On June 26, 1988, a devastating fire destroyed many of the historic buildings in downtown Perkasie. Greg Nyce was one of the Perkasie firefighters who responded to the fire. As the fire engulfed the Shelly Lumber shed and the J. G. Moyer Building, Greg and Clyde Snyder were fighting the fire from above in Perkasie’s aerial truck parked on Seventh Street. As the wind whipped the fire across Seventh Street to the American House Hotel and Lesher’s Store, the aerial bucket truck became engulfed in flames. Realizing that they could not go back down to the ground, Greg and Clyde were able to swing the aerial platform to the roof of the building at 14-21 N. Seventh Street. They were able to jump onto the roof and go through a hatch into the building.
After the fire, the aerial truck was refurbished and returned to service in Perkasie. In 2013, the truck’s new owner, Oakland (NJ) Fire Company, returned the truck to Perkasie for the 25th Anniversary of the Perkasie Fire. The truck was positioned on Seventh Street where Greg Nyce, Chief Worthington and others climbed into the aerial bucket and reenacted the scenario from 25 years prior.
After returning to the ground, Greg Nyce donated his fire helmet, the one he wore during the fire to the Perkasie Historical Society Museum.
Thank you, Greg, for your donation of your helmet and thanks to our firefighters for their service to the community.
An email from a gentleman in New York State posed a question; Is Tunnel Hill Farm now Pennridge Airport?
He had a section of a propeller from a 1929 Tunnel Hill plane crash. For years he had searched for the crash location.
Our search of the digitized Central News found an article about a Pitcairn Airplane with two onboard that crashed at tunnel farm, which later became Pennridge Airport. The pilot of the plane was Fred Winkler. His passenger was a student aviator, “Bob” Koehler, son of Dr. and Mrs. A.G. Koehler of Perkasie. They were inspecting the area for a possible site to land a plane on Legion Day of Anniversary Week. Both men escaped injury and the plane had to be disassembled and taken away. The propeller section from the crash ended up in a personal collection and has since been returned to Perkasie as a donation to the Perkasie Historical Society Museum.