November 18, 2017

   

People of Conshohocken - John Kijak

People of Conshohocken – John Kijak

9/6/2017

by Brian Coll

 

This is part of our People of Conshohocken series…
We have close to 10,000 people in our borough, add in the residents of West Conshohocken, Plymouth, Whitemarsh and Lafayette Hill and we have a large community. Some of the people that will be featured will be well known in the area, some will have just moved into the area, some will have been here their entire lives. Some of them may be business owners, or people who walk around the area, or maybe work in the area. Maybe you know them, maybe you don’t. Everyone has a story. While we are only going to take their picture and maybe ask a question or two, we want to share these stories with you.

 

 

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Recently an old friend to us and all of Conshohocken (and Cedar Heights) has been coming by our shop with odds and ends, photos and posters and some other things that we find interesting. It turns out he’s doing a little cleaning of his house and wants to pass along some Conshohocken and area memories. He has collected enough things over the years…. after all, he was born on East 8th Ave and hasn’t moved more than a mile away from where he was born and raised. I am talking about one Mr. John Kijak.

 

If you don’t know John Kijak, that is okay. Hs fellow firefighters and friends and family know him well enough. He has been looking out for all of our safety since 1963 when he joined Conshohocken Fire Company #2. 1963…. he has been watching out for us since the year Kennedy was killed and Pete Rose made his major league debut for the Cincinnati Reds. My math isn’t perfect but is that 54 years? Wow. Before I go any further. THANK YOU. Thank you John Kijak. Thank you to your other firemen and women.

 

Back to John, John and his family bought a little land about 40 years ago in Cedar Heights and built his home there and always stayed true to his Conshohocken Fire Company #2 roots. Once I asked him a couple of questions for this segment, a line that stuck with me was….. Fires haven’t changed, although training has gotten more intense over the years. n the subject of worst fires he has ever fought, immediately he brought up the Millennium Fire from 8/13/2008. The date seemed etched in his mind. Normally we are the guys with the dates and places but with this fire, he knew it. I think he still felt a little heat from it. A close second was the Lee Tire Warehouse Fire in the 70’s. He actually had pictures of both of these fires with him. They were both intense.

 

John is still involved in the Conshohocken Fire Company #2 and once again….. Thank you. Thank you for talking to me, thank you for risking your life every day of your life for strangers.

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