Friday, May 7, 2010

A. L. Duckett, Asheville Fire Chief

Asheville (North Carolina) Fire Chief A. L. Duckett became Chief on January 23, 1920, after 23 years on the line. He fought at most of the fires that defined the department at the time. He was Chief when Headquarters moved from Pack Square to the Municipal Building in 1925 and was a strong advocate of fire prevention. He was instrumental in starting the North Carolina Fire School, and the department received four major awards from the NFPA for fire prevention. He also saw the opening of Stations 4 and 5. On December 9, 1938, Chief Duckett retired with 43 years of service to the city of Asheville. He died less than a year later at the age of 62. He received full honors as the bell atop City Hall tolled once for every year of his age. J.C. Fitzgerald was promoted to Chief on December 9, 1938. Like Chief Duckett, Chief Fitzgerald had been a member of the department for 22 years prior to his promotion. He had fought the hard fires and seen many dramatic changes the department experienced. He was well seasoned and an excellent fireman.


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