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Exciting Recent Posts

UPDATED - Butner Public Safety / Camp Butner Fire Department
Video Footage From 1992 - IGA Grocery Store Fire (1 comment)
UPDATED - Five Alarms in Charlotte - Details and Data
24th Annual Great American Fire Truck Parade in Wilkes County, July 4, 2015
Pinehurst's Hand-Drawn Ladder Wagon
Play it Forward at Bentwinds on June 22 - National Fallen Firefighters Foundation Golf Tournament
Fire Station 29 - Facts, Figures, Trivia (17 comments)
Raw Footage of Raleigh Church Fire
Fire Truck Show at NC Transportation Museum, Saturday, June 13
Infographic of Firefighter Fatalities - 2000-2013
Raleigh Fire Station Lot Sizes (2 comments)
Take This Blog, Please! (5 comments)
Engine 29 and Ladder 9
UPDATED: Arrangements For Mike Duda (1 comment)
Major Church Fires in Raleigh?
Morrisville Fire Department 60th Anniversary Parade & Open House on Saturday, June 6
Wake County EMS Announces Restructured Leadership Roles
Report From The Winchester Firefighter's Parade
Louisiana Tiller Found in Western North Carolina (1 comment)
City of Raleigh Recruiting Firefighters in July

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TRN (Fire Station 29 -…): If you check on Atlantic Emergency Solutions you …
TRN (Fire Station 29 -…): If you check on Atlantic Emergency Solutions you …
Legeros (Video Footage Fro…): We’ve come a long way, baby, in aerial apparatus …
Rescue Ranger (Fire Station 29 -…): And the latest update on the new tiller and engin…
Ian F.G. Dunn (Mystery Marker, U…): I saw this very marker last night. It is in the p…
Rescue Ranger (Fire Station 29 -…): Nice beds! Not shown are the stainless-steel sin…
Legeros (Fire Station 29 -…): There are five dormitory rooms at the station. Tw…
Watson (Fire Station 29 -…): Mike, Just looked through your pictures of 29’s…
Bob (Take This Blog, P…): Good point about moderators whose moderating show…
Denise Stevenson (The Kidd Brewer H…): Homewood Banks Drive was originally Edwards Mill …
Map D (Fire Station 29 -…): Looking at Map D, looks like 19 would be a better…
Rocco DiFrancesco… (Code 3 Collectibl…): You have a PDF file showing an “Orange County, FL…
Legeros (Take This Blog, P…): Thanks for the thoughts, Bob. The term censorship…
Bob (Take This Blog, P…): Interesting observations and criticism. Sorry for…
Legeros (Fire Station 29 -…): You can download your own version of my map and d…
Legeros (Fire Station 29 -…): What does all this look like on a map. Here’s a r…
Legeros (Fire Station 29 -…): Council approved the Harden Road site for the Sta…
Silver (Fire Station 29 -…): I heard Ladder 9 may be moved in with Engine 23 e…
Legeros (Fire Station 29 -…): With expected timeframes of fall 2015 for Station…
FFD (Fire Station 29 -…): Fayetteville doesn’t have an Engine 13 ;) Cumberl…
Rescue Ranger (Fire Station 29 -…): Latest word on the new tiller as of 3 days ago. …
Legeros (Fire Station 29 -…): Thanks for catching that Steve, the correct capac…
Steven (Fire Station 29 -…): Mike- You listed Engine 29 as having a 1000 gallo…
Brad (The History of Op…): To comment on the previous commment about sedans:…
Legeros (Fire Station 29 -…): First call for both Engine 29 and Ladder 9 was sa…
brady (Fire Station 29 -…): When and what was the first call?
Legeros (Reports on Recomm…): News & Observer story about budgets in Western Wa…
DJ (Take This Blog, P…): Blogging is tough. And it is hard work. My hat is…
Legeros (Louisiana Tiller …): Now for sale on Craigslist. $8000 and it’s yours!…
Legeros (Raleigh Fire Stat…): Correct! Meant to note that above.
iMaps (Raleigh Fire Stat…): Note that the acreage for St 15 is the entire par…
Apex Batt Chief (… (Take This Blog, P…): Mike, I to have noticed a slow down in blog pos…
HMD (Arrangements For …): Rest Easy Brother
fire truck buff (Reports on Recomm…): Raleigh does have a tiller and an Engine on order…
Legeros (Reports on Recomm…): As with most municipalities in the state, the cit…
Rescue Ranger (Reports on Recomm…): No new apparatus for Raleigh? WOW!!! That’s a m…
Bob See (Vintage Air Force…): Wow! auto trans. in an O-11! never heard of that …
gary (Vintage Air Force…): We had an 0-11B at Schilling AFB, Kansas with an …
Kenny (Reports on Recomm…): For those replacing SCBA, are you getting all new…
Apex Batt Chief S… (Today's House Fir…): Apex E-1 not L-1. Great job by all departments. A…
Mark Barnett (UPDATED: Brevard …): Probably two wheel front-drive steam fire wagon
Jim Atkins (Who Responds When…): Mike, no Maryland Fire departments were called no…
Legeros (UPDATED: Wake Cou…): Been a while since we talked about this one. How …
answers (Cary Planning For…): The company at #6 will be staffed like an engine,…
Jackson (Cary Planning For…): I seriously doubt potential mutual aid calls are …
Legeros (Cary Planning For…): Posting updated with picture of the Walnut Street…
Z Hinson (Cary Planning For…): What will the total daily staffing be on the quin…
J Spero (Cary Planning For…): Will a single unit at station 6 be enough to prov…
Legeros (Bessemer Fire Dep…): and here’s a later blog posting, showing the Sanb…
c. cyr (Vintage Air Force…): For anyone who’s interested.There’s one in Lawton…
Doppler (Alexandria, Histo…): There is a major disconnect in some stations. It …
Parks (Wake County Fire …): Knightdales FY14-15 budget had them putting down …
dekalb Walcott (Wake Forest Fire …): Tough group of dedicated men. Hats off to you and…
Legeros (Bessemer Fire Dep…): Thank you, Billy. I’ve found precious little abo…
Billy Jones (Bessemer Fire Dep…): I can tell you what happened as I’m a lifelong Be…
T.R (Raleigh Fire Depa…): Mike not if I overlooked this but last prior acad…
Rob (The Kidd Brewer H…): Moved from Raleigh in 1969 and didn’t hear anythi…
Legeros (Wake County Fire …): More likely a typo, Jay.
Jay (Wake County Fire …): 365 or 395? Is that a freudian slip that Bayleaf …
James (Bridgeton Fire De…): If anyone has any information, or know where I ca…

