Posted by BuellBoy
Drawing of Molly Williams pulling fire pump through a snow storm in 1818
A slave named Molly Williams was the first known female firefighter in the United States. Little is known about her life, but female firefighters know her heroic story.
Owned by a New York merchant named Benjamin Aymar, Williams became part of the Oceanus Engine Company firehouse in 1815 and would be known as Volunteer Number 11. The members of the house credited her for being as tough as the male firefighters. She would fight amongst them in a calico dress and checked apron.
Besides the bucket brigades, Molly pulled the pumper to fires through the deep snowdrifts of the blizzard of 1818 to save towns. On December 27, 1819, the Fire Department reported that the fire buckets were rapidly being superseded by the use of hose, so the era of fire buckets ended.
Even as a slave, Williams had gained the respect of her fellow firefighters. Her story and strength paved the way for other women, including one the first paid Black female firefighters and the most tenured in the country – Toni McIntosh of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, who served for over 11 years.
Today there are many African-American women working as career firefighters and officers in the United States, along with a number of counterparts in the volunteer ranks. The African American Fire Fighter Museum is a non-profit organization dedicated to collecting, conserving and sharing the heritage of African American firefighters.
The Museum is housed at old Fire Station 30. This station, which was one of two segregated fire stations in Los Angeles, between 1924 and 1955, was established in 1913, to serve the Central Ave community.
Posted by Audiegrl
Smell permeated Cleveland neighborhood where 11 bodies found, residents say
CNN—The smell permeated the neighborhood, turning the stomachs of residents and curtailing their outdoor activities.
Anthony Sowell's home was the source of an odor that permeated the neighborhood, police say.
“We used to think that it was coming from out of Ray’s Sausage,” said one resident. “But you smell these smells, and I live right there and … we used to come out here and oh, these smells would just be horrible.”
Ray’s Sausage Co. replaced a sewer line and grease traps, trying to rid the area of the stench. But Ray’s wasn’t to blame after all. Instead, police said, the foul odor had a much more sinister source.
Eleven victims have been found inside and outside a home adjacent to Ray’s — six inside and five outside. A skull, wrapped in a paper bag and stuffed into a bucket in the basement, apparently is all that remains of one of the 11 victims, authorities said Wednesday.
The home’s inhabitant, Anthony Sowell, 50, is a registered sex offender. Now, Sowell is facing five counts of aggravated murder, rape, felonious assault and kidnapping, police said. A judge on Wednesday denied bond for him, saying the latest allegations against him are “gruesome” and the “most serious” he has heard in his years on the bench.
Anthony Sowell appears in court on Wednesday with public defender Kathleen Demetz.
Seven of the victims died from strangulation by a ligature, said Frank Miller, Cuyahoga County coroner. A ligature can include a string, cord or wire. All of the seven still had something tied around their necks, Miller told reporters.
An eighth victim died from manual strangulation — strangulation by hands. Two other bodies were too badly decomposed to determine the cause of death, although Miller said he believes they were victims of “homicidal violence.” Autopsy results on the 11th victim are pending.
“It’s most likely strangulation in all cases,” Miller said.
The first victim was identified Wednesday as Tonia Carmichael, who was 52 when she was last seen on November 10, 2008, police said in a statement. Carmichael was identified using DNA. She disappeared from Warrensville Heights, a Cleveland suburb near Sowell’s home, and her vehicle was found in Cleveland.
Tonia Carmichael was 52 when she was last seen on November 10, 2008, according to police.
In the missing persons report, obtained by CNN, Carmichael’s mother, Barbara, told police her daughter was addicted to crack and had previously disappeared for several days at a time. But she said she believed something had happened to her because she had not picked up two paychecks.
Tonia Carmichael’s daughter, Danita, told CNN’s sister network HLN the identification did not come as a surprise.
“This is what I’ve been saying since Monday, when, you know, we were called to the coroner’s office and since this story broke, we automatically knew that this was going to be here,” Danita Carmichael said.