WASHINGTON, N.C. (WNCT) – More than 100 years ago the first firefighter to die in the line of duty in North Carolina was from Washington. Edward Peed was part of the first African American volunteer fire department in the city. Dozens gathered to honor the local hero from Washington.
“Edward took it upon himself to into the great fire zone, he was putting out hot spots and then he lost his life,” William Pitt said.
Firefighter William Pitt says everyone needs to read and learn about Edward Peed.
“There were two fire departments in Washington, one black and one white. Legend had it that no one crossed the boundary. Edward took it upon himself in 1902 to cross the boundary and assist the other department.”
William Faust says it’s important to honor Peed during Black History Month.
“That’s what history is about, where we came, how we got here and the people who brought us here,” Faust said.
Everyone took a moment of silence by his memorial at station one. The City of Washington hopes to get a DOT marker in Peed’s name.
Peed is one of many who risked his life to help someone he may have never met. Pitt says more people need to follow in his footsteps.
Pitt said, “If we all start helping, we won’t have the problems we do now.”