PETER B. CARTER was born in New Jersey in August of 1870. He was the son of Daniel and Mary Carter. Daniel Carter was working as a laborer on a farm in North Hanover Township, Burlington County NJ at the time of the 1880 census. Daniel Carter later live and work in Trenton NJ, where he was a constable, and is not to be confused with Daniel A. Carter, chief of the Camden Fire Department in the early 1880s. 

Peter B. Carter married around 1886. He first appears in Camden City Directories in 1888, living at 332 Stevens Street, working as a salesman. He does not appear in City Directories again until 1897. The 1897 and 1898 Camden City Directory show him living with his wife Elmyra at 1102 South 3rd Street, working as a meat cutter in 1897 and as salesman for Kolbe, Baker & Company the following year. He was at the same address, working as a driver in the 1899 directory. 

Peter B. Carter was appointed to the Camden Fire Department on November 29, 1899. At the time of the 1900 Census he was serving with Hook and Ladder Company 1 which operated out of the Fire  Department Headquarters building on North 5th Street at Arch Street. 

Peter Carter and his family were still living at 1102 South 3rd Street as late as 1906. When the Census was enumerated in 1910 he was then living at 329 Chestnut Street with his wife of 14 years, Elmira, and daughters Mary and Mildred. The Carters were still living at this address as late as the spring of 1918.

Six weeks prior to the census, the Reeves Garage, a large commerce building at 106-108 North Seventh Street, was destroyed in a spectacular fire and explosion on March 16, 1910. Night Watchman Albert Bell discovered heavy fire roaring in the basement about 1:30 A.M. He drove his vehicle to fire headquarters and reported a verbal alarm. As the blaze spread quickly, a second alarm was transmitted shortly after arrival. As Hosemen John Lennox and John Lutts of Engine Company 2 were advancing a big line near the blazing building a tremendous explosion carried them twenty feet across the street.

This mishap probably saved the lives of both members in that the blazing building literally blew apart, propelling broken masonry with the force of shrapnel. The west wall of the garage penetrated the adjacent Lutheran Church, leaving a gaping hole in the church wall. A general alarm was sounded following the explosion. Lennox and Lutts suffered lacerations and bruises as did Captain Carter of Hook & Ladder Company 1. Twenty-three automobiles were destroyed in the blaze with an estimated loss of $80,000.

On July 29th of 1915, after a career that spanned four decades, Chief John A. Stockton retired effective October 1st. He was succeeded as Chief by Peter B. Carter. Chief Carter would serve until 1926, during which time the city of Camden saw much growth and several large fires. Under Chief Carter's administration, the last of the horse-drawn units would be motorized. 

On January 3, 1915, one of the worst fires in Department history occurred at Kaighns Point and the Delaware River, South Camden. The fire was discovered in the men's waiting room of the Reading Terminal. Fanned by frigid 40 MPH winds off the river, the fire rapidly involved the ferry house and jumped Kaighn Avenue, igniting frame umbrella sheds and over one hundred frame passenger coaches. Box 31 at Front Street and Kaighn Avenue was pulled at 5:55 A.M. First alarm units were greeted by a near conflagration as the fire swept eastward into the big lumber mill of C.B. Coles & Sons, and simultaneously southward igniting frame buildings in the Dialogue Shipyard. Large burning embers floating on the water, set fire to a ship on the river. Four alarms plus numerous calls for mutual aid halted this blaze that caused injuries to 150 persons including more than 100 fire fighters. A field hospital was established in the offices of the C.B. Coles Company by Dr. Maldeis of Homeopathic Hospital to treat the numerous injuries. He was assisted by the Department Fire Surgeon, Dr. Schellinger. In the history of the Department, never had so many firemen been injured at a single incident. 

January 6, 1915, the Department again responded to the Borough of Collingswood on mutual aid for a fire at the Enterprise Wall Paper Company. Two members of the Department were seriously injured by falling walls. Battalion Chief George Wade and Hoseman William Laird were hospitalized for several weeks, with crushed limbs. 

Another disastrous fire occurred on March 27, 1915 at the plant of the Collings Carriage Company at Front and Arch Streets, center city. The three-story factory was used to build automobile bodies. John Ashton, the principal clerk for the Pennsylvania Railroad, saw the flames and pulled Box 51. Box 52 was also transmitted by employees of the carriage plant. The fire started in a varnish room located on the top floor at the southwest corner of the building. The afternoon blaze was fed by varnish and other inflammable materials within the building. The officer of the first due engine ordered a general alarm on arrival, as fire raced through the factory. The fire brigade of the Pennsylvania Railroad responded to assist Fire Fighters and while doing so, the whistle blew at the Van Sciver furniture factory also summoning its fire brigade as several nearby plants were threatened. While operating on the roof of the burning factory, some twenty Camden Firemen heard an ominous cracking sound. As they leaped across a shaft to the roof of an adjoining two-story building, the roof of the blazing factory collapsed with a deafening roar. Four companies of men narrowly escaped with their lives. With the assistance of the Industrial Fire Brigades, the blaze was brought under control by late afternoon. Damage exceeded $100,000.

A near conflagration in the Village of Gibbsboro at the Lucas Paint Works summoned a mutual aid response from the Department on August 1, 1915. Fire threatened to destroy the entire residential district of Gibbsboro, a community without local fire services. Camden Fire Fighters drafted from the Gibbsboro Lake and contained the fire to the factory complex. This was one of Camden's first mutual aid responses with motorized apparatus. Also during 1915, the Haddon Heights Volunteer Fire Company purchased the former apparatus of Engine Company 3, a Clapp and Jones steamer.

In January 2,1916, Camden Fire Fighters performed gallant service at the scene of a conflagration involving the Taubel Hosiery Mills in Riverside. Gale force winds and sub-zero temperatures created punishing conditions for fire fighters.

Something akin to a miracle occurred on the frigid night of January 11, 1916 at the State Street Methodist Episcopal Church, Sixth and State Streets, North Camden. At 10 P.M., three alarms were transmitted in rapid succession for a serious fire involving the main auditorium of the church. Heavy fire conditions extended to destroy the roof, the organ loft, the altar, Sunday School classrooms, and the entire pew area throughout the auditorium. When the blaze was finally extinguished, all that remained standing were four granite walls. On the south side of the building along State Street, was a magnificent stained glass window of gigantic proportion depicting Christ breaking bread with Martha and Mary, the sisters of Lazarus. The window had inexplicably withstood the flames and heat. The scene from the life of Christ was not blistered, scorched or marred in anyway. It has never been retouched and still stands as a miracle, surviving one of the most disastrous church fires in City history. Chief of Department Peter Carter was injured at this incident when he fell through a passageway between the auditorium and the school building. He was hospitalized for several weeks. Captain Joseph Maxwell and Fireman Steward Bakley of Hook & Ladder Company 1, Fireman John A.S. Hunt of Engine Company 3, and Fireman William McCauley of Chemical Company 1 were injured when the church roof collapsed on them. Under heavy smoke conditions and following some difficulty, the members were able to extricate themselves, three of them safely. Captain Maxwell was admitted to the hospital for a brief stay. 

On April 6, 1916, the Department's fleet became fully motorized with twenty-five pieces of apparatus and vehicles. On that date Ladder Company 2 was the last unit to relinquish its horses, quite reluctantly among many of its members. Contemporary fire fighters cannot understand the degree of personal affection and the bond that existed between the old time fireman and his beloved steeds. Fire horses were not regarded as firehouse pets or mascots, as were other animals like dogs. Firemen considered their horses to be an integral part of the team, with almost human like qualities and a level of affection that transcended anything even akin to a master's love for his pet.

Upon full motorization, twelve horses with eleven sets of double harnesses and one single harness were given to the Highway Department. Another sixteen horses and harnesses were privately sold and the proceeds of the sale in an amount of $1952.50 were donated to the Firemen's Pension Fund. Ten days after the Department became fully motorized, the last horse was sold thus ending a memorable era. 

