This week features the story of a forgotten fire in San Rafael in March of 1950, a little over two months before the double fatality of firemen fighting the Mar Vista Motors blaze.
The fire at the Marin County Storage & Trucking Company was unusual in several ways, and the research led to several “It’s a small world….” stories. This is a common occurrence with our research for the Marin County Fire History project. In the process of learning about a person or a fire, we discover a much deeper world that has been mostly forgotten.
This fire, for example, revealed links to volunteer firefighters in San Rafael, including a Doctor who served in the D-Day invasion at Omaha Beach. A photograph of the fire was published nationally, due to 100 bystanders pushing a railroad boxcar out of danger.
The buildings were owned by the family of the San Rafael Fire Inspector, who investigated the cause in the aftermath of the inferno.
Also this week, please keep retired Larkspur Fire Chief and Marin Fire History project writer Bill Lellis in your thoughts and prayers. He’s been in the hospital for over a week now, with serious illness, which was finally tracked down to a necrotic gallbladder, which has now been removed. We hope he can come home soon.
Our Blog announces new site content, and gives the context of the topic and it's relationship to fire service history. Written by Bill Lellis & Paul Smith