+ 16 - 12 | § UPDATED - Butner Public Safety / Camp Butner Fire Department

June 2015
More historical perspective, from photographs displayed at the Butner Public Safety building along with a Durham Sun story from September 30, 1947.  And which is located across the street from one of the original Camp Butner fire stations, which is still standing.

Headline was Fire Department at Butner to be Taken Over by State. With the formal acquisition of the property by the state, noted the story, the fire department would become part of the "State operations." They had twenty-two "experienced firemen" and three "well-equipped" trucks.

The Fire Chief was Garland W. Mitchell. They protected approximate 3,500 buildings on the military reservation along with several hundred patients in the state hospital, residents of Piedmont Village, and the "employed staff of the camp." The fire department provided "twenty-four hour service" and a "constant patrol of the area" was made "in the plan of fire protection."

Since the creation of the department five years earlier, the fire loss has been less than $8,000. CBFD was created with two men and a pickup truck "armed with fire extinguishers." This during the construction period and before water lines and fire hydrants were installed. At its peak, CBFD had eight stations, twelve pieces of equipment, and eight-six men.

With the end of World War II, the fire department "gradually decreased" in size and its fire station buildings were abandoned as "trucks and other equipment" were "shipped away by the government." Click to enlarge:

May 2009
Found via Google, in something called North Carolina Manual I, 1991-1992, is a little bit of background on the Butner Public Safety Division. It's roots are traced to the Camp Butner Fire Department, created in 1942 when Camp Butner was established. In 1947, the camp was purchased for $1 as the site for a new state mental health facility. CBFD became part of the John Umstead I Hospital in the state's Department of Human Resources1. The staff numbered 18 men, presumably firefighters. As both the Butner complex and the unincorporated community grew, the staff was trained as both firefighters and police officers. The department became known as the Butner Public Safety Department. It was transferred to the state Department of Crime Control and Public Safety in 1981, and its name changed to the Butner Public Safety Division.

BPSD provides police and fire protection for the state hospitals in Butner, and other state facilities, including the 4,600-acre National Guard training range, the federal prison, and the residential, business, and industrial community of Butner. On January 29, 1985, a new 15,000 square-foot public safety center was dedicated. At the time of writing, BSPD had a total force of 44. They were led by a Public Safety Director, a Chief of Fire Services, and a Chief of Police Services. Four platoons were commanded by captains, with master fire officers and master police officers as support staff. Today, as their web site says, they have a Chief, 49 sworn officers, five telecommunicators, and an office assistant.

1Wonder what they were called? Butner Fire Department? Umstead Hospital Fire Department? Answer as found in June 2015... Butner Fire Department.

+ 0 - 0 | § Video Footage From 1992 - IGA Grocery Store Fire

For your Monday morning enjoyment, here's a half-hour of historical video footage from December 20, 1992. That's when the IGA Grocery Store burned at 718 N. Person Street. Dispatched at 11:34 p.m., Engine 3 arrived with smoke showing from the rear of the store.

A second alarm was struck at 11:39 p.m. and a third alarm at 12:07 a.m. Fire progressed through the entire store and even threatened two of the three aerial apparatus in operation. You'll see crews cooling both Truck 1 and Truck 11. As for the third truck, that's a then forty-four year-old straight stick in operation! 

We've blogged about this incident before, with a historical perspective last updated in September 2012. See also this PDF document that compiles the narrative and photos.

What happened to the store? It was demolished and, if memory serves, thus ended grocery service on the east side of downtown Raleigh. The only other grocer to open in subsequent years was on the southside, with a Kroger at the corner of Rock Quarry Road and Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard. Correct?

Next question, how many other grocery stores have burned in the city's history? Will do some digging. Since the IGA fire, don't believe any have been fully involved. Will check records.

The footage was posted by the Raleigh Fire Museum, as part of an ongoing research project. They're looking for historical video (or film) footage of the Raleigh Fire Department. See their video and movie library on their web site, or check out their YouTube channel.


View on YouTube

+ 2 - 1 | § UPDATED - Five Alarms in Charlotte - Details and Data

Five alarms were struck in Charlotte on Wednesday at a cardboard recycling facility. (And following a three-alarm church fire over the prior night, no less!) The incident was ably covered by both local media and via Twitter.

Additional incident details were gleaned from assorted Facebook pages and conversations in the Carolinas Fire Page Yahoo group, including a run card provided by Hunter Lacy.

