Lieutenant G. W. Kimball died as a result of injuries sustained while fighting a residential fire. (Submitted by grandson, Andrew LaRowe)
On Wednesday night, July 15, 1915, Winston-Salem Fire Company No. 2 went to help put out a small blaze. Upon finding that the fire was located in the tailoring shop of H. Miller in the Paramount Theater Building, the firefighters broke into a storeroom. They found a blazing ironing board with electric iron on it. Thinking that the electric iron was the cause of the conflagration, twenty-two year old fireman Jonah Dee Kiser attempted to cut the iron’s current. However, the firefighter received an electrical shock that knocked him. According to the July 16 edition of the Winston-Salem Journal, the electric shock “knocked him unconscious and caused almost instant death.” › Continue reading
In the early morning of November 28, 1932, Winston-Salem Fire Department chief Harry E. Nissen responded to a house fire in western Winston-Salem. When that fire was under control, Nissen departed for another fire in the city’s eastern section. He rode in a red automobile used by the fire department with its siren blaring.
Fireman George Jenkins drove the car. At approximately 2:25 A.M., a Greyhound bus struck the car around the right rear wheel. The collision threw the two men from the car. An ambulance took the firemen to City Hospital. Nissen died at City Hospital without gaining consciousness. Jenkins was severely injured. Nissen was a Winston-Salem native. When he was a young man, Nissen joined the “Rough and Ready” volunteer fire company of Salem. When Winston and Salem merged in 1913, he became chief of the unified fire departments. Chief Nissen was a dedicated firefighter. He spent part of his time at home and the other time at the fire station. However, most of the time, Nissen was on duty. He even had a fire alarm at his home. The chief took part in fighting a fire right alongside his men. Fireman Jenkins said Nissen “wasn’t a fellow that would say go do something. He would say, let’s go.” Another fireman stated that the chief “would do anything the men would do.” (Both quotes come from North Carolina Reports, Volume 206, pages 890-891.)
North Carolina Supreme Court. Mrs. Eva Nissen, Widow of Harry E. Nissen, Deceased, Employee, v. City of Winston-Salem, Employer, Self-Insurer, North Carolina Reports 206 (Spring Term 1934): 888-893.
Wachovia Bank and Trust Company, Executor of Harry E. Nissen, Deceased v. Atlantic Greyhound Lines of North Carolina, Inc., and Bernie W. Phillips, Case 36S-744, North Carolina Supreme Court Original Cases, 1930-1939, North Carolina State Archives, Raleigh.
Winston-Salem Journal, November 28, 1932, and November 29, 1932.
On late Tuesday night on July 13, 1920, a fire truck from Fire Company No. 1 of the Winston-Salem Fire Department responded to a distress signal from a fire alarm box. The truck sped down Liberty Street with all the firefighters. A car pulled onto Liberty Street from Fifth Street. At the time, a police wagon was also parked on the right side of the street in front of the Atlantic and Pacific Tea Company and another vehicle was on the left parked by the Dean Hotel. On Liberty Street, the fire truck has slowed to turn on to Fifth Street. Suddenly, a moving car came out from behind the police wagon. The action blocked the street except for a few feet. To avoid an accident, the fire truck driver, J. L. Snyder, applied his brakes and swerved his vehicle sharply, but it began to skid on the street that was still wet after being cleansed by the “street flusher.” › Continue reading
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