Joseph
Chelhowski


JOSEPH ADAM CHELHOWSKI was born in Philadelphia on November 19, 1915 to Mary and Joseph Chelhowski. He completed two years of high school before entering the workforce. He had married Helen Kopec and was living at 1047 Atlantic Avenue when the 1940 Camden City Directory was compiled. He then was working at the RCA-Victor factory. Joseph Chelhowski was working as a stock clerk when inducted into the United States Army drafted on January 29, 1942 at Fort Dix, New Jersey.

Joseph Chelhowski was appointed to the Camden Fire department on October 16, 1942. He was then serving in the United States Army and did not report for duty until after his return from the service. While in the Army Joseph A. Chelhowski saw action in Europe with the Company Headquarters unit of the Anti-tank Company, 274th Infantry Regiment, and had been promoted to the rank of Technical Sergeant by the time he was discharged. His wife Helen worked at RCA-Victor while he was away at war.


Joseph Chelhowski returned to America aboard the Queen Elizabeth, arriving in New York on October 9, 1945. He returned to Camden, and on April 1, 1946 reported for duty with the Camden Fire Department.

Joseph and Helen Chelhowski were still living at 1047 Atlantic Avenue when the 1947 Camden City Directory was compiled. By the fall of 1956 they had moved to 1324 Sheridan Street. 

Joseph Chelhowski was promoted to Captain on August 26, 1969. He retired on December 1, 1980 after reaching the mandatory retirement age of 65. He was then still living at the Sheridan Street address.

Joseph Chelhowski died on February 20, 1992, survived by his wife Helen and son Dr. Joseph John Chelhowski. Helen Chelhowski joined her husband on June 23, 2000.

Camden Courier-Post * June 28, 1968

...continued...


Kenneth Clark
Joseph R. Gfrorer
George D. Getty
John Dimaggio
Joseph J. Anderson
Philip A. Maycott
James McMaster
William D. Hillman
Joseph Arensberg
Robert E. Briggs
John S. Brzozowski
Edmund F. Gorcczynski
Anthony F. Orme
William B. Young
William D. Ayers
Joseph Dowhy Sr.
James O. Jones
Joseph Chelhowski
James T. Robinson
Anthony D. Moffa
Robert E. Davenport
John F. Gaffney Jr.
Albert E. Collum Jr.

Robert D. Craig - Edwin Hoffman - Flem Hopkins Jr. - Joseph Fox - Charles W. Cahilly - Edward Bush
John F. Oppman - Gary E. Miller - Donald Tymusczuk - Joseph A. Broccoli - Richard W. Merta
Robert G. Gibson -
Elwood L. Ridge - Joseph E. Benton - David Vautier Jr. - Frank R. Pedano

Camden Courier-Post * August 18, 1975

Fatal fire truck crash is blamed on their sirens

By TONY DAVIS
Courier-Post Staff

A Camden f ire official said he believes Saturday's collision of two fire trucks that killed one person and injured 14 others was caused by the inability of the drivers to hear each other‘s vehicle over their own sirens.

However. Acting First Battalion Chief Joseph Anderson stressed that he was only “theorizing" and that a full investigation of the crash would begin today. The two trucks, Engines One and Eight, collided at 6th and Pine Streets at about 5:15 pm, Saturday, Anderson said.

The impact of the crash sent Engine Eight, which was heading north on 6th Street, into the Livecchi grocery store while Engine One, which was head ing east on Pine Street, stopped safely about one block north on 6th Street, Anderson said.

The two vehicles were en route to the scene of a minor fire in a vacant house about two blocks from the scene of the collision. Anderson said another truck was called to extinguish the blaze.

Dead was 65-year-old Wilkins Tisdale, of 583 Line Street, Camden, according to Blair M. Murphy, an investigator for the Camden County Medical Examiner’s office, Murphy said the causes of death were internal injuries and a severed arm.

Tisdale, a retired construction worker who had just walked out of the grocery store, was pinned for 90 minutes under a large freezer in the store, Anderson said.

Juanita Dorsey, 34, 704 Pine Street Camden, who had been standing inside the store, was pinned under the freezer when it was hit by the truck, Anderson said. The woman was listed in satisfactory condition in Cooper Hospital with back injuries.

Richard Sorenson, a hoseman for Engine Eight, was in critical condition at Cooper with a punctured lung, broken ribs and a broken nose, right shoulder and right arm.

Paul Delfing. driver of Engine One, and James Peterson, driver of Engine Eight, were both pinned inside the cabs of their vehicles for 20 minutes, and 

 later treated and released from Cooper for head and facial injuries, Anderson said.

Sorenson and five other firemen on the two trucks were all thrown from them by the crash. The other firemen injured were Joseph Chelhowski, captain of Engine Eight, who was in satisfactory condition in West Jersey Hospital, Northern Division with ankle injuries and bruises.

Albert Collum, captain of Engine One, who was in stable condition at Cooper with a concussion, a broken finger, contusions and bruises.

William Smith, a hoseman for Engine Eight, who was being held for observation at or Lady of Lourdes Hospital with head and facial cuts and bruises.

John Asher, a hoseman for Engine One, and Paul Capazola, a hoseman for Engine Eight, who were treated and released from Cooper for cuts and bruises.

Five other persons were injured, none seriously, in the crash. One, Leonard Medford, of 611 Line Street, Camden, was in satisfactory condition at Cooper Hospital with leg injuries. The others were all treated and released from Cooper and Lourdes hospitals.

Anderson said the diesel engines of the two trucks both received “extensive" damage and that he did not know if the eight-year-old trucks, which he said usually last 15 years, could be used again.

Chief Edward V. Michalak said the department has pressed two of its older, auxiliary pumpers into service to keep the city's nine engine companies and three ladder companies at full strength.

Michalak said, however, that the two trucks damaged were among the newest the City owned.

Although he would put no dollar estimate on the damages, he said they were “excessive" and that it would not be known until at least Tuesday whether they could be repaired.

The city will not be receiving any new fire trucks until next April, when delivery of four pumpers is expected.

Although the city has experienced fire truck mishaps before, the chief, a 33-year veteran of the force, said this was the most serious.

He would not comment on the cause of the accident pending completion of the department's investigation.


Camden Courier-Post
August 18, 1975

SPECTATORS peer solemnly at Camden fire truck that crashed into corner grocery at 6th and Pine Street, Camden killing one man and injuring 14 other persons after collision with another fire truck at intersection

Camden Courier-Post
August 18, 1975

CAB of fire engine lies atop freezer where it came to rest after slamming through grocery store wall


Camden Fire Department Personnel Record 


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