This week’s photo is of the Engine 31 firehouse along Commercial Street, just following 1919 Boston Molasses Disaster, when a holding tank burst and sent gallons of sticky liquid flooding the streets.
The scene shown in this photo is significant because the Engine 31 firehouse was the site of one the major rescues during the disaster. The molasses had knocked the building off its foundation, which caused its second story to collapse onto the first. Inside, several men were trapped in a molasses-flooded pocket of space on the collapsed first floor. After several house of cutting away floorboards and debris, workers finally freed the survivors. Unfortunately, not all were saved – one firefighter lost his strength and drowned before they could get out.
Tune in each week to view our featured neighborhood photo from back in the day! Submit your historical photos using our Submit a Post form or tag @northend.waterfront on Instagram. Please include a caption or story telling about your photo.