On August 21, 1981, an early morning fire breaks out in a large Dallas home. This is the story of the men who fought the fire and the tragic consequences of that incident.
A few months ago, my good friend Rett Blankenship approached me with an idea. When Rett was a Captain at DFD Station 11 on Cedar Springs he had worked with Byron Temple, a well known cut-up who kept his co-workers in stitches most of the time, but who also had an amazing 25 year run as a paramedic on 711, one of our busier ambulances. He suggested we meet Byron at the museum for a chat, along with another firefighter whose career had paralleled Byron’s in some ways, and who had been a professional athlete before joining the department – Creston Whitaker. So the four of us, along with my co-host Mike Otto, shared a little coffee and conversation one morning. You can hear their story by clicking play on the podcast below.
Captain Pat Murphy is a highly decorated veteran who served 40 years with the Dallas Fire Department. In this podcast he joins Chuck Hampton, Mike Otto, and Mike Hoskins around the kitchen table at the Dallas Firefighters Museum to talk about some of the highlights from his career.
You can listen to the show by clicking on the embedded player below. You can also listen on Spotify, Apple Podcasts or wherever you get your podcasts by searching for Firehouse Talk (two words with a space between) in your podcast app.
Fire Chief Steve Abraira cut his teeth in Miami, Florida where he rose through the ranks to be the Assistant Chief of Operations. He then served as Chief of the Department in three different cities including Dallas Texas, Palm Bay Florida and Boston Massachusetts. He holds an associate degree in fire science, a bachelors in public administration, and duel masters of arts in ‘human resource management’, and ‘management and leadership’. When he was Dallas, he was certified as both a State of Texas firefighter and Chief of Department. He was also a nationally Certified Chief Fire Officer through the Commission on Professional Credentialing, as well as an Accredited Fire Chief by the Massachusetts Fire Service Commission. Additionally, he served as a Fire Service Section Board Member for the NFPA.
You can listen to the show by clicking on the embedded player below. You can also listen on Spotify, Apple Podcasts or wherever you get your podcasts by searching for Firefighting Legends (two words with a space between) in the app.
Many of us, including yours truly, have reported for duty at 1904 N. Garrett in old east Dallas, aka “8’s”, or “Fire Station #8”. Few however know the story of the remarkable man behind the street name, nor of the connection between him and the Dallas Fire Department. Local historian Steven Butler has a short bio of the man on WRR’s website that is well worth reading. You can access the story by clicking HERE.
The latest podcast can be described as brief history of the Dallas Chapter of the Knife and Gun Club. The story begins with historical incidents from when Dallas was a frontier town, but also relates more recent tales with a personal twist.
Sources for this story included the books: “Dallas, The Deciding Years, A Historical Portrait”, by A.C. Greene, and “The Lusty Texans of Dallas” by John William Rogers.
Click on the audio player below to listen.
You can also click on the title of this post, above, to be taken to the post page where the attached PDFs can be viewed.
If you ever wondered what Dallas looked like the year that the Dallas Fire Department was formed, you need not wonder, you can see it clearly thanks to an amazing map that was created by H. Brosius that same year – 1872.
When the Dallas Firefighter’s Museum reopens (which could be soon depending on the success of the vaccine rollout) you can come see this map in great detail hanging proudly on the wall. Until then, take a moment to see if you can find some of the landmarks referenced at the bottom of the map. You will want to go to the wikimedia site where the image is hosted and download it from there in order to see it as clearly as possible. Here’s the link: