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Dan Lewis 09-19-2017 10:21 AM

The Paddle Wheel is on Fire!
I got a nice little chuckle the other night when someone (not on the Belle) reported to the Louisville fire department a large amount of "smoke" coming from our stern! This was while we were passing Harrods Creek on our way home. By the time we reached Cox's park the fire department was anxiously awaiting our landing, along with Jeffersonville's fire department on the other side at Duffy's Landing! While we appreciated their prompt response, we let them know it was simply steam exhaust coming from our turbine. I remember the stories told of such reports in the Belle's past, but never imagined it would happen again--made for an entertaining evening!

Judy Patsch 09-19-2017 03:50 PM

At least they cared...unless it was 'Charlie"
Obviously not steamboat educated. I've heard of calls made when she's at the wharf, but not when underway. Interesting that the fire department didn't check first, with your connections with Mattinglys...

Frank X. Prudent 09-20-2017 11:30 PM

It happened once at Tall Stacks when Dad was Chief that someone called the Cincinnati Fire Department that the BELLE was afire. The next day the Cincinnati Enquirer reported about the call and that the fire was found to be spent steam.

R. Dale Flick 09-21-2017 06:56 AM

*BELLE wheel 'on fire.'*
Morning, Steamboating colleagues,
Dan, Judy, Fran, the above a real hoot but I can understand people today not familiar with steam at all being alarmed. I'd heard a couple of stories about fire departments being called over the BELLE but no idea it was that frequent. Up until the early 1960s steam the general power used in mills, boats/ships, railroads towns and cities.

Several years ago friends of ours from France asked me, "Ah, Daaaale, when we watch American TV movies and detective shows we want to know if in New York city big clouds of steam really blow out of sewer lids in the street. Is it real?" I explained what I knew but added that some film directors do put smoke elements in sewers for added drama. What do I know?

R. Dale Flick
Old Coal Haven Landing, Ohio River, Cincinnati.

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