James
J.
Creato



JAMES J. CREATO was born in Italy on May 16, 1897 to Salvino and Lucia Creatore. His father came to the United States in 1901 and settled in Camden, in time shortening the family name to Creato. In 1906 Salvino sent to Italy for his wife and the three children left behind, Antoinette, James, and Daniel Creato. The family was living at 209 Clinton Street in 1914, 216 Clinton Street in September of 1918 and the spring of 1919, and had moved to 224 Clinton Street by January of 1920. His brother Daniel Creato graduated from Camden High School in 1919, the first class to graduate from the newly built school in Parkside.

The 1929 Camden City Directory shows James Creato, city fireman, and his wife Caroline, living at 1629 Maryland Street. He had been appointed to the Camden Fire Department on June 1, 1929 and reported for duty the same day with Ladder Company 2 on Kaighn Avenue. The April 1930 Census shows that they had moved to 516 North 7th Street, and also that they had an adopted son, Robert, then 3 years of age. Fire Department records from 1931 show James Creato and family living at 1512 South 9th Street. At some point during the 1930s the Creatos moved to 832 North 3rd Street.

Shortly after 7 A.M. on May 23, 1941, a Box was transmitted for a fire at West and Clinton Streets, South Camden. Arriving companies found a three-story commercial building with fire roaring one hundred feet into the sky. A second alarm was transmitted on arrival, followed by third and fourth alarms ordered by Chief John Lennox. The building contained a food market on the ground floor and a clothing factory above. At the height of the blaze, Firemen Clarence McMullen and James Creato narrowly escaped with their lives after a burst of flame nearly enveloped them as they forced an interior door to a shaft. Both members fought their way out under the cover of hose streams directed by their comrades. Chief of Department Lennox and four firemen while at the far end of the blazing building on West Street, heard the shrill cries for help coming from a nearby dwelling. Racing into the home of Mrs. Elizabeth O'Hanlon at 423 Clinton Street, they found an excited albeit unscathed parrot, in a kitchen birdcage still crying for help. The bird was carried to safety by the firemen. The blaze was brought under control at 10:30 A.M. but not before heavily damaging the block long building. 

When the 1940 City Directory was being compiled, James J. Creato and family were living at 1327 Argus Road, and they were still at that address when the 1943 edition was being put together. The 1947 Camden City Directory shows James J. Creato, city fire fighter living at 910 North 8th Street in North Camden. However, it also shows James and Caroline Creato operating Creato's Cafe at 202 South 5th Street, the corner of South 5th and Mickle Streets. It is unclear as to what the business arrangements were surrounding the operation of the bar, however, it should be noted that younger brother John Creato is listed as the bar's manager.  

James J. Creato was promoted to Captain on October 23, 1953 and sent to Engine Company 3 on Broadway

The 1956 New Jersey Bell Telephone Directory list his address as 512 North 32nd Street in East Camden. By the fall of 1959 he had moved to Mt. Ephraim, New Jersey, according to the New Jersey Bell Telephone Directory. James J. Creato retired on pension in June of 1960. Last a resident of Mt. Ephraim, New Jersey, James Creato passed away in June of 1976.


 
 
 

 


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