Today's fire fighter can hardly appreciate the tremendous burden and extraordinary performance, that those magnificent fire horses were so famous for. Imagine a bitterly cold night in the dead of winter, as Engine Company 3 responded first due on the Fourth Alarm to North Camden. A two horse hitch pulling a 3,000 pound brass and iron steamer at full gallop, non-stop from Ferry Avenue to State Street. Upon arriving at the scene, the horses in a full sweat would be uncoupled from the apparatus and made to stand patiently by for hours, in howling arctic winds, often immersed in choking and blinding smoke, without relief. These animals were creatures of rare and remarkable disposition.

The glorious days of the magnificent fire horse and the old time fireman have long since passed, replaced by the diesel belching monsters of the modem fire service. But perhaps still somewhere in time, from very long ago, the distant sound of a clanging bell and the sharp clatter of hoofs can be heard, as Engine Company 3 rumbles up Broadway.

The annual report of the Department for the year 1916 included the following inventory on apparatus and vehicles: 


Steam engines with electric tractors.


Tractor powered steam engine.

1 -

Hose wagon of triple combination design with one thousand feet of hose.


Combination hose and chemical wagons with electric tractors each equipped with twin thirty-five gallon chemical tanks and one thousand feet of hose.


Aerial ladder truck, American LaFrance 75'.


 Aerial ladder truck, Boyd 85'.


City service truck with twin thirty-five gallon chemical tanks.


Chiefs car, Cadillac.


Deputy Chiefs car, Buick.


Battalion Chiefs cars, Buick.


Staff car, Buick.


Supply wagon with electric tractor.

In 1916, the Department occupied eleven firehouses throughout the city; seven of which were single unit stations, and the remaining as double unit quarters. Camden became one of the very first fully motorized and fully paid fire departments in the United States. While some departments were fully motorized earlier but still had volunteers, others were fully paid sooner, but still used horses.

During 1916, Fire Headquarters was renovated by William Wrifford at a cost of $9450. New furnishings and other related work increased this expenditure to $11,686.

On April 6,1916, Engine Company 8 was organized as a conventional fire company in the former quarters of Chemical Company 2 at 617 Kaighn Avenue, South Camden. Engine 8 would share the firehouse with Hook & Ladder Company 2 which occupied the adjoining bay at 619 Kaighn Avenue.

On March 27,1917, City Council created a Public Safety Committee. The purpose of the committee was to organize and designate police and firemen to guard public buildings; utilities and military armories during the war. A special badge with individual number was issued to each designated member of both departments to signify war time security.

During 1918, the City of Camden annexed the Village of Yorkship from Haddon Township, New Jersey. This residential community, originally built during the First World War to provide housing for thousands of families employed at the New York Shipyards in South Camden, was later renamed Fairview Village. This section extended the City to the far regions of South Camden, beyond what had been Morgan Village and the city limits along the Newton Creek. 

On March 3, 1918, eighteen large trolley cars were destroyed in a blaze at the Public Service Railway Company in South Camden. The fire was discovered about 4:30 A.M. when two Motormen entered the barn to take out their cars. Firemen could not advance hoselines to the seat of the fire due to closely parked trolleys and the lack of space to maneuver. Engine companies stretched lines to the roof and battled the flames under punishing conditions of extreme heat and heavy smoke. The damage was confined to a single barn as several new trolley cars were saved. The fire was thought to have been set by a disgruntled employee. The damage from fire loss was estimated at $150,000. Just a week earlier, thirty brass handles had been stolen from the same building.

In August 1918, Engine Company 9 was organized as a conventional fire company in the former quarters of Hose and Chemical Company 1 at 27th and Federal Streets, East Camden. Engine 9 would operate as a two piece unit, utilizing one of the chemical company's apparatus. Engine 9 would share the firehouse with Hook & Ladder Company 3 which occupied the adjoining bay.

A serious fire occurred on September 11, 1918, at the New York Ship Yard, Broadway and Morgan Streets, South Camden. The facility when opened during the first world war, was the largest private ship building installation in the United States. The fire started in the metal shop on lower Broadway above the Newton Creek. At the time of the blaze, thousands of spectators lined Broadway during a Liberty Bond Parade, while sixteen Navy Destroyers were under construction on the open ways just west of the burning buildings. As the ships were vital to the prevailing war effort, fire fighters held a defensive position between the main body of fire and the exposed ships. Mutual aid from Camden County and the City of Philadelphia was summoned to control the blazing fire buildings while Camden Fire Fighters succeeded in saving the seriously exposed Destroyers. U.S. Marines from League Island assisted Police in controlling the throngs of spectators that crowded the surrounding area to view the blaze.

With the annexation of Fairview, construction began in 1919 for a new fire station at 2500 Morgan Boulevard, South Camden. While new apparatus for Engine Company 10 and Ladder Company 4 was delivered in May 1920, the building would not become operational until its completion on September 16th. Engine 10 entered service as a one piece unit with a 1920 Robinson 750 GPM pumper, and Ladder 4 with a 1920 American LaFrance City Service Truck with chemical tank. These new quarters when opened for service was the only firehouse in the Department never to have held horses.

By the end of 1919 Chief Peter Carter and his wife and family had moved to 1507 Baird Boulevard in the Parkside section of Camden. Many of Camden's leading businessmen were their immediate neighbors. His daughter Mary Carter graduated from Camden High School as member of the Class of 1923.

Under the administration of Chief Carter, the first black firemen were were hired by the Camden Fire Department in 1920. In those years virtually all fire companies nationwide were segregated, as were the armed forces of the United States. For many years Engine Company 1 at the South 4th and Pine Street firehouse was the only black unit in Camden's Fire Department. It should be noted that the racial make-up of the city in 1920 was far different than what it was 30, 50, and 80 years later. 

Well respected by his peers across the country, Chief Carter was elected treasurer of the International Association of Fire Engineers in 1920 and 1921.

By action of the New Jersey Legislature, a state civil service authority was enacted on January 1, 1921 establishing standards for the selection and promotion of Police and Fire Personnel at the local government level, based on the merit system. This enactment precluded the long standing spoils system where political patronage had been the principal means by which appointments were made to the Uniformed Force. Also on January 1,1921, the Department adopted the 84 hour work week by implementing a two platoon system. This new schedule replaced the old one platoon, continuous duty cycle. 

In 1921, the Department occupied twelve firehouses throughout the city among eleven Engine Companies; four Ladder Companies; and three Battalions. Also during 1921, the installation of the final leg of a municipal fire alarm system begun in 1872, was completed by extending terminal coverage to the Fairview section of the City. Cable plant and alarm boxes had been previously extended to the East Camden and Cramer Hill sections, and the far regions of South Camden during the first decade of the new century. Fairview now completed "the loop" among several hundred signal stations. Also during 1921, the Department abolished the rank of Lieutenant and established a two tier position of Captain in both Junior and Senior grade. 

Another conflagration originated in the Sargol Shoe Store at 455 Kaighn Avenue, South Camden, during the early morning hours of December 14, 1921. Police Officer Arthur Levington while walking his beat along Broadway near Kaighn Avenue, smelled the strong odor of pungent wood smoke. Upon rounding the corner at Kaighn Avenue, Levington saw flames shooting from the top floor windows and quickly turned in the alarm. By the time Engine 8 and Ladder 2 arrived first due, all three floors of the shoe store were blowing heavy fire out the rear. The shoe store had been part of the Toone and Hollinshed Department Store. Only a door separated both properties at an elevator shaft. As units scrambled to get water on the blaze, the fire rapidly communicated up the shaft to involve the Toone and Hollinshed Mercantile. This property erected in 1881 measured 60 x 100 feet and was the City's first Department Store. The mercantile was heavily stocked with goods and wares at the height of the Christmas shopping season. Greater Alarms were transmitted in quick succession. Companies advanced lines to the roof of the exposure to gain a vantage position from which to darken the fire in the shoe store, but the blaze extended to involve the top floor of the mercantile. Several fire fighters nearly fell to their death when the tin roof on which they stood  froze over with encrusted ice despite extreme heat from the fire. Fireman Charles Gladney, Aide to Assistant Chief Patterson, was saved from certain death while working on the roof. He fell and began a perilous slide to the street. At the last moment, a fast and tenuous grasp by brother fire fighter averted tragedy. As the blaze illuminated the surrounding neighborhood, roof positions became untenable as companies were withdrawn to the street.

