 pumper was sent to the scene, but no water supply was available.

The fire was confined to the tool house. Damage amounted to about $360. An overheated stove was cited as the cause.

50 years ago in 1971

Suspicion of arson hung over an early morning fire at the Chevrolet-Fisher Body assembly plant, where 2,500 hourly rated workers on the first shift were sent home after being routed by dense smoke.

The fire started at 6:35 a.m. in a huge stack of foam rubber in the rail car unloading area at the back of the plant, discovered by an employee. The rubber was used in making seat cushions for new cars.

The second shift was scheduled to resume operations in the second shift in the afternoon.

Plant officials said no one was hurt and that thick smoke arising from the burning rubber was the main problem.

“We are certainly not ruling out the possibility of arson,” Neil Darteen, chief of plant security, said. He indicated the state fire marshal was to be called in to work with plant engineers in investigating the mysterious blaze. Chances of spontaneous combustion in rubber were nil, officials said.

25 years ago in 1996

Trumbull County sheriff’s deputies charged a township man with buying beer and whiskey for a 19-year-old Johnston man, who later got drunk, passed out and died from hypothermia in April of that year.

A second Johnston man was expected to appear in Trumbull County Central District Court in Cortland for his arraignment on the misdemeanor charge.

The cold the man was exposed to, complicated by being drunk, caused the hypothermia victim’s heart to stop, Summit County Coroner William Cox concluded.

Blood test showed a blood alcohol level of 0.26 at death — more than twice the limit for being legally intoxicated but not a lethal amount.

Cox recommended the death be ruled an accident.

The sheriff’s detective said he filed the charge not because of one man being responsible for the other’s death, but because the department wanted to take a strong stand against providing alcohol to those under the drinking age.

10 years ago in 2011

The Beatitude House marked 20 years in the Valley. Ursuline nun Sister Margaret Scheetz saw the need for transitional housing for disadvantaged women and children, and founded the Beatitude House to fill that need.

What started out as three housing units on the north side of Youngstown grew to include 12 transitional housing units in Youngstown and 13 in Warren. An additional 10 housing units in Ashtabula were expected to be ready in the fall.

The Warren facility opened in 2002 with seven units, and a six-unit expansion was dedicated in September 2009.

Women in the transitional housing program had to have an education plan in place, had to attend counseling and parenting classes and have specific career goals.

Women were to remain in the program for up to two years, after which they were able to support themselves in a stable home environment.

— Compiled from the archives of the Tribune Chronicle by Emily Earnhart

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