When there’s a fire, firefighters usually go to it. But, occasionally, it comes to them.
On Saturday, Oct. 3, 1942, O’Fallon firefighters were awakened at 12:15 a.m. with instructions to go to the B&O Railroad Depot on East First Street and prepare for an eastbound fire. Using the fire plug at Vine and First, they strung fire house to the siding east of the depot and waited.
Soon, a locomotive arrived pushing a steel box car loaded with large bales of cotton, billowing with smoke. The car was switched into place, and the firefighters went to work on flames that were by that time lapping from under the floor of the car on one end. Nearly 1/4 of the cotton had to be removed before the source of the fire could be reached. They soon got things under control and ended up saving much of the cargo.
The car was part of a freight train carrying mostly oil, and the blaze was discovered near Old Collinsville Road. The train pulled into the siding there, the car was disconnected, and rushed into O’Fallon by a locomotive.
75 years ago Oct. 8, 1942
The state of Illinois will comply with the government’s order to restrict speeding in order to conserve rubber by stopping all who drive faster than 35 miles an hour and arresting those who drive at excessive speeds, charging them with reckless driving. Illinois has no speed limit, prosecutions being based on driving faster than conditions warrant for safety. Local police also will cooperate, O’Fallon Chief William Sanspeur stated.
50 years ago, Oct. 5, 1967. The O’Fallon Chamber of Commerce plans to make the O’Fallon Progress available without cost to service men from here who are stationed in Vietnam. The Chamber will pay the cost of the subscriptions for the men, according to John Guthrie, chamber president. The offer is to servicemen who live in the O’Fallon Township High School District.