Adjoining the shoe store was the Sugar Bowl at 451 Kaighn Avenue, a well known confectionery. Only through the extraordinary efforts of fire fighters was the fire prevented from extending to this property. Numerous master streams poured tons of water on the blaze before it was finally brought under control nearly six hours after it began. Although the fire did not reach the first two levels of the mercantile, smoke and water damage took its toll upon the stock on the lower floors. Toone and Hollinshed sustained $175,000 in damage while the adjoining shoe store was reduced to ruins. The mercantile had suffered $50,000 damage in another blaze on August 8, 1913 when the property was struck by lightning during a fierce summer storm.

Another tragic blaze occurred on January 18, 1922 at the Economy Department Store, 427 Kaighn Avenue, South Camden. Companies responding to an alarm from Box 34 at Broadway and Kaighn Avenue arrived to find what they thought was a minor fire, amid light smoke conditions. But while Engine Company 8 was stretching the first line, the fire blossomed with such intensity that the first floor lit up and became a sea of flames. As Greater Alarms were quickly transmitted, the fire entered a broad staircase on the main floor and in minutes spread upward to involve all floors of the building. Heavy stream appeared to have little effect on the blaze as members gained access to the roof via aerial ladder in hopes of confining the fire to the original building. Captain Martin Carrigan was fatally injured while fighting this fire.

In May of 1922 Chief Carter went to San Francisco, California as a member of the advance committee organizing the attended the meeting of the meeting of International Association of Fire Engineers which was held in August of that year.

On January 1, 1923 the City of Camden adopted the commission form of government and reorganized the Police and Fire Departments as Bureaus under the jurisdiction of a Public Safety Commissioner.

On June 1, 1923 the Department organized a Fireman's Band. This unit consisted of some twenty members with musical talents among a variety of instruments and was reputed to be quite good. This band not only served the Department at official functions, but was also asked to attend other municipal and civic events to provide appropriate musical accompaniment. The band actively functioned well into the nineteen-forties.

A blaze badly damaged the Steamboats Columbia, Princeton and the Twilight on October 17, 1923. The old riverboats were moored at the yards of the Camden Shipbuilding Company at Fifth Street and the Delaware River, North Camden.

On the following morning of October 18, 1923, the Department sent two engine companies on mutual aid to the Borough of Clementon to assist numerous county fire companies in battling a blaze along Erial Road north of the railroad. Several homes were destroyed in this fire.

During July 1924, Engine Company 11 was organized as a conventional fire company in the former quarters of Hose and Chemical Company 2 at 27th Street and Hayes Avenue, Cramer Hill. This reorganization would provide the East Camden and Cramer Hill regions of the City with the services of a second engine company.

During the evening of November 17, 1924, units of the 3rd Battalion were placed on standby for a mutual aid response to Atlantic City, New Jersey. A serious fire on the Boardwalk between Virginia and Pennsylvania Avenues, destroyed three hotels and involved the Steel Pier. This request for mutual aid standby was later cancelled.

A back fire from a heater furnace caused a blaze that destroyed the Hitchner Wall Paper Company at Fifth and Mickle Streets, South Camden. About 5:00 AM on the morning of December 10, 1924, Watchman Harry Jensen was stirring the coals in the furnace chamber when a backdraft occurred. He ran for a fire extinguisher but by the time he returned, the entire room was ablaze. A passerby, Mrs. Anna Patterson, pulled the nearby alarm box to summon the Fire Department. Chief of Department Peter Carter was delayed in arriving at the scene as his Aide, Fireman Maurice Foley, was involved in an automobile accident on Haddon Avenue while responding to pick up the Chief. When he did arrive. Chief Carter transmitted the "three threes", the telegraph signal ordering a general alarm response to the fire. Chief Carter found the wall paper factory heavily involved with dense acrid smoke blanketing the neighborhood, making it nearly impossible to breathe. Residents on the south side of the fire building found their wooden window shutters and rear sheds in the backyards igniting from severe radiant heat.

Quick action by firemen extinguished these extension fires and prevented the blaze from spreading further. Chief Carter requested mutual aid from the Philadelphia Fire Department and Engine Companies 1 and 6 responded to assist. The damage from this latest fire was estimated at $ 100,000. The plant had been the scene of several previous smaller blazes.

On January 19,1925, Fireman John Reilly of Engine Company 4 made the Supreme Sacrifice in the line of duty. About 9:30 P.M. that Monday evening, Engine 4 turned out on a phone alarm reporting an oil stove fire in an occupied building near Second and State Streets, North Camden. The fire occurred in the residence of Max Kosh, located above his grocery store. Upon arrival, Firemen John Reilly and Albert Reauber carried a large copper portable extinguisher to the second floor. The flames were quickly extinguished and the nozzle closed. Suddenly, the fire extinguisher exploded like a bomb. Fireman Reilly was struck in the face by pieces of the fragmented appliance. He was killed instantly. Fireman Reauber sustained serious lacerations and bruises, requiring an overnight admission at Cooper Hospital. Probationary Fireman John Reilly was thirty-five years old and a member of the Department for seven months He had become quite popular among the members and neighbors of Engine Company 4.

On July 27, 1925 a fire at the Bantivoglio & Son junk yard in the 200 block of Division Street resulted in the injury of four members of Engine Company 7, when a brick wall collapsed on them. Chief Carter, who was on the scene directing firefighting efforts, saw the wall collapse and directed rescue efforts. One firefighter, Nicholas Romaine, died several years later as a result of injuries sustained in this incident.

In 1926, Thomas Nicholas was appointed Chief of Department succeeding Chief Peter B. Carter. Nicholas was the first Chief to be appointed by the merit system of the newly established civil service authority.

Peter B. Carter worked as a salesman for a supply house for a few years after leaving the Camden Fire Department. At the time of the 1930 Census Peter and Elmyra Carter were still at the Baird Boulevard address, as were there two daughters. Also living them was his father, Daniel Carter, then 89 years of age. Peter Carter was still living at 1507 Baird Boulevard as late as 1947.

Philadelphia Inquirer

November 24, 1899

Cooper B. Hatch - George W. Whyte
William Penn Hook & Ladder Company No. 1
First Baptist Church - Edgar Bolton
John W. Vanhart - W. Scott Franklin
Benjamin Kellum - Charles Robinson
George B. Wade - Albert Jones
George Cox - Edward Weston
Samuel Peoples - Harry B. Middleton
Harry Burrough - Robert W. Colkett
William G. Hillman - James E. Navin
Charles Todd - Daniel Smith
Peter B. Carter - Alfred Hayden
Henry Elliott - Josiah Sage
Samuel Price - William Rose
Charles Sturgis - Daniel Grimes
Harry Wagner - Augustus Kester
William Simpson

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Philadelphia Inquirer - November 26, 1899
Right Click on Images to Download PDF of Article
Cooper B. Hatch - George W. Whyte - Edgar Boulton - John W. Vanhart
 W. Scott Franklin - Robert Gick - Joseph Till - Edward Kelly - Christian Stark
Frank Powell - Lewis H. Sasse - Samuel Collins - William Madison - John F. Renner
Josiah Pedigree

Philadelphia Inquirer

November 28, 1899

Cooper B. Hatch - George W. Whyte
Edgar Boulton - John W. Vanhart
W. Scott Franklin - Robert Gick
Joseph Till
Edward Kelly - Christian Stark
Samuel Collins - William Madison
John F. Renner - Josiah Pedigree
Charles Robinson - George B. Wade
Albert Jones - George Cox
Edward Weston - Samuel Peoples