Run Card

First Alarm

15:32 hours

BC01, E05, E31, L18

Working Fire


BC06, E18, R10

Second Alarm


BC05, E02, E11, E08, L02







Third Alarm


BC04, E30, E06, E17, E03, L01

Fourth Alarm


BC07, E04, E16, E27, L04



Field Comm




Fifth Alarm


E26, E40, E07, L13

Also dispatched or responded: Fire Investigators, Fire Prevention, Emergency Management, Logistics, etc. also reported a special alarm around 4:20 p.m. for two engines and a ladder. Unable to validate, may have been a request that was fulfilled as part of the fourth alarm.

Incident Details

Though Charlotte has had four- and five-alarm fires in recent decades, this may be the first instance where all companies through the fifth alarm were committed for a length of time versus quickly returned to service.

More Company Information is compiling incident information in this Facebook posting, with apparatus and unit information and other details including:

Readers, what can you add to the FireNews information? Head over to the posting and add your info.


+ 1 - 1 | § 24th Annual Great American Fire Truck Parade in Wilkes County, July 4, 2015

Looking for a fire truck parade on the Fourth of July? Tool over to Wilkes County, where the 24th Annual Great American Fire Truck parade will commence at 8:00 p.m. on Saturday, July 4, 2015. The parade starts in historic downtown Wilkesboro and proceeds through North Wilkesboro. The trucks run lights and siren, but no candy is thrown. See this poster (PDF) or visit this Facebook event page.

The event is sponsored by the Wilkes County Fire & Rescue Association. They expect between seventy-five and a hundred pieces of apparatus (!), along with agencies like the North Carolina Forest Service and local law enforcement agencies.

What fire departments will participate? There are twenty-six that provide service in Wilkes County, and most are expected to participate. Of those, most will have multiple rigs in the parade. Plus surrounding counties like Surry, Yadkin, Watauga, Alexander, etc. Here are pictures from Missy Severt from prior years, from 2012 and earlier.

+ 0 - 0 | § Pinehurst's Hand-Drawn Ladder Wagon

Photographer Lee Wilson found this hand-drawn ladder wagon in Pinehurst this week, along with a pair of hand hose reels and a 1937 Seagrave pumper. As the pictured name plate notes, the wagon was built by A. W. Flint in New Haven.

That's a ladder company that operated from 1880 until 1990, when they wee purchased by Lynn Ladders & Scaffolding. The plant remained open until 2009, as this New Haven Register story reported.

See more photos by Lee Wilson, from Pinehurst and other Moore County fire departments. Next question, how many other cities, towns, villages, or institutions in our state had hand-drawn "hook and ladder" wagons?

From my Then & Now series, they included Andrews, Belhaven, Broughton Hospital, Carthage, Chapel Hill, Cherryville, Clayton, Clinton, Enfield, Farmville, Forest City, Hertford, Littleton, Lumberton, Marshall, Monroe, Newton, North Wilkesboro, Oxford, Raleigh, Rowland, Rutherfordton, Selma, Southern Pines, Tarboro, Warsaw, Warrenton, Weldon.

Readers, inputs? Maybe we need another database, to accompany my list of hand-drawn engines.

Lee Wilson photos

+ 0 - 0 | § Play it Forward at Bentwinds on June 22 - National Fallen Firefighters Foundation Golf Tournament

Press release. It’s time to tee-up with friends and local firefighters and turn a good day of golf into a great day to honor firefighters who died in the line of duty and support their survivors.

Join members of Raleigh area fire departments on Monday June 22, 2015 at prestigious Bentwinds Country Club in Fuquay-Varina for the Ninth Annual Raleigh Area NFFF Golf Tournament. This public event is one in a series of nation-wide golf tournaments organized by local volunteers to raise funds for the National Fallen Firefighters Foundation (NFFF).

Charlie Dickinson, former Deputy US Fire Administrator and keynote speaker for this event, remarked “I have always referred to the National Fallen Firefighters Memorial Weekend, to be held this year on October 3rd and 4th at the National Emergency Training Center in Emmitsburg, MD, as a ‘bittersweet weekend.’ How heartbreaking it is for the families and loved ones who have suffered the loss of their firefighter. However, how sweet it is for the families all brought together for this wonderful service, which brings great comfort for one another.”

Registration begins at 8 AM and shotgun start is at 10 AM. Entry fee of $110 includes a day of 18-hole superball, a golf gift, a meal after golf and door prize tickets, as well as the famous putting contest, which awards a driver to the winner. The putting contest ends at 9:45 so be sure to come out early to get a chance to qualify.

Sponsorship opportunities are available for individuals, groups and area businesses. To register or more event contact information, visit

The first National Fallen Firefighters Memorial Golf Tournament was held in 2004 to raise awareness and support the Foundation. The program has grown to include 30 regional golf tournaments across the country and has raised more than $3,000,000 to help the NFFF provide programs and services for surviving family members, including scholarships, workshops and conferences. The NFFF also provides education and training for firefighters on preventing future fire service injuries and deaths.

See a video about the National Fallen Firefighters Memorial Golf Tournaments. To learn more about the National Fallen Firefighters Foundation, go to

Special thanks to our title sponsors: Sparkkles Restoration Company, The Contents Company, BluePrint Travel, REMAX One Realty, CRC Restoration Company, Rhinehart Fire Services, and Hardison & Cochran Attorneys-at-Law.

+ 1 - 1 | § Fire Station 29 - Facts, Figures, Trivia

At 0800 hours on Tuesday, June 9, 2015, the city's newest fire companies were placed in service at the city's newest fire station: Engine 29 and Ladder 9 at Fire Station 29 at 12117 Leesville Road. Plus a mini-pumper, which was been temporarily relocated from nearby Station 23. (For errands as needed during the first week of the station's operation.) See more photos from open day.

Here are some facts, figures, and trivia about the new fire station:

1That's square footage from building plans. County tax records say 11,518 square feet.

