BIAGGIO P. ARDIRE was born on March 17, 1923 to Anna and Vincent Ardire in Osceola Mills, Pennsylvania. His parents were both born in Italy, coming from a town called San Piero Patti. He was born "Biaggino P. Ardire", named after his uncle, whose name, in fact, was Biaggio P. Ardire. He was the third of at least four children, the others being Grace, Philip, and younger sister Marie. By the time the 1929 Camden City Directory was compiled his family had moved to 864 Haddon Avenue in Camden. Vincent Ardire then worked at Campbell Soup, he later worked for Campbell Soup as a meat cutter. Biaggio Ardire attended school through the 10th grade and completed his 

education at Camden County Vocational School on Browning Road in Pennsauken.

The 1947 Camden City Directory shows Biaggio Ardire and his wife Anna living at 908 North 27th Street in Cramer Hill. His parents were still at the Haddon Avenue address. He occupation was listed as "radio worker". 

Biaggio Ardire was appointed to the Camden Fire Department on March 2, 1948 and reported for duty the following day. He was promoted to Captain on February 3, 1959, Battalion Chief on August 5, 1965, and later to District Chief, supervising Fire District #3. 

On September 5, 1973 Chief Ardire's son, Vincent J. Ardire, followed his father into service with the Camden Fire Department. They served together until July 1, 1981, when, after 33 years of dedicated service Chief Ardire retired.

By 1956 Biaggio Ardire and family had moved to 351 Morse Street in East Camden, where they lived as late as the fall of 1970. By 1977 the Ardire family had moved to Williamstown, New Jersey. He was still residing in Williamstown when he passed away on December 18, 1988.

Furnished Rooms

"Gentleman pref. $2.50 week"

Camden Courier-Post
June 7, 1933

Camden Courier-Post - February 1967

4 Trapped in Blaze Saved by Firemen
Courier-Post Staff

City firemen fought smoke, flames; snow and a biting cold during the night and early morning hours as a rash of fires 6everely damaged four buildings and destroyed a tavern.

According to Public Safety Director Keith Kauffman, at one point only two engine companies were not actively fighting the blazes as seven engine companies, three ladder companies, the rescue squad and three battalion chiefs were at the fire scenes.

At the site of the worst fire, 5th and Mickle Streets, police and firemen braved dense smoke and fierce flames to rescue four elderly persons trapped in first, second and third floor apartments.

Started In Tavern Lounge

The blaze, which broke out in the lounge of Ray's Tavern, was discovered by Patrolmen Augustus Balzano and Anthony Saponare at 3:58  a.m. after they were alerted of smoke by highway employees battling the second snowstorm of the week.

The two policemen, after radioing the alarm, kicked in the door of the tavern and raced through the smoke and flames to rescue Mrs. Agnes Lockhart, 58, from her upstairs apartment.

The patrolmen took Mrs. Lockhart to Cooper Hospital where she was admitted with a cut head and smoke inhalation.

Minutes later firemen, headed by Battalion Chief Biaggio Ardire, arrived. Ardire said the tavern was engulfed in smoke and flames. He said the flames leaped from the tavern roof to a luncheonette and apartment building next door.

Ardire said firemen raised a ladder to the third floor of the second building where Mrs. Mabel Seward, 64, was hanging from a window ledge. However, fireman were hampered in the rescue attempt by the narrow space of the alley and could only hold the screaming woman until other firefighters could make their way to the third floor window from inside the building.

The rescuers, wearing face masks, wrapped Mrs. Seward in blankets and carried here through the flames to safety.

Two Carried Out

At the same time, more fire fighters entered the burning building and carried out Mrs. Viola Lagerprantz, 65, who lived in a rear apartment on the first floor and John J. Smith, 86, from a second-floor apartment.

All the victims were taken to Cooper Hospital for smoke inhalation treatment and released an hour later.

Kauffman ordered the victims, still wrapped in blankets, taken to fire headquarters at 3rd and Arch Streets and notified city welfare authorities. The Welfare Department obtained temporary housing for the three victims at Volunteers of America headquarters,  828 Market Street. Each victim lost all possessions in the blaze. 

Additional Alarms

Ardire, at, 4:27 a.m. called for additional fire crews and an hour later requested more aid. Battalion Chief Daniel Jiannetto's unit answered the first distress call while Acting Battalion Chief Arthur Batten's men arrived on the second plea.

