For your Friday enjoyment, here's a vintage photo of the Morehead City Fire Department. That's an FWD engine in front of the old fire station on Evans Street, part of the old town hall. If memory services, an MCFD member later died while operating that engine, suffering a fatal heart attack while returning from a drill. Those in the know, please confirm or correct. The photo is circa 1950s. The people are unknown. Learn more about MHFD. Click to enlarge:
When this truck was brand new, it overturned near the prison in Newport while out on a drill. The driver was killed in the accident and the other 2 firefighters on the truck were injured. The truck was repaired and served Morehead City till the 1970’s till it was sold to the Sea Level FD.
The truck was sold again and turned into a wrecker. It is now parked on Hibbs Road outside Newport being used as a sign in front of a garage.
jc - 10/13/08 - 15:01
Can you provide a date for the accident?
Legeros - 10/13/08 - 16:55
The date of the accident was May 1,1951. I found the old newspaper clipping I have.
They had been drafting at a creek near Newport testing the truck. The town had not signed the papers accepting the truck. After the accident the truck was put on a rail car and sent back to fwd for repairs.
jc - 10/14/08 - 13:37
Thanks for the date. Here’s some more information from our local history library. Andrew Jenkins Bell, 54, died of head and chest injuries. He was employed as an engineer at MHFD. He’d been a member of the fire department for nearly two decades. Fire Chief Grady Bell, 41, was injured. He was Andrew’s brother and worked as a mechanic. He suffered a fractured spine, shock and possible internal injuries. Alex Lewis was also riding. He was thrown from the truck, but able to walk away. City officials had gathered shortly before the accident to watch the demonstration of the $11,000 truck. They had left, satisfied with the purchase. It was cited as one of the most modern fire trucks in Eastern North Carolina. The accident occurred on a curve, and the truck struck an embankment and overturned onto its side. It happened in the late afternoon, about 15 miles west of Morehead City. Sources: News & Observer and Raleigh Times from May 2, 1951, and Bell’s death certificate.
Legeros - 10/14/08 - 17:10
Is no one simply amazed at Mike’s ability to find fire-related facts and figures? Great job, Mike! Great info and it sounds like you didn’t even have to get near Morehead.
Shocked & Amazed - 10/14/08 - 17:20