Tuesday, March 08, 2011


And so it is with the anniversary of the Bellport High School fire in March of 1963. On that March 8th day, one of the biggest fears a school administration can realize occurred, a school fire. One of the most destructive fires witnessed, raged through an old quaint building, which housed generations of students, up until that fire.

Former students who witnessed that awful day will tell you stories of heroics, sadness, fear and trepidation, of awe and fright, but they can’t tell one of death. With the horrific explosion, when the boiler blew the roof out, to the standing of the principle, Mr. Feeney, looking like he was personally affronted that such a thing would happen to him, dejectedly looking down in sadness and I’m sure disbelief. He was a no-nonsense man who loved the students; quick tempered but always proud of his charges.

But it was the teachers who stood up and took over along with the fire departments that came to fight the horror. Kids jumping out of windows, smoke pouring out of the very same windows, seeing in horror all the kids you know, the ones you see everyday, and take for granted, suddenly challenged, and there is nothing you can do to help them!

Before we know it, it will be fifty years since the day that lives in infamy to the students of 1963 Bellport High School, and every one of us who witnessed that day, are forever linked as one.


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