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 overturned after colliding with a station wagon. Smith was killed instantly, reported newspaper accounts. He was pinned beneath the apparatus and was deceased when removed from the wreckage.

Al Owens, driving the apparatus, was injured and reported in critical condition at Chowan Hospital. Another fireman, Howard Spruill, received “injuries to the eyes” when “acid spilled in his face”[2] when the apparatus overturned.

The driver of the station wagon suffered only minor injuries.

The accident occurred “adjacent to a cemetery.” The driver of the fire truck attempt to avoid the collision by “swinging sharply to the right,” but the apparatus struck the front of the passenger car and caused the truck to “overturn on a curve.”

The car crashed through the cemetery’s iron fence and “ended up among the graves and tombstones.”

Firefighter Smith was a volunteer fireman who “slept at the fire house.” He worked as a license examiner for the State Highway Commission. He was also a member of the “local AF and AM lodge” and “a Shriner.”

He was buried on November 28, 1947, at Pineview Cemetery in Rocky Mount.

[1] Location is best guess based on death certificate plus current maps.
[2] Acid? Perhaps the acid contained in a chemical-activated fire extinguisher? 

Sources:

  • Death Certificate, via FamilySearch.org. 
  • News & Observer, November 28, 1947. 

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The State Association Fire Truck – 1926

In July 1926, the North Carolina State Firemen’s Association acquired a fire engine. At the annual convention and tournament, held that year in Morehead City, they took delivery of a new American LaFrance Type 40 combination chemical hose wagon. The truck was presented as a personal gift from the southern manager of American LaFrance, Mr. P. O. Hebert. He refused to accept payment, and said it was a personal testimonial of the “personal interest he always felt,” attending meetings “in the welfare of the Association.”

The truck was obtained for use in the annual tournament, which had been restarted and revitalized in recent years. The yearly races–which started with the first annual convention in 1889–were suspended during World War I, during the years 1917, 1918, and 1919. As was later recounted, “the time had come for every patriotic organization to devote its time and efforts to helping the Government win the war.”

By 1919 and with “conditions being back to normal,” President James McNeill pledged to bring back the event. However, the era of the horse-drawn apparatus had passed, so new contests for motor trucks were created. The first was held in 1920. And by 1925, the Association decided that they needed their own truck for the tournament, to help relieve the burden of participating departments.

A committee was appointed to this task at the 1925 convention, and the truck was delivered the following year. The truck was named the James McNeill Truck, in honor of the longtime President. And it was used by the Association until the Second World War, when the tournaments were again suspended.

In 1944, the Executive Board of the Association decided to sell the truck, which was then “sitting in Greensboro.” By June 1945, it was reported as sold.

Below is a history of this truck. See also this Facebook posting, with a query from Mr. Blogger about its whereabouts today.

Factory Photo

Factory Record

Reg. No.

City

State

Country

Type Style

Ship Order

Ship Date

Neg. No.

Remarks

5694

MOREHEAD CITY

NC

 

40 COMB.

1708

7/30/1926

6779

NC FIREMANS ASSN.

Plus these specs, typed on the back of the factory photo: 85 HP, four-cylinder motor. Body for 1,200 feet of 2 1/2-inch hose. Pneumatic tires. Chemical tank. Electric hand lantern. Play pipes and shutoff nozzles. 

Source: http://www.spaamfaa.org/resources/peckhams-american-lafrance-search/

Research Notes

Note that all dates refer to events occurring at the annual convention, unless otherwise noted. Page numbers refer to the annual printed proceedings. Read some of those proceedings at https://legeros.com/history/fa/.

Last Tournament with Horses

1916 – Raleigh
Tournament held on July 19, 20, 21. Consists of hand- and horse-drawn apparatus. Though motor apparatus had arrived around the state, beginning about 1910, they were not part of the annual event.

