This posted was updated in March 2023 with an important correction, about the correct names of the three firefighters killed. It’s also been expanded with new narratives about the incident and its aftermath, and converted to a linked PDF document.
On August 27, 1891, three Asheville firemen were killed and three others were injured when the passenger train they were riding plunged from a trestle in Iredell County. They were returning from the state firemen’s convention Durham. The train had just passed Statesville and plunged from the iron trestle over Third Creek at about 2:00 a.m. The steam locomotive, tender, baggage car, two coach cars, a Pullman sleeping car, and a private car dropped 65 feet into the ravine. Twenty-two people were killed and 30 were wounded. Firefighters Charles Barnett**, Perry Barnett, and Samuel Gorman were killed, while firefighters Will Bradford, John Gaze, and Marshall Nix were injured.
**For years, Legeros had incorrectly cited W. E. Winslow as one of the three firefighters who were killed. The correct person is Charles Barnett, brother of Perry.
Read a detailed narrative of the accident. (PDF)