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Press Releases / 2013 FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: AUGUST 1, 2013



Officers, Firefighters and former members of Engine 254/Ladder 153 and Engine 276/Ladder 156, along with Battalions 33 and 42, will hold its 35th Annual Memorial Mass in memory of six Firefighters who died as a result of the fire on August 2, 1978 at a Waldbaums Supermarket in Brooklyn, on Friday, August 2, 2013 at 10:30 a.m. A uniformed procession will precede the mass.

On August 2, 1978, at about nine in the morning and about half-an-hour into an effort to extinguish a fire at 2892 Ocean Avenue in Brooklyn, 12 FDNY Members – Firefighters and Officers – were plunged into a smoldering Waldbaums Supermarket when the center of the roof collapsed.  The store’s secondary, ornamental ceiling had concealed the fire’s extent, and with the collapse the response was escalated to a Fifth-Alarm – eliciting hundreds to the location for rescue and recovery efforts.

Six FDNY Members perished in the line-of-duty and 36 others were injured in the conflagration. Those who perished were: Lieutenant. James E. Cutillo of Battalion 33; Firefighters James P. McManus and George S. Rice of Ladder 153; Firefighters Charles S. Bouton and William O'Connor of Ladder 156; and Firefighter Harold Hastings of Battalion 42. The fire was ultimately determined to be the result of arson.


Commissioner Salvatore J. Cassano, and many FDNY officials, firefighters and their families


St. Brendan's R.C. Church located at 1202 Avenue O, Brooklyn, NY.


Friday, August 2, 2013 10:30 a.m.

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Press Contact: Francis X. Gribbon & Elisheva Zakheim, (FDNY) (718) 999-2056


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