+ 4 - 3 | § Raw Footage of Raleigh Church Fire

From WTVD, here's a minute-and-change of raw footage from Wednesday church fire on Sanderford Road. Just a collection of short shots. See still photos by Legeros, who arrived some twenty-five minutes into the incident. The video footage is considerable more exciting.

View on YouTube

+ 1 - 1 | § Fire Truck Show at NC Transportation Museum, Saturday, June 13

Event announcement. Fire Truck Show at the North Carolina Transportation Museum on Saturday, June 13. (Same day as Raleigh Fire Museum opening, which Yours Truly is likely staffing. Sigh.) Event is 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. Concludes with a fire truck parade at 2:00 p.m. Requires admission to museum. Participating fire departments and organizations:

Includes display of the museum's fire truck collection, which includes a 1917 Brockway service truck from Elizabeth City and a 1922 American LaFrance from Asheville and Lexington. See Legeros photos of the museum's apparatus collection.

+ 2 - 0 | § Infographic of Firefighter Fatalities - 2000-2013

For your consideration, simple infographic based on United States Fire Administration data. Built using Excel (for the math) and Word (for the design).

Shamelessly derived (and attributed accordingly) from this awesome poster (PDF) of law enforcement line-of-duty deaths from Officer Down Memorial Page.

Same is pictured below. Bare bones for sure and more proof of concept than finished product. (Mr. Blogger is neither a designer nor data scientist. Nor plays either on television.)

What do you think, good start? Maybe someone else can take and run with? Or, more likely, someone's already building something better. Click to view the PDF version:

+ 2 - 0 | § Raleigh Fire Station Lot Sizes

Sizes of city fire station lots, in case you were curious:

1      220 S. Dawson Street 0.37  acres
2   263 Pecan Street 0.65  
3   13 S. East Street 0.16  
4   121 Northway Court 0.65  
5   300 Oberlin Road 0.39  
6   2601 Fairview Road 0.58  
7   2100 Glascock Street 1.00  
8   5001 Western Boulevard 0.52  
9   4465 Six Forks Road 0.50  
10   2711 Sanderford Road 0.90  
11   2925 Glenridge Road 1.08  
12   3409 Poole Road 0.63  
14   4220 Lake Boone Trail 0.71  
15   1815 Spring Forest Road 21.86 *
16   5225 Leadmine Road 0.96  
17   4601 Pleasant Valley Road 0.92  
18   8200 Morgans Way 0.92  
19   4209 Spring Forest Road 0.92  
20   1721 Trailwoods Drive 1.02  
21   2651 Southall Road 1.85  
22   9350 Durant Road 1.95  
23   8312 Pinecrest Road 0.69  
24   10440 Fossil Creek Court 1.96  
25   2740 Wakefield Crossing Drive 0.81  
26   3929 Barwell Road 1.73  
27   5916 Buffalo Road 1.35  
28   3500 Forestville Road 2.86  
29   12117 Leesville Road 2.70  

*Acreage includes fire station site and Millbrook Exchange Park.

+ 2 - 0 | § Take This Blog, Please!

Received a great letter the other week. Candid observations about this blog (and this blogger). Edited for length and clarity, here's an insight, intuitive letter from reader Kurt Drew (reprinted with his consent):

Dear Mike,

I've been an avid reader of your reporting on Raleigh/Wake fire services since the beginning. You recently received national accolades for the blog and rightfully so. However, the blog that won those awards isn't the same blog that we're reading today.

In the past, the blog was a direct reflection on the happenings of that week/month/year. Rarely were there posts that I didn't want to read. And readers were rabid to add comments. But now, looking at twenty-two current posts on the front page, most of them don't have comments. Personally, I've only read two of those.

The blog of past was a highly anticipated event. I couldn't wait for the next installment. Double-digit comments were the norm. But this has changed.

The blog of the present has an identity crisis. Is it a history blog? Is it a fire service blog? Is it some strange hybrid? And if the blog is confused, the readership is equally confused.

Don't get me wrong, some of this history is vivid and interesting. And it aligns with your personal description at the top of the blog home page: "Author, historian, photographer, buff." But it also seems that "buff" has taken a backseat to your other hobbies.

I'd like to broach the subject of censorship. Sure, this is your blog, and you determined what should be posted. But from a readers perspective, it seems like you don't want the blog to interfere with your relationships in the Raleigh/Wake fire service. If this is true, perhaps it's time to move on. Perhaps give the blog to another local buff?

I won't speak of the times that my own comments have been censored. It's one of things that wouldn't lead to a solution for either of us. But censoring comments is one symptom of what's probably "too many irons in the fire." No pun intended!

You've grown and your goals have changed. And buffing (or at least, blog reporting and open conversation therein), has moved further down your list of priorities. Look at Statter911 and Firegeezer, however, and their blog is their number one hobby.

Thank you, Kurt.

In response, I say "spot on!"

Now for a surprise. He wrote that letter in December 2011. For reasons too weird to believe, his message only reached me last week!  (Tip: Facebook has this thing called an Other mail folder)

The One Constant is Change

We've been blogging for ten years (!) now. There have been over 2,840 postings. At the beginning of this thing, they were short missives. Tentative in tone. And it slowly built a readership.

Over the last few years, the evolution has continued. Content, posting frequency, comments, and moderation (censorship?) of comments. And, alas, probably slowly losing readers.

Despite being written back in 2011, the reader is accurate in his assessment of what's happened (and continued to happen) on this blog. My personal priorities have shifted in recent years. Blogging is no longer at or near the top of my "hobby queue." Personal relationship considerations have also grown and it's proven remarkably challenging to wear multiple hats in this context.

