Cent Fire in the Opera House

Matt Lawson 1969-1970

It was one of the very busy times, when we had three Cents on the floor, two for transplants and one with other trouble can't remember what. Anyway the one nearest the office was having work done on the guards and so on that was fouling the running gear. They were using oxy gear, welders, grinders, etc.

Matt Lawson and Cent Engine

The middle Cent was having the fuel tanks removed and, on one of the lifts, it slipped and fell near the rear end splashing fuel all over the place. Sparks from the welding ignited the fuel that was spilt all over the middle tank and all over the floor in all directions.

Type of ammo on-board

One minute there were about 12 personnel present, the next there were two, myself and one other crafty. We rushed to the fire extinguisher mounted on cart-wheels by the office door and dragged it into action and extinguished the fire, while the other ten headed for the hills. We did check after and found the Cents were armed ready for action with canister and H.E. rounds along with machine gun belts, etc.

Photo from Opera House roof