The contests consist of:

  • Horse hose wagon – 13 teams – July 19
  • Hand reel, 150 yards – Six teams – July 20
  • Grab reel – Six teams – July 20
  • Interstate hand reel, 150 yards – Six teams – July 21
  • Interstate grab reel – Six teams – July 21
  • Interstate horse hose wagon – 12 teams – July 21

The 1916 event was also the last tournament held during World War I. (1916, p168-170)

1917 – Morehead City
No tournament, due to war conditions. Convention was originally planned for Asheville, and with a “big and perhaps final tournament.” Due to the war, however, they decided to wait, and meet in Morehead City instead, and the tournament was eliminated. (1918, p31)

1918 – Wrightsville Beach
No tournament, due to war conditions.

1919 – Asheville
President James McNeill notes that the city was originally planning a “big Peace jubilee and [fireman’s] tournament” but that was “found to be impossible” as the railroads were still being operated “under war conditions” and the Association couldn’t make any arrangements to get their “usual reduced rates, much less any transportation privileges”, which was required for departments to bring their hand- and horse-drawn apparatus to the races. (1919, p49)

Membership “unanimously [instructs]” the President to reinstate the tournament as part of the annual conference. (1920, p11)

Motor Contest Added 

1920 – Fayetteville
President McNeill reports that after “quite a volume of correspondence” with the member departments [which in 1920, represented 83 cities and towns], he found it impossible to restart the tournament as it was done before. He could get only four wagon teams and maybe three reel teams to [commit to] attend. And such a small number would have made it impractical, to go to the expense of [having] the “grandstand [built]” and other “things necessary to pull off a respectable tournament.”

Therefore, he formulated a “set of rules” for a motor contest, and tried them in Fayetteville with his fire department. When the Executive Committee came to town, he had them watch a couple of the practice runs.

He then personally visited “quite a number” of departments and “personally coached them on the details.” This was well-received and he quickly had over 20 accepted invitations. However, a number of them had since cancelled. Also, “so many of the Eastern departments” had failed to respond. (1920, p10)

He “used every argument that I could” with the Eastern towns other than Kinston, he reported, but they wanted to wait until next year, after seeing the results of this year’s contest. (1920, p11)

The new rules for Motor Contests were approved by the membership of the convention. The speed of the participating trucks was also increased from 20 to 25 mph. (1920, p33).

The tournament was held on August 11, with two motor contests. One for fastest water, with 17 teams competing, and the other for fastest chemicals, with 13 teams competing. On a following day, a Consolation Contest was held, though the winners were not entitled to a prize. Seven teams each competed. There were also contests for “coupling breaking” and a “100 yard dash” with a hand reel. (1920, p43-45)

Early Motor Contests 

1921 – Gastonia
Tournament on August 25, with 17 motor teams and eight reel teams. (1921, p86-87)

1922 – Morehead City
Tournament on July 27, with 11 motor teams and four reel teams. (1922, p78)

1923 – Durham
Request by a member to lower the speed of the motor apparatus race from 25 to 20 mph. “You buy an apparatus and you pay anything from $8,000 on up, and put a man on there, and load the apparatus to its capacity, and hurl it through space at a rate of 25 miles an hour, the rate of an express train. I think that is wrong. The fire department is supposed to save property, not destroy it.”

President McNeill notes the origin of the motor race, and that North Carolina is the only state with “this mode of racing.” In the horse days, the speed was 18 to 25 mph. The  motor test rules he designed were set at 20 mph. The members last year [actually, in 1920] voted to increase to 25 mph, he reminds them. He says he will ask the Secretary to bring this up at the next [annual?] meeting. (1923, p63)

Tournament on August 9, with 15 motor teams and five reel teams (1923, p108-109)

1924 – High Point
Tournament on July 17, with 18 motor teams and six reel teams. (1924, p105)

Association Acquires a Motor Truck


Picture from 1935 program.

1925 – Asheville
The Secretary presented proposal that they acquire an American LaFrance Type 10 motor truck, to be owned by the Association for tournament use. He says he was asked to present this proposal, because the tournament is “very hard” on the apparatus that departments bring to participate. The proposal is a request that they look into acquiring their own truck and, if possible, at no expense to the Association. Committee to be formed. Approved. (1925, p75)

Tournament on July 16, with 24 motor teams and five reel teams.