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to Download PDF of Article

Philadelphia Inquirer - June 24, 1900
Peter B. Carter - Charles H. Robinson - William Rose - Samuel M. Price
Engine Company 2 - South Front Street - South 2nd Street - Kaighn Avenue
Cooper Hospital

Philadelphia Inquirer - December 1, 1901
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Samuel Vanstavern
Daniel Lamb
Peter B. Carter
O. Glen Stackhouse
B.F. Archer
Frederick Griffith
Chestnut Street
Mount Vernon Street
South 3rd Street
South 4th Street

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February 12, 1905

Kaighn Avenue
Mt. Ephraim Avenue

Philadelphia Inquirer - March 22, 1906
Charles H. Ellis - First Baptist Church - Broadway Methodist Episcopal Church
George Shields - William Jobes - William Hillman - Kaighn Avenue
Rev. John S. Heisler
Samuel S. Elfreth - Samuel Price - William Deno - Charles Robinson - Peter Carter
Joseph Ernst - George Quinn

Camden Post-Telegram
January 3, 1910

Harry Selby
Samuel S. Buzine
Arthur Wingate
Richard Marter
Samuel S. Elfreth
George B. Wade
Peter B. Carter
Peter S. Gray
John A. Dold
Newton G. Ash
Joseph Johnson
Joseph Maxwell
Harry S. Burrough
William Elberson
Henry "Harry" Green
William Tatem
John Lennox
John Lutts

Charles H. Fitzsimmons IV

John Gardner
Charles Minckle
Harry Lee
Charles Hose


Throngs Jam Court House While Body Lies in State for Two Hours.


Not since the memorable funeral of Chief of Police Foster ten years ago, has there been such a genuine public tribute paid an official of Camden as was in evidence last night at the bier of the lamented Fire Chief Worthington, and today at his funeral. It is hard to estimate the number of persons in a crowd, but from 7 until 9 o’clock last night there was a steady stream of men, women and children, two abreast, who passed from the main entrance, through the center corridor and beneath the illuminated rotunda, where the body lay, and thence out by the west corridor. There was never a stop, and it is estimated that at least 10,000 persons were there, perhaps more.

There could not have been a more ideal location for the repose of the casket containing the honored dead, and the great array of beautiful flowers than beneath the rotunda. It seemed to be a sacred shrine in itself where the citizenry dropped a tear for the lamented departed. The effulgence of the soft lights from above specially installed by Electrical Chief Kelly but lent to the scene and as the dark garbed escort of firemen, the active pall bearers, stood, on guard, the scene was unusually impressive.

Chief Worthington, aside from the pallor that comes to the dead, looked as he did in life, for the thread had been snapped so quickly that it was while he was in his full vigor that the vital spark had taken its flight. There were some marks on his face that indicated the intense though momentary suffering through which he passed on his fateful plunge from the roof of the burning building to his quick death, and the passing crowd remarked this. But withal there was that calmness and repose feature which seemed to indicate that the gallant leader of Camden's fire fighters but lay sleeping rather than that his soul had taken its eternal flight.

Public grief may be a mere ephemeral emotion, born of the moment and only to be succeeded by the acclaim of the newly arisen public idol, but last night's encomiums seemed to come from hearts that overflowed with genuine and permanent sorrow over the untimely passing of so excellent a public servant. Many tear-suffused eyes indicated this, many expressions of grief, of sorrow, of condolence of those left showed this. The sentiment in evidence everywhere can only be likened to the sweetness of the wonderful flowers whose odor spread thorough all the corridors and in all the rooms of the great marble building. 

High in the clock tower of the City Hall the bell began tolling at 6:30 o'clock. At half-minute intervals its doleful strains went forth on the cold blustery east wind which had succeeded at day of spring sunshine. The bell and the screeching wind seemed to combine as a knell indicating the passing grief of the city. It was the preliminaries to the marching of the funeral cortege from the stricken Chief's home on Penn Street to the resting place at the Court House.

There were forty policemen in dress uniform with Chief Gravenor at their head. There were twenty-six fire heads from Philadelphia, with Chief William Murphy in the van, a tribute in itself of more than passing moment. There was the caisson on which was the black draped casket containing the body of he who all honored. There was the little red car in which Chief Worthington was wont to speed through the city at every alarm and there was his helmet and coat. There was Acting Chief Stockton and forty of the men who fought flames under the direction of he who lay so still. There as the family in cabs with curtains drawn, the members of City Council and the active pall bearers- Daniel Leach, Peter B. Carter, James White, William Patterson, Elmer Burkett, Samuel Harring

When the cortege reached the Court House the Camden boys took up their position on the inside beneath rotunda while the Philadelphia visitors made an imposing array on the granite steps outside. And then came the public in its steady and unending stream.

Later the Philadelphia delegation was escorted to the Board of Freeholders room where tribute was paid to the dead and where a mingling of the two cities took place. Besides Chief Murphy the visitors included Battalion Chiefs William T. Barrett and George P. McConaghy, Captains L. F. Bunting, William Lindsey; H. Dinlocker, J. Higginson, J. E. Talbot, D. Campbell, T. O'Brien, F. Hughes, E. Basenfelder; H. Hutt, William McCusker, G. Rheim, R. Wilsey, J. Webb, H. Goers, H. Haines, Insurance Patrol Captain Joseph H. Shermer William Hickman, William Rodgers, John Wyatt, David Phillip, John Clyde, H. Wilkinson.

President of City Council James E. Hewitt spoke of the work Chief Worthington had already accomplished, of his plans, of his value and worth to Camden. Chief Murphy responded in a fitting way and this incident in itself was one to be remembered.

An affecting sight was witnessed by the handful of spectators, among them being other firemen, city and county officials and policemen who remained after the big doors on Sixth Street had been closed. The last to view the Chief's remains were a delegation of about twenty firemen. Solemnly the men passed by the bier and gazed upon the features of their departed brother.

As the last of the line approached Deputy Chief John A. Stockton was seen. He stopped and with his cap laid across his breast be looked down into the casket. For almost a minute Chief Stockton stood as though glued to the spot. Then he glanced about him and the sympathetic look upon his face thrilled all.

He heaved a sigh and perhaps the teardrops refused to come, but Chief Stockton, as the lines upon his face showed, was struggling with the inner man. His emotions were tugging at his heart, but a fire laddie cannot give way to his feelings although his brother superior officer and dear friend had answered his last alarm.

The floral pieces surrounding the bier bespoke the love, admiration and respect the donors held for the dead chief. One design particularly beautiful was a mammoth loving cup made of blossoms, f1owers and roses. This was the token sent by members of City Council and other city officials.

Another was the design sent by the Electrical Bureau through Chief Kelly. The original fire box, No. 134, which was pulled on the night of the fire by Chief Worthington was enshrouded by roses, carnations and lilies.

A maltese cross standing several feet high and bearing the initials of the organization was the tribute sent by the Firemen's Mutual Benevolent Association. Chief Worthington was president of this association. 

The Camden police sent a large shield of flowers and Council members offered a vacant chair of roses. The New Jersey Auto Supply Company, No. 2 Engine Company and No. 1 Truck sent beautiful broken circles and a wreath was the offering from the employees of the Victor Talking Machine Company.

 A broken circle from member of the Sixth Ward Republican Club and a wreath from his friends in the sixth precinct of the Second Ward were other beautiful pieces. West Collingswood and Collingswood firemen sent two beautiful floral circles and from the Loyal Order Legion a wreath was received.

Other offerings were from the Camden Liquor Dealers league, a beautiful circle from No. 6 Engine Company, in which house Chief Worthington was captain previous to his elevation to the office of chief; sprays from the Bethany M.E. Church, Ladies Auxiliary of the Loyal Order of Moose; a wreath from the pupils of the eighth grade Sewell school, and a spray from North Baptist Church. There also were designs from members of the family and friends, all of which bespoke the great love held for the departed fire chief.