 Batten's unit had been fighting two North Camden blazes since 10:53 last night.

Ardire said that when firemen attempted to get into the buildings, the fire was raging forward, backward, and straight up the stairwells out of control.

The owner of the luncheonette, Dominic Padulla; arrived at the scene about 5:30 a.m. Padulla and his brother, Frank, who also had been out, live on the first floor.

Canteen Truck on Scene

Volunteers of America Canteen truck with Colonel William Gwynne also was at the scene and served firemen coffee and donuts.

Fire Chief Edward Michalak said he has ordered a complete investigation of the fire.

Kauffman said 5th Street south of Mickle  and Mickle Street east of 5th has been closed to traffic indefinitely.

In the two other fires in North Camden, a grocery store was damaged at 442 N. 9th Street, and two vacant buildings at 623-625 North Front Street were damaged. 

Grocery Store Blaze

Batten said a defective chimney apparently caused the grocery store blaze which raged through joists and partitions. The store is operated by Benjamin Lamberte while the building is owned by Mrs. Sarah Schecter of Baird Boulevard according to the battalion chief.

Batten's crew were forced to make two trips to the vacant buildings as wind whipped flames. He said the fire probably was caused by vagrants seeking shelter from the snowstorm.             

Before the firefighters could take off their fire apparel, they were dispatched to the 5th and Mickle Street blaze.

Camden Courier-Post

February 1967

FIREMEN climb ladder to the roof and second floor of the blaze which raged out of control at Ray's Tavern, 5th and Mickle Streets, early today. Other firefighters braved dense smoke and flames inside building.

Camden Courier-Post * November 11, 1972

Firemen work to extinguish blaze in second floor of home at 1108 North 25th Street
Camden where Mrs. Sue Longano was rescued after passing out in smoke-filled room

Sue Longano - Doran Moberg - Rose Marie Moberg - North 25th Street - Biaggio Ardire

Camden Fire Department - FIRE WATCH MAGAZINE, SPRING 1977



Fr. Howard G. Brickner #5           

 26 Years

Fr. Harvey J. Fisher #186

 26 Years

Capt. James W. Smith 

26 Years

Dep. Chf. Anthony C. Saponare       

 35 Years 

Fr. Andrew H. Foreman #183

26 Years

Fr. William J. Stibi #120 

26 Years

 Batt. Chf. Robert E. Dukes   

 30 Years 

Fr. Henry S. Keubler #34 

26 Years

Fr. William M. Stone #29

26 Years

Insp. Fr. George C. Hennessy #21  

 30 Years 

Fr. Joseph J. Lesniewski #50

26 Years

Capt. William G. Winstanley

26 Years

Dep. Chf. Daniel F. Jiannetto 

30 Years 

Fr. Phillip MacDonald #7(1

26 Years

Fr. Adolph S. Zubrzycki #62

26 Years

Dep. Chf. Theodore L. Prima

30 Years 

Fr. Joseph J. McTaggart #26

26 Years

Batt. Chf. John J. Giuliano

21 Years

Fr. Eugene F. Alston #7 

 29 Years 

Batt. Chf. John J. Mogck

26 Years

Insp. Fr. Alfred D. Nigro #76

21 Years

Batt. Chf. Biaggio P. Ardire 

 29 Years 

Capt. John E. Moore 

26 Years

Fr. Leon Puszczykowski #100

21 Years

Fr. William R. Harring #69     

 29 Years  Capt. Robert P. Olesiewicz 26 Years

Fr. John L. Sterner #73 

21 Years

Fr. William E. Hinch #151       

 29 Years  Capt. Anthony T. Orme 26 Years

Fr. Francis P. Stibi #143 

21 Years

 Capt. Herbert J. Schott 

 28 Years  Fr. Ralph H. Palmer #46 26 Years Fr. Carl R. Szalkowski #95 21 Years

Batt. Chf. Charles A. Bates

 26 Years

Members as listed above, have anniversary dates which fall during the first quarter


Camden Courier-Post - June 9, 1981

Camden Courier-Post - June 9, 1981

Biaggio P. Ardire - George Hennessey - Charles C. Smerin - Msgr. Charles Barth
St. Joseph Pro-Cathedral School - Forest Hill Elementary School -
Parkside - East Camden
North 29th Street - Westfield Avenue