Holyoke Church May Cost $300,000 to Reconstruct; Cause of Fire Not Known

by Laurel | April 3rd, 2014

17 March 1934

 Thank you to Ralph Slate for contributing this photo (click through on image to view a larger version).

Fire at St. Jerome

Fire at St. Jerome
16 March 1934
Contributed by Ralph Slate

Crowds Visit Ruins of St. Jerome’s as Police Guard Curious From Danger of Falling Walls — Rev. F. W. Hafey Regarded as a Hero For Work in Saving Sacred Objects from Chapel — Fire Caused Death of Capt. J. J. Sullivan and Many Injuries — Statues and Altar Remain Unharmed

Holyoke, March 16 — Deputy State Fire Marshal William J. Puzzo of Springfield declared tonight that he had not yet determined the cause of the disastrous fire which almost completely destroyed the interior of St. Jerome’s Roman Catholic Church here early this morning. Deputy Puzzo inspected the ruins this afternoon, but said that another inspection will be made again tomorrow morning.

The fire, roughly estimated as having caused damage of upwards of half a million dollars, was also the cause of the death of Capt. James J. Sullivan of the Mount Tom engine house, who collapsed with a heard attack wile fighting the blaze from the front tower. Four other firemen, Chief Patrick J. Hurley; Deputy Daniel MacLean and Privates John Garaghty and Arthur Hart; received injuries which required medical treatment, and a number of the firemen received minor cuts and bruises. Chief Hurley’s leg was injured, as was Deputy McLean’s arm and Fireman Hart got a broken finger. Private Geraghty was struck a glancing blow on the head by a falling beam and was rendered unconscious. At the hospital later in the day it was discovered that he had suffered a fracture.

Adapted from The Springfield Republican, photograph from Ralph Slate.

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