John Sellis Little Sr.

November 19, 1883  -  July 11, 1929 at age 46  

 

Born : in Knoxville, Tennessee                
Entered Fire Department:
June 4, 1913
Duty
: Captain at Station # 18  
Buried : Forest Park Cemetery, Lawndale, Section 27, Plot 59, Space 12 

Captain John Little, Firefighters Harry Oxford and Edgar Grant died from their injuries sustained in a collision between Engine 18 and a Gulf Coast Line Railroad train. The fifty-four car train struck Engine 18 at Telephone Road and Lombardy Street and completely destoryed the fire engine and three precious human lives. 

On the evening of July 2, 1929, Engine 18 was dispatched to a house fire at 2426 Wilshire. The house fire produce a large orange glow in the dark sky and had distracted the firefighters from not noticing the oncoming train as it struck Engine 18 broadside knocking it on the tracks and turning it upside down.

Captain Little, had obtained the rank of District Chief. He had a dispute with the administration of the fire department concerning his poll tax.  In short, he did not vote the way the administration thought he should. For this he was demoted to the rank of captain and sent to Station 18. This is what put him in the wrong place at the right time to be involve in the fatal accident. 

Chief Little fought hard for his live in Memorial Baptist Hospital for nine days, undergoing numerous operation in an effort to preserve  his  life, but losing the battle on July 11, 1929. John Little was to leave the next day after working for a family vacation.

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