But the proof's in the pudding, and most readers have likely formed similar conclusions. Today's blog isn't like the past blog.

So What Now, Charlie?

Thinking that a couple things could happen.

First is an obvious "opening" for any local buff who wants to "report on and facilitate discussion" about Raleigh/Wake or even regional fire service happenings. Could be a blog. Could be a discussion board. Could be a Facebook group, maybe. Interested? Will happily help brainstorm, and can even assist with implementation.

Second, this blog could benefit from rebranding or restarting. Maybe move to a new platform, for a fresh restart. We'd retain the current blog, however. There's too much legacy content that's worth preserving. Too many good articles on fire history (or such) that people still find via Google.

Third, maybe discuss the sort of "collaborative community" needed in these parts. What's on people's wish list? What online experience do you want? Do people miss more of the "inside baseball" discussions, and behind-the-scenes opinions, perspectives, or rumors? Do folk favor a more spicy interactions? Bit of adversity in talking about things, and more busting of chops?

(Optional fourth option. Assess the quality and quantity of currently available information. How are we doing for learning what's happening? Does a "citizen reporter" still need to be on the beat? Or can anyone "tap the pulse" through Facebook, Twitter, mainstream news, and such? Probably already know that answer...)

When Maturity Attacks

We've all grown a bit with our online selves. Daresay even matured, through experiences ranging from blogs like this to comments on news sites to personal Facebook postings. Been there, done that.

If someone builds a new blog, will it work as good as the old blog? Do people still want to discuss things the way they used to discuss things? And, gasp, maybe even exclusively using real names??

Guess there's one way to find out. Who wants to be a blogger? Raise your hand and let's see what happens.

+ 1 - 2 | § Engine 29 and Ladder 9

Here's Engine 29 and Ladder 9 parked at Station 29, which is preparing for opening. The city received the certificate of occupancy on Monday and crews started moving furniture into the building on Tuesday. The station is planned to go in service on June 9. See more photos from Moving Day.

Engine 29

Ladder 9

Read more apparatus histories.

+ 1 - 1 | § UPDATED: Arrangements For Mike Duda

June 4
Here's Mike's obituary as posted in today's News & Observer:

Michael A. Duda
July 26, 1975 - May 29, 2015
Holly Springs

Michael A. Duda, 39, of Holly Springs, NC, passed away on May 29, 2015, at Transitions LifeCare, Raleigh, after a valiant battle with cancer.

Michael was born in Rome, NY to the late Martin L. Duda, and Carol L. Duda of Washington, NC. He spent the first part of his life in Camden, NY before moving with his family to NC in 1990.

After graduating from Washington High School in 1993, Michael was first employed as a police officer, then pursued a life long career in radio communications, culminating in his employment with North Carolina Division of State Parks & Recreation.

Michael proudly served as a volunteer fire fighter beginning in 1996. He became certified as an EMT in 2006. He was a member at Bunyan, Red Oak, and Western Wake Fire Departments. In addition, he served on the Board of Directors for Western Wake Fire Rescue for six years

Michael also enjoyed working part time doing event security, where he met his wife, Amy, in 2003. They later married on October 14, 2006.

Mike is survived by his wife Amy and son Colin, 5, of Holly Springs, NC, his Mother Carol Duda of Washington, NC, and his sister Joanne Duda of Raleigh, NC.

A celebration of his life will be held on June 11, 2015 from 4:00 - 7:00 PM at the White Oak Recreation Area of Jordan Lake State Park.

In lieu of flowers donations can be made to The Carolina Brotherhood or Transitions LifeCare of Raleigh.


June 2

Western Wake Firefighter Michael "Mike" Alexander Duda, 39, passed away on Friday, May 29. His full obituary has yet to be posted, but this quote from the fire department's Facebook page is an apt summary:

"Mike had valiantly battled cancer for the past few years, all the while maintaining a positive attitude and continuing his dedication to our department in whatever role he could. Mike was not only our brother, and our friend, but a devoted husband and immensely loving father. He will be greatly missed, but he will never be forgotten." 

Arrangements have been announced. By day, Mike was a radio technician for the North Carolina Division of Parks & Recreation and was based at Umstead Park. His memorial service will be conducted at Jordan Lake State Park, at the White Oak Recreation Area, on Thursday, June 11, from 4:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m.

That's located on White Oak Beach Road, off Highway 64 west, about a half-mile west of Farrington Road and the Wilsonville crossroads. 

More information will be poster later as needed.

+ 2 - 0 | § Major Church Fires in Raleigh?

Including this morning's fire on Sanderford Road, how many major church fires have happened in the Capital City? Here's what's found in my records, and includes a narrative from this morning. See more photos from Sanderford Road. Readers, are any other major church fires (or "regular" working fires with significant damage) missing from this list? Please advise! Click to enlarge:

Top to bottom, left to right: June 3, 2015 - Mike Legeros photo; March 6, 1992 -
Jeff Harkey photo; December 12, 1983 - News & Observer photo; February 3, 1980 -
News & Observer photo; September 5, 1962 - Courtesy Hayes Barton Baptist Church