The impressive services of the P.E. Church marked the last sad rites this afternoon at St. Paul’s Church. The guard of honor and city officials left Fire Headquarters at 1:20 and proceeded to the Worthington home and escorted the remains to the church, where services were conducted by the rector, Rev. R.E. Brestell, and Rev. H.O. Jones, rector of St. Stephen’s P.E. Church. Interment was made at Arlington.

The honorary pallbearers were Mayor Ellis, Hon. David Baird, Frank F. Patterson, John W. Bell, General John A. Mather, Melbourne F. Middleton Jr., Harry R. Reed, Arthur L. Jones, Robert Gordon, David Jester, George Schneider, William Mills, J.O. Grear, William Hall, George L. Bender, and James E. Hewitt.

Philadelphia Inquirer
June 27, 1914

John A. Stockton - Peter B. Carter
Charles Worthington - Samuel Whitezell
Charles Cook -
Engine Company 1

Outside Fire Headquarters - About 1914
Click on Image to Enlarge
  Deputy Chief Peter B. Carter and his Aide, 
Harry V. Hankins

Philadelphia Inquirer - July 18, 1914

Peter B. Carter - Edward Dudley - Harry Green - Dudley Grange - Cooper Hospital
South 15th Street -
Federal Street - South 8th Street
William McCauley - William Rushworth

Camden Daily Courier
January 25, 1915

Robert Steer
William W. Patterson

James Elberson
Robert Brice
Ephraim T. Hires
Joseph Logue
Howard L. Currie
Joseph T. Daley
Howard Street
Rev. J.L. Surtees
Rev. Isaac Bagley
State Street Methodist Episcopal Church
Engine Company 4
John A. Stockton
Peter B. Carter
Walter Browning
Daniel Grimes
Charles Watkin
Engine Company 5
Robert Steer Jr.
Carrie Steer

Philadelphia Inquirer - June 19, 1915

Camden Daily Courier * July 30, 1915



John Stockton - Peter B. Carter
Thomas J. Nicholas - William Patterson
Charles Cook
Walter Mertz
William Cason - Robert Whitley
T. Grant Middleton -
John H. Lennox
John A.S. Hunt George Cattell
Walter W. Johnson - Walter W. Lee
Clarence Baker -
Walter Wolverton
Albert Denise - William Barr

Camden Daily Courier * July 30, 1915

John Stockton

Peter B. Carter

William Patterson

Thomas J. Nicholas

Camden Post-Telegram * July 30, 1915

Peter B. Carter William Patterson
Charles Cook - Walter Mertz - William Cason - Robert Whitley - John H. Lennox
T. Grant Middleton -
John A.S. Hunt George Cattell - Walter Wolverton
Walter W. Johnson - Walter W. Lee - Clarence Baker - Albert Denise - William Barr

Philadelphia Inquirer
July 30, 1915

John Stockton - Peter B. Carter
Thomas J. Nicholas - William Patterson
Charles Cook - Walter Mertz
William Cason
- Robert Whitley
T.G. Middleton -
John H. Lennox
John A.S. Hunt George Cattell
Engine Company 3 - Engine Company 4
Walter W. Johnson - Walter W. Lee
Clarence Baler -
Walter Wolverton
Albert Denise - William Barr
Bowman H. Shivers

Click on Images for PDF File of Full Article

Philadelphia Inquirer - October 2, 1915
  John A. Stockton - Peter B. Carter - Thomas J. Nicholas
William Patterson - Walter W. Browning - George P. Cox
Engine Company 3  

Camden Daily Courier
November 24, 1915

Robert Brice
Joseph T. Daley
Daniel Grimes
William W. Patterson
Charles Cook
Peter B. Carter
Joseph Logue
Ephraim T. Hires
Rollo Jones
Harvey Watts
Arthur Wingate
Harry Hankins
Josiah Sage
Abraham Kern
Charles Watkin
Martin Carrigan
John Miller
Frank Sheridan
Engine Company 4


Philadelphia Inquirer * May 10, 1916
Harry C. Anderson - Peter B. Carter - Isaac Bagley 
Federal Street

Engine Company No. 5 at 14th and Federal Streets, with newly converted hose wagon. Originally a horse drawn rig, it was modified to electric power by the Commercial Truck Company of Philadelphia PA. A storage battery powered each wheel. 
Pictured with apparatus are (I to r): Chief
Peter Carter, Fireman
W. Scott Franklin, Chauffeur Bert Coffman, Firemen Edward Kelley, William Buzine, John Prucella, Charles Schultz, Horace Cairns, Daniel Grimes and Chief's Aide, Fireman Harry Hankins.


January 4, 1917

Frank G. Hitchener
Joseph Maxwell
John Wilffon
Peter B. Carter
Dr. E.A.Y. Schellenger Sr.
Henry L. Bonsall
Samuel Elfreth
Mrs. Sallie Gordon
John Orr
Mrs. Mary Brooks
John Humphries
L.J. Donavan

Mickle Street
South 5th Street
Stevens Street
Judson Street

Cooper Hospital


Camden Post-Telegram
March 22, 1918

Peter Carter - Louis Neuman
George H. Pursglove - Roy DeHaven
Julius Hubert - Harry Stone
Joseph Sparks - Samuel Whitzell
William Elberson - William Schucker
Walter Mertz - Horace Cairns
Robert Knox - Allen Palmer
Clarence Pursglove - Anthony Paradise
Harry B. Maxwell - Robert Welsh
William B. Vile

Philadelphia Inquirer - March 23, 1918

Peter B. Carter - Harry B. Maxwell - Allen Palmer - Louis Neumann
George H. Pursglove - Roy DeHaven - Julius Herbert - Harry W. Stone
Joseph Sparks - Robert Knox - Clarence Pursglove - Anthony Paradise
Robert Welsh - Walter Mertz - Horace Cairns - Samuel Whitzell

Philadelphia Inquirer - September 11, 1918


Camden Post-Telegram * February 19, 1919
Frank G. Hitchner - William Patterson - Peter Carter - Harry Selby
 J.H. Harrington

Philadelphia Inquirer
December 28, 1919

Peter B. Carter
George L. Bender






Public Ledger
February 12,1920





Samuel Liker - J.C.Dunn & Co. oilcloth works - F.A. Poth & Sons brewery

Philadelphia Inquirer - February 12,1920

Peter B. Carter - Sitley & Son - I. Asbell - Chelton Avenue - South 6th Street
United States Wool Company

Philadelphia Inquirer - February 12,1920

Peter B. Carter - Thomas J. Nicholas - Sitley & Son - I. Asbell
Chelton Avenue - South 6th Street - United States Wool Company


Philadelphia Inquirer
October 24, 1920

Peter B. Carter - George Hollins
Ladder Company 1
West Jersey Hospital
Ferry Avenue - Mechanic Street
Peter J. Murphy

Click on Image for Complete Article


Camden Post-Telegram * December 30, 1920

Peter B. Carter - Thomas Nicholas - Walter Browning - George B. Wade - William W. Patterson
Francis Ford Patterson Jr. - Charles H. Ellis - David Jester - Joseph Forsyth

Engine Co. 1 - Alfred E. Green
Charles Errickson
Charles W Cooke
- Leroy Hatchett

Engine Co. 2 - Howard Landon - 
Harold Lohrang - John K. Voll 
Edgar EllenderChester Andrus   
Harry G. Layton

Engine Co. 3 - Frank Kuda
Louis Quinton - August Haverkamp
Charles B. Haines - Charles Clements

Engine Co. 4 - Harry Kleinfelder
Frank A. Obermann
- Walter B. Gray
Albert Raeuber
- Fred Schucker

Engine Co. 5 - Richard A. Farris   
Frank Fennrio

Engine Co. 6 - Manuel J. Kane  
William H. Reed
- Edward Perairia   
Thomas Shanahan
- Rocco De Varro

"Frank Fennrio" is for the moment a mystery

Engine Co. 7 - Lawrence H. Mathews
August Scholl
- Nicholas Romaine

Engine Co. 8 - Samuel Oshushek 
Edward C. Crane  - Adam Mead
Frank Sapp
- William J. Taylor Sr.

