Harold LeRoy, long-time president of the Arlington County Fire and Rescue Association, died Jan. 22, 2008. He would have celebrated his 91st birthday on Feb. 1, 2008.
Firefighters - both career and volunteer - addressed him as "Mr. LeRoy'' as a sign of respect. He remained active with the volunteer association, the fire department historical society and the ``Chowder Club'' until his passing.
Mr. LeRoy joined the Jefferson District Volunteer Fire Department in the late 1930s, and during the manpower shortages of World War II was sworn in as a member of the Arlington County Fire Department - though he never collected a paycheck.
He was preceded in death by his wife, Beth.
Mr. LeRoy, who also served as chief of the Jefferson District VFD when he was younger, enjoyed sharing stories of his career, including his many runs on old Squad 5.
Recalling the 1959 general alarm at the Pentagon, LeRoy said one image that remained with him into old age was that of a paid firefighter, Eddie Dodson, emerging from the smoke-charged basement of the massive building covered in soot. ``He sat down on the running board of the wagon – and promptly lit a cigarette,’’ LeRoy chuckled.