Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Unexplained Lights at Mobile, Alabama Fire Station

wishtv - Firefighters in Mobile are trying to come up with a logical explanation for a mystery at the central station downtown.

Something weird caught the attention of a firefighter passing through the museum room of the Central Station early Monday morning. That's when Steve Huffman got a call.

"He said, 'We've got a little unusual situation downtown that you might be interested in.' And I said, 'OK, what would that be?'" Huffman said.

The alarm system was lit up.

"The number four, which is a blue light, and the number ten, which is a red light," he explained.

There's just one little problem.

"The old alarm system, the Gamewell Alarm System, hasn't been used in over 40 years, and far as we know it's not connected any longer," explained Huffman.

The batteries to power the panel were taken out 40 years ago, and the wires which ran through another panel on a different wall were ripped out years ago.

So where did the power for the light come from?

"Some say it's the ghost of Laz Schwarz which was the city commissioner and mayor in the early 1900s," Huffman explained.

Huffman said the stories of a ghost haunting the central fire station have been around as long as he has.

"In some cases, they actually thought they saw someone walking around the building. In other cases, things would move," said Huffman.

Huffman admits firefighters are notorious jokesters, but he said one of the ghost stories came from someone who never joked.

"We were joking, saying he didn't have a sense of humor, and when he said he saw a ghost, out of all the ones I've heard over the years, he's the one I would believe," added Huffman.

FOX10 News searched the archives at the Mobile Library for more information on Laz Schwarz. We didn't find much. Schwarz served as mayor and commissioner of Mobile from 1911 to 1917. The fire station was dedicated in Schwarz's honor in 1925, the same year he died.

"Some people seem to think that maybe his spirit still walks this building. Now, why he would be in this building, I don't know," Huffman said.

A lightning strike knocked out the computers at the central station Sunday. The strike may have something to do with the mysterious lights, but some folks like the ghost story better.


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Two lights on Mobile's Central Fire Station's Gamewell Alarm System panel were lit this morning, despite the fact that power hasn't been run to the panel in more than 40 years, according to a news release from the Mobile Fire-Rescue Department.

The lights, blue No. 4 and red No. 10, were on this morning when firefighters walked into the panel room, which is now part of a museum display.

The likely cause, according to the release, was Sunday night's lightning storm. Or a ghost, the release joked.

According to the release, the Central Fire Station, on St. Francis Street, and the alarm system panel were built in 1925.

"Because of lack of telephones and radios during that time, pull boxes were strategically placed on streetcorners," according to the release. "When pulled, a signal was sent to Central, giving the location of the box and trucks were dispatched in a similar matter."

Unexplained Lights at Mobile, Alabama Fire Station
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