19th anniversary of Firefighter’s death

LEXINGTON, Ky. (WTVQ) –Wednesday marks the 19th anniversary of the death of Lexington Firefighter Charles “Chuck” Williams.

Williams died on February 17th, 1997, after his crew was dispatched to a structure fire on Addison Avenue. Just after 9 a.m., Williams attempted to pull lines through the front door with his teammate, FF Jerry Ray Jr.

Both firefighters fell through the floor as it collapsed, says the NIOSH incident report. They landed in the basement, becoming disoriented. Investigators later found out it had been arson that lit the fires – starting in the basement.

The crew realized the two firefighters were missing after a few minutes, and quickly began numerous rescue attempts.

Unfortunately, only FF Ray Jr. made it out alive.

Williams was 29 years old at the time of his death, outlived by his father, a retired Lexington firefighter. On February 20th, 1997, FF Charles Williams the second was laid to rest in the Lexington Cemetery. The plot was originally intended for his father.

FF William’s death drove the City of Lexington to install a new radio system, to improve communications for the fire department. This new system allowed faster communication between firefighters, so members could call for help without a delay in rescue that may cost them their life.

Categories: Local News, News

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