02/23/10 166 W - + 9 - 6 Statesville Fire Chief Dies While Fighting Blaze, 1936

On Sunday, November 16, 1936, Statesville Fire Chief W. L. Neely, 53, died while fighting a fire at the home of G. E. French. Chief Neely was apparently overcome by heat and smoke while in the attic of the house. He was dead by the time he was brought to the yard, with the cause of death declared as a heart attack. Chief Neely had had heart trouble for some time. The funeral was held at his residence on Davie Avenue on Tuesday, November 18, and burial followed in the family plot at Oakwood Cemetary. William Lloyd Neely was born in Rowan County, but had lived in Statevilles since childhood. He had served in the fire department for about 25 years, including a number of years as Assistant Chief and Fire Chief. He was a former city tax collector, and had worked in the retail grocery business for many years. He was survived by a wife and ten children. Source: News & Observer, November 16, 1936.

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