March 20, 2019


Remembering When Conshohocken Dealt with A Major Tragedy

Remembering When Conshohocken Dealt with A Major Tragedy


by Brian Coll


As I watch the tragedy unfold in Texas  on TV (our thoughts and prayers are with them)  and as we end August my mind wandered to the largest fire in Conshohocken history. I know there was a worse tragedy in West Conshohocken in the early 70’s…… Honestly, I wasn’t going to even write this as we normally highlight the good stuff in Conshy. However today a long time firefighter came by our shop and we were talking and the date of August 13th, 2008 came up. So, I felt it was time to write this.


      Before we go any further, I want to apologize to any of the victims of the fire if we are bringing up bad memories. You don’t have to read any further. We aren’t telling you anything you didn’t live through, cry through and had to deal with far after the cameras left.


I remember looking out my front door on Fayette Street and seeing smoke and believe it or not flames. I saw flames from high up on Fayette Street when the fire was down by the river. We couldn’t figure out where the fire was, we thought it might have been East 3rd Ave. There was no way in our mind it could be at the river, it was just too far away.


Our Conshohocken fire responders (firemen, fire police, police, emt’s) all rushed to the scene. We were lucky then, and are lucky now we have such a great community of firemen and first responders.  West Conshohocken men and women soon joined in as well as Plymouth and so on….. in total over 300 firefighters from a 20 mile radius joined in the fight.


It’s hard to believe it has been 9 years since the fire raged for the better part of a day, jumping from building to building and causing a great deal of damage. I know this is the fire that sticks in peoples minds if they lived here at the time. If you are newer to Conshohocken, I hope you never have to experience this type of tragedy ever. For those of us that were here and witnessed it, I think we all were happy no one lost their lives. If you lived there, once again, I am extremely sorry.


On behalf of Conshohocen, I want to thank the firemen and women that put the fire out that day. It didn’t matter where you came from to help us. We are forever grateful. Thank you first responders.


You can look away, but we are going to share a few photos: Thank you John Kijak for the photos:







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