WILLIAM BENJAMIN McCAULEY was born in September 15, 1876. worked as a member of the Camden Fire Department in the 1910s. He was living at 433 Mechanic Street and working as an oilcloth printer when the census was taken in 1910. By th end of 1913 he had been appointed to the Camden Fire Department. The 1914 City Directory states that he had moved to 453 Liberty Street.
William McCauley was resent at a number of famous fires during his career as a Camden firefighter. Camden Fire Department historian Lee Ryan wrote about one in the 125th anniversary book, published in 1994:
SSomething 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 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.
William McCauley left the Camden Fire Department late in 1916. When he registered for the draft on September 12, 1918 William McCauley was living at 434 Mechanic Street. He was working at the Pusey & Jones Shipyard in Gloucester City, New Jersey. He and his wife Melissa lived there as late as 1924.
Fire Department records from 1931 show William McCauley collecting a Fire Department pension and living at 152 Richie Avenue in West Collingswood.
|Philadelphia Inquirer - July 18, 1914|
Philadelphia Inquirer * December 1, 1916
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