Chief Hawcroft of Reno Killed
R. B. Hawcroft, chief of fire department, Reno, Nev., was killed when the car in which he was responding to a fire collided with a taxicab commandeered by firemen to rush to the same blaze.
Both machines were travelling at a high rate of speed. The resulting crash awoke the neighborhood. The chief’s car turned in the air and landed on its side, pinning the chief beneath it. Chief Hawcroft was knocked unconscious, although he revived for a few moments to talk to his brother, assistant chief. Mr. Hawcroft was removed to the hospital, where he died an hour later from a fractured skull.
The fire to which the men were hurrying, was a small blaze caused by a fence on fire.
Chief Hawcroft was a member of the old volunteer fire department organization. He was always interested in firemanic matters while engaged in his trade of printer. In 1911 he was appointed chief and immediately set to work to reorganize the department. In 1917 the platoon system was installed and two new fire stations erected. He lectured in California and Nevada on fire prevention methods.
This was not Chief Hawcroft’s first accident. In February, 1917, he was injured while fighting a fire at a brick plant. While handling a hose, a speeding car struck a parked car that rebounded and struck Hawcroft. He was confined to his home for several weeks as the result of this.
His main hobby was dahlia raising. He had one of the best dahlia gardens on the Pacific Coast and his flowers won many prizes. Another hobby was aviation. The chief was a close friend of all the mail pilots.
Chief Hawcroft was state vice-president of Nevada of the I. A. F. C., and a past president of the Pacific Coast Association of Fire Chiefs. He was fifty-nine years old. Funeral services were held from the Reno Lodge of Elks of which he was a charter member and an exalted ruler.