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Past Records Help Tell the 1936 Story of a Fallen Cheltenham Firefighter
Posted on Wednesday March 27, 2019
Members of the Cheltenham Fire Company held a plaque dedication ceremony in honor of fallen firefighter Frank R. Evans
Past Records Help Tell the 1936 Story of a Fallen Cheltenham Township Firefighter

Elkins Park, PA – On Saturday, March 16, 2019, the officers and members of the Cheltenham Fire Company
held a plaque dedication ceremony at the Cheltenham Fire Company in honor of fallen firefighter
Frank R. Evans who was killed in the line of duty in 1936. Area firefighters, elected and appointed
officials, three generations of the Evans family, the Philadelphia Police & Fire Pipes & Drums Band
were all in attendance to honor Evans.

Evans was born on April 21, 1869, and joined the Cheltenham Hook & Ladder Company with his
brother William Evans in 1918. On March 16, 1936, Evans responded to a call for a field fire in
Rowland Park, and was injured attempting to board the fire truck while in motion. Evans was taken to
the Abington Hospital, where he died at 8:30 p.m. the same day. He was survived by his wife, Lovinia,
son George and daughter Violet.

Fallen FireFighter Photos 1-2
Photo1: Frank oined the fire company with his brother, William Evans in 1918 when the station was
located at 514 Ryers Avenue, Cheltenham PA

Photo 2: The Cheltenham Fire Co. at their second location, 413 Ryers Avenue, in 1936. Evans was killed trying to board the middle truck, a 1929 Mack Pumper.

Jim McCann, an active, lifetime member of the Cheltenham Hook & Ladder Company said “I heard stories of a firefighter who lost his life getting on the truck on the way to a fire in 1936, but there were no photos or information on him in the fire house.” In 2008, McCann began looking into Evans history, and he found the 1936, report in company meeting minutes for the fire that ended Evans’ life. The Cheltenham Fire Company and McCann wanted to honor Evans, which led to securing the plaque and dedication ceremony on March 16, 2019, the 83rd anniversary of his death.

The Evans’ death occurred before the National Fallen Firefighters Memorial was built in Emmitsburg, Maryland. Evans has not been honored at the Memorial Site, but there are plans to recognize him there in the future. Evans was added to Project Roll Call on the website, and a brick was purchased in his name to be added to the Memory Walk in December of 2019.

Fallen FireFighter 3-4

Photo 3: Three generations of the Evans family (Photo by Darla Schuck)

Photo 4: On the left Dan Widmeier, President, Cheltenham Fire Company and Jim McCann on the right holding the box of roses that were given to the Evans family. (Photo by Darla Schuck)

Doug Evans, Frank Evans’ great-grandson was present at the ceremony, along with 16 other members of the Evans family.The ceremony was attended by Commissioner Irv Brockington (Ward 7), Joe Gale, Montgomery County Commissioner; Megan Gorman, representative; Sate Representative Steve McCarter; Bryan Havir, Cheltenham Township, Manager; Joe O’Neill, Cheltenham Township Fire Marshall; Adam Thiel, Philadelphia Fire Commissioner, and numerous members of Cheltenham Township and surrounding fire companies. Dan Widmeier President, Cheltenham Fire Company r
ead a Citation from The Office of Senator Art Haywood honoring Frank R. Evans. Megan Gorman from Representative Steve McCarter's Office read a Citation honoring Frank R. Evans.

Fallen Firefighter Photo 5-7

Photos 5 & 7: On the left Dan Widmeier President, Cheltenham Fire Company and Adam Thiel, Philadelphia Fire Commissioner unveil the plaque at Cheltenham Fire Company. (Photo by Darla Schuck)

Photo 6: The plaque in honor of Frank E. Evans. hangs on the wall of the Cheltenham Fire Company firehouse.(Photo by Darla Schuck)

Cheltenham Fire Company

Photo 8: (above) Cheltenham Fire Company (Photo by Darla Schuck)

Fire Marshalls Evans


Photo 9:
Above on the On the left  Fire Company Deputy Chief Tim Schuck and on the right Fire Marshal Joe O'Neil
l (Photo by Darla Schuck)


Cheltenham Township   ~   8230 Old York Road   ~   Elkins Park, PA 19027
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