June 3, 2015 Gethseame Seventh Day Adventist church 2523 Sanderford Road Reported by passing motorist. Located three-tenths of a mile from Fire Station 10, though Engine 10 was already on another call. Engine 3 arrived and found heavy fire venting through the roof of a one-story, wood-frame building with 9,114 square feet. Built 1981. Fire in sanctuary. Interior attack using portable monitor while aerial ladders were positioned, Ladder 4 in rear (Division D) and Ladder 8 on right side of building (Division C). Aerial operations for about twenty minutes (?) and contained majority of fire, with interior operations for extinguishment and overhaul. Three hydrants used with engines boosting pressure including Engine 2 and Engine 10. Dispatched 2:54 a.m. Controlled 4:30 a.m. Cause determined as accidental, started by pipe soldering, as building was undergoing renovations. Two firefighters transported to hospital with injuries, for chest pains and injuries from fall. Included E12, Sq7, E3, E1, L4, L8, R1, B2, B3, C420. Working fire: A1, C20, C401. Added to call: E10. Special call: E1 and E11, E21. Plus Car 5, 4, 2. Medical: EMS 1, EMS 18, EMS 19, EMS 39, D1, D7, M92, T1. Coverage included L7 to Sta 1, E11 to Sta 12, E21 to Sta 12, E17 to Sta 7.
August 12, 2000 First Baptist Church 99 N. Salisbury Street Two alarms. Code 3. Fire in two different locations, in room housing church's clothing ministry and in office of child care center director. Started before dawn. Intentionally set. Two men subsequently arrested and charged on federal arson charges.
August 17, 1993 Hayes Barton Baptist Church 1800 Glenwood Avenue Two alarms. Dispatched about 3:30 p.m. Started when workers accidentally cut a propane line fueling a blowtorch. Arriving units found flames "shooting form the roof" and "smoke rolling out so thickly they couldn't get a good view of the church" reported the next day's News & Observer. All roads leading to the Five Points intersection were closed for about a quarter-mile on each side as aerial apparatus were moved into position. Fire was controlled in about 25 minutes and contained to roof. Several workers were on the roof at the time of the blaze, but safely evacuated. One was treated for minor smoke inhalation. 
March 6, 1992 Gospel Chapel Church 500 E. Franklin Street Two alarms. Dispatched 0229. The church was built in 1935, with additions in 1955. Pastor John F. Gordon told News & Observer in March 6 story that the fire spread quickly into the attic, though “some pews, pulpit furniture, kitchen appliances, and computers may be salvageable.” Church was valued at $400,000, but damage estimates were not available. The 130-member non-denominational congregation was looking for interim site where they could meet. Church elders had “already begun to pray and consider” their options of rebuilding or relocating. Parishioners were “taking it well.” Said Gordon, “Most of the people realize that the Lord allows these things for a reason and we accept it and go on.” E3, E7, T1, R7, C52. Code 2 to Code 3 at 0247. E1, E13, T8, R6, C51, SR 1, C1 , C2, C3, C5, C10, C12. E16 relief, E19 relief.
December 12, 1983 Lincoln Park Pentecostal Holiness Church 13 Heath Street Started about 2:30 a.m. in the balcony near the church's organ. Fire through the roof as firefighters arrived just after 2:30 a.m. Fire controlled in about an hour, but church was destroyed. Possibly caused by electrical short. Third church on site, constructed started in 1974. First found in 1940, second building demolished in 1974. Split-level brick building constructed "piecemeal" over prior decade. E3, E12, T12, C52, E7, R6, T1.
February 3, 1982  Tupper Memorial Church 218 E. Cabarrus Street Two alarms? Alarm time 1:44 p.m. Fire found in entrance and steeple area. Controlled in about 30 minutes. Church is one of oldest in Raleigh, built in 1906 and renovated in 1957, with a wing added in 1975. Damage $69,000 building, $2,000   contents. E3, E1, C2, T5, E13, T1, C3, R7.
February 3, 1980 West Raleigh Presbyterian Church educational wing 27 Horne Street Two alarms? Alarm time 11:35 a.m. Fire starts during 11:00 a.m. worship services, destroying one floor of the wing. About 300 congregation members are evacuated in the middle of Rev. A. M. McGeachy's morning sermon. Blaze begins in paper-filled closet in a third- floor classroom. Six units respond to the call from four fire stations, with the first unit arriving within four minutes of the first alarm. Damage is $150,000 building and $14,000 contents. E5, E6, E13, C5, T5, T1.
September 5, 1962 Hayes Barton Baptist Church 1800 Glenwood Avenue Fire reported at 6:03 a.m. from Box 622 by a passing congregation member. Fire is controlled by 8:45 a.m. The sanctuary and old education building are destroyed. Three firefighters are struck by parts of falling roof and transported to Rex Hospital for emergency treatment: George Coats, burned on right hand and slight scalp lacerations; Leland Frazier, first and second degree burns on both hands; and Reginald Poole, small scalp laceration. Loss to the 34 year-old building is $477,455. E4, E6, T5, R1, Squad, E10, E5, E1, T1.
July 28, 1956 Edenton Street Methodist Church 228 W. Edenton Street Lightning strikes cross-tipped, 200-foot steeple  at approximately 7:05 p.m. Resulting flames causes steeple to collapse at 8:10 p.m., with fire spreading to rest of church and threatening other buildings. Loss is estimated as at least $50,000. Building burned was built in 1881.
January 14, 1949 Fayetteville Street Baptist Church 751 Fayetteville Street The 8:31 alarm is transmitted from box 321. Three lines and 1,650 feet of hose are used.
November 25, 1928 Church and two other buildings 600 block of Gaston Street The 11:18 a.m. alarm is received by telephone. Four lines and 1200 feet of hose are used. Two residences and a church, all one-story frame buildings at 607, 609, and 611 Gaston Street are involved.
April 22, 1921 Pullen Memorial Baptist Church Fayetteville and South streets The Friday night blaze for a time threatens the Wake County clinic, Rex Hospital, and nearby residences. Aided "by wind and rain," firefighters "confine the flames to the church by some of the best firefighting seen in this city in some time." Damage is estimated at $20,000.
March 3, 1914 Jenkins Memorial Chapel  Glenwood and Brooklyn suburbs Fire is reported shortly before 11:00 a.m. as a small blaze in the rear of the roof. A misunderstood alarm signal sends firefighters to a different location at first. A telephone message brings another fire company to the correct location, but after the fire has gained headway. With only two streams and insufficient pressure to douse the flames, Chief Brockwell summons the steamer and sends a "motor car" back for it. The driving chain of the motor car breaks en route and horses must be located to bring the steamer to the scene. By the time the steamer arrives, the church is nearly entirely destroyed. Many spectators on hand, however, save all of the furniture, the organ, pews, and chairs. The cause of the fire is suspected as a defective flue. The church is insured for $4,000. The Raleigh Times leads funds to restore the burned building.
July 5, 1909 St. Paul's A.M.E. Church N. Harrington Street Fire is reported about 11:00 p.m. Caused by a "fire balloon set adrift by some thoughtless person," which lights "on the shingle roof" and starts the blaze that destroys the building. Firefighting efforts endure "a tragedy of errors," including multiple box alarms that sends the Capital Hose Company "dashing" to a different box, delayed application of "direct pressure," and the absence of two teams of firefighters "now attending the Firemen's Tournament in Asheville" The building is described as "the handsomest colored church in the State and one of the handsomest in the South." Damage over $50,000.
December 18, 1839 Methodist Church Corner Edenton and Dawson The alarm is sounded about 5 p.m. and in less than hour the entire building is consumed. Nothing is saved but a few benches.

