A Very Strange Case of a Fire in One mobile home being put out when a 2nd fire breaks out in another trailer down the road .

This is one of the strangest fires I have come across in many years.
I have been a Broadcast Engineer for  WAVL 910 AM  since 2000 and when I first started doing work for the station the short road which leads into the station had a half dozen mobile homes located along its left side. Some where well kept while others where not. But one day  in June of 2005 I get a phone call from a neighbor said I may want to get up there as a trailer had caught fire and then after first trailer was put out a 2nd fire started in another trailer and it may have been a power surge.
Worried I might have possible damage at the station transmit site I drive up to Kiski Twp.  and firefighters are wrapping up. I identify my self and they allow me down to the station  I check my meters and yes the station did have a surge the Lightning  alert LED was lighted meaning we took at least 1000 volt charge thru the antenna system. But there was no alert on incoming electric power
Everything seemed OK I reported what I find to the State Fire Marshal  who thanked me for the info
and showed me the damage at the other trailer . Very bizarre it was all blown out around the wall switch like something shorted out yet no one along the road reported there light blinking or power loss to indicate the Air Conditioner in first trailer failing and catching fire and the switch catching fire in the other trailer. While no one was home and no major appliance running .
Original trailer to have fire is to right where fire started in Air Conditioner 
2nd trailer which mysteriously caught fire after first was put out

I never did hear if the State  Fire Marshal got any further with his investigation but it was definitely one of those head scratchers .  How the 2nd trailer caught fire. the first trailer you could clearly see was started around the air conditioner and people where home the 2nd ?  and to start so much later than first if it was a power surge.

A horrific Trolley Accident near Echo Pa. which nearly whipped out 2 families on there way to a picnic unsolved to this day

Yes what a beautiful day it was as passengers  mainly from two families  The Ribblet and  Conner boarded the trolley to Woodland  Park near Ebensberg Pa.  on the Southern Cambria Trolley line  on August 12  of 1916 .
Trolley barn where cars 102 and 104 originated from
Little did they know what was soon to be their last day on earth for 25 of them almost  instantly  when the trolley they where riding on would  go out of control and runaway down a steep cliff at  estimated 40 mph and slam into another trolley coming the other way at 15 mph the equivalent of 55 mph head on collision of wooden trolleys which telescoped them. It is a miracle any one survived.

A big Thank You to Facebook Group
Jackson Township Historical Preservation who provided the  Black & White Images 

 A rewritten easier to read newspaper article with more details of the wreck

What really happened that day in 1916 will never be known to cause the problem as there was n problems reported with the car the day before or during routine maintenance.  But the trolley would runaway and the conductors did all they could to try and stop that run away car from reversing motors to trying to take the conductor rod off the power line  as it came screaming down thru the valley past Echo and Brookdale stops and   passing the trolley barn and to meet its fate near a curve near  Mineral Point
Johnstown residents scramble to get aide to the rural site of accident

When news of the horrific crash came into Johnstown  and Ebensberg residents quickly assembled what cars where available and transported doctors and nurses to the  scene and trolleys where quickly made into make shift ambulances. as where  business owner  trucks  even a close by railroad car   of a passing train  was utilized to get the injured aide
It was a horrifying site mutilated bodies and pieces of trolleys everywhere.  and the screams of the survivors in the middle of no where even today it is still a very rural area  near mineral point where a Dam has been constructed and only way back to where there are some bridge ruins and where the accident happened can be viewed. is via a 2 1/2 mile  gravel foot trail.  according to locals
The run away would have been coming from left hand side you can still see part of the old right of way which is visible
Why there was never a state marker put up over this tragedy is unknown but there should be one I was also surprised a movie was never made on the accident as well.  The line went out of business in 1928 when it could not meet its financial obligation to survivors of the wreck and defaulted on its bonds  and this was not the first wreck on the line there where several due to its very steep daunting  route  which challenged those who rode it.  . But this is not the only tragedy to hit this valley Mineral Point was ripped off the map at one point and 48 of its residents killed as flood waters roared down thru this valley during the Johnstown flood.
and of course all the jobs lost when all the mills shut down almost bringing Johnstown and the valley to its knees.  
For such a tragic accident that happened there is very little to be found on it other than couple old pictures and newspaper accounts and only memory's handed down thru the generations. to survivors family members.  There was a well written article in the Pittsburgh Press Sunday Roto Magazine
in 70's  which I have not been able to locate.
Currently there is a plan to turn the old trolley route into a bike trail as much of the old right of way still exists  and is passable.

Wreck site is located behind this dam

A most unusual Robbery of my Grandfather when he was a young man

When I was diagnosed with stage IV colon Cancer which is a terminal diagnosis you better believe  plenty of old skeletons started coming out of the closet. People who wanted to get things off there chest before I died and plenty of stuff which happened in our family over the years.
Well thru the grace of God and skilled hands of surgeons and dedicated medical team I am still here 8 years after being diagnosed with a terminal disease and no evidence of it I am still in remission.

So while rehabilitating and having all kind of time on my hands I love to do research on historical things so why not research my own family and 2 incidents on my moms side of the family stand out as mysteries to this day. The one I just discovered  a few weeks back.  involving my Grandfather  who  will refer to as J.AH.

While doing research I found a disturbing  newspaper article involving my grandfather when he was a young man still living with his parents in East Liberty.
In September of 1929 while on his way driving  to or thru Schenley Park in Pittsburgh's Squirrel Hill Section   a car full of men pull up and block his path and rob him . He never ever spoke about it.

Now what makes this a most unusual robbery is that 4 white men and 1 Negro was involved.
A most unusual pairing of robbers in the city for that time period.  and for such a large gang of men to be involved.
The depression would not start for another month but even in 29 my grandfather had already lost his job when place he worked for closed so all they got was his watch.  Times where already starting to get bad .

 So just who was this gang who robbed him ? where they from out of state? good possibility  as most criminal gangs where not of mixed race.  You had the Black Hand which would become the Mafia in East Liberty but that was mostly Italians and there as a Jewish Gang of young men in Squirrel  Hill
who terrorized mostly business people . So it was a most unusual crime  which I have not been able to find much on as no similar crimes with these 5 men seem to have happened in the area at the time. However there where plenty of others involved in crime during these trying days.

Luckily my grandfather came out of this unhurt and went on to  get a job during the depression with the WPA where he helped to clean up down town Pittsburgh after the St .Patrick day flood in 36 and would hold several different jobs till he was able to get a good steady job as a milkman for Sealtest dairy's.