By Dionna Adams.-

Carlos Negron will never be forgotten by the Jersey City Fire Department Jersey City Fire Chief Steven McGill said.

Twenty four years ago, on March 20th, Firefighter Carlos Negron lost his life while he and a fellow firefighter were operating at a fire in a three-story dwelling.

Just a block away from where Negron lived, while picking up groceries at a local store, Negron heard shouts of “Fire”  and instinctually, ran to the scene to assist.

First-alarm companies stretched hose lines and began to set up ground ladders against the building. Aerial ladders from the trucks could not be used due to overhead power lines . While the members of Truck 7 were setting up an extension ladder on the narrow snowy sidewalk to reach the third-floor, the ladder brushed against an overhead high voltage line.

Negron and Walter Milne were knocked unconscious by the electric shock and were transported to nearby Christ Hospital. Firefighter Milne was revived and spent some 60-days in St. Barnabas Burn Center in Livingston and later returned to duty. Negron unfortunately could not be revived and died from his injuries.

Carlos Negron and his brother Frank lived next door to the Gong Club’s firehouse, an organization of fire buffs that operate a canteen truck that responds to multiple-alarm fires in Hudson County. Hanging out at the club is where they got their interest in the fire service. When came of age they both ended up joining the club and were later appointed to the Jersey City Fire Department.

In honor of Negron and his bravery, Chief Mc Gill and Battalion Chief Richard Gorman set up a memorial in front of the building where he died in the line of duty for the 24th anniversary of his death. A wreath was placed at the front of the building as Chief Mc Gill and FDJC Chaplain, Father Pagnotta, spoke of Carlos, who was a personal friend to both.

Negron’s son, Carlos Jr., a Jersey City Medical Center EMT, and his daughter Susan, a Hoboken police dispatcher, were both in attendance. Susan gave an emotional speech about her father. She says she remembers that morning when Carlos said he was going to the store. She said, “I love you daddy.” She continued, stating that the fire department and Gong Club became family.

The wreath was then marched to the corner street sign at Palisade Avenue and Hutton St., which is also known as “Carlos Negron Place”. Here, the firefighters offered Carlos a salute. The wreath was then transported to the Palisade Avenue firehouse, which is also named after Negron, and placed next to his memorial plaque in the hallway.

Photos by Ron Jeffers
Photos by Ron Jeffers
Photos by Ron Jeffers
Photos by Ron Jeffers