+ 1 - 0 | § Morrisville Fire Department 60th Anniversary Parade & Open House on Saturday, June 6

On Saturday, June 6, 2015, the Morrisville Fire Department celebrates sixty years of service. They'll start the day with a fire truck parade down Town Hall Day at 10:00 a.m. This is followed by an open house at Fire Station 1 from 10:30 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. The current count is twenty-four pieces of apparatus plus mixed honor guard.

Come and join the celebration that includes free hot dogs from noon to 2:00 p.m. For those photographing the trucks, they'll be staging before the parade at Cedar Fork Elementary School at 1050 Town Hall Drive.

The Morrisville Fire Department was chartered in June 1955. They served the communities of Morrisville, Carpenter, Upchurch, Green Level, and largely rural farming areas of western Wake County.

Their first fire station was a tin shed behind the Red & White store at the corner of Morrisville-Carpenter Road and Highway 54. Their first first truck was a converted "deuce and a half" from surplus converted to a pumper with a 750 gallon tank.

They constructed their first permanent fire station across the street in 1960, and added a second station (or substation) the currently named Carpenter-Fire Station Road in 1975. This increased their fire district from ten to approximately twenty-five square miles.

The first full-time Fire Chief was hired in 1991, and he supervised seven part-time paid members during weekdays along with volunteer members. They later hired their first career firefighters and today are staffed with forty-nine career members including administration staff, sixteen volunteers, and six junior members.

In 1995, the fire department became a municipal entity. In 1999, the third fire station was opened at 10632 Chapel Hill Road. It was named Station 2, and the "Carpenter fire station" was renamed Station 3. In 2007, Station 3 moved next door to Cary Fire Station 7, in a co-located facility. In 2012, Station 1 moved around the corner to new quarters on Town Hall Drive. Click to enlarge:

+ 2 - 1 | § Wake County EMS Announces Restructured Leadership Roles

This announcement appeared on the Wake County EMS Facebook page last week. After the departure of Wake County EMS System Director and Wake County Medical Director Dr. Brent Myers at the end of April, the organization is restructing the leadership roles.

The first position is the EMS Medical Director, who will function as head of the department and will provide the vision and direction in addition to the traditional Medical Director roles and responsibilities.

The second position is the EMS Director, who will report to the EMS Medical Director, and focus primarily on running both the Wake EMS organization and the Wake County EMS system.

Both positions are expected to be posted this week, and the selection process will begin in July.

What's the historical perspective here?

The first head of Wake County EMS was established in 1976, with the creation of the organization. Wake County Emergency Preparedness Director Russell Capps served in the position of Director.

The first full-time Medical Director was established on July 1, 2003. For one year prior, full-time Medical Director services were contracted with the UNC School of Medicine.

Five years later, Wake County EMS became its own county department. EMS System Medical Director Dr. Brent Myers was appointed as the new EMS Director in addition to his medical director role. 

Who were the prior EMS Directors and Medical Directors? Will get back with you on that. Source for history info is this site.

+ 2 - 0 | § Report From The Winchester Firefighter's Parade

Attended the Winchester firefighters parade a few weeks ago. First time visit, both to the town and to the Shenandoah Apple Blossom Festival. Absolutely enjoyable experience. The firefighter festivities consisted of two events on Friday, May 1. First was a fire truck rodeo and display of apparatus. From 9:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. See the event description.

This happened at Millbrook High School, where a couple of parking lots were used for staging, exhibition, and the driver's course rodeo. There was also judging of each fire truck or emergency vehicle. Each parade entry was inspected and judged in a number of categories, including both fire and EMS categories, and types of vehicle. See the award winners on this page.


The Old Dominion Historical Fire Society was the sponsor of the parade's first division, consisting of antique vehicles. There were four divisions in the parade.

The ODHFS is based in Richmond and is a Virginia regional chapter of the Society for the Preservation and Appreciation of Antique Motor Fire Apparatus (SPAAMFAA). There were also other sponsors of the day's events, including Rosenbauer Fire Apparatus Dealers, Rappahannock Electric Cooperatove, and Wal-Mart.


