Changes at Norfolk.
Changes have taken place in the fire department of Norfolk, Va. John T. Kegebein, who for so many years was chief of the city’s corps of firefighters has retired, and Richard F. McLaughlin, captain of No. 2 company, has taken his place. A local paper thus speaks of the former chief: “Fire Chief John T. Kegebein, whose term of office has expired, is regarded as one of the ablest firefighters in the country. He, too, came from the ranks through meritorious service, having been, prior to his promotion to head of the department, captain of No. 1 chemical company. Under Chief Kegebein’s administration the Norfolk department has been raised to its present standard of efficiency, now ranking as one of the best firefighting corps in the country. Chief Kegebein has frequently demonstrated his competentency in handling big fires, and has also shown great executive ability in the management of the department.”
Of the new chief and his career in the fire department, the same paper remarks: “Captain McLaughlin has frequently demonstrated his fearlessness in risking his life to save others, as was demonstrated in 1905, when he was attached to the York street lire station. During that period a wagon, in which were a man and his son, went through the draw of the old Atlantic City bridge, and the man and boy would have drowned, but for the bravery and prompt action of Captain McLaughlin, who, at the risk of his own life, plunged into the water and rescued them. For this heroic deed Captain McLaughlin was commended by the city council, and the parties res cued presented him with a handsome gold medal as a token of their appreciation. Another evidence of Captain McLaughlin’s bravery was given at the fire at the Willis-Smith-Crall company’s store last winter, when he entered the burning building and made his way out upon a cornice at the top, from which dangerous position he directed the work of the men of his company and assisted in quenching the blaze. For about a year Captain McLaughlin has been in charge of No. 2 fire station in Queen street.”