Page 61 - Serving on the Mine Rescue Team
ISSUE : Issue 31
Published by Ronald Caplan on 1982/6/1
surprised myself when he asked for volun? teers and everybody in the rake jumped out. He got an awful surprise. "My god," he said, "I only want 4, I don't want everybody!" They went in there maybe two minutes or three minutes at the most, came right back out and went up on the rake. I think they were only just checking the stopping for final approval before we could leave the mine for a 24-hour period. Neil J. MacKinnon, New Aberdeen: I joined the Rescue in 1926, I think it was. Number 12 was the first fire I was in on. Number 12 Colliery in New Waterford, which is closed now. Had fire there and they closed the mine, and the mine was closed for the vicinity of three months. I was working in 26 Colliery at that time. But when there'd be an explosion, we'd be called--! was handy to the rescue station. We had sever? al fires there--but this time we closed Number 12. We walked down to a certain part, and then we took a rake the rest and went down--we were a good mile or so into the mine. We were fighting the fire quite awhile. (When you say fighting it, you mean,.,,) Well, it's compressed air at that time going down into the mine from the surface, in a pipe. And we broke the line and put water into the line and hooked that line with water from the sur? face- -and we fought with the water there. We had our full equipment. There'd be two of us, and the rest would be standing by us--two working in team. And we were lay? ing on the belt and the belt was full of water, and we were laying in the belt, fighting the fire--and the timbers were burning. They'd burn so much and then you'd see them dropping. But it got that it was just too much for us, we couldn't do it. You could feel the heat. (The belt?) That was the belt that carried the coal. Well, the belt was a little rounded like that, to hold the coal. Well, that would be full of water and we'd be laying right in the water there, and we couldn't do much about it. The heat was terrible. The heat was out of this world. It was that hot, it broke the first thermometer we had in there, and they had to send and get a special one. And I had to set the thermom? eter on a stone--had to go in through a stopping, a slide--and take the readings every time we went down. And the reading was that hot, you couldn't touch the stone or anything like that. You could just go in and take the reading and come right out. It was just like you'd put your head in an oven. But I wouldn't be in there, probably no more than a minute and a half. Severe heat. And we were a week there fighting that fire. We're actually about an hour and a half at a time, fighting the fire. Our machine is good for about two hours, so we got out and another crew went in. We pass over to them, 24->H0UR SERVICE Owned and Operated by Syl MaqDonald Baddeck Ambulance Ltd. 295-2200 Fully Trained, Experienced Personnel Middle River Inn A home base for your family's visit to all of Cape Breton Island. Rooms - Restaurant - Take Out Pizza Dinner Reservations Accepted OPEN ALL YEAR ROUND Sunday to Thursday, 7 a.m. - 11 p.m. Friday and Saturday, 7 - 1 a.m. On the Cabot Trail, overlooking the Middle River 295-2787 Inverness Beach Village Cottages - Huts - Campground 258-2653 LeBlanc's Margaree Forks Gifts Grocery Open 7 Days a Week! CampGill fc't Lighthouse jB Cape Breton Shopping Plaza Sydney Rlvel:, Nova Scotia The Shop with the Answer to all your Lighting Needs. (61)
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