James E. Benson & Nicole B. Casper, Foreword by Kenneth F. Galligan, Brockton Fire Chief, Retired
On March 10, 1941, at 12:38 a.m., the Brockton Fire Department responded to Fire Alarm Box 1311, which was pulled for a fire at the Strand Theatre. Fire Alarm dispatched the deputy chief, three engine companies, a ladder company and Squad A. Within six minutes, a second alarm was struck. Less than one hour after the first alarm, the roof of the Strand collapsed, and what appeared to be a routine fire turned into a disaster that killed thirteen firefighters and injured more than twenty others.
The disaster marks one of the largest losses of life to firefighters from a burning building collapse in the United States. Jim Benson and Nicole Casper chronicle this devastating tragedy and celebrate the community’s heroes and resilience in the face of adversity.