12/07/14 244 W - + 8 - 4 Charlotte Engine Hit by Train, 1973

Here's another Hose & Nozzle find from my files, this one reprinting a Charlotte News story by Ken Garland from the summer of 1973. Appeared in the July-August issue of that year's magazine. 

Charlotte Engine 2 was struck by a train, while crossing at Bland Street behind the Lance Inc. building off South Boulevard. Neither the apparatus nor the train saw each other, said District Chief Kenneth Helms.

The company was answering a box-transmitted alarm at Wilmore and Summitt. (Was a false call.) The crossing had no signals, said the Chief. He described it as a "blind crossing because the old Lance Building comes right up to the tracks and neither could see."

Engine 2 was pushed down the tracks about 25 feet. The apparatus sustained considerable damage. The firefighters aboard were all transported for observation. None were treated.

Historical Perspective

Just how many apparatus versus train accidents have happened in North Carolina, over the decades? More than a few, including as memory serves a brush truck from western Wake County. Maybe was from Morrisville?

The worst such accident happened in Fayetteville. On March 17, 2000, Fire Engineer David Sharp died after the aerial tower he was driving was struck by a train. He was the lone occupant of the apparatus, and was returning from an automatic fire alarm. The aerial was a 1993 Pierce Arrow tower (_/_/100-foot)  that was acquired from Bonnie Doone FD. The rear-mount rig was serving as Truck 1.

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