Raleigh Fire Department History

Line of Duty Deaths


Herman S. Jones
January 22, 2008
Lt. Herman S. Jones, 58, died after suffering an apparent heart attack.. He was on duty Friday, January 18, at Station 10, when he began to experience chest pains. He was transported to WakeMed and then to UNC Hospital in Chapel Hill. He died at the hospital on January 22, 2008. Lt. Jones began his service with the Raleigh Fire Department on May 5, 1980, and was promoted to the rank of Lieutenant on June 16, 2001.

He was buried following a church service on Saturday, January 26, at Juniper Level Baptist Church in Raleigh. Captain Ronald Ricks, Firefighter Joseph Callender, Firefighter Patrick Canady, Lieutenant Gregory Buxton, Senior Firefighter George Jones Sr., and Senior Firefighter Michael Barnes served as pallbearers. Photo courtesy Raleigh Fire Department.


Paul A. Mimms
April 20, 1965
Firefighter II Paul A. "Pallie" Mimms, 41, died of an apparent heart attack while operating a pumper at a commercial structure fire, at  1908 Hillsboro Street. He fainted at the pump panel and was pronounced dead on arrival at Rex Hospital. The fire at Norden Laboratories Incorporated was discovered about 12:15 a.m. Mimms was the driver of Engine 5.

Funeral services were held on April 22 at Overby Mortuary Chapel in Raleigh, with burial at Montlawn Memorial Park the same day. Mimms joined the Raleigh Fire Department on July 16, 1951. Photo courtesy Joe Mimms. More information.


Vernon J. Smith
March 10, 1956
Driver Vernon J. Smith, 44, died at Rex Hospital, succumbing to injuries occurred November 14, 1952 while operating Engine 6. The 1926 American LaFrance pumper, being operated as a reserve unit, overturned while returning from a call at the sharp curve where Brooks Avenue turns into Lewis Farm Road.

The 1:00 p.m. accident also pinned Captain James T. White under the wreckage and injured the three firefighters hanging onto the tailboard. The accident was blamed on a broken brake lever and the City Council immediately approved funding for a new pumper, to retire the other 1926 reserve pumper as soon as possible.

The other firefighters recovered from their injuries, while Smith underwent 29 operations before his death. Funeral services were held on March 12 at Hayes Barton Baptist Church, with burial at Montlawn Cemetery the same day. Fire Chief Jack B. Keeter, Assistant Fire Chief R. Lee Matthews, and fire department members James M. Burnette, James T. White, Herbert E. Partin, and Jack T. Wall served as pallbearers. Smith joined the Raleigh Fire Department on July 17, 1942. Photo courtesy Harold Smith. More information.



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