1926 – Morehead City
Report on the committee appointed at last year’s convention to “secure a fire truck” for the Association. They acquired an American LaFrance Type 40 combination chemical hose car, valued at $8,500, and donated by Mr. P. O. Hebert, southern manager of the American LaFrance Fire Engine Company. Truck to be placed in a centrally located city, with a “capable mechanic” to “look after,” and can be loaned to any city or town that has an apparatus accident, etc., and to be known as the James D. McNeill car. Motion also adopted to get Mr. Hebert, the donor of the fire truck, an “expensive souvenir” in appreciation. (1926, p66-67, p79)

Discussion of where the Association truck will be housed. One person [Chief of CHFD?] suggests that it be housed in Chapel Hill. Decision for placement “will reside” with Executive Committee. (1926, p78-79)

Also at the convention, a committee is appointed to “secure a reel” for the Association to bring to each tournament. The following year, it was reported that High Point FD donated a reel, and it was repainted. (1927, p88)

Tournament on August 19, 1926, with 16 motor teams and six/seven reel teams. (1926, p121-122)

1927 – Greensboro
President A. L. Duckett mentions that James McNeill passed away [that year] and his funeral was attended by the Executive Committee and many firemen. He also notes that McNeill’s body was carried to the burial by the Association’s fire truck, which was given to the Association in 1926, and is named for him. (1927, p31-32)

A report is made on the Association’s American LaFrance fire truck, including its history. The truck was presented to the Association in 1926, at the Morehead City convention, by Mr. P. O. Hebert of Atlanta.

In 1919, after three years without a tournament, President McNeill vowed to bring it back. But horse-drawn apparatus “had passed” so he pledged that, if the convention met in his town [of Fayetteville] in 1920, he’d have a “motor truck test [contest]” ready. The new rules included that each host city supply a truck, etc., for the contest.

At the 1925 convention, “the boys” concluded that it was time for the Association to own its own truck for the contests. A committee was appointed and they decided on American LaFrance as the brand. The truck was presented the next year at the Morehead City convention for acceptance. The purchase was approved, but Pat Hebert would not accept payment. He presented it as a personal gift, and as a testimonial of the “personal interest he always felt,” attending meetings “in the welfare of the Association.”

Subsequently at the 1926 convention, a new committee was appointed to present “some token of appreciation” to Mr. Hebert for the “many things that he had done” for the Association, and “more especially” in appreciation of the fire truck that he donated.

In October 1926, the committee traveled to Atlanta and presented Hebert with a special book, with extracts from the proceedings about his donation, and more. (1927, p58, p63-64).

Tournament on August 25, with 17 motor teams and seven reel teams. (1927, p168-169)

Excerpts from 1927 Proceedings

     

About Mr. Hebert

From the “Morning New Bernian,” October 25, 1916:

Carrying Captain McNeill

Retired Fayetteville Fire Chief and longtime past Association President (and charter member) Captain James D. McNeill died on February 9, 1927. He was 76 years old. He was buried on February 11, with the Association fire truck that bore his name carrying his body from St. John’s Episcopal Church to its final resting place.

The Fayetteville Observer reported that the funeral was the largest in the city’s history, with the exception of that of McNeill’s beloved father, Rev. George McNeill, who died in 1861 [at age 33!]. “As the funeral procession wended its way to the cemetery, sirens moaned and a bell in the city tolled slowly,” reported the March 9, 1927, issue of “Fire Engineering” magazine.

 
Fayetteville Observer, February 11, 1927

Subsequent Tournaments

Year City Start
Date
Motor
Teams
Reel
Teams
Notes
1928 New Bern Aug 9 17 6  
1929 Hendersonville Jul 18 15 5  
1930 Morehead City Aug 21 14 5  
1931 Statesville Aug 27 11/9 3  
1932 Hamlet Aug 4 11/9 3  
1933 Salisbury Jul 27 9 5  
1934 Charlotte Aug 16 12 3  
1935 Wilmington Aug 29 11 1 Kannapolis was the only reel team that participated.
1936 Raleigh Aug 13 10 none  
1937 Greensboro Aug 12 13 4  
1938 New Bern Aug 11 7 none  
1939 Carolina Beach Aug 10 7 none  
1940 Salisbury Aug 29 6 none  
1941 Asheville       No competing teams for tournament. 
1942 Greensboro       No competing teams for tournament. 
1943 Cancelled       No convention due to war conditions.
1944 Charlotte       No tournament.

