Emsworth VFC donation

Fifty years to the day after area firefighters battled for 12 hours to put out a fire that had started in the factory at Schaffner Manufacturing in Emsworth, the Schaffner Family Fund of the Pittsburgh Foundation donated $40,000 to the Emsworth Volunteer Fire Company. Pictured here, Jay Schaffner presents the check to EVFC president Joe Koehler Tuesday evening as other members of the fire company look on. Schaffner said that he clearly remembers the day of the fire, when a police officer knocked on the door of his home in Ben Avon at 6:15 a.m. to tell him that the factory was on fire. Emsworth firefighters were already fighting the blaze when Schaffner reached the family business on Herron Avenue, and they soon were joined by firefighters from throughout the North Boroughs. At one point, Schaffner said, they began running out of water, but that didn’t stop the volunteers, who rigged a system so that the firetrucks could pump water directly from the nearby creek. Present during the check presentation Tuesday were four area firefighters who actually had fought the plant fire 50 years ago: former Ohio Township Fire Chief Tom Larkin; Avalon firefighter Bill Fischer; Emsworth firefighter Dick Weinzierl; and Jim Bennett Jr., who was a junior firefighter for Emsworth at the time.
Photo by Connie Rankin for The Citizen