Joesph "Joe" James Solito  

August 24, 1914  -  July 29, 1953 at age 39  

 

Born :   in Lake Charles, Louisiana                
Entered Fire Department :
1938
Duty :
Chauffeur at Station # 8  
Buried :
Forest Park Cemetery, Lawndale, Gethsemani 50, Plot 6

On July 29, 1953, the Houston Fire Department lost  two fire fighters, Joe Solito and Fidel Chabolla  when Engine 8 and Ladder 1 collided at the intersection of Preston and Crawford while responding to the fire alarm box at Gable Street and the MKT Railroad tracks. There were several factors that put the two fire apparatus together in the intersection at the same time. Engine 10 was the Fire Company due to respond, but it was on another assignment. Engine 8 was then ordered to respond to the fire alarm box. Ladder 1 had trouble starting, thus delaying its departure. Neither of the two fire crews were expecting the other to be anywhere near the intersection. Both apparatus reached the intersection of Preston and Crawford at the same time with a terrible crash. Fire fighters, fire equipment, and pieces of fire trucks were scattered over the intersection. Seven fire fighters were injured and transported to area hospitals. Solito and Chabolla were also transported to the hospital. They arrived at the hospital in critical condition and were pronounced dead a short time later.

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