Starting on September 1, 2013, and running through August 13, 2014, the Capitol Heights Volunteer Fire Department will highlight defining and distinguishing moments in our century of service to the Town of Capitol Heights and Prince George's County. "This Date in CHVFD History" will be profiled on our website, Facebook and through articles or news releases.
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June 4, 1913
4th of July Carnival Held by CHVFD
A 4th of July carnival was held to raise funds for the purchasing of equipment. The carnival committee members included Louis F. Litz, George A. Adams, William H. McGinnis, H.E. Burns and Mr. Pierce. This would be one of the many carnivals held over the years to raise funds for the department.
June 4, 1914
Firehouse Dedication Held on Fourth of July
Capitol Heights held it’s annual 4th of July celebration. Included in the celebration was the dedication of the new fire house, located on 61st Avenue (now Capitol Heights Boulevard).
June 4, 1921
10 Injured in Riot at CHVFD Carnival
Ten (10) people were injured, two (2) seriously, at a benefit carnival for the Capitol Heights Volunteer Fire Department. The incident occurred when a police officer from the 6th Precinct and his brother went on a rampage. Justice of the Peace J.E. Weast issued warrants for their arrest and the two brothers stood trial for assault.
July 17, 1933
Funeral Services for Captain Charles A. Keefe Held at Firehouse
Funeral services for Captain Charles A. Keefe were held at the fire house. Captain Keefe was killed in a motorcycle accident. Pallbearers included Al Dorman, Norris Simpson, Neal McFarlane, O. Porter, J. Crawford, and George Finger.
July 17, 1939
Box of Matches Explodes, Five Year Old Girl Critically Burned
The Washington Post reports that a five year old girl was critically burned when a box of matches exploded in her hands while in the yard of her family’s home on Central Avenue. The girl’s mother and father were also burned, but their injuries were less serious.
July 20, 1961
Current Firehouse Dedicated
The new firehouse, located at 6061 Central Avenue was dedicated and the move was made from the old firehouse. Chief William A. “Andy” Devine, Jr., President Alfred Laughery, Ladies Auxiliary President Helen Maxwell, and Mayor Elmer Hockman helped put the cornerstone in place. Subsequently, the old firehouse was sold to the Town of Capitol Heights and is used as the Town Hall.
July 22, 1919
Mayor Gabriel, Members Organize Welcome Home for World War I Soldiers
Mayor John Gabriel, chairman of the “Welcome Home Club”, held a meeting at the Capitol Heights fire station to make preliminary arrangements for a welcome home ceremony for those town residents returning home from World War I.
July 23, 2003
Dwayne Frost Deployed with Operation Enduring Freedom
After the terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001, Volunteer Firefighter Dwayne A. Frost Sr.’s national guard unit was deployed and he was assigned to the force protection detail under Operation Enduring Freedom. His unit was later deployed to Iraq as part of Operation Iraqi Freedom. On this date, Sergeant Frost was seriously injured by shrapnel when a suicide bomber attacked the Humvee he and others were riding in downtown Bagdad, Iraq. Sgt. Frost is still on active duty today serving in the Wounded Warrior Brigade at Fort Belvoir.
PFC Julius Vajda Earns Bronze Star
PFC Julius Vajda, CHVFD member, was tasked as a runner to take valuable information about enemy positions to a nearby platoon. During his mission he dodged enemy fire and took cover by jumping into a foxhole, not knowing it was occupied by a German soldier. Vajda overpowered the soldier and took him prisoner. He continued on his mission with the prisoner. His actions on this day are credited with saving lives and he was later awarded the Bronze Star
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We will be posting other dates in Capitol Heights Volunteer Fire Deparment history. Check back often to see more interesting items in our history!