Engine Co. 9 - Kennard Naylor   
Daniel McSurdy -  John Mohrfeld

Engine Co. 10 - William Schwartz
Hugh Rementer - Harry Greenan
Rocco Abbott

Hose & Chemical Co. 2
Laurence Newton
- Edward Hauser William Getner

Ladder Co. 1 - Thomas Cunningham
Leonard Megee

Ladder Co. 2
John Gaylor
- Walter White

Ladder Co. 3  - Albert Dukes
David Ellis
- George W. Attison
John Mulligan - David Humphries

Tennie G. Hutchison Jr. - Ladder Co. 4 - George A. Quimby

Camden Post-Telegram * August 2, 1920

Thomas Nicholas - Peter B. Carter - Thomas Clark - Mortica Clark


October 15, 1921

Click on Images
to Enlarge


Philadelphia Inquirer - November 21, 1921
Click on Image for PDF File

  Harry Chambers - David Smith - Charles Haines - Peter B. Carter
Neil Zeidman -
8th Street - Kaighn Avenue - West Jersey Hospital

Philadelphia Inquirer - November 25, 1921

William W. Patterson - Peter B. Carter - Harvey G. Watts 

Camden Daily Courier * January 11, 1922

Gardner Garage Fire ‘Worst Case of Arson I Ever Saw’ Says Carter

 What is described by Fire Chief Peter D. Carter as the "worst case of arson I ever saw or read about” came to light today with the arrest of Boleslaw Ziemba*, 1555 Mt. Ephraim Avenue, an employee of the Gardner Automobile Sales Agency, Broadway and Atlantic Avenue.

Ziemba* was arrested by special policemen Ward and Shaw after fire broke out in the auto sales agency building. Firemen saved the building from destruction after the first floor was partly consumed by flames.

On an examination of the building., Chief Carter said he found kindling wood, saturated with gasoline and oil, placed in piles between joists of the second floor. The chief also said oily rags had been placed between cracks in the flooring and where the fire is believed to have started.

Firemen Save Evidence

A flue leading to the chimney had also been saturated with oil or gasoline, the Chief asserted.

The evidence which was saved by quick work on the part of the firemen was taken to police headquarters. The arrest of Ziemba* followed.

The building is occupied in the first floor by the automobile agency. The second and third floors were unoccupied.

* Newspaper reported name as "William Zambro"

Camden Daily Courier * January 12, 1922

Prisoner Confesses to Arson; Blames His Employer, ­Both Under Arrest

 Boleslaw Ziemba, 1555 Mt. Ephraim Avenue, confessed today to Captain of Detectives Schregler that he set fire to the property at 1426 Broadway at the instigation of his employer, John Makel, so he could obtain $3000 he had put into the business. Makel conducted an automobile agency at the Broadway address. Both men are under arrest and will face charges of arson preferred by Fire Chief Peter D. Carter.

 Ziemba told the detective chief in the presence of his aides, King and Painter, who investigated the case, that sometime ago he had loaned Makel $3000 and in turn had been given a job at the agency. He stated that he had asked Makel for his money and his employer then than said that he, Ziemba, set fire to the building and that the insurance money would provide the means to erect a new and handsome building and he could have a better job and get his money back quicker.

Firemen saved the building from destruction after the first floor had been partly consumed by flames.

On an examination of the premises, Chief Carter said he found kindling wood saturated with gasoline and oil placed in piles between joists of the second floor. He also discovered that rags soaked in oil had been placed in cracks in the flooring. Even the driveway had been liberally dosed with gasoline and oil, the chief stated. The arrests followed the examination of the arson evidence at police headquarters.

Camden Daily Courier * January 18, 1922

Economy Store and Other Buildings Near Broadway Swept by Flames Early This Morning-
Falling Debris Carries Men Through Roof And Into Cellar- Sleeping Inmates of Apartments Roused and Invalid Carried to Safety- Mayor Sees Rescues

 Mayor Ellis has ordered an investigation to determine the cause of the $2000,000 fire which swept the properties at 427 and 429 Kaighn Avenue and caused injury to five firemen, one of whom may be fatally hurt.

 The fire centered about the property occupied by the Economy Store, formerly Handle’s, and quickly spread to four adjoining buildings.

 The fireman whose recovery is despaired of is Captain Martin B. Carrigan, of Engine Company No. 2, Fifth and Arch Streets. Carrigan, who lives at 618 West Street, is suffering from a fractured skull and severe burns and cuts of the face, legs, and body. He is unconscious at Cooper Hospital.

 The firemen were injured when a wall, weakened by the intense heat, crumbled and crashed through a roof upon which they were standing, dragging them through the floor below, and into a cellar. Sensational rescues followed as police, firemen, and citizens with bare hands tore at the hot debris. The men were quickly extricated and carried to the street.

 “We certainly shall investigate this fire,” the Mayor declared today. “Just what was the cause and who is to blame has not been determined but there will be a thorough investigation.”

 “There have been too many of these fires during the past few weeks” continued the mayor. “Surely all of them did not just happen and I am sure there has been someone responsible in one or two of the fires.”

 The conflagration was one of the most spectacular of a series of large fires that have visited the city in the past six weeks. The block in which it occurred- Kaighn Avenue between Broadway and Fourth Street is one of the most prominent business squares in Camden.

 Flames shot 200 feet in the air, giving the sky a fiery hue and attracted attention for miles before the firemen brought it under control. The flame-lit sky was clearly seen in Philadelphia, Merchantville, East Camden, Gloucester and other communities.

 More than a score of families living in the vicinity were forced to flee from their homes in scant attire when the fire threatened them. They were cared for by neighbors.

 Fireman George Boone, 46 years old, of Engine Company No. 2, also is in a serious condition. He is suffering from burns of the right hand, right thigh and foot and probable internal injuries. Boone lives at 607 Mount Vernon Street.

The other injured foremen are:

John Voll, 22 years old, 509 Royden Street: both hands badly burned.

C.J. Andrus, aged 31 years, 570 Mount Vernon Street: burns of hands and legs.

Harold Lorang, 29 years old, 19 Hudson Street: burns of right hand and legs and sprained ankle.

 Firemen Prove Heroes

 Carrigan and Boone are in the hospital. The other firemen were discharged after their wounds were dressed. After being released from the hospital they returned to the scene of the fire and insisted upon continuing their duties. Chief Peter B. Carter, however, ordered them home.

 Most of the loss was suffered by the Economy Store. A few charred walls remain of the large building. The interior was completely gutted. It was estimated today that the damage to that property will total $60,000 At least $50,000 damage, it was said, was done to the stock.

 Morris Handle, local theatrical man, who owns the building, declared today that the property was insured for $30,000. “My loss will be quite heavy,” said Mr. Handle. “The insurance will not pay one-half the property damage.”

 The adjoining building at 431 Kaighn Avenue is occupied by Dr. S.I. Yubas, optometrist, and L.R. Yubas, his father, a jeweler.

 Invalid is Rescued

 The rear and upper floors of the Yubas property were gutted and the stock sustained a heavy loss, due to water and smoke. The damage will total $40,000, Mr. Yubas estimated today. 

Five persons who were asleep on the upper floors of the Yubas dwelling had narrow escapes. They were awakened by Samuel Goldstein, haberdasher, 417 Kaighn Avenue, who discovered the fire in the Economy Store and turned in the alarm. Mrs. L.R. Yubas, an invalid, was rescued with difficulty. 

The property occupied by Mrs. Sadie Bodner, a widow, at 433 Kaighn Avenue, as a house furnishings store, was scorched and also damaged by water and smoke. 

Adjoining the Economy Store on the west at 425 Kaighn Avenue is a vacant one-story structure, formerly occupy by the United Beef Company. Firemen were on the roof of that building when the west wall of the Economy Store collapsed. The wall tumbled down on the small roof and hurled the firemen through a hole in the roof, through the floor and then into the cellar.

