The article below was published in a March 1913 edition of The Advocate. It tells the sad story of how the Spot, the Luther Street Station Dalmatian was run over by an apparatus being backed into the fire station. There were two motorized apparatus purchased in the years just prior to Spots death. The one pictured below, is what was called Stamford’s Locomobile Combination Chemical and Hose Car. It is possible that this is the apparatus the took Spots life. The other possibility is an American LaFrance (Engine No. 2) Combination Hose and Pumper purchased in December 1911.
Special thanks to Dan Burke, son of former SFD Captain Dan Burke
at the Stamford Historical Society for the newspaper clipping.
Firemen Sad Today
Spot Crushed by the Big Auto Chemical
APPARATUS KILLS DOG
He was the pet of the Men at Luther Street Station and Always Responded to Roll Call After the Return from a Fire – Playfulness Proved Fatal.
Silence reigns in the Luther Street fire station today and none of the scampering about the stables and around the fire apparatus is to be heard there. The firemen themselves seemed depressed when and Advocate reporter entered the station this morning, and upon inquiry as to the cause for the solemnity, was informed by one of the firemen: “spot is dead.” It was enough.
Spot, the pet dog of the firehouse, was run over by the big auto – chemical yesterday, as the machine was being back into the house after extinguishing a fire on Seaside Avenue where an automobile caught fire. The machine was backed into the building, and, as it moved slowly towards the rear, spot in a playful mood jumped to bite at the trousers of one of the men who was guiding the man at the wheel of the auto. The guide was standing near a rear wheel and this wheel caught the pet of the station unaware and with one pitiful yelp, his head was crushed beneath the many tons weight of the car.
Spot was a Dalmatian, better known as a coach dog. He was prettily spotted and was well-built. His lithe body was constantly a target for playful slaps from the firemen, who took delight in teasing the dog who always “came back” and with joyous yelps would play by the hour. Spot was only a puppy, despite his premature ways. He was brought to the station in February, 1912, by Charles Speh, jr., one of the firemen, who loved his spotted pet. One of the firemen said today that he would’ve handed over $25 rather than see the dog killed, and this seemed the spirit of the entire company. Despite the past six months, spot had developed into a veritable “fire dog.” He would yelp joyfully when an alarm rang, but he never left the station with the apparatus. In the morning, when given his freedom, he would run to the sleeping quarters and spring into the bunk with his master. One day, the firemen will tell you, spot was seated near the Chiefs horse when the apparatus returned from a fire and the role was being called. Spots name was playfully called after the role had been completed and he barked twice to answer.