Meet the Man Behind the Fireboat Fire Fighter Museum, under repair at North Kingstown shipyard

  • Source: Rhode Island Monthly
  • Published: 03/27/2024 12:00 AM

PHOTOS: Some people devote their lives to an ideal. For the past fourteen years, Charlie Ritchie, president of the Fireboat Fire Fighter Museum, has devoted his to a boat. The Groton, Connecticut, resident first got involved with the effort to save the Fire Fighter upon its decommissioning in 2010 and has been dedicated to its preservation ever since. Built in 1938, the historic fireboat prowled the waters of New York Harbor for seventy-two years, protecting residents from untimely disasters. Beneath its hull, four massive pumps can spew up to 25,000 gallons of seawater every minute from water cannons on the upper deck, as they did in the case of the El Estero, a fully loaded munitions ship that caught fire in the harbor in 1943. “For a good eight hours, it was a sincere threat to New York City,” Ritchie says.


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