Locke Fire Department to have open house, firefighter memorial dedication
By Shavonne Walker
SALISBURY — More than a year ago, Locke Fire Department lost one of their own, Lt. Chris Phillips, to a heart attack. Now 14 months after his death the department will honor him and James Shue, a fire captain who died 21 years ago.
The deceased firefighters’ names will be part of a newly built firefighters’ memorial at the station, located at 5405 Mooresville Road. The community is invited Sunday from 2 p.m. to 5 p.m. for a public dedication to those men.
The memorial will also be a place to honor those past and current firefighters who’ve served at Locke Fire Department and will bear the names of all past and present chiefs — Earl Davis, Greer Goodman, Narvie Bonds, Jason Brown and current chief Rusty Alexander.
Those in attendance will also be able to tour the fire station during the open house as well as meet the firefighters.
Shue was killed Dec. 14, 1995, when the engine he was driving overturned while en route to a call for smoke in a structure. The call turned out to be a false alarm. Two other firefighters were injured in the crash.
Phillips died hours after responding to a fatal car crash Aug. 27 at his home. He’d gone home after responding to the crash earlier in the day and had a heart attack around 1 a.m. Phillips had also been an assistant fire chief with Churchland Fire Department in Linwood before he joined Locke full time.
He’d worked at Novant Health Rowan Medical Center as a security guard before working at Locke Fire Department.
This year also marks the department’s 60th year. The memorial had been in the works and happened to coincide with the departments anniversary celebration.
Alexander said the memorial was made possible through donations from people in the community including members of the Shue family, firefighters, and two insurance companies.
He explained that in the firefighters’ insurance policy is a clause that covers part of the cost of a memorial created for a firefighter who dies in the line of duty.
Longtime mason David Miller provided the masonry work for the memorial.
Contact reporter Shavonne Walker at 704-797-4253.
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