Three Others Hurt as Blaze Damages Bird & Son Plant

STRICKEN AT BLAZE—Deputy Chief Louis F. Parker.

NORWOOD, March 10 — Deputy Fire Chief Louis F. Parker, 56, collapsed and died while directing operations during a general alarm fire about 3 this afternoon at the Bird & Son plant here.

The veteran of 25 years on the Fire Department was directing placement of ladders against the four-story wood-brick structure when he toppled over in the street.

He was taken to nearby Norwood Hospital, but was dead on arrival.

Another fireman, James Flaherty, 30, of 45 Jefferson drive, was overcome by smoke and taken to the same hospital for treatment. He will be released in the morning, doctors said.

Two other firemen, Joseph McCormack, 38, of Adams st., and John L. Coughlin, 38, of Cross st., were released after treatment at the hospital for smoke inhalation and overexertion.

The fire caused an undetermined amount of damage to the floorcovering manufacturing plant off Short st., South Norwood. Officials said the blaze centered in No. 5 hangar.

About four miles of unfinished linoleum was being baked in the hangar when the fire started. The blaze proved too much for the sprinkling system and the plant’s private fire force.

Fire Kept From Spreading

Every available piece of apparatus in Norwood was dispatched to the scene.

Firemen kept the fire from spreading to other buildings despite stiff winds which threatened to sweep it out of control. Cause of the fire was undetermined.

Plant officials said it was virtually impossible to estimate the damage until they could inspect stocks.

Parker had been deputy fire chief for 22 years. He made his home with his wife, Lida, at 32 Bellevue av.

A son, Charles F. Parker, is teacher-coach at Franklin High School.

Flags were flown at half-mast on all municipal buildings when news of Deputy Parker’s death became known.

While members of the Norwood department battled the flames, firemen from Dedham manned emergency posts in Norwood’s emptied fire stations. Services for Deputy Parker will be held Friday morning at St. Catherine’s Church.

Tue, Mar 10, 1953 – The Boston Globe (Boston, Massachusetts)

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