October History of the Roanoke Fire Service

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Fire Station #9 was opened on October 2, 1929 at 0700 hours. The station located at 514 24th Street NW cost $10,800 to build. 8 men were assigned to the station. This picture was taken on July 21, 1932. Fire Station #9 is still open today and houses Engine 9 and Medic 9. The station has only been modified a little over the years. This is the station where I was assigned when I got out of Recruit School #15. The crew was Lt. Mark Ingvaldsen (acting Captain), FF/PM Keith “Oh God” Blankenship, FF/CT Kevin Akers, FF/PM Dennis Hayes, FF Jeremy “Bedsore” Bennington, and FF Rhett Fleitz (me). On October 7, 1972 Assistant Fire Chief Carl A. Cox died of a heart attack on the scene of a house fire at 332 Patton Ave. Cox was a 37 year veteran of the Department and was scheduled to retire on November 10, 1972. It is believed that the night that Chief Cox died was his last night on duty and that the rest of his days before Nov. 10th were vacation days. Since that fateful night each time someone retires they are sent home at 5 pm after one last hearty meal with their crew, usually a steak dinner. For more information see the RFFA historical timeline.

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