fire dept

Charles Harris, Retired Lieutenant- Special Services

November 9, 2021

It is with deep regret that the Chief of the Department announces the passing of Charles “Charlie” Harris, Retired Lieutenant- Special Services.

Charlie has battled cancer for the last four years and had a true will to live and beat the sickness. This morning he died with family and members of his extended fire service family present at home.

Charlie joined the Keene Fire Department as an Auxiliary member on October 1, 1984. On February 18, 1985 he became a Call Company member. On January 30, 1997 Charlie was promoted to Lieutenant Call Company. Charlie had served in the Steamer, Ladder Companies and in the Special Services until his retirement December 11, 2019.

Charlie was always a respected member of our department and very active as a member of the call company and all special activities. His commitment to the department spanned 35 years of being there for everyone 24/7. Charlie, until his retirement, served in the Special Services of the Department. On all multi- alarm incidents, Charlie fulfilled the critical role of the accountability officer to track those members assigned in the hazardous areas. His calm, focused efforts always provided a high level of safety for our members.

Charlie was also committed to the activities and fund drives of the department. For years, Charlie and his wife Diane quietly organized the annual children’s Christmas party. From making sure the tree was up, Santa Claus was in position and there were treats to eat. Charlie was there from beginning to end. Charlie’s active participation with parade details, retirements and funeral services of our members further demonstrated his respect and commitment to those he served with.

Charlie’s fire service career spanned six decades. In 1957 he started as a Call Firefighter in Winchendon Ma. and he served there until 1964.  In 1984, Charlie returned to the fire service in Keene as an active member.

Charlie also served in the US Army from 1962-1964 during the Vietnam War. He was active in the Worcester West Forestry from 1957 until his retirement and active with the Cheshire County Forest Fire Wardens Association.

Charlie will remain in our thoughts and prayers forever as a respected member that served our department and country in honor.

The funeral arrangements are pending. Diane wants to thank all members, active and retired, that provided support to Charlie and her during their challenges. I assured her that I would share that message today and that we will always be here for her moving forward.

Anyone with questions may contact Chief Howard directly at 603-757-1862 or via email


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