memorial

Name: HOBSTETTER, Charles R.
DOD: August 10, 1969
House: Chillum-Adelphi VFD
County: PRINCE GEORGE'S COUNTY
Age: 30
Years of Service: 8 Years

Honoring & Remembering Maryland Fallen Heroes Chillum-Adelphi VFD ~ Prince George's County ~ Maryland August 10, 1969 On a hot August night in 1969, a line of violent thunderstorms, with winds in excess of 55 mph, barreled through the MD/DC area, and caused extensive flooding throughout the region. The usually trickling and docile Sligo Creek ,suddenly turned into a torrent of water with 5 foot swells ,that caused the creek to crest over the bridge on New Hampshire Avenue and submerge cars within minutes. Mr & Mrs Ronald Knowles and their 5 year old son were in their family car and had just turned off New Hampshire Ave onto Sligo Creek Parkway, when they were hit with rushing flood waters, that came up as high as the car door handles, and the raging water swept them and their automobile some 2 blocks down stream. The three abandoned their car and, with the help of 18 year old Colin Turner of Takoma Park, the four navigated downstream until they reached ,climbed up on,and clung to the railings of the New Hampshire Avenue bridge. The Chillum-Adelphi ambulance and hook & ladder were the first units to arrive and emergency rescue operations got underway with the 3 man team of Robert Harmon, Charles Robert Hobstetter,and Bob Jacobs. Firefighter Robert J. Harmon Jr. and Firefighter Charles Robert Hobstetter, were secured with lifelines that were being manned by Firefighter Bob Jacobs. The two firefighters were making their way to the four stranded on the bridge,when suddenly the road collapsed, plunging Firefighter Harmon and Firefighter Hobstetter into the raging water and under the bridge. Firefighter Harmon, still attached to the lifeline, was pulled from the water by Firefighter Jacobs Firefighter Harmon, still attached to the lifeline, was pulled from the water by Firefighter Jacobs.Firefighter Harmon was transported to an area hospital in cardiac arrest/drowning, all resuscitation attempts were unsuccessful ,and he was pronounced dead at approximately 1:30 a.m. When the road collapsed, Firefighter Hobstetter became separated from the lifeline. He was swept 1/2 mile downstream and his body was located at approximately 3 a.m. Firefighter Charles Robert Hobstetter was 31 years old and had served 8 1/2 years *** the above narrative created with excerpts and paraphrasing from the following: Washington Post, August 11, 1969 K. Scharfenberg Washington Post, Sept. 17, 1998. B.Ruben Website posting by Clair Garman, www.fosc.org/FloodFiremen.htm


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