A VERY SAD ANNIVERSARY: 17 years ago, on January 28, 1995, Stoughton lost Firefighter in a deadly Saturday morning blaze on Rose Street.
He was 47 years old.
Melendy, a 23-year veteran of the , was searching for people trapped inside a burning house when the blaze suddenly accelerated, fire officials said at the time.
He was the second Stoughton firefighter killed in the line of duty in the department's history. The first was Edward J. Kelleher, killed Dec. 21, 1966, while battling a blaze.
A bell on a Stoughton Fire Engine bears Melendy's name. is named for him.
Melendy left a wife and three children.
ANOTHER SAD ANNIVERSARY, AS WELL: January 28 is also the anniversary of the loss of NASA's Challenger space shuttle.
Just 73 seconds after the launch on Jan. 28, 1986, a booster engine failed and caused the shuttle Challenger to break apart, taking the lives of all seven crew members. The spacecraft broke apart over the Atlantic Ocean late in the morning, in a horrifying sight viewed by millions of Americans in classrooms and TV's (this columnist included).
The crew members of NASA's second space shuttle Challenger were commander Francis Scobee, pilot Michael Smith, mission specialists Judith Resnik, Ellison Onizuka, Ronald McNair, Gregory Jarvis, and Christa McAuliffe, a New Hampshire resident, who was selected out of thousands to be the first teacher in space.