.

At Long Last: Fallen North Andover Firefighters Honored

In 1986 and 1952, North Andover lost two of its finest.

North Andover Fire Department Historian John Maguire speaks with Betty Little, whose father died fighting a fire in 1952. Photo Credit: Bryan McGonigle
North Andover Fire Department Historian John Maguire speaks with Betty Little, whose father died fighting a fire in 1952. Photo Credit: Bryan McGonigle
It's been a long time coming.

On Wednesday, residents and firefighters gathered at the North Andover Fire Department Station 1 to honor two firefighters who died on duty -- one more than 120 years ago.

Edward B. Evans was a volunteer firefighter with the Cochichewick Engine Company from 1885 to 1886. On Nov. 19, 1886, he and a crew rushed to a house fire at 1422 Osgood Street, and Evans died. He was just 25 years old.

Joseph L. Bisson, called "Lou" by those who knew him, was a call firefighter with Chauffeur Ladder 1 from 1944 to 1952. On Nov. 6, 1952. Bisson died at Lawrence General Hospital at the age of 41 after suffering a heart attack at a barn fire on the old Steinberg property on Osgood Street several days before.

"I knew Lou," the department's historian and former Deputy Chief John Maguire said as he presided over the ceremony. "I was an auxiliary firefighter, a sophomore at Johnson High School, and I was present at the fire."

Bisson's daughter Betty Little and granddaughter, now retired Police Officer Tracy Castiglione, attended Wednesday's ceremony.

Little was 11 years old when her father died, but she says it feels like yesterday. Seeing her father honored gives her some peace.

"It's been so many years, he deserved it," she said. "He loved the town and he worked hard.

Maguire said he is still looking for members of the Evans family.

Evans' and Bisson's names were added to the Massachusetts Fallen Firefighters Memorial at the State House.

mpf January 09, 2014 at 07:36 AM
Nice. I thought Mike and Sue Foss's father died in an accident while on the firetruck on the way to a fire, that turned out to be a false alarm from someone pulling a firebox! I would think that would deserve an honor. It was tragic. I guess I honor him by remembering.

Boards

More »
Got a question? Something on your mind? Talk to your community, directly.
Note Article
Just a short thought to get the word out quickly about anything in your neighborhood.
Share something with your neighbors.What's on your mind?What's on your mind?Make an announcement, speak your mind, or sell somethingPost something
See more »