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  • Writer's pictureWayne Miller

Updates and Remembrances

... The Week ending February 23, 2019

Photo by Peter G. Sturgis/ Boston Sparks Association Thank you so much. From the February 4, 2019 BSA meeting.

This is my first post without my mentor, Mike Clark. So please forgive me if it doesn't come out perfect. I'm learning. This week I am meeting with a very important person, one who witnessed this arson ring in person. If everything works out okay, I will let you know much more soon.

Another welcomed remembrance from John about the early 1980's, including insights into one of the convicted arsonists (who has since passed away), Donald Stackpole. Thanks for this and keep them coming. I have a few others that will be posted in the coming weeks.

Name: John Rafferty

Subject: " The Wall "

As many of us did on nights and weekends, we would all meet at the Howard Johnson’s Parking lot at the corner of Mass Ave and Southhampton Street which during the years was nicknamed "The Lot". It was a popular spot for all us Buffs for years and many of us spent years enjoying the Fire Brotherhood with lots of laughs and fire stories. The usual place to park when you pulled in was along the wall closest to Boston Fire Headquarters.

On the busy weekend days and nights we would all be lined up waiting for "The big one". This also included many News Photographers including the likes of Julian Olansky, Dan Sullivan and others. During one of the Friday nights we were all at "The lot" talking about the usual fire stuff.

Along comes a Corvette with a bar light with green strobes. We all joked about what we were seeing as the car parked on the opposite side of the parking lot. It was long before we found out the owner’s last name was Stackpole and he would change vehicles as time went on, to and including a Red Ford LTD Wagon including lights and siren. He would eventually actually dress like a District Chief and have a driver. During this time, the fire activity really didn’t seem to increase at first, but as time went by, we would see the car leave and we would joke as to where the next fire would be. We would find out down the road it would be us (The ones parked along the wall) that would be a witness to the beginnings of the largest Arson ring in Boston’s History.

I'll be speaking with you soon. Check out the MA IAAI website, Regards, take care all and be safe,


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