Selling the Truck

1944 – Charlotte
Disposition of the Association motor truck is discussed. The tournament used to have races with horse-drawn apparatus. Then the railroads “decided” they would have to charge for transporting the horses and equipment, so the tournament was ended. About that time, the auto fire engines “came into use,” so new contests were created. But some departments wouldn’t send their motor cars to compete, so the Association obtained a “second hand auto”[1] for its use. For the past few years, however, no races “have been had.” And “the car is sitting in Greensboro.” Recommend disposing of the truck, and putting the money into the fireman’s [relief?] fund. Approved. (1944, p84)

[1] This appears to be incorrect. Based on accounts and the factory photo, the truck was delivered new. 

1945
No convention due to war conditions.
On June 21, 1945, the Executive Board met in Salisbury and passed a resolution postponing the 1945 convention. They also reported the sale of the Association’s fire truck. (1945, p5)

Two More Contests

1946
No convention due to war conditions.

1947 – Morehead City
Convention held, but no tournament conducted.

1948 – Fayetteville
Motor contests again held on August 12. Seven teams. First races since 1940. (1948, p117)

1949 – Carolina Beach
Motor contests again held on August 20. Seven teams. Last annual races. (1949, p128)

Scores from Proceedings

   

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Run Card for Charlotte House Explosion

This is a blog version of a Facebook posting, about details and units at a four-alarm explosion and fire in Charlotte. The narrative has been updated a bit, from the original posting.

Charlotte Observer photo

Four alarms were struck at a house explosion on Charlotte on Tuesday, July 3.

The incident was dispatched just before 2:00 p.m. as a reported explosion with fire at 11812 James Jack Lane. Tax records list the location as a two-story, single-family residential structure with 8,830 square-feet.

First arriving Ladder 32 found the structure destroyed, with a large debris field and a section of fire. Second alarm was requested, as were additional alarms for manpower and technical rescue assistance. 

Two occupants were inside the structure at the time of the explosion: one deceased on scene, one with serious injuries. The latter was extricated after two and a half hours, and airlifted to the hospital. The deceased victim was located about seven hours after the explosion, by USAR personnel.

A number of firefighters were also treated for dehydration: seven treated on scene with IVs, and one transported to local hospital. Crews were working in 100+ degree heat.

Two people treated for minor injuries in neighboring homes. The adjoining homes also sustained damage. The primary cause of the explosion was identified as interior natural gas leak. 

Google for news stories, photos/videos.

Run Card

  • Engines 1, 2, 3, 10, 12, 16, 19, 20, 23, 24, 26, 32, 33, 39, 42
  • Engines 71, 71, 74, 75, 76 [tankers activated as engines with callback personnel, for fire watch overnight]
  • Carolina E2, E3, Pineville E2
  • Ladders 2, 16, 24, 26, 29, 32
  • Rescues 3, 10
  • Rescue 89 [reserve rescue activated with callback personnel, to assist with USAR]
  • Battalions 3, 5, 7
  • Cars 1 [Chief], 2 [Ops Deputy Chief], 7 [Div Chief], 14 [PIO], 15 [PIO], 30 [Chief FM], 200 [Training Div Chief], 205 [Training Captain], 506 [EM Logistics], 601 [Comms Op Mgr], 900 [Special Ops Div Chief], 901 [BC Haz-Mat]
  • Haz-Mat 1, 2
  • USAR 1, 4
  • Rehab 1
  • Safety 1
  • Fire Investigation Task Force units

Alarm Levels

  • Alarm 1: L32, E39, L24, E16, E24, E32, BC5, BC7, USAR1, USAR2, C30, FITF 2, C14, R3, C15, FITF 3, Rehab 1, Carolina E2
  • Alarm 2: C901, E20, C206, C7, E19, E26, BC3, Safety 1, L26, C205, L29
  • Alarm 3: L29, E23, BC4, C2, E42, C601, E33
  • Alarm 4 + Special Called: E13, E1, C200, C14, E2, E29, E30, C902, Carolina E3, C207, C1, E71, E72, C900, E74, E75, E76, C506, HM1, HM 2, L2, L13, L16, L24, E3, E10, E12

Additional

City coverage from Harrisburg FD, Concord FD, Matthews FD, and Pleasant Valley FD (SC).

