86th Anniversary of the Line-of-Duty death of Wilmington Fire Chief Charles Schnibben, WFD Fire Chief of 37 years
On June 16th, 1933, Wilmington Fire Chief Charles Schnibben, along with his driver, was enroute to an alarm when he swerved to avoid a truck at Fourth & Dawson Streets. His vehicle overturnedthree times, severely injuring the Chief. He was taken to the hospital, where he died a few hours afterward. His body lay in state at City Hall and was later carried to Oakdale Cemetery on a pumper.
During his 37 years as the Fire Chief, he had helped bring the department to a peak of efficiency, setting the standard for years to come. He was appointed chief of the paid department when it was established in 1897. He also was a volunteer member of the Howard Relief Fire Company before the days of the paid department.
The Star News wrote "He loved to serve and died in action carrying out the important responsibility entrusted to him." Remembrance flags have been placed at Chief Schnibben's grave site for the week in his honor.