Wallace Ave: Train crashes into firetruck; Firefighters barely escape

The Globe, December 22, 1930: Click image for full-size versionThe Globe, December 22, 1930: Click image for full-size version

On Saturday, December 20, 1930, four firefighters narrowly escaped injury or death when they jumped from their firetruck moments before it was struck by a train at the Wallace Ave. crossing. You can get the details of what happened in The Globe's article (click for a large, readable image), but here's a quick summary:

At 10:13pm, someone prank-called the fire department from phone call box at Paton Rd. and Brown's Ave (now Wade Ave.). A firetruck with four men was dispatched from the Perth Ave. firehall. As the firetruck approached the Wallace Ave. crossing, the gates were lowered for a passenger train. Icy conditions on the road caused the firetruck to skid through, directly onto the tracks. The firefighters - Lester Emmett, Albert Ham, Thomas Taggart, and Charles Jones - jumped out before the train slammed into them.

Unfortunately, the photos in the scanned Globe article are barely visible. However, the City of Toronto Archives apparently has a collection of the Globe's photo negatives from this incident: Search for "Wallace Avenue Crossing". Unfortunately, these are unavailable online, but if you're visiting the archives in person, these might be interesting to look up.

This train / emergency vehicle crash reminds me of the much more recent incident, when on January 24 2009 a VIA train slammed into a police car parked on the tracks (the officer was chasing suspects of an armed Beer Store robbery).


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Sad these things happen, but interesting read

Hey Vic,
Wow old news, sad these things happen, but interesting never the less.

There are a lot of these types of stories and tragedy's that happened in the community(JT). One sad tragedy that sticks in my mind and one story that I tried to find in the archives of the main strem papers that's because I remember the family was the house fire about 30 yrs ago on Sarnia avenue that killed 4 members of the family, dad and the youngest child( daughter) survived. JF