Plus MEDIC response that included several ambulances, supervisors, and a mass casualty bus.

Readers can add, edit, expand as desired.

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New Numbering for Wake County EMS System

The Wake County EMS System has a new numbering system for their ambulances. Now based on geographic district and shift configuration.

Among the notable changes:

  • Two-digit numbers for all ambulances.
  • Single digits reserved for special event units.
  • _7, _8, _9 reserved for peak-load units.

The transition started around 9:00 p.m. on Sunday and finished around 10:00 a.m. on Monday, July 1. 

Map

Numbering Old and New

Note: SE = Special Event

District / Geo Station Old New
1 – Downtown DWN District 1
DWN EMS 1 EMS 10  
GLS EMS 11 EMS 17 (day)
CRL EMS 13 EMS 18 (peak)
WML EMS 2 EMS 12  
NCS EMS 8 EMS 11  
NCS EMS 39 EMS 19 (peak)
2 – SW FRV District 2
FRV EMS 21 EMS 21  
HLT EMS 14 EMS 24  
HLT EMS 37 EMS 29 (day)
FUQ EMS 9 EMS 23  
HSP EMS 17 EMS 22  
HSW EMS 32 EMS 28 (peak)
APM EMS 20 EMS 20  
3 – NE DRN District 3
DRN EMS 15 EMS 31  
MNC EMS 5 EMS 30  
MNC EMS 36 EMS 37 (day)
NHP EMS30 EMS 38 (day)
SHL EMS 12 EMS 33  
WFM EMS 10 EMS 32  
WFS EMS 33 EMS 39 (peak)
4 – NW SFM District 4
SFM EMS 6 EMS 41  
SFM EMS 38 EMS 48 (peak)
NHL EMS 3 EMS 40  
FRG EMS 4 EMS 44  
FRG EMS 25 EMS 1 (SE)
RDU EMS 34 EMS 43  
PLV EMS 35 EMS 49 (peak)
SFN EMS 22 EMS 42  

5- West

CRM District 5
CRM EMS 51 EMS 50  
CRM EMS 55 EMS 59 (peak)
CRM EMS 56 (SE) EMS 5 (SE)
CRM EMS 57 (SE) EMS 7 (SE)
CRN EMS 53 EMS 58 (peak)
CRW EMS 52 EMS 51  
MRV EMS 54 EMS 52  
6 – East WEN District 6
WEN EMS 61 EMS 62  
WEN EMS 66 EMS 69 (peak)
WEN EMS 67 EMS 67 (day)
ZEB EMS 65 EMS 63  
RVM EMS 64 EMS 64  
RVM EMS 69 (SE) EMS 6 (SE)
KDS EMS 62 EMS 60  
KDM EMS 63 EMS 61  
BTC EMS 68 EMS 68 (peak)
7 – South
 
GRE District 7
GRE EMS 19 EMS 72  
GRM EMS 18 EMS 71  
GRS EMS 16 EMS 70  
ERL EMS 7 EMS 73  
ERL EMS 28 EMS 2 (SE)
ERL EMS 29 EMS 3 (SE)
SAG  EMS 31 EMS 79  
9 – APP Units ESEC DIST 9
HSP Medic 91
KDM Medic 92
SHL Medic 93
WML Medic 94
SFM Medic 95
ESEC Medic 96

 

 

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Raleigh Fire Department Newsletter – Summer 2019

The summer edition of the now twice-yearly Raleigh Fire Department Newsletter has been published. The issue includes an interview with the Fire Marshal, an update on facility projects, a list of all retirements, promotions, and passings since the last issue, and more.

View the newsletter at https://raleighfirenews.org.

