General Telephone Co.,
Richmond Indiana Fire
February 4, 1965

Thanks to ghg for posting the full page gifs of microfilm copies of the Palladium-Item and to the Paladium-Item for allowing their reprint on the web. This archive contains Palladium-Item stories and photos pertaining to the Richmond, IN., General Telephone Co. fire of February 4th, 1965.

All text and pictures Copyright 1965 Palladium-Item (Richmond, Ind., USA)
The Fire Breaks Out Palladium-Item - February 4, 1965 HTML Version Palladium-Item - February 4, 1965 Text Version The Clean-up Begins Palladium-Item - February 5-8, 1965 HTML Version Palladium-Item - February 5-8, 1965 Text Version Additional Coverage Palladium-Item - February 11, 1965 HTML Version

Palladium-Item Photos

February 4th, 1965

[Photo] Smoke pours from an opening at the back side of the main building, closest to the area of the fire. Firemen wear masks as they attempt to locate the smoldering blaze.

[Photo] Captain Walter Stout, Richmond Police officer, back to camera, and Jimmy Cain, right, operate emergency Civil Defense radio equipment in the Civil Defense Headquarters at the City Building Thursday morning. Paul Smith, Civil Defense Chief is shown standing, watching and directing the emergency operations.

Photo Story
[Photo] Firemen are on roof of building. Note oxygen tank strapped to back of fireman second from left.

[Photo] This group of Civil Defense workers prepared a county map in the City Courtroom Thursday morning pinpointing the locations of Citizen Band radio stations throughout the county. The Citizen Band groups will operate throughout the telephone emergency.

Standing from the left, are Phil Thornburg, a member of the Civil Defense organization and county surveyor; Fred Thornburg; Henry Blankenship, Assistant City Engineer; Mike Chambers; Rick McGuire and Denny White. Fred Thornburg, Chambers, McGuire and White are members of the Avco Explorer Boy Scout unit which is familiar with Citizen Band and Amateur radio operations.

[Photo] The city's aerial truck and another pumper stand in front of the Ninth street old halted to the telephone company building.

[Photo] East side of addition to telephone company's main building. This structure is located east of the alley between Ninth and Tenth Sts. A passageway connects the main building and addition. There was no fire in the addition but acrid smoke poured through this adjoining structure.

[Photo] Firemen were forced to smash hole in the south side of the main building.

[Photo] Two firemen are on ladders between the north side of The Palladium-Item building and the telephone company building. A narrow passageway separates the two structures.

[Photo] The "cherry picker" of the Richmond Municipal Light Plant was used to lift persons, including a Palladium-Item photographer to the top of the building.

[Photo] A fireman with a roll of hose strapped to his back, ascends a ladder to the roof of the main building.

[Photo] Fire-fighting equipment from departments of various surrounding communities responded to Richmond's call for assistance. They were parked on North Fifth St. near the central fire station or in a private parking lot directly across the street from the central station.

[Photo] A radio-equipped Indiana State Police cruising was stationed near the admitting office of the Reid Memorial Hospital to permit use of its two-way radio in handling emergency messages.

February 5th, 1965

[*Photo*] The job of splicing telephone wires is under way in the vault room. The two men seated here, left to right, are professional contract splicers Lynn Atchison, 314 North Ninth St., and Alva Gore, Longer Trailer Court. A third splicer, Bill Hargrove, also of Richmond, is almost lost in the maze of wires.

[*Photo*] Little remains in the main switch room except charred debris and blackened wires. More than four inches of water, laden with debris, covered the second story in the old section.

February 8th, 1965

[*Photo*] Here is the huge switchboard rushed here from Antioch, Ill., over the weekend. It has been pushed into position at the north end of the General Telephone Company building. A wall at the far end, which separated a conference room from this area, was ripped out to make room for the board.

Photo Story
[Photo] The huge swichboard is shown as it is backed across the Masonic Lodge parking lot, toward the garage door of General Telephone Company. Concrete in parking spaces first had to be removed.

[Photo] This photo shows the switchboard moving along the Tri-State tollway near Chicago.

[Photo] Mayor Edward L. Cordell and Robert A. Rogosch, division manager of General Telephone, discuss plans for operation of the 28-operator switchboard.

[*Photo*] This sign, on the side of the well-wrapped switchboard, made it clear to who saw the ponderous device go by where the unit was going and the nature of the mission.

[Photo] Telephone workers put the finishing touches on a new emergency long distance phone center, located at 712 East Main Street, as several take advantage of available phones. The center was transferred from the phone firm's business office on North Ninth street to give phone repair crews more room.

February 11th, 1965

[*Photo*] Works On Switchboard Again - Glen Lauher, traffic engineer for General Telephone Co., never expected to see the giant 3,500-line switchboard of Illinois Bell Co. again. He was an emplotee of the Illinois firm and helped take the board out of service in Antioch, Ill., four years ago. Now he is in Richmond, wiring the board into the temporary network here.

[*Photo*] Miss Billie Wright, left, General Telephone's general traffic training instructor, is on the oh-so-busy scene teaching operators the intricacies of manual switchboard operation.

All material remains Copyright 1965 Palladium-Item

Transcribed by James E. Bellaire | Telecom Indiana Home