Sandy Township, PA – Sandy Township firefighters honored a fallen member who had died nearly 80 years ago.
David Rowe had been a member of what is now the West Sandy Fire Company.
He had been fighting a dangerous duplex fire in the old Wayne Schoolhouse section of DuBois in January of 1940. The fire crews managed to save the families involved, including a little girl, but Rowe fell on the outside stairs as he was helping to fight the flames.
He broke his kneecap and was taken to the hospital, where he died of a blood infection 10 days later.
He was 25 years old.
Last week, the fire crews from Sandy Township got together to pay a special tribute to the man who lost his life in the line of duty.
Listen to the full interview with family members and firefighters.
Kevin Snyder, had been looking into his family history for his mother-in-law when he started delving deeper into Rowe’s life.
Kim Shaffer-Snyder, Kevin’s wife, is David Rowe’s grandniece.
Kim’s mother and Kevin’s mother-in-law, Jane Ann Shaffer, was Rowe’s niece. Rowe died shortly before she was born, but she was always told that David Rowe was looking forward to having a little niece.
The fire company had known about Rowe’s death but did not have any information that it had been a line-of-duty death. After Snyder received the birth certificate and found more information about the man, he had asked the fire station if they would be able to put a flag on Rowe’s grave.
Even better, Bob Wilson, a lifelong member of the Sandy Township fire crew, helped coordinate the memorial ceremony. Assistant Fire Chief Jeff Roy of the West Sandy Fire Company helped with the service.
In addition to the ceremony that was held in his honor, Rowe’s picture will now be in the firehouse, along with a bronze plaque.
Rowe’s name will also be added to the DuBois Area Firefighters Memorial in the DuBois City Park.
A flag will be added to Rowe’s burial plot in Morningside Cemetery in DuBois.