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Raleigh Fire Facility Updates – Summer 2019

What’s happening with the city’s fire department construction projects? Here’s your summer update… 

Station 6  – Construction continues on rebuilding Station 6 on Fairview Road. Concrete masonry unit walls are finished on the first story, and construction continues upward with the second-floor slab placed. Planned completion January 2020.

The 1949 engine house was closed in May 2017, and Engine 6 was relocated to Station 5. Project progress has been slower in all phases, alas. During site prep, there was fuel contamination from an underground storage tank, as well as unsuitable soils for compaction and structure.

And as the walls have started going up, the pace is slower due to the very small site size, which adds a limit to on-site materials and activities at any time. See photos | read blog post

Station 11 – Renovations to Station 11 on Glen Eden Road are well-underway. Ladder 2 relocated to Station 25 on October 27, and Station 11 was vacated on December 5, when Engine 7 relocated to Station 7.

Renovations started in February, after demolition of the apparatus bay. The new, expanded bay structure has been completed, and interior work has started. Planned completion November 2019. See photos | read blog post.

Station 14 – Site work is nearly finished on new Station 14 on Harden Road. Sediment monitoring is nearing completion for the back fill of the retaining wall and footers and under-slab utilities should begin in July 2019.

Nearly identical to newly completed Station 12, it will replace a 3616 square-foot, 1974 engine house on Lake Boone Trail, with a 17,000 square-foot facility. See photos | read blog post.

Station 22 – The relocation of Station 22 on Durant Road is underway. Engine 22 and Ladder 5 were relocated to temporary quarters on February 5, 2019, at the Falls of Neuse water plant and Station 25 respectively. Haz-Mat 4, the decon unit, was also moved to Station 25.

 Demolition of the vacated fire station was done in March and April. The new station will be erected at 10050 Durant Road.  

Currently in design and plan review, facility is estimated to begin construction in the spring of 2020. The design team has to submit documents to the Board of Adjustment in August 2019 for final determination on multiple requested variances. See photos | read blog post.

Other updates:

New Station 1/HQ – Still planned for South Street between Dawson and McDowell street. The planned site is currently used as a vendor lot for the convention center. The city is in the process of purchasing nearby land as a replacement site for the vendor lot. Design of the new facility will commence in the fall of 2019, upon the closing of the South Street site.  

Renovating Station 15 – Design development complete and renovation construction documents being prepared for potential bid in the fall of 2019.  Targeting construction to begin upon the completion of Station 11 renovations, and moving Engine 11 and Ladder 2 (at Station 15) back to their quarters. This is the latest in a multi-year project to update legacy fire stations, after Station 5 and Station 2. 

New Training Center, Phase 1 – Land acquisition and preliminary services have been funded for FY20.  That’s the first part of the Phase 1 development, which is funded in FY20 and beyond. Planned site in the Battle Bridge Road area.     

Plans for relocating Station 3 (Rock Quarry Road) and new Station 13 (Ronald Drive) have been pushed out. They’ll be funded in a future coming budget year.   

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Seagrave Painter’s Log – 1906 to 1951

https://www.legeros.com/history/library

Added my digital history library. Have had for a couple years. Bought on eBay. List originally saved by Eric A. Sprenger (“Mr. Seagrave”), then shared by Ken Soderbeck. Original date unknown.

Scan of second-generation (or more) photocopy. Close as we’ll get to a Seagrave delivery list, I guess.

How many were delivered to North Carolina? See this blog post, from 2016: https://legeros.com/blog/seagrave-deliveries-in-north-carolina-1906-to-1951.

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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 grass. The driver, Robert Glenn Broadstreet Jr., was pinned beneath the truck. “Observers in the vicinity,” reported newspaper accounts, rushed to the scene, rescued the driver, and took him and the other firemen to the hospital.

Broadstreet was conscious and “apparently suffering no ill effects other than cuts” when he arrived at Craven County Hospital. During the night, however, he suffered a cerebral hemorrhage and entered a coma.

Three volunteer firemen were also aboard, and all suffered injuries and were also taken to the hospital: A. A. Kafer, with a fractured elbow and broken ankle; Clyde Smith, with shock; and Tim Connor, with no serious injury.

