Memories of the 7th Battalion

FF. Dennis Walus is doing a great job chronicling the fire situation in Detroit. He recently sent photos of action at a fire on the southwest side of the city. The fire in the 7th Battalion brought back memories of fighting fires with some cool running mates. Big John Lisuk, Benny the Hook, Dave Ratcliff (one of 3 famous hillbillies), Edmond Forys (king of the 7th), and Dick Hoffman are just a few of the special people who manned the rigs way back when I was a Firefighter. There is a story which goes with each of these men. Those were great days working with those guys. They were responsible for saving lives and protecting property.

I can remember pulling out of quarters and smelling the distinctive smell of wood burning. Kind of like a camp fire odor. At night you could see a glow in the sky and hear the boss telling central office we would be stretching. I always got a tickle in my stomach like I did when I played football for Southwestern High School just before the kickoff.  My running mates were colorful characters around the engine house or on their leave days but once the bell rang they became serious highly skilled Firefighters.

Here is Dennis Walus' description of a fire in the 7th Battalion on July 17th 2009. Thanks for the memories Dennis.

On Saturday July 18th 2009, Detroit 7th Battalion companies responded to a reported dwelling fire in the area of S Crawford & W Jefferson. While en route Engine 29 reported they could see it and would be stretching. Upon arrival Engine 29 stretched on this occupied 2.5 story dwelling. This fire was brought under control in about a half hour using 2 lines. Engines 29/27/8/10 Ladder 13 Squad 4 and Chief 7 responded to this box alarm.

Stay safe my brothers and sisters.

Click on photos for captions and to enlarge.
All photos courtesy of Dennis Walus.

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