Several Stores Damaged

Three policemen, Joseph Sparks, Thomas Cheeseman, and George Hill- and several spectators braved the fire and smoke to rescue the trapped firemen.

The property at 423 Kaighn Avenue, occupied by the Charles Jamison Department Store, was damaged in the rear and the stock ruined by water and smoke. The Kresge Five-and-Ten-Cent Store, at 519-531 Kaighn Avenue, was also damaged by water.

Louis Richelson, who owns the properties from 519 to 525 Kaighn Avenue, was unable to estimate his loss today. 

Collapse of Wall 

Hundreds of spectators, who were watching the fire from the opposite side of the street, shuddered as they saw a brick wall, weakened by the intense heat, totter and sway. Before the firemen on the smaller roof below could scurry to safety, it collapsed. 

A groan escaped the crowd as they heard the cries of the entrapped firemen and the deafening thud of the brocks as they landed on the roof where the firemen were at work. 

As the full weight of the brocks struck the roof, it caved in forming a gaping hole. The firemen were literally swept into the opening. 

The bricks tumbled down, causing another hole in the floor between the firs story and the cellar and dragging the imperiled firemen into the cellar with them. 

Mayor Charles H. Ellis was among the spectators who witnessed the collapse of the wall. Other officials were Chief James H. Long, of the Water Department; Fire Chief Carter, Assistant Police Chief Edward S. Hyde, Captain Lewis Stehr of the Second Police District, and Street Commissioner Alfred L. Sayers.

 Firemen Under Debris

 Observing the peril of the trapped firemen, Policemen Sparks, Cheeseman and Hill, together with a dozen other spectators, rushed across the street to the vacant store. They rushed through the smoke and fire, leaped into the cellar and 5reached the struggling firemen. 

Sparks, the first to leap into the cellar, reached Voll, who had been pinned beneath a pile of debris and was pleading to be rescued. The policeman feverishly extricated Voll from his precarious position and carried him out into the street to safety. 

Policeman Cheeseman had accidentally fallen into the cellar and, though himself injured, groped about in the dark until he found Boone, whom he dragged outside. 

Policeman Hill carried Carrigan out of the cellar in his arms. 

The five firemen were carried to a waiting police ambulance and rushed to Cooper Hospital. Carrigan was unconscious. He haws a slim fighting chance to recover. 

Carrigan was promoted to a captaincy the first of the year. He is popular among his comrades and has the reputation of being a fearless fireman.

Mayor Praises Firemen

 Mayor Ellis praised the work of the firemen and the bravery of the policemen who had risked their lives to effect the rescue.

 “Never did I see such remarkable work” said the Mayor. “When I arrived at the scene, it looked as if the whole block was doomed. The flames were shooting upward and the whole sky seemed lit up. The firemen tackled their job with dispatch and courage. I was proud of them. They knew their business and showed it by confining it to a comparatively small area. The work of the police also was commendable.

 Mr. Goldstein discovered the fire shortly before midnight.

 “I had just left my home at 417 Kaighn Avenue,” explained Mr. Goldstein, “intending to get a soda. As I passed the Economy Store I noticed strong odor of smoke. I peered into the glass doorway of the store. I immediately saw the place was afire.”

Rescues Sleeping Family

“Then I ran back to my store” continued Mr. Goldstein, “and I telephoned police headquarters. I went out again and returned to the scene. I remembered that the Yubas family were asleep on the second and third floors and rapped on the doors. Mr. Yubas came down in a bathrobe. He was not aware of the fire.”

 The six persons asleep in the Yubas home were Dr. Yubas, Mr. And Mrs. L.R. Yubas, Bernard Helfand, Miss Bertha Cuden and Anna Recowitz, a domestic.

 Mrs. Yubas, who is recovering from an illness, was too weak to make her way outside through the smoke. Assisted by her husband, Policemen Becker and Cheeseman and Constable John Cunningham, Mrs. Yubas was half carried downstairs, and out through the rear of the building to safety.

Blaze Had Big Start

“The fire had gained such rapid headway,” said Sergeant Thomas Cunningham, “that when the firemen arrived, smoke was actually issuing from cracks in the sidewalks and between the cobbles near the trolley tracks.”

 The second and third floors of 419 to 423 Kaighn Avenue are occupied by private families as apartments. In the rear were number of frame dwellings. More than a score of families were obliged to leave their homes in scant attire when the firemen began playing hose upon their properties as a precaution against the fire spreading.

Mrs. Catherine Fox, 410 Sycamore Street, and Mrs. E. Chambers, 412 Sycamore Street, whose homes are in the rear of the Economy Store property, had removed part of the furniture to the street. Even after firemen assured them the danger of their homes catching on fire was over, the women and children could hardly be persuaded to return.

Crumbling walls and cracking of glass hampered the foremen in their work and made their task hazardous. The firemen were further handicapped by the big start the fire had gained. Despite this, they stuck dangerously close to the flames.

To play hose upon the fire to advantage, several firemen scaled the outside walls of adjoining properties and reached cornices, from which they directed streams of water.

 High Wind Fanned Flames

 A high wind gave them great difficulty. A number of times, when the firemen seemed to have the fire under control, the flames burst out afresh and compelled them to retreat. Then the reflection would light up the sky overhead.

 Water Chief Long gave the firemen great service in maintaining the water at a high pressure to ensure facility in getting the streams to play upon the flames.

 Kaighn Avenue, between Broadway and Fourth Street, was literally alive with residents and passers-by attracted by the flames. Included among the spectators were scores of persons who came from Philadelphia and distant points, in the belief the blaze was much more serious.

 According to the estimate of the loss made today, the insurance on the property and stock damaged by the fore will not pay for one-half the loss sustained.

 Chief Carter was determined to take no chances with the fire because of the high wind and the fire was attacked on all sides. While firemen were fighting the flames from Kaighn Avenue several companies of firemen had worked their way into the yard in the rear, from whence they played streams of hose.

 An effort is being made today to determine the origin of the blaze.

 Thomas Shanahan, Engine Company 6, was a spectator when the wall crashed in. Hearing the cries of the buried men, he immediately dashed into the dirt. Six men, including Harry Seeley, formed a human chain and pulled four of the men from the heap of rubbish.

 Someone had the presence of min to turn off the nozzle of a hose, which was playing directly on the mound. When found, the water was trickling through to the pinned men.

Camden Daily Courier - January 23, 1922


Camden Evening Courier - January 23, 1922

Alarms of Fire Before and After Carrigan Funeral

Just before Camden firemen were planning to leave headquarters yesterday to march to the home of Captain Martin B. Carrigan, who lost his life in the falling roof at the Economy Store fire, they were summoned to a three alarm fire at the stables of Hugh A. Greenan, 1736 South 7th Street.

When Engine Companies No. 7 and 8 reached their fire houses this morning after the Carrigan funeral, an alarm was received from the drugstore of W.J. Grobiowski, 1250 Everett street.

The Grobowski fire had its origin in a pile of rubbish in the basement and was extinguished with a small loss.

Camden Evening Courier - January 23, 1922

Nearly All of City's Apparatus At Fire That Destroys Building

Fire, believed to have started through the drying of animal hair, destroyed the frame building of Hugh A. Greenan, 1736 South 7th Street, shortly before noon yesterday. The loss is estimated at $3,000.

When Fire Chief Peter B. Carter arrived at the scene, the building was doomed. Fearing for the safety of adjoining buildings and homes, Chief Carter sounded a second and then a general alarm. nearly every piece of the city's fire apparatus was on the scene of the fire.

A man who resides near the rear of the building saw smoke issuing from the center of the buildings at 11:15 o'clock. An investigation shoed hair, used in the manufacture of a patent plaster for building purposes, was ablaze. Another neighbor ran to a nearby fire box and sounded the alarm.

Both men joined in rescuing six horses that were in the stable adjoining the fire. Frank Clements, Policeman Carl Quinton and Samuel Ward arrived on the scene and succeeded in saving harness, two  wagons and an automobile before the flames spread to the stables.