On Saturday, March 3, he underwent surgery to remove a blood clot on his brain. The operation was performed by a neurosurgeon who flew in from Winston-Salem. The three-hour operation was “regarded a success.”

Broadstreet was a new driver, who had started on February 15, noted the news story. This was his “fourth run.” The apparatus, described as “the old International,” responded from a fire at Askew Cleaners. It overturned while making the turn from Highway 17 onto Chattawka Lane, the reported location of the grass fire.

Broadstreet died from his injuries twelve years later, on January 5, 1963. He was 35 years old. He died at Craven County Hospital. Noted his obituary, he had “been ailing” from the 1951 accident. He was buried at New Bern Memorial Cemetery on Sunday, January 6, following funeral services at Pollock Chapel.

His death certificate lists “convolution” due to “severe brain injury” years ago as the cause.

The “old International” had its equipment all removed and was “carried to the city yard.” Except… NBFD didn’t have an International pumper on the roster! Mystery there, for someone to solve…

Supporting docs are below. Click to enlarge:


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New Book on New Bern Fire History

New book alert!

History of Firefighting in New Bern, North Carolina – Colonial Days to the 21st Century has been published. The author is Daniel Bartholf, a 45-year veteran of the volunteer fire service (NY, NC, WV) and a member of the staff at the New Bern Firemen’s Museum. His bio is below.

The softcover book measures 8.5 by 11 inches and has 234  pages. There are some 200+ images (by my count), and numerous, glorious pictures of NBFD in the days before motor apparatus. The book is self-published.

Paging Through

Here’s a video preview of the book, paging backwards through the chapters:

Table of Contents

Here’s the table of contents:

  • Preface
  • Chapter 1 – Colonial Times Thru 1861
  • Chapter 2 – Civil War Years
  • Chapter 3 – Post Civil War to 1900
  • Chapter 4 – Black Fire Companies
  • Chapter 5 – Other Independent Fire Companies
  • Chapter 6 – Notable Chief Engineers of the 19 th Century
  • Chapter 7 – Early 1900s
  • Chapter 8 – The Great Fire December 1, 1922
  • Chapter 9 – 1923-1959
  • Chapter 10 – 1960-1999
  • Chapter 11 – 2000-Present
  • Chapter 12 – Competition 1880s-early 20 th Century
  • Chapter 13 – The Horses
  • Chapter 14 – The Mystery of the Missing Fire Truck
  • Chapter 15 – New Bern Firemen’s Museum
  • Appendix A – History of New Bern fire companies
  • Appendix B – Chief Engineers of New Bern Fire Dept. 1800s
  • Appendix C – Chiefs of New Bern Fire Dept 1900-Present
  • Appendic D – A Snapshot in Time of the Department
  • Appendix E – 1875 New Bern Steam Engine
  • Appendix F – Roster of 1828 Fire Companies
  • Appendix G – Fire Stations
  • Appendix H – Fire Apparatus
  • Appendix I – Notification of Fire

Ordering Information

The book is sold on Amazon and Barnes and Noble, for starters. The retail price is $29.99. Copies can be obtained from the author himself. Contact wxman232@yahoo.com. 

Bartholf will also be attending the fire truck festival at the North Carolina Transportation Museum in Spencer, NC, on Saturday, June 22. He’ll have a table in the Back Shop.

About The Author

Daniel Bartholf is a 45-year veteran of the volunteer fire service, serving mainly in several departments in New York state, but also in North Carolina and West Virginia. He has held positions of Fire Chief, Assistant Chief, Captain and Lieutenant, and was certified as a Level II Firefighter.

In addition, he was certified as a Hazmat Technician, was a member of the Onondaga County (Syracuse) Underwater Recovery Team (SCUBA), and wrote articles for Fire Chief, Firehouse, and Engine Engine! (official publication of SPAAMFAA) magazines.

He was employed as a meteorologist with the National Weather Service for 35 years and served in offices in Buffalo, Albany, Syracuse, Newport (NC), and Charleston (WV).

Dan holds a Bachelor of Science Degree in Meteorology from the State University of New York at Oneonta, and a Masters Degree in Public Administration and Emergency Management from Jacksonville (FL) State University.

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