Waynesville Explosion, 1942

Tale of a tragedy from western North Carolina. Early in the morning of Tuesday, July 14, 1942, a pair of explosion at a bulk fuel storage facility in Waynesville killed six people, and also fatally injured Fire Chief Lawrence Kerley. The local newspaper, the weekly Waynesville Mountaineer, provided ample coverage of the disaster, including these …

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Looking Back at North Carolina Fallen Firefighters

Saturday, May 2, 2020, was the planned date for the 15th Annual North Carolina Fallen Firefighters Memorial Service. Due to the coronavirus, the event was postponed to August, to be co-located with the South Atlantic Fire Rescue Expo. On Friday, the postponed NCFFF events were announced as cancelled. This year’s addition to the memorial will …

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North Carolina Firefighters to be Honored at National Fallen Firefighters Memorial

The 38th National Fallen Firefighters Memorial Service will be held in Emmitsburg, MD, on Sunday, October 6, 2019, to honor 92 firefighters who died in the line of duty in 2018 and 27 firefighters who died in the line of duty in previous years. The North Carolina firefighters being honored are: Michael Gene Goodnight West …

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Edenton Line of Duty Death – 1947

Found this last week. Will add to my fallen firefighters database. Edenton Fire Department firefighter Benjamin Henry Smith, 32, was killed in an apparatus accident while returning from a chimney fire on November 28, 1947. The accident occurred about 7:30 a.m. at the intersection of West Queen and South Granville streets[1], when the fire truck …

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New Bern Firefighter Dies From Injuries After Apparatus Accident – 1963

Found another firefighter fatality of yore, from an account in Daniel Bartholf’s new book “History of Firefighter in New Bern, North Carolina.” Here’s the story, from the book and newspaper accounts, copied from the state library in downtown Raleigh. On February 26, 1951, a New Bern Fire Department engine overturned while en route to a …

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Wilmington Fireman Killed by Falling Wall – 1893

On June 17, 1893, Wilmington volunteer fireman Joseph Ballister Willard died in the line of duty. He was a member of Hook and Ladder Company No. 1, and was killed when a wall collapsed at a warehouse fire. The fire started at 2:00 a.m. at a brick warehouse on Water Street, which stored about 400 …

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Seven Fallen Firefighters to be Honored in Raleigh on May 4, 2019

We’re ten days away from this year’s NCFFF memorial service. Here are details and the list of this year’s honored. LODD info. via Google.  The North Carolina Fallen Firefighters Foundation will honor seven firefighters who died in the line of duty in the past year, plus one who passed away in 2014. The 14th annual …

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Durham Fire Chief Dies – November 1946

Found this while doing other research last week. We first discussed on the Facebook side. Memo to self: add to fallen firefighters database. On November 26, 1946, Durham Fire Chief Frank W. Bennett died at Watts Hospital. His death was duty-related. Chief Bennett became ill on November 6, while supervising a fire at the Durham Mattress …

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Tarboro Fireman Dies From Illness After Fire – 1899

Note: This is a version of a posting from Legeros Fire Line on Facebook. See that posting for reader comments and discussion. Found a reference to a Tarboro Fire Department firefighter fatality, and apparently duty-related. From the Proceedings of the North Carolina State Firemen’s Convention in 1899, page 26, from the Secretary’s Report: “Death has …

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Warsaw Fire Chief Killed on Duty – December 31, 1949

Here’s the front page of the Duplin Times from January 5, 1950, which includes a story on the death of Warsaw Fire Dept Fire Chief Stacy H. Britt, 38, who died in the line of duty in an apparatus collision on December 31, 1949. You can read the entire issue at this digital North Carolina …

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