Hugh A. Greenan, owner of the buildings and business, said his loss, amounting to approximately $32000, was partly covered by insurance.

Hundreds of persons returning home from church were attracted to the fire scene and viewed the work of the firemen from beyond the fire lines. No one was injured, although falling timber from the building constantly hampered the progress of the fire fighters.





March 16, 1922



John Ollek - Jacob Hutchinson - Frederick Foegli - Samuel Jacoby - T. Harry Rowland

San Francisco, February 1922
Advance Committee organizing the August 1922 meeting of the International Association of Fire Engineers
Click on Image to Enlarge

Top Row, L. to R.: Chief William. Bywater, Salt Lake City; Chief Peter B. Carter, Camden N.J.; Chief Thomas. R. Murphy, San Francisco; Chief August Gerstrung, Elizabeth, N.J.; Chief Edward T. Murphy, Buffalo, N.Y.; Chief Samuel Boyde, Knoxville, Tennessee; Chief Samuel H. Hunter, Springfield, Ohio. 
Front Row: Chief James Mulcahey, Secretary, Yonkers, N.Y.; Chief Frank G. Reynolds, President, Augusta, Georgia; Chief Chas. Ringer, Minneapolis, Minnesota

Philadelphia Public Ledger - August 5, 1922

San Francisco Chronicle

August 19, 1922

Click on Image to Enlarge

Camden Post-Telegram * September 9, 1922
 Keystone Leather Company - John H. Vickers - Dr. A. Haines Lippincott - George Attison 
Nelson Andrews -
Engine Company 9 - Peter B. Carter - Engine Company 1
 W. Scott Franklin - Ladder Company 3

Philadelphia Inquirer - October 20, 1922

Click on Images for PDF FILE Enlarge


Philadelphia Inquirer
October 21, 1922

Peter B. Carter
Thomas J. Nicholas
John Yantry
J. Eavenson & Son
Penn Street

Click on Image for Complete Article



Camden Courier - January 20, 1925 

Companion Hurt As Extinguisher Explodes at Second Street Fire
Injured Fireman Finds Self Lying on Comrade's Dead Body

John J. Reilly - Charles Gladney - Samuel Harring - William W. Patterson
Albert Raeuber - Max Koch - North 2nd Street - Pearl Street - Engine Company 4

Camden Evening Courier - July 27, 1925


Fire Fighters are Rescued From Beneath Heaps of Hot Bricks
Bantivoglio Junk Yard Destroyed- Loss Runs Into Thousands

Four firemen were buried under a falling brick wall, two of them believed to have been seriously hurt, and thousands of dollars worth of property was destroyed in a spectacular fire at the two story brick warehouse of Bantivoglio & Son, junk dealers, 252 Division Street, at 9:00 o'clock this morning.

The injured firemen attached to Engine Company No. 7, all of whom were taken to West Jersey Homeopathic Hospital, were:

Captain Charles Watkin 45 years old, 927 North Front street. Four fractured ribs and a punctured lung. he may die.

Nicholas Romaine, 43 years old, hoseman, 1271 Chase Street, lacerations of scalp and possible fracture of right ankle.

Louis Quinton, 25 years old, hoseman, 626 Viola Street, probable fracture of right shoulder.

Lester Anderson, 24 years old, hoseman, 1917 Niagara Road; lacerations of scalp and forehead and fractured left wrist.

None of the four were able to walk when they were lifted from where they had been struck down by the falling bricks. They were carried to the police ambulance and hurried at once to the hospital.

Residents of the neighborhood sat that a flash and a roar, as of an explosion, was their first warning of a blaze. The burned building has a frontage of 75 feet on Division Street. In a yard behind it there was a shed piled high with baled paper and three piled of used automobile tires. These caught fire and sent up black smoke that was visible for miles.

Smoke Hampers Firemen

A huge crowd of spectators already had gathered to watch the fire in this thickly populated section when the firemen arrived. The flames were threatening surrounding buildings, and the smoke was so dense that the men had difficulty finding their way out in the vicinity of the burning structure.

Captain Watkins and the three other fire fighters started along a driveway beside the building with a length of hose which they intended to use on the blazing sheds in the rear. They were passing a window when there was a muffled roar and a blast of dense smoke blinded and confused them. By shouts to one another they heard that there number was still intact. The blast of black smoke had been caused by the collapse of a loft and the falling of several bales of paper.

100,000 Tires Burn

More than 100,000 used automobile tires were destroyed in the blaze. The flames jumped a hundred feet into the air at one stage. Commissioner Hitchner watched the firemen at work from the roof of a nearby garage.

When the blaze had been extinguished Mr. Hitchner left to visit the injured firemen in the hospital. He commended the four men on their bravery and wished them a speedy recovery. Quinton is driver for Battalion Chief Wade.

The flames threatened to spread to the large garage of Louis Vananeri, on Spruce Street, directly in the rear of the junk yard. Firemen mounted the roof of this building and drove the flames back.

Today's blaze was the fourth that had visited the warehouse this year. The fire today is believed to have been caused by spontaneous combustion.

Carter Directs Rescue

The quarter were stooping to take up their hose line again when there was a crack like the report of a pistol, followed by a terrific roar.

Fire Chief Carter, personally directing his men, was about 50 feet away, and saw the four men buried as the bricks thudded down from the crumbling wall.

"Come on boys, there are four men under here." the chief yelled, and soon a score of hands were tearing frantically at the heaps of hot brick.

Bus Delays Ambulance

The police ambulance in which the injured men were placed was delayed for five minutes on its way to the hospital by the refusal of a Public Service bus driver to give it the right of way. According to Policeman Howard Fisher, the busman was arrested. The police say he will be prosecuted to the full extent of the ordinance in such cases. The ambulance was forced to remain behind the bus for a block and a half, according to the reports.

The pillar of smoke sent up by the blazing warehouse, sheds and 50-foot high piles of auto tires, drew thousands of spectators from all directions. Three alarms were turned in to the fire department in rapid succession. The police were called upon at once to establish lines for keeping back the crowd.

Bales of paper stored in the main building, as well as in the shed behind, .absorbed tons of water poured into the place by the firemen's hose, and the added weight snapped off fire-weakened floor beams like burning matches. The falling timbers and masses of packed paper added to the danger and difficulty of the firemen's task.

Only by a long and stubborn fight were the foremen able to prevent a conflagration among surrounding buildings.

The big warehouse became a red hot furnace. The heat was so intense a half-hour after the fire was discovered that telephone ad electric light poles on the other side of Division Street were ignited. "Trouble crews" from the telephone and electric companies were rushed to the place to guard their wires against falling and injuring persons below.

Loss placed at $50,000

It was roughly estimated that the the damage to the junk sheds and warehouse would reach $50,000.

Mrs. Leona Brown, who had just moved today into the house at 264 Division Street , just east of the burned plant, was driven from her new home by the dense clouds of smoke from a blazing of automobile tires that towered above the west wall of her two-story dwelling.

She was unable to return for any of her belongings when the flames began to eat their way through the west wall of her house.

The fire was the second within a month in the junk yard, which is closely surrounded by frame residences, a frame negro church and other buildings on all sides.

Romaine Seriously Hurt

Hoseman Romaine was reported by surgeons at the West Jersey Homeopathic Hospital as the most seriously hurt of the firemen caught by the falling wall. He was cut above the head, badly bruised about the back, and one of his ankles is believed to have been fractured.

Captain Watkins suffered several fractured ribs.

Hoseman Anderson was cut and burned about the face and his right wrist.

Hoseman Quinton suffered burns, cuts and bruises, and it is believed that one of his shoulders was fractured.

Trenton Evening Times
January 27, 1929

Rollo R. Jones
Peter B. Carter

Hainesport Fire Company No. 1
America Fire Company No. 4
Clifford R. Powell
George N. Wimer
Charles R. Stout

Peter B. Carter & Family 1930 Census

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Trenton Times - November 10, 1931

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