Arrangements were announced today for Pineville Firefighter Richard Sheltra, who died in the line of duty at a strip mall fire in Charlotte on Saturday. Sheltra is the seventeenth line-of-duty death in (or from ) Mecklenburg County. The first were recorded in 1914, when Charlotte Fire Chief J. Harvey Wallace and Captain William B. Glenn were killed while fighting a barn fire, when dynamite exploded in a nearby house.
From 1914 to 2016, twelve members of the Charlotte Fire Department have died in the line of duty, and four members of the North Carolina Air National Guard. They were detailed to South Dakota and killed in an air tanker crash in 2012.
Mecklenburg County has also experienced the greatest number of LODDs in the state, followed by Forsyth County (14), Wake County (11), and Buncombe (10) and Cumberland (10) counties.
Top to bottom, left to right: Wallace, Glenn, Spittle, Mendenhall, Cathey, Westnidge, Black, Munday, Pettus, Long, Copeland, Franklin, Cannon, David, McCormick, Mikeal, Sheltra
From my fallen firefighter database:
|J. Harvey Wallace||40||Chief||07/01/14||Charlotte||Both killed while fighting a barn fire, when dynamite exploded in a nearby house.|
|William B. Glenn||49||Captain||07/01/14||Charlotte|
|George W. Spittle||39||Firefighter?||03/10/17||Charlotte||Died of injuries sustained after the engine he was riding was struck by a street car, while responding to a call.|
|Robert E. Mendenhall||37||Captain||05/17/28||Charlotte||Died after being ejected from the engine he was riding, after a collision with a grocery truck while responding to a county-assistance call.|
|W. Graham Cathey||24||Firefighter||01/08/29||Charlotte||Killed when struck by a utility pole, while working on the fire alarm system.|
|Joseph S. Westnedge||30||Firefighter||03/06/34||Charlotte||Died at Presbyterian Hospital in Charlotte, from injuries after the engine he was riding struck a tree, while responding to a fire.|
|Pruitt L. Black||29||Firefighter?||04/01/34||Charlotte||Died after he tripped on his bunker pants and fell headfirst down the pole hole at Station 4.|
|James M. Munday||50||Assistant Chief||03/08/55||Charlotte||Died of coronary occlusion in 800 block of East Trade Street.|
|Marshall G. Pettus||55||Captain||03/19/68||Charlotte||Died at Mercy Hospital, thirty minutes after suffering a coronary occlusion.|
|Kent F. Long||44||Firefighter II||12/01/06||Charlotte||Died after collapsing at Station 23 while exercising and after responding to multiple calls during his shift.|
|Michael W. Copeland||50||Captain||01/25/03||Charlotte||Died of a heart attack at a live fire training exercise, after just stepping off the apparatus to take command of the incident.|
|Mark T. Franklin||46||Engineer||11/30/03||Charlotte||Died of a massive pulmonary embolism as a result of a knee surgery to repair damage sustained while pulling hose at a fire on Apr 18, 2003.|
|Robert S. Cannon||50||Senior Master Sgt./Flight Engineer||07/01/12||NC Air National Guard||Four members of the 145th Airlift Wing were killed when their Air Force C-130, carrying a modular forest firefighting system, crashed in South Dakota on the White Draw fire near Edgemont.|
|Ryan S. David||35||Major/Navigator||07/01/12||NC Air National Guard|
|Joseph M. McCormick||36||Major/Instructor Pilot||07/01/12||NC Air National Guard|
|Paul K. Mikeal||42||Lt. Col./Evaluator Pilot||07/01/12||NC Air National Guard|
|Richard Sheltra||20||Firefighter||4/30/16||Pineville||Died as result of inhalation of products of combustion, while fighting a three-alarm fire at a strip mall.|