The parade was a three-hour (!) affair that started at 5:30 p.m. Trucks and equipment starting staging in early afternoon, with some firefighters attending the downtown Apple Blossom Carnival on Cameron Street. There were duty shirts and uniforms a-plenty that day!

The parade started on Cork Street at Cameron, turned right on Braddock, turned left on Piccadilly, turned left on Washington, turned right on German, turned left on Stewart, and turned left on Handley before ending at Cameron. Click to enlarge this map excerpt, or see the entire map (PDF).

How many trucks are we talking about? Over three hundred! Here's the complete list, as featured in the official program. There were may have been some missing in action and/or substitutions. See Mike's photos from the parade and rodeo, which include some of the Winchester apparatus that appeared.

Click to enlarge these excerpts from the official program:

Some notes about Winchester. The city is protected by four volunteer fire companies with sixty-six career members, twenty-one active operational volunteers, and sixty active administrative volunteers. Read more about Winchester Fire and Rescue, which is comprised of:

There was a fifth fire company also served the city, the Sarah Zane Fire Company, organized in 1840 and disbanded in early 1980s, with members joining the Rouss Fire Company.

Readers are welcome to add their own perspectives, on that day's events and/or the departments that serve Winchester.

+ 2 - 0 | § Louisiana Tiller Found in Western North Carolina

Would you believe an old tiller from Baton Rouge sitting in a field south of Morganton? Photographer Lee Wilson last week found this beauty behind Pilot Mountain School on Highway 64 at Baker Farm Road. That's a former school-turned-shopping center (built 1942) that's located seven miles southwest of Interstate 40.

From John Peckham's famed registry, it's a 1949 American LaFrance Type 700 aerial ladder, model 7-100-TEO, 100-foot. Registration number 9184. Order number 4181, shipped December 31, 1949.  (BRFD also received six pumpers [!] that year, also 700 series.) And obviously delivered open cab, and without the rear roof contraption.

Lee's found a bit of information about the truck. Served as Aerial 3 and Aerial 6, from Station 11 and Station 13. Retired in the 1980s. And it doesn't appear to be for sale.

Now what's the story on the twin booster reels, mounted on each side behind the turntable? We'll need reader help with that one. Add-on pump and water tanker perhaps, maybe low-pressure? For trash fires perhaps, maybe during the periods of civil unrest that gripped so many cities in the late 1960s?

See more pictures in this photo album from Lee's trip to the mountains. He visited a number of fire stations (Marion, Parkway, Banner Elk, etc.) and photographed quite a few fire trucks.

Lee Wilson photos

+ 3 - 0 | § City of Raleigh Recruiting Firefighters in July

Looking for a career that’s physically and mentally challenging? A career that provides service to your community and opportunities for personal growth? A career that's fun, exciting, and demanding? Then a rewarding career in the fire service may be for you!

The City of Raleigh Fire Department will be accepting applications for the 41st recruit academy from July 1 to July 31, 2015.  Please note that this is now a paperless process. Applications must be filled out and submitted online. Paper forms are no longer accepted.

Firefighter applicants must be twenty-one years of age or older, and possession a high school education or General Equivalent Diploma (GED). Prior experience or training is not required. Upon selection and hiring, firefighter recruits will complete a six-month training program.

Recruit Academy 41 is tentatively planned to start in early 2016.

Applications must be submitted through the city’s new online platform. An account with is required. Visit to create your account.

For specific information about the fire department recruitment process, visit

+ 1 - 1 | § Reports on Recommended Budgets for FY16

The cities, towns, and counties of the Triangle have published their recommended budgets in recent days and weeks. What's on tap for fire department and fire service budgets? Here's what Mr. Blogger has gleaned. Readers, please augment (or outright correct) as needed!

Highlights of recommended budget:

Highlights of recommended budget:

  • Add fifteen full-time positions. Presuming firefighters, for Engine 17 / Station 17?
  • Complete design and development process of Fire Station 17, anticipating construction in FY17. Location is corner of Leesville and Doc Nichols Road. Believe the parcel is addressed 5503, northwest corner. Total 3.379 acres.
  • Start land acquisition for future Fire Station 18 site, in area of Herndon Road and Stinhurst Drive.

Chapel Hill
Highlights of recommended budget:

  • Two fire inspector positions added.
  • References to the town's four (presumably oldest) fire stations needing replacement, along with training center.
  • References to a Hamilton Road fire station site, part of a public-private redevelopment project.

See this blog posting.

Highlights of recommended budget:

  • Heavy rescue replacement.
    "Apex Rescue 4 serves as the fire district's Heavy Rescue unit operating out of our station on East Williams Street. The truck carries all types of rescue equipment to include Confined Space Rescue, Trench Rescue, Vehicle Extrication and High-Angle Rope Rescue. The total cost of this truck is $445,000. Of this, $84,000 will be paid by a Wake County fire apparatus replacement grant."
  • Pumper purchase for Station 5.
    "Once Public Safety Station 5 is constructed, a new [$385,000] fire engine will be required to operate from this location. The purchase of an engine with all necessary equipment will reduce the response times to fire and medical calls to the western side of Apex. The amount shown is the cost of the apparatus. Equipment costs ($35,000) are included in the budget, but not paid for from fund balance.
  • Add twelve new firefighters, effective June 8, 2016, in advance of opening of Station 5.
  • SCBA replacement.

Details on Public Safety Station 5?

  • Addressed 2050 Kelly Road, which is northeast corner of Apex Barbecue and Kelly roads.
  • Architect Stewart-Cooper-Newell completing design work, with project going to bid soon.


Copyright 2012 by Michael J. Legeros